Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Goats’ Category

A Campfire Chat

I, uh…..I wish we could all sit down….cup of coffee in hand…..campfire roaring (obviously, this will have to happen in the fall because our late summer fire ban is up…no campfires right now)…..marshmallows on the skewers……and talk, share, and pass down the knowledge we have gained while trying to figure out those things called homesteading, cooking, raising a family, livestock handling, etc, etc, etc.  Much like a book club, we could change the “book”, or more appropriately, topic, and meet numerous times throughout the year.  You all have so much knowledge out there….how fun would that be?!!!!  So, on tap for today, a virtual campfire will have to do!!

Do you have your cup of coffee, tea, or whatever beverage you prefer??  Let’s talk!!!

As long we are having coffee, might as well have a delicious sandwich to go with it!!

As long we are having coffee, might as well have a delicious sandwich to go with it!!

Summer is a busy time on this little homestead.  You know, in some ways, the animal husbandry lessens, when you don’t have baby animals running around, and all the others are out and about most of the day.  Pooping and peeing outside is easier to manage than the more frequent pooping and peeing inside their shelters during the wet, rainy days….and in Oregon, we have a lot of those.  However, it becomes all about water; keeping the flock, and the herd hydrated is essential to their health

July 2016

Right now, I do that by filling up buckets of water and carrying them across the way to where they hang out.  It takes about 4 trips with a full, 3 gallon bucket to fill the goat trough.  Another 3 gallons will fill the main chicken waterer….and 2 more gallons for their water dish that sits out in the field in which they run about….originally for the chickens, the goats have decided they like the water in that dish best, so that one gets filled more frequently.  Water is the name of the game this time of year.  Carrying all those buckets is good for the triceps for sure!!!  Have you noticed that your livestock like to drink out of one type of trough, or dish more than the other??  My goats prefer the black, plastic dish over their galvanized steel 6 gallon water trough, and it doesn’t matter that both have fresh water.

Dogs water dish next to the house....same as the 2 gallon waterer out in pasture.

Dogs water dish next to the house….same as the 2 gallon waterer out in pasture.

Thankfully, late July up until mid-September, when normally we will have a couple of rains, the burn restrictions here in the Pacific NW prohibit a lot of tasks we might still want to do, like run the brush hog on the tractor one more time over the pasture grasses/weeds; any logging activity, etc.  So at this time of year, it’s about projects, gardening by hand, pulling up foxtail weeds, and keeping the animals cool and hydrated.

Walking with goats.

Walking with goats.

It’s also about taking walks with the goats to areas of the property that are not fenced into pastures, but have great nutrition.  Since we do not have a guardian animal that hangs with the goats, we are their guardians….they follow us where ever we wish to take them….

…..except back into their main pasture…which requires a little encouragement called, Wheat Thins.  Yep…the crackers….LOL!!  They will go ANYWHERE for Wheat Thins!  Hahaha!

Thank you for visiting today.  I have missed you all.  This time of year, days are long and time for writing is short.  There are events coming in the near future, please check out Have-a-Dane Hill Danes as we pursue the next step in our plans for our homestead.  Exciting times ahead!!!  If you have time, pop on over to http://www.haveadanehilldanes.com and check out the action….big news on the horizon!!  Much to tell about the homestead, the farm, the forest, our dog(s)…….I’ll be back!!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

Did I mention Barns?

September 2014

Barns can be addicting….seriously.  They are these structures that hold an amazing amount of potential….a big empty space…..a blank canvas….interior walls that are moveable and forever interchangeable.  The older the better.  They hold a history of past lives from a simpler time.  They protect and grow the very animals that sustain those of whom share the soil from which their sustenance grows.  Mud stained wooden walls point to where animals lived….they are a thing of beauty.  Our main barn was probably built in the late 80’s…not terribly old, but still holds a history.  I feel it….I think about it every time I walk into it….the evidence is clear.

September 2014

Tony is our resident builder.  He, amazingly, takes pieces of wood, measures, cuts, and nails them all together.  He places each piece of the puzzle squarely in place….and it fits!  He is so multi-talented, I think he can do anything…..Tony for President!!!  Do you think I’m kidding??  Not at all….this country could use someone in the white house who understands a few callouses on your hands and dirt under your nails is good and healthy.  No more politicians running this country….let’s get true, working Americans into those offices!!  Okay, off my soapbox…..back to barns.

February 2016

Question…does size matter when it comes to building a barn??  Seriously, how do you determine if a structure is a shed, a little house, a coop, or a small barn?  Is there a standard dimension that says this is a chicken house, rather than this is a chicken barn?  How about a goat house vs. a goat barn? It’s a dilemma, it truly is.  I want to get the verbiage right, and sometimes in one sentence I will call an enclosure a house, a coop, and a barn….never really knowing what the heck is right.  I mean….I don’t want to sound like a rookie….a farm rookie, but I so am!!

February 2016

So Tony recently, over the last few months, built a barn to add to his collection, starting with the starter hen house that doubled as the kid’s (goat kids not people kids) first home, graduating to a larger chicken house.   The hoofed trio had rather cramped quarters this past winter, and now that the sun is out more often, they not only get to stretch their legs outside, but inside as well.

February 2016

As the barn was being raised, I offered a different use for the new, solid structure.  I mean, really, do a bunch of goats truly need such a beautifully constructed building.  They will poop and pee in it…they will ram the walls, walk in with muddy feet, and cause much mayhem within those walls.  I, on the other hand, could design a beautiful guest cabin with a structure like that.  Heck…it even has a loft!!

April 2016

Think of the potential!!  But alas, the little herd won out….and rightly so – I – guess!  Look at me, jealous of a goat…or three in this case.  But it’s a really beautiful little barn.

The people space to the left.

The people space to the left.

Since the picture above, Tony added two window cut outs covered by wire mesh along that wall for better ventilation.

The livestock space to the right.

