Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wet Sunday...

As it pours down rain outside, we are reflecting on the Year so far and above are pictures of new kids.  The left shows the lovely Silver Queen with her triplets by Mr General and other kids to the right by Mr General as well.  We have been very pleased with Mr General's Kids, showing beautiful toplines, width and nice straight legs.  His first daughter is Oldesouth Summer and she will not be freshening until late summer.

The nice Nubian is a buckling out of Raisen, sired by Blake.  He is very colorful with a nice topline.  His mom has a nice udder and very good milk production.  We will be retaining his sister and offer him For Sale for $250.  He is a registered Nubian.  He is being bottle fed and is very tame.  Email us at or call us at:  334-327-9252 if you are interested in him.

The picture above is Mr Paul's tractor.  This was taken in December and I was a bit slow at getting it published.  Mr Paul was moving a large dog house for me to put out for the rams to use as shelter.  With 11.7 inches of rain in December, it was a bit wet to say the least.  Anyway, on returning from placing the dog house, the tractor bogged down and sunk like a stone.  It was close to dusk and was dark when I took the photo.  The tractor had to be pulled out by a large tow truck.  Mr Paul has friends in the right places and the tractor was pulled out the next morning.

The weather went from wet to cold and now back to wet.  We received 2.5 inches of rain Wed/Thurs and now we are being drenched again.  I have been waiting for the weather to clear a bit before slopping through the mud to care for the herd and mik.

The picture below is our new feed room, which by the way, the old room is under water once more.  We had this 12 X 14 building moved in and put on blocks to keep us high and dry.  We had electricity run to it and moved the small Frig and a heater into the room.  I can keep my cold meds in the frig and regular meds can be kept from freezing with the heater.  It was nice to have a warm place to retreat to when we had that Artic Blast.  The goats of course could not help themselves from exploring the building and tasting it.  So far they have not been able to figure out how to open the doors.  We have a latch and double turns to keep them out.  Eventually we will put up a fence to keep the brats out of the area all together.

We had a friend of ours who had purchased a new incubabtor.  One of those fancy high dollar ones to breed and hatch their pure bred chickens.  At the time, their chickens were not laying and mine were laying like crazy.  I have some Red Production, Black Production and my favorites, Americaunas.  We have two Americauna Roosters and I gathered up some eggs to hatch and we set them according to the Old Farmer's Almanac, December 29th.  I had 23 eggs and had put them in a turner until we had enough to try a hatch.  When the date to hatch came, I was a bit surprised to see that 22 of the 23 eggs hatched!!!  They are a combo of Red Production and Americauna.  They all have the beard and sideburns of the Americauna and we will see what color eggs the hens lay come July.  We plan on eatting the roosters, but it will be a bit before we figure which are which.  The Americauna's lay blue and green eggs.  I picked nice blue eggs to hatch.  The pure Americauna's have strips down the length of their bodies, so they are easy to pick out.  Some are pure white, which may be the roosters (production reds are sexed by the red hens and white roosters) and the rest are redish.  But we will wait and see what is what.  Some of the white ones have black speckles.  Will get a picture to put on the blog. 

I am itching to plant a garden, but the mud puts all that on hold.  Would love to grow some lettuce and collards and plant some carrots.  Even with the added soil, the garden spot is under water.  I think we are going to move it, but have not made up our minds.  I like the location now and it is close to the water.  We will have to run water to the new spot and that is what we have not decided to do yet.

We are also looking at barns and want to build a 40 by 80 barn to store hay in and the sides would be good for livestock and lambing/kidding pens.  We have decided where to put it, now it is gathering up the $$$ to do it and get it done.  Hopefully by the end of 2010, it will be a reality.

We have a few nice Nigerian Yearlings still available who are bred to Mr General For Sale.  We are also going to offer Oldesouth Christmas Eve and Oldesouth Blue Dawn For Sale as well.  They are both proven does with nice udders.  Eve has the lovely black and white pattern so popular and she is blue eyed.  Blue Dawn is a daughter of Blue, sired by Ceasar and is blue eyed as well.  We are offering them after their current kids are weaned for $300 each.  Give us a ring if you would like more information.  Both are AGS and NDGA registered. 

