Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hot, Hot and Hotter!!!

The heat has been awful and we are all suffering. The corn in my garden seems to be loving the heat and doing well. We have been getting up very early to do chores and then come in when it gets to hot.

We have been experimenting with canning in a pressure canner and want to can everything, including meat in a pressure canner. This would enable us to not worry about freezers and electricity if the economy really took a nose dive or a hurricane blew through. The picture on the left above is the canner and the jars on the right is the first batch of carrots canned. All went well and we will try some carrots for lunch Wednesday.
I was chatting about parasite problems and happened to get a good example of a bottle jaw in a ewe. Bottle jaw is caused by the internal parasites causing anemia and the blood becomes thin. The swelling is like an edema under the jaw. It is possible for the entire face to become swollen.
If one treats if fast enough, it can be reversed. I have seen 4 bottle jaw cases in the past 3 years. It is uncommon, but very serious. If not treated quickly, the animal will usually die. My regimen to treat an ewe with bottle jaw is as follows:
First check the eyes and see if pale to white in color. Then inject ewe with 1 to 1 1/2 cc of Vit A,D, E and give 5 cc Super B complex (150 pound ewe). Then I would worm orally with Valbazen for 2 days in a row, wait a week and worm a third time with Cydectin. Do not give Cydectin to a sheep or goat who is down or really weak. My experience has been that Cydectin will push them over the edge and kill them. I am not sure why, but that has been my experience. Do not use Cydectin on kids or lambs under 4 months of age.
After 24 to 48 hours I give the sheep a 1 cc IM shot of Dextran, which is an iron supplement. Continue to monitor the animals and if not eating, give them a good 30 to 60 cc of power punch. This has vitamins and sugar and gives them a boost.
Got to go to bed to get to work in the am... more later...


Friday, June 19, 2009

HOT & HOT!!!

It has been so hot!! The humidity is high and the last couple of days including today have hit the 100 mark. With all the rain we have had, plus the heat, equals PARASITE heaven. We have had a lot of problems with parasites (intestinal worms) since the first of June. It has hit hard and fast. We have lost 3 young goats. They are fine one day, show some loose stool and are gone by the next day. The young are the most susceptible.
The pictures above are of Blue and her quints (the fifth one moved out of the picture). They are half Boer and see how big they have grown already. I am supplementing 3 of them once or twice a day. They attack their mom like sharks and fight over the 2 teats if their bellies are not full. The three hanging through the pen are the bottle babies looking for me to feed them. They are all for sale and all have blue eyes. The bottle babies consist of one doe and two bucks. The smallest one with the dark head is a buck. Email me if anyone is interested at: oldesouth@charter.net.

I have a couple of young Nigerian Does who are new and we have put them in a pen to dry lot them. Dry lot means to remove from pasture and feed hay. This eliminates the chance for them to become infested with parasites and gives them time to grow up and develop their immune system. I also have my new Cheviot rams on dry lot and in the pecan orchard shade. They came from Washington State. They have not been exposed to the southern parasites and I want them to acclimate slowly. Last summer I lost an expensive Mini Cheviot ram due to parasites and do not want that to happen again.

The most susceptible livestock are the yearling sheep with lambs. They are still growing and nursing a baby. They need to watched the closest and have their eye lids checked weekly. The goats are most suceptible when they are 4 months to under a year. They don't always show signs of illness until it is to late.

I have not had a chance to Blog due to all the problems we have been having. The months of June, July and August are high maintance with sheep and goats. Even with pasture rotation, the parasites have been bad this year. It has been a chore just trying to keep the grass cut around the buildings. It grows about 5 inches in a week and we need to keep it cut to keep snakes away and control the parasites.

We have sold all our young Boers and Boer crosses at the sales. There is one here in Uniontown and another in Clantin. Clantin offered better prices. But it is always a gamble when one goes to the sale. One week it is good , the next it is not. I always seem to hit the sale when it is not...

The picture to the left is our garden. It does not look to impressive at the moment, but just wait a few weeks. We have 4 rows of sweet corn, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and we have added much more and will have photos of that later. We were late at getting the garden in, due to problems breaking the ground and getting someone to help us by working up the plot. Now we are squared away and the garden is taking off.
Got to go feed some hungry bottle babies...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The heat of summer is here...