The livestock space to the right.

I think it needs a good coat of paint…what color would you paint it?

The door on the left is for people, the door on the right for goats.

The door on the left is for people, the door on the right for goats.

Once the goats are in pasture, we can open that gate on the left all the way to the poles on the right blocking out the herd.  Very beneficial for cleaning without three sets of horns trying to participate.  Goats are like dogs in a lot of ways, but in other ways, they are all goat….big, undisciplined, obnoxious goats that like attention and treats…and if you don’t offer it to them, they will take it…one way or another!  At the same time, they are incredibly lovable!

They are definitely good little Whethers!!

Lots going on…it’s that time of year.  Thank you for visiting today!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

#smallbarns  #okaytheydeserveit

 

A Touch of Spri……..

“A Touch of Spri…….”, unfortunately, I cannot finish that last word.  That word which in its very nature speaks of growth, vibrancy, and warmth  accentuating the season of  hope …..hope for the future…..the future of wonderful delicacies from one’s own garden, Saturday (or in my little town, Thursday) bounty markets,

Harvest 2014

sunbaths in the warmth of the sun….cool, glistening, ice filled glasses full of thirst quenching refreshments.  Ahhhhhhh, yes!!  The promise of Spri……

June 2014

Why, you may ask, am I finding it difficult to fully utter that word which elicits excitement found not only in the hearts of so many, but in the lives of all of nature?

I don't know what the rainbow-esq illumination is in this picutre...

I don’t know what the rainbow-esq illumination is in this picutre…

Maybe it is a result of winter’s, seemingly cruel dance of allowing a moment, seriously just a moment of spri….. – like weather, only to abruptly grab it back in a selfish child-like attitude….screaming, “It’s mine!!”

March 2016

It was a beautiful moment……it happened this past Thursday afternoon…..

March 2016

…….nature was dancing…..frolicking…..awakening!!  It was a magical moment….and it disappeared as fast as it arrived.  Since then, winter, as mild as it has been this year, has strengthened its grip for awhile longer.  There is rain in the forecast for the next four days, a continuation of something like fifteen days of rain we’ve already had…..hey, you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’re going to get rained on….a lot….except in the summer, but SHHHHHHH…..that’s a secret!!!  It’s actually grey and rainy all year round…..right??!!  😉

March 2016

In lower elevations, the cherry blossoms are in bloom….so beautiful!!

March 2016

I think our State’s Capitol gardens are really beautiful…..Oregon is beautiful!!

March 2016

Larry, Curly, and Mo (aka Montana, Clark, and Lott) wanted to give you an update of their wool debriding……

Lott

Lott

 

Montana

Montana

Clark

Clark

…..hahahaha!!!  Aren’t they amazing??!!!!!

Thank you for visiting our little slice of Oregon.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

Time to Take Off that Winter Coat

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To say that we have a rag-a-muffin looking trio would be an understatement.  Our three whethers are in full, loose-the-winter-coat, mode.  The unwanted wool fiber hangs, dangles, and is deposited on anything and everything they rub up against.  You don’t shear these guys like you would a sheep.

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Some of it is so loose, you can literally pull handfuls of the stuff off of their backs….it’s kind of fun actually.  Since the loosening fluff makes them kind of itchy, they seem to like the feeling when the fiber is pulled.  Using their horns, they scratch their backs and sides in the hopes that they will rid themselves of their extra layer.  Some of the wool will gather on the tips of their back scratchers, and dangle.  Poor little Clark, the black/grey whether to the left in the video below, has horns that turn forward…his back scratching capability is a bit more challenging.

Don’t you just want to give that overcoat a tug….

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They have a bit to go….Montana (the brown goat) seems to have gotten a jump on the rest….but they will eventually get all that extra fiber off.  We hope to get some things around their enclosures that they can rub on…in the meantime,  trees and branches seem to do the trick.

I’m looking forward to their smooth, sleek coats of summer….and so does Lott!!

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I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!  Thank you for visiting the farm today!

You friend from Oregon,

Tami

P.S. Ever wonder what doing dishes on the homestead really means??

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This picture just doesn’t capture how dirty everything really was….maybe that’s a good thing!!

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All clean and tidy!! There were a few more, but you get the idea!

And the Sun Emerges

Has it truly been almost a month since I have written on this blog?   Just about every day I think, “I’ve got to write about that,” and then I get distracted with life.  That being said,  you can catch up with us a bit on http://haveadanehilldanes.com as we walk through our days analyzing every droopy face, every burp, every ….. well, go check it out …. there may be new additions to the family soon.

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Okay, so where do I begin?  Winter is quickly fading into spring out here in the Pacific Northwest….really quickly.  The goats are getting “itchy”, literally, to loose their fluffy, winter coats.  They are rubbing on trees, scratching their backs and sides with their horns,  and enjoying laying down under the mid-winter sun breaks.

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The hens went into an egg shut-down this year, and virtually stopped laying.  Since late October, we have only gotten 1 – 2 eggs every couple of days….within the past two weeks….production has increased, and we are now up to 3 – 4 eggs per day!  Thank you increased daylight…with morning and evening combined, I think we are up to almost two more hours of light in the day than we were in the deep dark of late fall-early winter.

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My two young hens have even started their egg laying careers……

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…..these tiny eggs are perfect when you want to make a 1/3 of a cookie recipe or something.  Who would want to only make a 1/3 of a cookie recipe, you may ask….well it’s kind of like buying already made refrigerator cookie dough, and only cooking part of the package….but I wouldn’t know about that, because I have these little eggs and I just make 1/3 of  the recipe. HA!

