September 25, 2009

Calling the Goat Herd Home

video

My husband took this video today of the goat herd coming down from the big pasture. Who is that leading the way? Why, Peeps the lap goat of course!

September 24, 2009

Random Farm Catch Up

I was going to post about how to tattoo a goat today. Melody the Boer doe was supposed to be my unwilling volunteer but we got a late start and the lighting did not agree with my camera. Melody did get tattooed but most of the pictures did not turn out. Don't worry I will post tattoo instructions soon because we have quite a few more goats to get done in the near future. Hopefully our next tattoo goat model will be more cooperative. If you are looking at this picture and thinking; "that is the expression of a goat less than enthusiastic about the whole tattoo idea" then you would be right. Melody was actually kind of bratty about the whole thing, not that I blame her.

Tattooing is my least favorite chore on the farm. It is not because this is a difficult task to do, actually tattooing a goat is a rather simple and easy chore albeit a little messy. That green ink just seems to grow and spread everywhere no matter how careful you are with it. It is a necessary chore but I don't like tattooing or tagging goats because I hate to cause them pain, even for just a few seconds. Strangely castrating goats doesn't bother me a bit, a fact that makes my husband nervous for some reason. I guess I don't need to tell you what his most disliked farm chore is.

Since the how to tattoo post did not work out I thought I would just write a short, random catch up post about what has been going on at the farm.

The biggest news is probably our new addition to the farm. He is a little spotted Nubian buckling and a real sweetheart. I have always loved Nubian dairy goats and I especially find the spotted ones to be very beautiful. I have admired and wanted one for probably about six years, so when the opportunity came up to bring this little guy home I just couldn't say no. We are hoping to have a small, quality herd of Nubian dairy goats in the near future. Sorry no pictures yet but I will be posting more about him soon!

Procrastination is the bad, ugly monkey on my back. I have a problem with it and because of that I now find myself with only a week or so to move my farm website. Currently it is hosted with Yahoo Geocities because they are free and I am cheap frugal but Geocities is shutting down. I would be very thankful for advice and suggestions about where to go for web hosting! I would like one that I can eventually set up a shopping cart on.

Things are still up in the air and unsure but we may be moving my sister's horses down here to the farm at some point in the future. I am not quite sure where we will put them but I will figure something out. It is important to me to help out family and friends whenever I can.

We are going to have to find a different person to cut and bale our hay next year. We have it done on shares and the person that has done it the last three years is just not working out. The problem is we need every bale of hay we can get off of our land and he really does not seem to be worried about cutting all that he could bale on our property. This year he probably left a third of it uncut. We are going to have to buy a lot more hay this year because of it. We should have found someone else last year but what can I say we are just too nice sometimes and didn't want to find someone else unless we had too. We are going to be paying for that this winter. It seems the trick is going to be finding someone that still bales in small squares because the farmers around here all seem to be going to big round bales.

The garden is about done. I did not keep up with tracking all of our harvest in case you all didn't notice but I had good intentions. I am already looking forward to next years garden. I was so excited to get some hopi pale grey squash seeds in the mail from Linda who writes the Life on a Colorado Farm blog. Thank you so much Linda! I have never planted this type before and I can't wait to add them to the garden next year.

Hope you all did not mind my bit of random catch up today. I want to thank every person that reads my blog and takes the time to leave a comment. You are all very much appreciated.

September 22, 2009

Goat Tears



I just thought this was a cute commercial and wanted to share.

September 11, 2009

The Lap Goat

Peeps thinks she is a lap goat.

She likes nothing better than to take a nap or relax and chew her cud all cuddled up in a friend's lap. Peeps won't be a lap goat forever though because she is a cross of two very large breeds of goats. See, her daddy is a big, burly Boer buck and her mom is a long, tall Nubian doe so Peeps is destined to out grow her position as resident lap goat someday, but for now she is milking it for all it is worth.



Peeps was born on Easter, in fact that is how she got the name Peeps. I was there to get some cute baby pictures of her right after she was born.

Earlier this past Spring my husband made it very clear the goat herd size was already as large as it should be, so we would not be keeping hardly any of this years doelings. I had some tough decisions to make but it seemed to make sense to both of us to sell the cross breed doelings first. The fact that I already had her mother, and both of her half sisters in the herd made Peeps seem like a logical choice for one of the doelings to sell and I even posted about it. The word must have got out to Peeps about that because she really turned up the charm. It wasn't long until she had my husband wrapped around her little hoof and he eventually changed his mind about selling her. I was secretly glad because she had wormed her way into my heart as well with her friendly personality and funny antics. So Peeps is going to hang here with us, as our farm mascot, resident lap goat and hopefully a nice backyard milk goat someday.

September 10, 2009

Stop Funding for Plum Island in the Heartland.

