Wednesday, May 10, 2017

More Bad News..

I know I have once again missed posting here...naughty naughty.

Once again lots has happened on the farm!

We have sold all of the mini's and Ruger our Alpine Buck. We recently bought 4 new lambs who are large frame ewe's, which means we now have a total of 11 sheep in our little herd. The sheep are all suffolk except one polypay ewe. We had a large natural color ram from Sweetie and a large all white ram lamb from our polypay ewe. 308 and 310 did not breed this past fall so no lambs from them.

This is the natural colored ram lamb at approximately a week old.

This is the same ram lamb at 8 weeks old. (Feel free to ignore my beautiful barn clothes, and what looks like a death grip on the lamb but I assure you is not)

This is the polypay's ram lamb at 1 week old in both pictures.

The ewe lambs we got are from Slack and Kimm genetics which should put some nice size and width in our herd. The natural colored ram left for his new home to be a herdsire last weekend.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Loans and livestock...

Only roughly 3 more acres of first cut hay to get put up....and 3 wagons full of hay to go in the loft. Greg has been doing 99% of the hay this year which i am thankful for because it kills me, not to say it isnt hard on him too.

We went and talked to FSA yesterday about loan options, things look good there but we have a lot of paperwork to do and we need to make up a quite detailed farm plan as well as source places to get anything we want included in the loan such as livestock, tractors, buildings, etc..

We want to open a dairy but i talked to a lady yesterday who co-op sells goat milk and from the info she gave me we wouldnt really feasibly be able we are still looking but considering other options as well such as wholesaling milk finished pigs to restaurants, and doing value added dairy products also wholesaled to restaurants and stores. So we shall see how that goes, more things added to the already insanely long to do list.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hay Days

Lucy and Missy are still with us and ive decided to dry them off. With White May in milk and producing so much it just isnt worth it to spend the time to milk them. Missy has a very nice udder with nice sized teats...problem is it is very fleshy and only produces maybe 2 cups of milk. Lucy has a very nice udder with nice thinner walls so she produces almost a quart...problem is her teats are tiny like smaller then my pinkie finger. She honestly looks like how an FF before having the kids udder would...and this is her 3rd kidding now. I'm sure if i bred her to a buck whose dam had nice teat size she would make great kids but i dont want to breed mini's. 

Most of the first cut hay is done with over 750 bales in the loft atm and another approx 12 acres of hay to be baled up. So then a small break from hay and then second cut starts....its always to quick. If anyone wants to buy hay let us know haha.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Moving on from little goats

We made the decision to sell the mini goats. I listed them wednesday and so far Alice, Bella, Alice's Daughter, Missy's Buck, and Lucy's Daughter have all sold and went to their new homes. We have my two favorite mini's Lucy and Missy Left to sell still. F2 and F3 mini manchas in milk. We started milking them after their kids left at almost 2 months lactation without being milked by us until now this season they are both giving around a quart per milking.

We also moved May's buck boy whom we have named Tyrion into the kid stall so he could wean off as he is past due at almost 3 months old. May has started being milked, at almost 3 months fresh on her FF she is giving us almost 2 quarts i have high hopes for her. Her mother daisy gave a gallon as day. 

Tyrion will replace Ruger as our buck. Tyrion is a polled Saaneen/Sable on his Sire's side and Saanen/Nubian on his mother's side. Sadly he can not be registered as his father's papers were never sent in. He however is loaded on polled genetics, he himself is polled, his father, grandfather, and maternal grandmother were all polled. In total he has in the past 7 generations 14 polled goats and he comes from some good milk lines.
We also renamed Ghost to Casper...Ghost just wasnt fitting her.

We mowed, raked, and baled part of the 8 acre field by our house it made gorgeous hay, we only got 90 square bales though. Tuesday the rest of that field will be cut, along with 10 acres across the road from our house. The field by our house will be plowed, spread with manure and then plowed again, and spreads with alfalfa seed at 5lbs per acre this fall. The field is to acidic and the root mat is to thick so we will be correcting both plowing and applying a base(undecided which base yet) Depending on how second cut looks we may re-seed some other grasses as well, the field has not had anything done to it aside from being cut in atleast 15yrs so it is way past due and is struggling to produce.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer Hair Cuts

Well i have some good news and some bad news.... i got 3 goats shaved, but i only got a pic of one lol. My camera was dead and my phone was very nearly dead, fully dead by the time i finished the second goat.

Here is May(Lyla) with her new haircut. Did i do a totally horrid job she is the first goat i ever shaved..definitely got faster on the second and third.