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One of my young layers…her name is, Summer….she is very friendly thanks to my niece, Justine, who spent a lot of time holding her, as a young hatchling, this summer…and quite fittingly, she named her, Summer!  🙂

Speaking of recipes, I’m on a mission to “lighten” our lives a bit.  At this point, I’m not overzealous, but just making changes where I can.  I’d like to share with you this recipe I made for the Super Bowl….it is a lightened up version of Spinach-Artichoke Dip…

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….it was full of flavor.  It did feel lighter in texture, not as creamy, but totally okay because the flavor was there…..honestly, I did miss the creaminess a little, but I can live with that.  Here is the link to the recipe…. http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/09/hot-spinach-and-artichoke-dip.html

Thank you for visiting the farm today after our long absence.  We hope you have a most wonderful day.

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

#lighterversionofspinachartichokedip  #spinachartichokedipwithgreekyogurt

Claudio / Goats & Christmas Trees

A bit of sad news on the farm (but keep reading, it gets better)…..

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Claudio, the Buff Orphington on the right.

……Our little hen, Claudio, went to the big farm in Heaven.  She had been ailing a bit for a couple of months.  We came really, really close to ending her rein as the Matriarch of the hen house a little over a month ago, but I brought her into the little “resting” enclosure we have in the garage, let her warm up and rest for a few days away from the flock, cleaned her up and she was better….slower than normal, but she liked to eat, walk around, and hung with the flock….but she was slow.

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Claudio, the one and only true Buff Orphington hen on the farm.

We kept a close eye on her….and apparently so did our resident hawk.  Seeing the vulnerability of our little Claudio, the hawk saw an opportunity.  I’m sorry, little Claudio…you and I had some great conversations….she was the talker of the hen house.

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“Are you listening to me?”  “Always, Claudio, always.  RIP my little friend.”

On a lighter note…..

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The other day, my brother, Steve, text’d me and asked if I knew that goats like to eat Christmas trees.   There were news reports down in the Bay Area about goats eating Christmas trees…..I think it is hysterical that this would be a news worthy item…HAHAHAHA!!  I’m not laughing at my brother….maybe a little…..I love you, brother!!!

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Anyway….it was ironic that he contacted me about this  because, litereally, I was forming my thoughts for this post, and just a couple of days before I video’d my goats……chomping down on our Christmas tree!!

It didn’t surprise me that they would like the Christmas trees….they had already attacked the wreath on our door.   Even as young little sprouts, they showed their affinity for fir trees by seeking out the low limbs of our Douglas Fir trees.  It was weird though….put in the context of chomping on our CHRISTMAS TREE….the revelation seemed new, and magical.

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I love my little herd.  They are so cute, and fluffy, and chunky!!

Happy Sunday!!  Thank you so much for spending part of your day with me.

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

Please visit my other site….  http://www.haveadanehilldanes.com

 

 

Fun With Goats

And the forecast today is ra…… wait a second…. let me double check that!  This just into the newsroom ….. it appears an anomaly has made its way into the northwest Oregon region ….. all forecasting models predict a day of grey, no real sunshine, BUT… no real rain.  Let’s look at that again, Tom, YES…the current mapping is correct… NO RAIN IN THE FORECAST!!

November 2015

That was yesterday!!  I think the collective shown forth in a happy dance!!

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Although quite cold, Tony and I took the opportunity to get the goats out, and to stretch their legs a bit with a hike through the brush.

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I think they appreciated the change of flavor from basically hay, and their nighttime grain.

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The rain has returned, the goats are keeping dry in their house, and I am continually perplexed as to given the choice of nice green hay and yellow, pale straw….Why does straw always win out?????

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Thank you for visiting the herd today.  I hope you have a wonderful, safe Sunday!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

What the Hay??!!

Good morning…..or good afternoon….or maybe good evening!!!  Whatever time of day it is for you right now, I hope you are having a good day!!!

November 2015

First, a little business…. I want to introduce you to my new website, and if you have a chance I’d love to see you over there!!!

http://haveadanehilldanes.com

My new site is, well, basically all about Great Dane dogs…..mainly my girl Penni….but as the site grows, I will add more features that I am very excited about.  If you are on Facebook, there is a convenient link for you to “LIKE” us… if you’d like to LIKE us I’d be thrilled!!  If you would like to SHARE us on your FB page….I’d be tickled pink!!!!

November 2015

OK….back to the farm!

November 2015

We have had a ton of rain lately!!  Goats HATE rain!! I know, I’m sounding like a broken record…. https://haveadanehill.com/2015/11/13/goats-and-rain/ but they really, really don’t.  This is our first fall/winter with our goats….hay on wet ground just does NOT make good partners.  There is much waste once hay gets wet or dirtied.  So…looking around…I see a solution…the drying table for our black walnuts!

November 2015

November 2015

November 2015

November 2015

In it goes into the goat enclosure, and it worked GREAT!!  Did you catch that I said “Worked?”

November 2015

Oh well….back to the drawing board!  In the meantime, we’re just beating back the rain and hoping that the rivers around the area stay within their banks.

November 2015

Take care where ever you are today.  Don’t forget to visit my other site… http://haveadanehilldanes.com

Thank you for visiting our wet…no drenched homestead today.  I hope you have a wonderful day….stay safe out there!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

Goats and Rain

November 2015

The rains have returned.

November 2015

It is suddenly that time of year in which the ever-present dampness of the Pacific Northwest permeates every outdoor surface.  Everything just looks like it has gotten a good soaking.  It takes….mmmmmm….maybe a day to get used to then it’s, “Oh yeah, I remember how to do this” and you fall right back into the fervent control of …..wet and muddy things.

November 2015

So, although the dampness of later fall is quite familiar, there is a big question lingering….well, actually there are three questions lingering…..

November 2015

Larry, Curly, and Mo …… (Montana, Clark and Lott are their real names…they just act like the Three Stooges sometimes…hahaha.)  We have not gone through a rainy season with hoofed livestock before this year.  One thing I can tell you is goats do NOT like being rained on.  As soon as they detect drops falling, no matter how lightly, they head for their shelter.  Their motto… “Don’t be the last guy in” cause the 1st or 2nd guy might be standing in the doorway blocking the way in.  When that happens it’s quite the pathetic scene.  Picture a sad looking goat standing outside the doorway….naying a sad, “Naaaaaaaaaa”…..