Some of you may recall about a year ago I wrote about our governments plan to move hoof and mouth disease research facilities from an isolated island lab to a lab in the middle of an agricultural region. You can read that post HERE, it will give you a background of this issue, provide some informational links and tell you why I think this is such a bad idea.
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Today the proposed site is Manhattan, Kansas, which happens to be smack dab in the heart of cattle country. Posted below is some more recent news from R-CALF USA about the Plum Island animal disease research facility and the foolish idea of building a new research facility, not only on the main land but in an agricultural area with a dense population of livestock. To listen to a short audio clip from R-CALF about this, Click Here.
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For me as a farmer and a resident of the state in which our government wants to locate this facility it is in my humble opinion that I don't care how much money is thrown at this issue or how many D.C. bigwigs swear by its safety while they sit behind their desks far away from America's farms and ranches and the people that could be affected by this decision; the fact of the matter is nobody can 100% guarantee there won't be an accident. One of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in Britain was from a research facility. Here is another news article about FMD outbreaks in the UK. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2007/2007-08-08-04.asp

I do understand this could bring money and some jobs to our state, but even as bad as Kansas needs the jobs it just is not worth the risk. Someone has to draw the line somewhere about just what we as a country are willing to risk for an extra buck or an extra job. If you feel like I do, I encourage you to contact your US Senators through http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml and tell them to draw a line for our farmers and ranchers by improving or building their new facility on Plum Island where it has been for years and denying funding specifically for plans to relocate Plum Island animal research facility to the mainland. I do believe animal disease research is very important and should be fully funded but only in a logical place like Plum Island, not a stone's throw from many of America's farms, ranches and feedlots.


Coalition Asks Homeland Security Approps Committees

to Deny Funding for NBAF on U.S. Mainland


Washington, D.C. – R-CALF USA, along with 24 other organizations, sent formal correspondence to the 30 conferees of the Senate Committee on Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, to request that they deny funding for plans to relocate dangerous research from Plum Island, N.Y., to a facility in Manhattan, Kan., the heart of cattle country.


“Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security has proposed to establish a National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Kansas where research would be conducted on such highly contagious livestock diseases as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia,” the letter states. “As you begin to conference the FY2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, we urge you to deny funding for the NBAF project.”


R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the group’s animal health committee, emphasized that the highly contagious nature of FMD dictates that only a site far removed from significant livestock and meat production, and one protected by natural barriers, should be considered.


“Only the Plum Island facility meets those criteria, so it is R-CALF’s strong contention that if any changes are made at all, those changes should be simply to improve the facilities at Plum Island,” Thornsberry said. “An inadvertent disease outbreak from the proposed NBAF would likely severely harm the very sectors of the U.S. economy and U.S. population that the NBAF is supposed to protect: the U.S. livestock herd, U.S. cattle producers and U.S. consumers.


“The House of Representatives acknowledged the dangers of placing a research facility in the heartland and it authorized no funding for the NBAF in Kansas,” he concluded. “We are respectfully requesting that the Senate adopt the House position by denying all appropriations to Homeland Security for the purpose of transferring the disease research programs at Plum Island to the U.S. mainland.”

Other signers on the letter included: Cattle Producers of Washington; Center for Rural Affairs; Colorado Independent CattleGrowers’ Association; Dakota Resource Council; Dakota Rural Action; Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance; Food & Water Watch; Independent Beef Association of North Dakota; Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska; Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming; Kansas Cattlemen’s Association; Kansas Farmers Union; Mississippi Livestock Markets Association; Missouri's Best Beef, Inc.; National Farmers Union; Nebraska Farmers Union; New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association; New Mexico Federal Lands Council; Oregon Livestock Producers Association; Ozarks Property Rights Congress, Mo.; South Dakota Stockgrowers Association; The CJD Foundation; Western Organization of Resource Councils; and, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USAU.S.R-CALF USA directors and committee chairs are extremely active unpaid volunteers. R-CALF USA has dozens of affiliate organizations and various main-street businesses are associate members. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com represents thousands of cattle producers on trade and marketing issues. Members are located across 47 states and are primarily cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and/or feedlot owners. or, call 406-252-2516.

September 09, 2009

We Got Gourds!

Our vegetable garden started out really strong this year. For most of the summer I kept up with it, despite the bucket loads of zucchini and those determined weeds. Then somehow when some very stressful family issues and other unexpected things got added to my plate recently the garden just went south. The weeds took over and our beautiful garden has ended up looking pretty neglected I am afraid. One plant that did seem to thrive despite my inattention is the gourds.

This was the first year I have planted birdhouse gourds and I only planted a few. You may remember them earlier in the year from this post. They got much bigger than that, they completely covered their trellis, crept down the goat fence, covered the compost pile and tried to strangle the corn. I loved it, but next time I will know to put in a much larger trellis for them! I can't believe three gourd plants spread out so much! Here is some of the gourds I have gotten off those plants.

These particular ones were knocked off by one of our Great Pyrenees dogs when he got into the backyard and decided those vines looked like a cool place to dig a hole to sleep in. That is the very spoiled Miss Peeps in the picture right before she knocked some of them over like bowling pins. (Why do my animals have it out for my gourds?) There are still some more gourds on the vine but I have read to leave them on the vine as long as possible. I can't wait for these gourds to dry so I can try my hand at some birdhouses and art with them! If you want to see some truly beautiful and unique gourd art you should check out the link below! I had no idea there was a Gourd Art Festival!

http://www.gourdfestival.com/exhibitor_list09.shtml

**Big Smiles! Blogger decided too cooperate with me for once and loaded my picture! Clicking on the picture will make it larger.