Blue had two daughters by Buddy who are spectacular.  One was drop dead and had a baby doe by Mr General who is blue eyed.  All of blue's kids are blue eyed.  Anyway, I was excited to show her with such a nice udder and perfect topline.  Then, one morning I go out to milk and feed and she is dead.  We still do not know what happened to that lovely doe, Oldesouth Blue Annabelle.  Her sister, a week ago miscarried and thankfully she decided to mother Annabelle's daughter.  We have named the daughter Reba.  She is a blue eyed pistal.  She is half bottle baby and nurses off of sister Anna Lynn.  Anna Lynn just decided to take over Reba and is very happy.

We are going to keep back several doelings and bucklings from the breedings to Mr General to grow them out and see what he produces.  We have so many nice ones, it is hard to just pick out one or two.  We will need to make room for the young ones and sell off a few of the older favorites.

We will be offering Buddy (blue eyed) and Bubba For Sale probably next summer or fall.  I want to breed Bubba to Brat once more and Buddy to Blue once more.  We will keep the Politician and several young bucks.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Arctic Blast

We hope everyone had a great Holiday Season.  Now we are awaiting the Arctic Blast.  It has been real cold all this week and we have had several days of 18 and 17 degrees at night.  The mud is all frozen and we are having to deal with frozen water buckets and troughs, which is my least favorite thing in the world.  We had been breaking ice for the livestock to drink and yesterday the temps went above freezing so we could thaw the hose and  fill the troughs.  I pulled out the ice and refilled.  We may end up ordering warmers if this weather keeps up.  We have not had to deal with this before.  Usually it is cold at night and warms up during the day and we just wait to refill water.  It has been almost a week where temps are not getting much above freezing.  We are some 20 degrees below our normal temps.

We have had several kids with snotty noses and our buildings are open, not equipped to deal with the cold north and west wind.  We have put up some tarps to cut down on the wind chill.  Deep bedding and extra feed is about all one can do.  We have lost a few kids due to chilling at night.  We do not use heat lamps due to the fire hazzard.  It is better to loose a baby, then loose the entire herd due to a fire. Our well is covered with a light to keep it from freezing.  We have underground pipes to pipe water out to the pastures, but that is all turned off for the winter.  This cold would only bust them.

We have had several Nigerian Kids born and my Nubian Raisen is due to kid shortly as well.  She will more then likely have a purebred Nubian sired by Blake, my huge black Nubian Buck.  Brat had twins by Mr General, a buck and a doe.  Thundersnow had twins, a buck and a doe by Mr General.  Blue had triplets one cold night and lost one of the bucks.  She was acting strange and did not want to take care of her kids this year.  I guess the quintuplets did her in.  I pulled the kids and one went to her new home as a Christmas Angel present for Christmas. We still have a buckling available who is Blue eyed, sired by Bubba and very colorful.

We sell a lot of babies for Christmas.  They are great gifts and easier to deal with then dogs.  If they are bottle babies, they are very tame and follow one around like a dog.  Some folks put diapers on them and dress them like children.  I have put oneseys on The Rock, when he was a Boer baby with a diaper.  Oneseys are like a tea shirt with bottom snaps.  You put it on back wards and snap over the back.  It will hold the diaper in place to catch urine.  When the diaper sags a bunch, you know it is time to change.  The Rock is over 2 years now (200 pounds) and is as tame as any dog and knows his name.  Bottle babies are the best...  If the baby is for a child, they learn to feed them and care for them like a baby.  The goat bonds to the caregiver like a child and will even ride in a car and learn tricks.  There is nothing cutier then a baby Nigerian Goat.

We have set eggs from our chickens to try a hatch.  A friend of mine has a fancy incubator.  I have never had much luck with the incubator I have and will let her try to hatch some.  I would like more Ameraucana's and as soon as I decided to collect the eggs for hatching, they stopped laying all of a sudden.  Before, there were eggs everywhere.  What is with that???  Maybe it is the cold weather.  I am a good detective and have found all their laying spots.  We did get some and will hatch them and the Ameraucana mixes.  I have two Ameraucana Roosters.  The Ameraucana are the chickens which lay blue and green eggs.

Got to go for now and will try to get pictures of the cold snap.