November 2015

……while sprinkles of water accumulate across his fluffy winter coat… all the while looking at you like, “Can’t you do something here?”  In the meantime, nice-and-dry brother goat stands smack dab in the doorway….looking out at you….staring at you while chewing, chewing, chewing, and in you’re mind you know he’s saying something profound like, “What?”

November 2015

So, yes, the lazy days of summer have truly passed.  The late fall lesson that I have to learn is definitely how to manage goats during the rainy seasons of Oregon.  They are spending more time in their enclosure…..I like the guys to have a clean dry covering of straw for the night since we close them in at dusk, and there is a certain timing to that especially when it is raining.  The challenge….getting the goats out of their house while cleaning/adding dry straw, clean water, and grain for the night…..while it’s raining on top of these fluffy boys that do NOT like to be out in the rain.  Sometimes it is chaotic, and comical.  Never a dull moment!!

November 2015

The air is crisp, cold, and fresh….the dry yellows have disappeared, giving way to green once again.  I love this time of year…..

November 2015

…..these beauties seem to, as well.

Thank you for visiting the farm on this cool, rainy, November day!  I hope your day is completely awesome!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

King of the Rock Pile

What happens when you put rocks in front of a goat??

June 2015

Curiosity….an immediate attraction…an innate desire to……

June 2015

…climb that rock!!  Always better to climb with a friend!  And while you are on that rock…..

June 2015

…don’t forget to taste the local cuisine, and then……

June 2015

…..invite your friends….wait….what happened to the friend you were climbing with…….

A Little Taste of Merlot Wine

….well….he ran over to the bar and had a little taste of red wine….Hahahaha!  Little Clark…not much of a connoisseur…haha.  I guess he will stick with water…

In the meantime, Montana and Lott continue to explore the rocky terrain….

June 2017

….until something else catches their attention.

June 2015

Did I mention that goats like to climb??!!

June 2015

Thank you for visiting the farm today!

Montana

Have a wonderful Sunday!!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

Welcome to my Chaos!!

May 2015

Yesterday, was a day of chaos reminiscent of a black & white silent movie.  Things were moving in fast forward, and none of the participants seemed to care.  Not one paid attention to the part I played of the ever-present traffic cop, standing in the middle of the busy intersection, blowing my whistle for everyone to just STOP!!  They didn’t; they kept on in their chaotic quest to…do whatever it was they had a mind to do.

May 2015

Goats were running a-muck…outside of their two acres of enclosure.

May 2015

They have been pushy lately….well one has been pushier than the others….this guy…..Lott…

May 2015

….has been trying to breach the boundaries of the gate…not the fence line, the gate.  He sees me leave…and I think his goat mind goes to…”well, I must leave also.”  So he RUNS to the gate to get there before I can get through and close it so that he can put himself in the gap and just push forward like the stubborn goat he has become.  Yesterday, he and Montana worked in unison, while gentle, little Clark …

May 2015

…stood close.  They saw their opportunity…pushed behind me, and they were out.  I held the gate open so that Clark would not be left out of the grand adventure.

Trying to get them back into their enclosure was a comical scene…two goats would follow the goat treats,

Lott & Clark May 2015

while one preferred the leaves of the oak tree just outside of their enclosure….

Montana May 2015

…I’ve truly come to understand the saying, “Stubborn as a goat!!”

May 2015

While the goats were in the chicken’s realm…

May 2015May 2015

…..the chickens were in the goat enclosure.

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Then, mama hen, Kermit, at some point in the afternoon, decided that it was time to do this…..

…..okay, that is fine except…. it was very close (well maybe not as close as I originally thought) to the point in the day when the hens and Benedict start to gather before they move into the chicken house for the night.  My mind went to that automatic door, and what if those little chicks could not get back up onto the porch.  What if one, the littlest one, was still outside when the door closed, and she ran under the house where I couldn’t catch her?

May 2015

I decided to corral Kermit and the chicks back into their house.  The porch is elevated…one chick could jump up onto it, the other two fell short.  It took about twenty minutes of getting Kermit on the porch, followed by one chick, while the others called to Kermit, who then jumped off the porch followed by the one chick who was on the porch…gather up the babies and put them on the porch hoping for Kermit to follow, only to have the babies jump off the porch because Kermit wouldn’t cooperate…then placing a plank hoping for the chicks to walk up to the porch….NOT……trying to teach the chicks to walk up the plank…running around to catch the rogue chick that runs the other direction….corralling mama hen to get back on the porch….and FINALLY, timing it all where chicks and mama are in the same place at the same time…and then all walk through the chicken house door!!!  OMGOSH!!

Finally, everyone was where they should be…..

May 2015

It was time to feed Penni, so into the house we go…and see this….

May 2015

…..one of our neighbor’s peacocks…..the other one is running around on the roof.  And the chase begins…

May 2015

…..but then, finally, there was calm….and a beautiful sunset.

May 2015

Oh wait…I still had to close the goats in for the night………..

Thanks for visiting the farm today.  As chaotic as it can be, there is peace.

I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful Sunday on this Memorial Day weekend.

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

A Whole New World

April 2015

To continue on with the good, the bad, and the ugly, today, we get to focus on the good!!  There definitely was some good along with the bad, and the ugly…..little Clark’s scours was, shall we say…solidified!!  I actually confirmed today during our “Good morning, Hello” the real-time evidence of perfectly formed little jelly beans…YAY!!!!!!  But there is more….there is much more!!  Take a look at the picture above….now envision three little billy goats…shorter than the tops of the tall grasses…roaming, eating, and lying in the shade of a big, ole tree on a warm, spring day.  That’s good….that’s very good!!