The heat of summer is here and I decided to grab the old Bubba and shave his down to see what was under all that hair. His picture is to the right. He is a sweet boy, lead trained and was no trouble to put on a stand and get his hair cut. He had not been shaved down in a couple of years. I think he appreciated the clip in the heat. The picture to the left is Mr General. I can never find anyone around to pose the goats and have to chase them around and try to get them in a natural pose. Mr General is standing with his front in a low spot. So his top line is not perfect. He is show clipped and we can see his great conformation and long, dairy neck.
The picture to the left is Blue with her quints, yes, her 5 little darlings. They are all blue eyed and doing well. She had 3 boys and 2 girls. I am helping out, supplementing 3 once or twice a day with a bottle of either goat milk or replacer. You can see the famous EARS. When a Nigerian is crossed with a Boer, the ears give them away. They will be either airplane, mule ears or folded over like the little girl to the far left. I think the mule ears are cute. The babies are growing very fast and Blue is milking like a Holstein to try and keep up. They will end up being larger then Blue and built heavier. The does are two teated and the Blue eyes make them really stand out.
We are taking reservations for the babies. You can take them as bottle babies or wait until the darlings are weaned. The choice is yours.
Enough for now...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June is already here...

As usual, time flys by and it is already June. We were at a Goat Show this weekend in Georgia. It was the Peachy Keen Show in Monroe. I really did not have anyone I felt was competitive, then Brat (Chelone) freshened a week before the show. She does milk now and her pictures are below and to the right.

We had not been to a show in over a year due to the time factor with moving to the new farm. We placed, but did nothing spectacular. Mr General, my buck had turned a year two days before the show and had to go up against bucks up to two years. He is not mature enough to compete in that age group, but got him out there for practice. He and all the goats, except Brat did a great job. Brat has an attitude, always has, always will. Milking her out after the competition was a challenge as well. She usually throws a BF, then settles down to be milked. If she did not throw a fit, I would think she was sick.

The picture to the left is Oldesouth Thunder Madonna. She is a Thundersnow daughter, sired by Bubba. She has the brush creek look to her and again not mature enough to be competitive. She went into the year to two year milkers and is barely a year. The experience and exposure did this little doe good. Her baby daughter though was not a happy camper. The babies must be removed for 12 hours for the udders to fill up to show. This upsets the youngsters, but everyone is reunited after the classes are through and all is well.

The picture to the right is Oldesouth FLA Beauty. She is a six month old doe out of Butter, my best milker, sired by Flash. We had a bit of difficulty in the tattooing department and the more I tried to clean off the tattoo ink, the more it spread. So, we stopped while we were ahead so the little girl did not show as green. She is a lovely doe and placed, but not competitive at this time. A bit more training to get her relaxed and not bunching up. When they bunch up, the top line is lost. We will work more with this young doe and see how she matures.

The Nigerian Dwarf goat is shaved down for a show. The bucks are especially hairy and have large Mohawks running the length of their body. I like to use a 1/4 inch comb to clip my goats, which leaves enough hair to see the rich color of the goats and they are not naked. A little tuff of hair is left on the tail, like a little poodle pom pom.

Mr General is pictured to the left at 1 year of age. He has a great topline and angulation, but needs some time to grown up and mature. I think he actually enjoyed the show and did a great job.

Pictured below are Blue's latest family. She went into labor, Sunday 24th before Memorial Day. I had brought her to a kidding pen that morning and she went into labor that afternoon. She had triplets, but then continued... and continued... until 5 kids were born. I believe 5 kids are Quints, and correct me if I am wrong. This is the second time we had 5 kids, the first, only 4 survived. All these little ones survived with one slight problem... THEY ARE NOT NIGERIANS!!! They are half BOER!!! UGGHHH!!! One can tell immediately by the ears, which are longer and folded like a dog. The 5 have 2 does and 3 bucks, pictured below and to the left. The picture on the right are Eve's two daughters which are pure Nigerian. See the difference in the ears. The ears are small , short and go straight out.

Well, we are not pleased and the Big Boer Buck is For Sale. Yes he is the man, just ask Blue... We figured out how the party girls were getting into his pen and hopefully took care of the problem until he is sold.

Life on the farm is always full of surprises to say the least. With all the rain we have had the last couple of months, this weekend was fantastic. I was off yesterday as well and was able to get a ton of things done. We even got the sheep taken care of. Moms and lambs checked, hooves, vaccinations and ear tags squared away.

Will blog more later...