Sunday, February 1, 2015

Still Waiting on Kids

We've made it through January and are quickly approaching some due dates. I've been spending a lot of time with the girls, keeping their spirits up and rubbing baby bellies.   
Trixie is due 2/16, but she delivered 5 days early last year. This picture doesn't do her justice, but she is enormous and has started groaning when she's lying down, which she is doing most of the time now. I need to check her ketones again, but last time she was fine and she is still eating well. She just looks so miserable.
Kat needs a "Wide Load" sign. She is due 2/15. I am hoping to retain a doeling from her this year. 
Maddy may be my first doe due, but I don't have an exact date on her since I just moved her in with Magnum the first week of September. Her belly is getting deep and her udder is growing nicely. 
I moved Rocco in with the girls until we get our new buckling this spring. They aren't impressed, but he's being so sweet and I think the socialization has been good for him. 
Unless something worth writing about happens in the next 10 days, hopefully my next post will have pictures of kids!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Kidding Countdown

Someone asked this morning when we were expecting kids. I said "3 weeks" then looked at my calendar. Holy Smokes! We could have kids on the ground in as few as 10 days!

Somehow the next three Saturdays are booked. I don't have an extravagant social life and I try not to schedule anything during kidding season and now I'm going to be out and about? I've made it quite clear that if I have a doe in labor, that comes before anything else.

Alice, my only goat still in milk, only gave me a pint yesterday. That's not even enough for breakfast around here. I'm ready to get the milk flowing again.

Yesterday I received the draft of the article SouthScapes Magazine is doing on me. I am so excited that this is actually going to happen. It is supposed to be published in their spring edition as part of a series on people using their Ag educations for sustainable living.

I've been trying to get a jump on soaps and lotions for the farmers market before things get crazy. Last week I made a batch of body butter. I also ordered stickers for all my labels. It was a bit costly, but should save me a lot of prep time each week. Labeling on Fridays is always such a drag.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Homemade Egg Noodles

I have been covered up in eggs here recently. What better way to use them than homemade egg noodles?

6c Semolina flour
6 large eggs
water as needed

I ground the durum wheat berries and measured the flour out into a large bowl. I made a well in the middle for the eggs and whisked them up to beat them a bit then started mixing in the flour. 

Knead by hand until smooth. I had to add a couple tablespoons of water to get the right consistency. 

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and continue kneading until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest about 10 minutes. 

Then it's time to run it though the pasta maker.
Be sure to flour the sheet of dough before you cut it into noodles or the noodles will stick together. 
Toss the noodles in a bit more flour to keep them separated. Cook immediately, freeze, or allow to dry. 

They took about 8 minutes to cook up tender. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Weathering the Arctic Blast

It has been cold here the last few days. The kind of cold we aren't used to down here. The "I have to haul buckets of water to the animals because the waterers are frozen" kind of cold. 

Fortunately, everyone seems to be pulling though okay. Everyone with the exception of some eggs. I forgot to collect them yesterday and there were several with burst shells. That made the dog happy.
The goats have been taking siestas in the sunshine. It still scares me when they look like they're lying there dead.
Scilla saw Trixie's advanced pregnancy as an opportunity to move up the ranks. After an entire day of fighting, Trixie was banished to the far fence and not allowed anywhere near the barn. She's back in the barn now, but there is a new hierarchy in place. 
Opal decided she was ready to get on the milking stand like the big girls and sneaked right out the gate past me. Poor little thing still hunches over and shivers up there, but she's starting to get the hang of it. I'm glad that her temperament is nothing like her dam's, who I decided to sell because of her milk stand manners. I told the buyer all the good, bad, and ugly about her and she still wanted her. The price was right. 
Magnum went to his new home this week. His new owners seem like really nice people and I'm sure they will take good care of him. 

I opened the gate between Magnum's old pen and Lulu and Rocco's pen. They had a big time exploring their new space.  I would love to move Lulu and Rocco into the barn with the rest of the herd, but I am sure that Buttercup will let Lulu nurse. Rocco is still young and all the girls are bred, so he would be no trouble in with them until our Jr. Herd Sire is born and comes here to live.
This shelter used to have walls that went all the way down to the ground to block the wind. Magnum thought it was much more fun to walk through the walls than use the door. Boys.... They'll just have to make-do with hay bales for warmth and be glad for a roof over their heads.

I'm looking forward to some warmer temps. We hung out with my family last night so I didn't light the woodstoves. It was toasty in the house when I woke up this morning and when you have a heat pump, that means just one thing- emergency heat, which costs a small fortune. Ouch.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy Year of the Goat!

Get your reservations in- kidding starts in just over a month!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mushroom Hunting in the Beaver Ruin

Yesterday was a beautiful day so I decided to go for a hike and do some mushroom hunting. I hit the "Beaver Ruin" first since it is absolutely full of dead trees.  It is amazing how destructive beavers are. 
Some of these trees are too big to put my arms around. Not too big for them to take down though. 
 This is not a place you want to be stuck in a wind storm, or even a breezy day! These trees aren't dormant, they are dead. 
Walking in this grass is treacherous. It is hiding fallen trees.
Ah, success.  Some of the oysters were a bit past prime. I should have hunted last week.
But I still managed to fill a basket. 
Predator prints...
And a big deer!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Merry Christmas

Where has the time gone? I feel like we just hosted Thanksgiving here and now I am running out of time to get Christmas together.

We have been frantically decorating and cleaning up for a family party tomorrow. Hubby's extended family hasn't been down here in years and he's excited for them to see all the changes to the farm.I am starting to remember why I don't homeschool in December, but unfortunately I really need to this year as we are a bit behind on our language arts work.

Milking is winding down. I have dried up 2 of my does and need to dry two more next week. Kidding will start in mid-February this year. I am too excited! Check out this baby belly.This is Kat who earned a "Superior Genetics" designation from ADGA this fall.

I should have lots of kids available in the spring, so take a look at my Dairy Goats and Goats for Sale tabs. I will also be offering unregistered bottle bucklings for $50 as long as they are picked up before they are 10 days old.

My dad had to have surgery last month. Fortunately, he seems to be recovering well. He and my mom helped to install wood floors in my bedroom. That's been a big project!
I've been doing a bit of mushroom hunting. 
And deer hunting....

And in my other spare time, have learned to tan the hides. Do you think it's time for some "down time" now?

In case I don't update this again before Christmas, I hope y'all have a blessed holiday.