April 2015

Fence building was priority one this past week, but before we could even get started, there were a few trees impeding the future fence line that would need to be cut.  Tony lined out the fence to go directly through a grove of Douglas Firs….

April 2015

….that needed thinning….two had broken tops….this worked out very nicely.  We will have plenty of logs to burn this coming fall / winter.

April 2015

Many holes were augered for the wooden posts necessary for support….fencing on a hill is a lot of fun…uhhh yeaahhhh.  Just ask my He-Man ….. I wish I had pictures of Tony carrying those heavy logs while walking uphill to drop them into place…oh well, it’s engrained in my memory banks…. 😉  Although fencing-in this pasture was a team effort, most of the build fell onto Tony’s shoulders (literally.)  My son helped out as his time allowed…and I came along in between work, the house, and everyday farm chores.  Thankfully, Tony had a full week to devote to this project….nonetheless, it was a busy week for all of us.  Thank goodness for Alleve!!

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We ran an electric, shock wire all the way around the fence line about 2 inches above the top, and 6 or 8 inches above the bottom.  Since we do not have a guard animal yet for the herd, we’re hoping this will do the trick … let’s have a collective “fingers crossed” moment out there…readyyyyyyyy…..NOW!!

April 2015

I’m inviting you to experience the moment….the moment that the gate was opened, allowing our three young wethers into their new world….the world beyond their previous fence line….the world of tall grasses, Douglas Fir trees, and cool, shady places….a whole new world!!!!  At first they payed absolutely no attention to the opened gate…..it was a look, back to chewing….continued staring, and chewing….standing, staring, chewing.  Really, what did I expect???  They are goats, not dogs!!!  Hahaha!!  Finally, surprisingly, Lott led the way….

Lott May 2015

….we had really expected the leader to be, Montana.

Montana April 2015

The first day, they stayed around the gate.  However, the herd is slowly expanding their grazing.  They seem happy!!

April 2015

Despite the residual aches and pains Tony and I are enjoying….it is very satisfying to have this first pasture fenced and open for the kids to grow and flourish on.  Plans continue for growth of this farm.  Did you notice the strength of the fencing??  It is strong!!  Why so strong?  Why so many wooden pole supports?   Can we hear a “Mooooooo?”  Okay, not yet….but…………that’s a maybe!!!

Thanks for helping us enjoy the farm today.  We always look forward to your visits!!!

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Please, have a wonderful, wonderful Sunday!!

Your friends from Oregon,

Tami & Tony!!

 

 

 

 

 

OY VEY!!

April 2015

Sometimes, OY VEY, are the only words that work.  The last couple of weeks have been…well let’s just say…full.  Yes, “full” fits.  Full of ….. the good, the bad, and the ugly!!!  So that I don’t overwhelm you with too many words on one post, I’m going to break these things up into two posts (the bad, and the ugly kind of go together…yes, they definitely walk hand-in-hand.)  Let’s start with the feo y el malo….

April 2015

About a week and half after bringing our Spanish Heritage Goat kids home, I noticed a bit of “softening” to some of their droppings.  Not diarrhea, more like a softer dog stool…not alarming, but did raise my eyebrows a bit.  Was this normal in goats?  I went to the internet.  Keep in mind, two evenings prior to this, I had fed the kids those first Douglas Fir tree branches…they ate quite a lot.  Yes, an abrupt change in diet can affect them in this way…”Great!”  I had my answer.  I found these droppings once again the next day (Saturday)….”No worries…it will work its way through.”

April 2015

Sunday morning…….WHAM!!! …… and I mean, WHAM!!!!  Buckets of warm water in hand, I was bathing the backside of little, Clark … yep, we had a case of full on diarrhea, or, more properly known as, scours.  I cannot tell you….more appropriately, I will not tell you the fine details of what this was like, but as a quick synopsis…there were periods of continuous oozing.  Enough said!!!!

Clark April 2015

After cleaning Clark, their “locker room”, and the grounds of Candlestick Park 2, I headed for the Corid, replaced their water buckets with new water and, what I thought was a proper dosing of Corid.  My goat’s breeder had told me that this was an item to keep on hand just for this type of situation…I’m glad he did!!  Oh my goodness….I didn’t sleep very well that night.  I thought I really made a huge mistake with the fir branches…I felt so bad for the little guy.  Monday was more of the same, and after seeing a big, “squirt” while jumping into the “locker room,” I had enough…as I’m sure Clark was feeling as well.  I called the vet!!  He was able to come out on Thursday.  Since Clark was eating and drinking normally, it wasn’t an emergency call….Okay…that put me a little at ease.  Additionally to the Corid, into the water buckets went a probiotic, and electrolytes.

Lott and Me April 2015

Each day was about keeping Clark, and the shelter/grounds clean…hoping, hoping, hoping that Montana, and Lott would not start in with the same.  Thankfully, they remained solid.

Montana April 2015

Long story short, the vet came out (really nice), took fecal samples from each goat…Clark cooperated with a fresh sample 🙂 while the vet was checking him over.  He was concerned that the herd felt too thin…we talked about their feed, and he pointed me to the direction of a lamb / calf starter grain.  He started Clark on, Albon, for coccidiosis, and the next day, all three were on a dewormer.  Thankfully, those parasites found in their stool were goat gut specific (or more appropriately, ruminant gut specific) and not transferable to chickens, dogs, or people.

Clark taking his medicine.  What a good little fella!!

Clark taking his medicine. What a good little fella!!

Within a day, Clark started to dry up … oh my gosh…thank goodness!!!  The kids love, love, love the starter grain, and are putting on weight.  They are more energetic, and there is lots of cud chewing going on.  A great sign that their tummies are working more efficiently now that they aren’t competing with parasites for their food.

