Welcome to my little blog! I hope you enjoy your stay!
And find help for your own little farm, or ideas for your day.
Browse around through recipes, mixed with advice and tips,
From worming dogs to horse training, to oil for burned hands and dry lips!
For a full explanation on "why another blog?" visit the link below,
And when you've read what there is written, hopefully you'll know!

Leave me a comment if you'd like, say what's helpful to you,
Or send me questions about your animals, and I'll try to answer those too!

(Please keep in mind though that I am NOT an expert in these things,
though I have learned a good bit from my own experiences and extensive readings!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Don’t Give Up on Your Failed Guard Dog - Hobby Farms

Don’t Give Up on Your Failed Guard Dog - Hobby Farms

Looking through an old Hobby Farms magazine today, I ran across this article.  It so clearly shows the wrong mindset of many farmers who buy a Great Pyrenees, and the disastrous results that can follow.  Remember, Great Pyrenees are large, powerful dogs, with natural guarding instincts, so not giving them the training and attention they need can cause major problems.  Thankfully, there are people out there who care about these magnificent dogs, and are in a position to help them.  And this is also the reason why I make potential owners fill out an application form, and talk to them over the phone or in person before I will reserve a puppy for them.  Such great dogs deserve to be set up, and trained, for success.

Another Day with the Goats, Part 3- Early Care of Newborns

     A newborn kid's first needs are fairly simple, if it is healthy and strong.  It basically just needs to be dried off, kept warm, and receive milk as soon as possible.  If it is born on a hot/ warm day, then you probably don't need to worry about warming it up, and the mother usually does a great job cleaning it off.  Getting in there and handling it right away can be helpful though, so that it learns to accept human interaction more easily.  This also helps the doe learn to accept you messing with her baby.  (Hopefully, she will already be tame and not mind, but you never can tell until you've been through a kidding or two with her.)  
 Quick checklist:

Warm and dry kids
Bottle-feed, or make sure they get hold of a teat and are nursing
Dip umbilical cords in povidone iodine, and/or goldenseal
Check for obvious defects (extra teats, bad mouths, etc.)
Give doe 1 quart or more of warm molasses water

Below is the video I took of our first care of Nelly's 2014 litter of triplets.  The weather was in the high 30's, which is very chilly for Florida, especially in the afternoon.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 7, 2014

More pictures of Bluebell

Tonight I went out and snapped a few more photos of Bluebell and Blossom.  She is currently with Blossom during the day, then separated at night.  We milk Blossom in the morning, then they go together again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Announcing the Arrival of Bluebell...

Well, Blossom finally calved.  It was beginning to seem that she would never give that baby up!  And now I like the calf so much that I'm wishing I could keep her.  But...  Two milk cows (Blossom and Buttercup, who was just bred) are enough for us, and we have a limited amount of grass.  So here is some basic information on Bluebell.

Born March 11th, 2014

AJCA Registration Pending (OA)

Full-blooded Jersey heifer

Sire:  Peppy

Dam:  Blossom

Monday, February 10, 2014

Kid Photos: 11 days old, and very frisky!

Savana (my photographer sister) is staying for a couple days with my grandmother, and left her camera behind.  I was quite happy to see it.  :)

I took these photos the next morning.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Another Day With The Goats, Pt. 2- Early Labor and Surprise Kidding

When a doe is due to kid soon, it's a good idea to start locking her up at night in the kidding stall so she becomes used to it and comfortable there.  When she gets within a few days of her kidding date, start checking on her multiple times a day, and at least once in the night, if possible.  Since labor usually takes several hours, you have a good chance of catching her at some point in labor if you check frequently.  This video shows Nelly in early labor, and the surprise I got when I assumed that all would go as it did last year, when she didn't kid until about 24 hours after her udder filled and the ligaments "disappeared".  To see my video describing the signs of early labor, see Part 1 of this little series.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Another Day With The Goats... Pre-kidding Check Video

So I'm going to try to do a little video series, titled "Another Day With The Goats", showing the day-to-day goat care here at our farm.  I'm beginning with Nelly, as she had kids just a few days ago, and I have documented everything I could.  Unfortunately, I missed the birth as her labor was much quicker than I anticipated.  Below is the first video, in which I show LilyAnn and William the signs of impending labor, and we go through my kidding kit.

There are several signs of labor that most, not all, goats display shortly before kidding.

1.  Ligaments near the tail head loosen and eventually "disappear".
To find the ligaments (please forgive me, in the video I accidentally called them tendons), place your thumb and forefinger on either side of the goat's spine and slide them down toward the tail head, pressing firmly.  You should feel two hard things, like pencils, just above the tail head (where the tail joins the spine).  These are usually hard and firm, but shortly before kidding they will loosen and "disappear", or become hard to find.  When my first doe kidded, I had trouble determining if the ligaments were "gone", because I could still feel them, but had to search around a bit.  If you can feel the ligaments, but aren't sure if they're gone, then they likely are.  Feel her several times a day for a while, and you will be able to feel the difference when they go.  Every goat is different, and some "lose" the ligaments repeatedly before kidding.  (My rascally Mabel did this.)

2.  Udder fills and becomes tightly distended.
Usually a doe will "bag up", that is, her udder will develop and partially fill with milk, some time before kidding.  But within 24 to 48 hours of birth it will usually become tight and hard.  It may have a shiny look, due to the skin being tightly stretched.  Not all that tightness is from milk, although some of it is.  A good bit is from edema, which is retained water causing the tissues to swell.
Some does do not bag up until a few hours before kidding, and some even wait until afterwards.  Occasionally a doe will not come into milk at all, and this is a sign of trouble.  Carefully evaluate her health.

3.  Vulva becomes swollen and soft.
I don't think this one needs much explanation.  :)  A quick check back there a couple times a day is all that's needed.  You may see a difference before kidding, and she will likely drip clear or whitish fluid.  Blood or green fluid is not normal, get veterinary advice.

Does may exhibit any, all, or none of these signs prior to kidding.  A change in usual behavior and going off feed are both signs that labor may be beginning.  Overall, it's just best to know your doe, and watch her carefully.

Now, enjoy the video!