She is a bit bloated lol...ok a lot 

i didnt clip anyones head or udder. This is the first time they have ever been clipped i think and i just tied them to the deck stairs railing so i think they did really well tolerating everything but the udder(halter was in the way for the head.

I will say Alpines are harder to do because of the double coat...the mini Mancha was supper easy and quick like 10 minutes lol. May(Lyla), Cassiopia and Lucy all got haircuts. Today hopefully will be Ruger, White May, and Missy...and pictures lol.

Busy Days on the Farm

Ok so the Goat herd is growing...i need to find time to take pics so you guys can see them. We have so far.

Ella - Alpine
Cassiopia - Alpine(Ellas daughter)
Lyla - Alpine(registered but i dont have the papers)
May -Saanen/Nubian(registered experimental)
Alice - ND
Bella - Mini Alpine
Lucy - Mini La Mancha
Missy - Mini La Mancha
Phoebe - 75% Boer 25% Nubian
Jr Does
Ghost - Saaneen/Togg (looks Saanen with waddles)
Ivy - Togg
Mocha - Togg
Hazel - Togg
Alice's doe kid
Lucy's doe kid
Ruger - Alpine
Moon - Mini Nubian
Buck Kids
May's buck kid - 50% Sable 25% Saanen 25% Nubian(Ruger's replacement possibly)
Missy's buck kid

The kids without names are ones we are not likely to keep or we just havnt thought of a name for yet. I would like to sell Lucy with her doe, Missy with her buck, Alice with her doe, Bella, and Moon. Basically all the mini breeds...i love them but i feel they get unfairly picked on and i cant use them for milking. That would bring us down to 11 full size goats and allow us to possibly get a registered alpine buck and/or expand our pasture more.

We would love to get a seperate pasture put up for the sheep, they also get picked on because they wont defend themselves and just get pushed around as well as a separate pasture for the pigs.

Speaking of pigs today Greg is going to pick up another Gilt today, that gives us 5 gilts on the farm, 1 boar and 1 barrow. Which should set us up for the first litters this fall in october and have the pigs cycle back in time for 4-h litters in march with a 30 day break to recondition them. Long term we plan on having them breed roughly twice a year with a minimum of a 45 day break between. When i say break i mean not pregnant or nursing. If litters come out on the small side we should have at least 25piglets(likely 40piglets).

Been very busy on the farm. We have our sheep herd of 2 adult Suffolk Ewes, 2 lamb Suffolk Ewes, 1 lamb Suffolk Ram and 1 lamb 7/8 Suffolk 1/8 Hampshire the herd has grown from 2 to 6 and next spring we should have a herd of 10-14.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Gloomy Spring

Well I havnt been updating here as much as i had hoped. Partly because of the insane weather and partly because of some losses on the farm that were to hard to really talk about as they happened. So let me catch up.

The month of April had more snow fall for us then all of winter combined. Temps have been anything from -2 to 82F as you can imagine this isnt really good on the animals.

Earlier this month our friend's pot belly pig who we had in the barn had a littler of 12 piglets, she killed all but 2 of them. Those two we found buried in a hay pile and almost dead, so cold they were not even shaking and we actually thought they were dead. We took them in the house and got them on a bottle and ooo i loved these tiny piglets!! We did not realize until it was to late that they had gotten pneumonia. So we told them home and gave them 1ml each and hoped it would help. It did was sad losing them even though we had not had them for long.

So the potbelly pig momma was a bad pig. She bite off the end of our mini boars ear, killed and ate one of our friends baby goats, killed/ate her own piglets...and the topper was when i walked in the barn one night and she had bitten off and eaten a chunk over half the size of my Suffolk ewe honey's ear. That was the last straw, she got butchered.

Next up and worst... Over the last two weeks our Doberman named Mauler Mauligan lost about 30lbs he ended up dying on our kitchen floor in the middle of the night. We suspect he had stomach or intestinal cancer. So he was laid to rest under a tree on our property with a thick cut new york strip steak and a gallon of water. It was a very sad day and still is very sad for us. Greg watched him get born and literally had him from the second he entered this world. After 10yrs of being a faithful companion to Greg he went to his final reward. I hope he has all the female dogs, steaks and animals to hunt he ever wanted. The big lummox will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
Mauler 2006-2016

We also lost my sweet house lamb Maggie from we believe endotoxemia. She died the day after we lost Mauler. I loved that little lamb so much. She was so smart and friendly. I used to pull her into bed and she would lay there and cuddle with me...chewing her cud. She wasn't here for long but she made a big impact on our lives.

It has taken me a few days to write this post and i am sorry i dont have something happier to share.