Little Clark is behind in size and weight, and hopefully, will catch up.  I’m keeping a close eye on him as Montana and Lott are growing much faster.  This was quite the learning experience, and I’m feeling more confident now.  Seriously, that Monday evening when I saw the “squirt” I about lost it.  I was about to throw in the towel…get the little guy well, and sell off the herd.  I had not anticipated scours, nor the mess it created, and my confidence as a new goat mama was cracked…not shattered, but definitely cracked!!  I’m glad the little guy feels better, he’s a sweetheart, and my confidence is growing.

Enjoying fresh cut grass from a lower pasture.

Enjoying fresh cut grass from a lower pasture.

Thank you for visiting the farm today.  I’ve missed talking with you!!

Please have a wonderful, day!!

A beautiful spring afternoon.

A beautiful spring afternoon.

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

Satisfying and Delicious

Who can take a sunrise…..sprinkle it with dew….cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two….the Candy Man…..oh the Candy Man can….the Candy Man can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. (The Candy Man – by Sammy Davis Jr. Writer: Chambers, Karina / Monaco, Katherine / Schjolin, Morten / Ingoldsby, Denis Noel Copyright: Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing)

April 2015

It’s kind of amazing how all creatures..big, small, human, animal….zombie…..are all attracted to the sweet things in life, at least sometimes.  There are THOSE yummy things that take more effort to resist than others.

April 2015

I think that that kind of treat will be important in the management of our little goat herd.  Clark and Lott, being bottle fed babies, are easy to handle.  They come running when they hear our voices….they call out when they see us….in stark contrast is, Montana!

April 2015

Since Montana was raised to forage with the herd, he is not accustomed to as much direct handler contact.  He does not relish the idea of being scratched or hugged, and if he senses movement in his direction…he goes the opposite way.  Montana is completely wonderful….he is exactly what we wanted to help the bottle fed babies learn the basics of, “How to Be a Brush Goat.”  However….I do want to be able to handle Montana when it is necessary, so he and I have been working on familiarity with being touched.  He doesn’t have to like it, he just needs to be able to stand still when it is necessary.  We have made pretty good progress….and then…there was yesterday!!

April 2015

We broke boundaries yesterday….Montana actually ate out of my hand!!  The lure….goat candy…better known as young Douglas Fir branches.  Tony introduced the three to this delicious treat a couple of days ago.

April 2015

Since licorice flavored goat treats weren’t pull enough for Montana to breach that border between food and hand…I decided to try a young fir branch…..SUCCESS!!!!  This seems to be a treat that all three of our kids cannot resist.

As chomping ensued, I was able to get a few scratches in behind Montana’s ears, and between his horns.  Petting his furry body was a little more intrusive than Montana would welcome, but progress is progress!!  Later that evening after I had closed them in for the night, Montana stood still and allowed me to pet him a bit.  I didn’t push it….by the way…I never knew that goat kids were so fluffy!!

April 2015

No worries, little guys…there is plenty more where that came from!!

April 2015

Thanks for visiting the kids this morning!!  I hope you have a sweet, sweet day!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

Great Strides

The Wolf and the Goat                                                                                                                                         A WOLF saw a Goat feeding at the summit of a steep precipice, where he had no chance of reaching her. He called to her and earnestly begged her to come lower down, lest she fall by some mishap; and he added that the meadows lay where he was standing, and that the herbage was most tender. She replied, “No, my friend, it is not for the pasture that you invite me, but for yourself, who are in want of food.”  Aesop’s Fable – Translated by George Fyler Townsend – Chicago, Belford, Clarke & Co., 1887

Penni April 2015

There is a look in Penni ‘s eyes, an instantaneous moment in time that predicts one action, yet is also that brief “you’ve got one shot at this” invitation allowing correction and redirection.  It is easy to recognize, if you can catch it….in one pin-pointed blip on the radar the entirety of a 130 pound Great Dane is focused, poised, energized….readied like a loaded gun….and then, as if the trigger has been pulled, the explosive energy forward is unstoppable.

April 2015

Penni has a passion for our new little kids, Montana, Clark and Lott.  She seems confused by her primal instinct to hunt and chase, and her desire to “mother.”   With direct supervision, she is off-leash now within the goat’s penned area.  Clark and Lott were the bottle fed babies, and they seem to have no problem with Penni ‘s sniffing and slobbering….Montana on the other hand, was raised with the herd and is much less accepting of Penni ‘s affections.  He stares at her … in Dane language that is the equivalent to, “You want a piece of me?” , which then causes the response back, “You want a piece of ME?” … and the chase is on.  If I can catch the stare, before the quiver of muscle just prior to take off, I can stop the chase with a stern, “OFF IT”….but it is a very brief moment, and the cue is ambiguous at best.

Penni and Clark 2015

All of this energy, the entire reason for the chase is that Penni needs to sniff, and slobber……but how can you reason with a strong-headed goat…..and how can you negotiate a warmer encounter with a female Dane driven by her desire to mother.  For safety’s sake, the use of a shock collar may be in order here.  I don’t advocate the frequent use of those, but in terms of a dog’s or goat’s safety, I’d rather Penni got a quick jolt than a pair of broken ribs from horns on Montana’s head….and if Montana is in a vulnerable position like his head is through the fence and his horns are preventing a quick pull back…I’d rather he not hurt himself because he is panicked.  He’s just too cute!!!

Montana April 2015

Everyday, Penni is calmer and more bored with the whole situation…especially when it comes to Clark and Lott…they don’t run…but the chase……..that is a hard game to give up!!

Penni and Clark April 2015

Thank you for visiting the farm today!!  I hope you have a fabulous, Sunday!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

Penni the Goat Mama

  –  Pay no attention to my shushing of my husband…LOL

Our Great Dane, Penni ‘s first introduction to Montana, Clark, and Lott was….well, shall I say, exuberant??!!  The excitement was immediate, and intense.  That of course, is Penni ‘s way.  She is big, her excitement is big, her movements are big, her voice is big, and her heart is huge!  Penni demands to be “Mommy” to every new baby critter she comes in contact with….the new Kids were no exception.

