Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Spanish Meat Goats’ Category

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!

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…

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…..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

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