April 2015

Basically, the afternoon and evening were all about trying to welcome, and help make our little ones feel comfortable and safe….and allow Penni to get some familiarity with the little critters that she can see through the windows of the house.  If we wanted to have any peace at all, this was non-negotiable.  I knew that it was going to be the kind of day that would require a lot of patience, and a good, sturdy leash.

April 2015

As big as she is, Penni can still stick her head, all the way through to her shoulders.

April 2015

Getting her head out, is not as easy.

April 2015

Does this picture look familiar??

cropped-penni-and-the-1st-batch-2.jpg

She is ever watchful…these are her new babies.

April 2015

Once a baby is smelled from head to toe, and slobbered on all over…they are hers.  Be it chick, kid, or poult…her motherly instincts are strong….either that or…..no, I don’t want to think about the “or.”  It’s never been the “or”….but sometimes it looks like the “or.”

Today, the leash came off….but NOT inside “The Stick” (Candlestick Park)….only on the outside of the fence.  Thank goodness for this reduction of intensity.  The exuberance is still there, but she has brought it in a little bit, and is more able to control the instinct to just mow everything down to get to the kids. They are responding with a little more calmness around Penni too.  Everyone is adjusting…WHEW!!!   Right now, the adjustment period is strictly for the big dog and the kids…the little dog’s introduction will be several days from now…after more of the exuberance wears off.

Feeder and Water Tub

Other than that, the kids had a good night….no surprises.  They seemed warm and cozy, and everyone seemed well….very well.  I think they slept just fine.

APRIL 2015

I think they are happy!!

Thank you for visiting today!!

I hope you have a wonderful morning, day, evening, or night…whenever you may be reading this!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

The Boys

Last night’s sleep was pretty restless.  It felt like I wrestled all night with the logistics of the kids’ arrival.  Then, I had this dream…..

April 2015

It started out with Tony and I wrestling with the thought of where to store the hay…yesterday we purchased, loaded, and hauled 10, 80 pound bales of Willamette Valley Grass Hay from our neighbor who is in the hay business….anyway…back to my dream….

April 2015

….so we were trying to decide where to store the hay….time was running out, we had to go pick up the kids, but I hadn’t cleaned out the x-large dog carrier yet, nor put a layer of straw (or pine shavings) inside of it for them.  It seemed like nothing was in place…the gate to their “base camp” had not been hung, they had no water, and everything was still in the back of my SUV.  We had no time left we had to go.  I was flustered.  So we get there and the rancher already had the goats boxed and ready to go.  They were boxed up in a moving box.  He said, “Just leave them in here, and when you get home, put the box in the barn, leave, and then check on it in about a half an hour.  So we did.  When we went back to look, there was like this beautiful, glowing light in the barn (old chicken house) and lots of little animals….hedgehogs, burrowing prairie dogs, a small cat like cuddly thing that turned out to be a baby mountain lion (in no way did it look like a cougar cub), various miniature birds that looked like hawks, and seagulls, and two tiny, tiny baby deer…..spotted, and only about a foot tall.  But there were no goats…not one!!  I thought, “hmmmm…I need to get them some water” … and then my alarm went off.

Hahahaha….that was too weird.

April 2015

Welcome little ones!!!  We picked up our two….no, three little kids from the rancher at Cozine Springs Ranch ( http://www.cozinespringsranch.com )  – never go to pick up animals with extra money in your pocket…hahaha…our plan was for two!  The fact is, we couldn’t split up the twins…they were bottle raised together, and are very sweet.  The brown one was raised with the herd going out to forage with mama from the beginning.  He will be a good teacher for the two bottle fed kids…they have a job to do.

April 2015

We carried the two bottle fed babies into their new enclosure, but the brown kid wanted a different kind of entrance.  He needed to feel out the territory first….then once he had feet on the ground…he checked out the hay….kept walking and started munching on a patch of grass….YES!!!  Exactly the job we need them to do.

Their names…..introducing….. Lott (as in Ronnie); Montana (as in Joe); and Clark (as in Dwight)…in that order!  Hence the need for their stadium…Candlestick Park II…in case you haven’t guessed, or just plain have no idea….it’s all about the 49ers…as in football that is.

April 2015

So there you have it….our introduction into the world of goats…livestock….growing this farm.  Will it be sustainable??   At some point will we start producing income, instead of sinking more money into it??  Will I ever have to mow again??  There is one answer for everyone of these questions….only time will tell.

April 2015

I have found that this breed is nicer looking in person (or in goat in their case, LOL) and not as photogenic.  They are a rugged breed, the Spanish Heritage Goat….built for ranging outdoors most of the time, and in their enclosure only when they want to be…but not yet…they are too little, and fluffy, and cute.  How was their first interaction with Penni our Great Dane….that’s tomorrow’s story.

Thank you for helping us welcome the newest members to the farm, today.

I hope your day was wonderful!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

Crazy Goat Eve

This day, April 6, 2015, will officially be known on our farm as Crazy Goat Eve.  Tomorrow is the great goat experiment.  It has been close to 4 weeks since we have seen them, soooooo…I’m not sure what to expect.  How big will they be?  Is the “base camp” area we have planned for them big enough for the next 5 or 6 weeks until we get the first real pasture and goat barn built?  YIKES!!  I don’t knoooooowwww!!  I’ve been just a tad…stressed….even had a few scary goat dreams, but I think those have passed…hahaha.  I hope so!!

Goat House 2015

The preliminary plan is to adapt the old hen house to support our little Spanish kids for 5 or 6 weeks.  I cleaned the place from top to bottom, and Tony enlarged the chicken door to fit our young charges.

Goat House 2015

Creating a temporary “base camp” was the main mission of the day, today.  We had to move the house, now known as Candlestick Park II (you will understand that tomorrow) about 15 feet.  This would allow us to put up the fencing and evade this beautiful, stomach upsetting tempting goat treat…..Camillia Tree flowers and bark….

Camillia Tree

….the blossoms are falling off now, which are not toxic, but apparently, can cause stomach upset in goats.

Okay, so the house did separate from it’s foundation a little…a lot, but it is fine now….we lined it back up just fine…

Goat House 2015

….it’s just a little off…..I thought it was lined up better….LOL.  No worries though because there is a large base for the skids to rest on.  I tested it out, and it didn’t tip over so it all good!

Goat Yard 2015

The fencing went up pretty quickly as the ground was soft from all of the rain.  It was so great to find that the roll of fencing we had left over in the barn was enough to encompass the entire area which is about 1500 – 1600 square feet.  These little guys are used to foraging over 250 acres with the herd, or staying in if they prefer….hopefully this area that seems large enough for a few weeks will keep them safe and entertained enough that they don’t push their fence boundaries.

Goat Yard 2015

There are stumps for climbing onto, and jumping off of ….. and a patch of cement to help keep hooves nicely trimmed….

Goat Yard 2015

…and of course, Penni took on the responsibility of checking the yard for and weak spots….after all, we all know that these little goats will be Penni’s kids.  I think she’s as excited as we are!!

Goat Supplies 2015

“Get goats”, they said.  “They take care of themselves,” they said.  Then, why does the back of my SUV look like this???   Well, I guess I needed these things anyway….right???  At least the two bags on top are for the chickens..LOL.  Beyond this, we have a barn to build……pasture fencing to pull…..and a whole lot to learn!!  I look forward to sharing it all with you along the way.

By the way, make sure you stop in tomorrow to meet the newest members of the farm….I can’t wait!!!  AND…there are now…

Geese on the Pond 2015

…four Canadian Geese (2 couples) on the pond!!!  That must mean something good.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope your day was absolutely wonderful!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

A Surprise Delivery!!!

March 2015

Yesterday we were surprised with a very special delivery……well, we are expecting our little wethers…..so….guess what??!!!  Are you ready?????  Were we ready?????  Well… we had better be….because….you may have guessed it already, but…..

ONE OF OUR GOATS CAME HOME TO THEIR NEW FARM!!!

Tony and I are pleased to announce the arrival of the very first goat to our farm…….please welcome….

Goatee the Goat!!

Goatee the Goat

Isn’t he a cutie!!! Tony surprised me with this little gift in the mail!! So sweet!!

Our thoughts lately have been all goat.  Where do we put them??  I mean it seems like an easy question, but it’s not….not at all.  We need to set up “base camp”….there is a lot to think about, like…Will the barn structure block our view? (that is all me..LOL)…..Do we make base camp within and around an already existing structure? (most of those are too close to the house  – I’m thinking flies and smells here)…..If we build a new structure, how much is THAT going to cost?? (I do not want to spend a ton of money, but I want our kids to be safe.

March 2015

I like this spot….it’s on a hill which will make it a slight bit challenging to build the barn, but the goats will love it….just look at their play ground…..

IMG_9062

….there is a bunch of brush for beyond the grass for them to enjoy.  It’s a great location!!  Far enough away, and down-wind from the house.  Tony thinks it’s too far, especially when the weather is bad….he has a point.

On the other hand, there is this spot…..

March 2015

Of course….I’ll have to move this important piece of the farm….

March 2015

….which will be okay.  The garden gets just a little too much shade for too long in the morning, and I need to make it a bit bigger this year.

Anyway, back to the goats….I need your help.  Where would you put Goat Base Camp?

March 2015

The foreground is closer to the house…..a lot closer to the house.  Looking straight through to the tree line is the location I first suggested….with the brushy playground, and further from the house.  One downside is that this is a good hill to sled on when it snows….but there is another!!  So…where would you set up…closer to the house…or out by the tree line?

Thanks for your visit…and your help!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

29 Hours on the Farm

I’ve come to realize that my life is all about the chickens…and of course Sir Benedict.

October 2014

They tell me, under no uncertain terms, when to wake up. On those rare mornings that I have not gotten out of bed before sunrise, Benedict loudly calls from his high roost, and the hens squawk and complain….and poop…everywhere. Since I clean their roosts, nesting boxes, and platforms in front of their nesting boxes every morning…it’s a good idea to get them out just as the sunlight crests the darkness. I fudge this timing, just a little on the weekends, but still need to get out there before the hens have need for their time of privacy.

No more rooms at the Inn!!

This flock dictates how late I can stay out at night…somebody has to close the door to the hen house after dark!! Predators in the forest = a definite need for security.

Moonlit Night Oct. 2014

The flock and I have a symbiotic relationship…..they poop…I pick it up. They eat…I buy more food. They get blown by the wind….I cover up the drafts…. (this will be the last time I do this….more on that in my next post.)

The UPS guy told me that that was the most "Red Neck" chicken coop he's ever seen...hahahaha!

The UPS guy told me that that was the most “Red Neck” chicken coop he’s ever seen…hahahaha!

…..they poop…I pick it up (yes, I said that twice…I spend a lot of time picking up chicken poop!) My flock free range. They follow their natural food sources, and always end up back in their house at night. Sometimes that means this……

Hey, get off the porch...that water is for the dogs!!

Hey, get off the porch…that water is for the dogs!!

….and this…..

Seriously...that is chicken poop...That's ridiculous!!!

Seriously…that is chicken poop…That’s ridiculous!!!

….so, I follow them around picking up their…not so golden surprises. In the end, I believe the flock is healthier (I know we are!) and happier.

If you have 41 seconds….take a look at our little video, 29 Hours on the Farm , …. this is the reason I let this flock run my life ….

….next stop….well, we’re looking at goats (any ideas?), but I think I need a trip to Disneyland first!!! I’ve definitely got the bug!!

Thank you, for visiting the farm this morning!! Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

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