Sunday, November 8, 2015

November Update

We have baby bunnies! The first litter died a couple of weeks ago; mama didn't quite know what to do with them. The other doe is proving to be a better mama. One of the little guys keeps wandering out of the nest though. I found him cold on the wire again this morning. I hope he makes it.  

I got a good deal on some rabbit hutches and cages from a local "Valley Homesteaders" couple. If it wasn't pouring rain (again), I'd try to get some of the rabbits moved around.
Ysabel and Posey on the wall
Yesterday, my friends at Simply Dutch Farm helped me trim the bucks' feet and draw blood for CAE and pregnancy tests on nine of the goats. We will do the rest of them in December when the other does are 30 days post breeding. There goes another $100!

Ilona is the only doe I have left to breed. She should go back in heat Thursday or Friday and I think she's finally big enough. I have been stuffing her full of alfalfa.

I also hope Kami settles this time. If she doesn't, I will be taking her to Auburn to have her checked out.
Kat is absolutely enormous! I think she has at least triplets again and I'm beginning to get scared there may be more than three in there. I believe Trixie is having twins. I want to look back at pictures from last year, but she's not giving me any reason to think there are three. That's a relief because I am not sure I could nurse her through another triplet pregnancy.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Gray Day

Rainy days = dirty barn. Everything is a mucky mess with these girls hunkering down out of the rain. They were very happy for a bag of dry shavings. 

Today is 23 days since we artificially inseminated Betty Buttercup. She's shown no sign of being in heat, so I'm hoping my first AI was a success! I've been stuffing the girls full of alfalfa to get weight on Ilona and Buttercup's production has spiked back up. I think we'll do one more milk test on her and Maddy before calling it a year.
Ilona is the only doeling not yet at 80 pounds. The other four are averaging over 90 lbs. Illi will go back in heat a week from Friday and I'd really like to be able to breed her this month. I just keep stuffing her full of alfalfa. She's growing.

All the other girls should be bred now. Kami is the only one I'm having a tough time getting settled. She's been through three heat cycles now. Fingers crossed she's pregnant this time!

Thursday, October 22, 2015


I'm calling it a year. We didn't have milk for our cereal yesterday and I am scrambling to fill orders. It's time to say we are done for the year. 

Thank you everyone for your support. The milk will be flowing again in February. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Rain, Rain Go Away!

It's raining. Again.  Here in Georgia, we sweat through the summer looking forward to our beautiful fall. It hardly rains in October. The sky turns a glorious, deep shade of blue deserving of its own name- October Sky Blue. The days are warm and dry. There is a crispness in the air in the evening. 

But not this year. It has been raining for well over a week now. Everything is wet. The treated wood of the barn is starting to sport a nice coat of green. I have a fan on the hay in the loft; after so many days of 100% humidity, it's only a matter of time before it's a total loss.
We have two boarders from out of town come to get bred. These are Bambi and Amelia. Amelia has the same sire as "Star" who we lost to mycoplasma and pseudomonas mastitis shortly after she arrived here last summer. They look so much alike. It's almost like having Star back.
Breeding season is in full swing. I have 4 I am sure are pregnant. Seven have been bred. Kami came back into heat. I had a feeling three weeks ago that I should have stuck her back in with Whiskey after I saw how long her heat cycle was. Hindsight.

I hope she settles this time. She just doesn't seem like a good fit for Whiskey. Even though he was riding her around the pen, I'm not sure how successful the couplings were. Then I put Olivia in, and I could tell he was successful each time with her. He's settled three does already and I saw his sperm under the microscope at collection. He has what it takes. If Kami comes back into heat in three weeks, she's going to Bubba.

I think we will try AI on Buttercup. I plan to AI her to Heart Mt. Conquistador. 

Time to go out and brave the mud. As much as I'd like to crawl back under the covers with a book and another cup of coffee, I'm late already. Only nine more days and no more evening milking!

Monday, September 28, 2015

AI Class

I saw a meme on Facebook this morning. It said, "Do something unusual today." I think we accomplished that this weekend! My husband and I, and our friends from Simply Dutch Farm spent the weekend out of town at a goat Artificial Insemination (AI) class taught by Cam Faircloth. Believe it or not, it was a really fun weekend. 

The class was on Sunday. After some consideration, I decided to bring my buck, Whiskey Baron up to be collected. I have a lot invested in him and my breeding plans would really be altered should anything happen to him. After arranging over the phone for Whiskey's collection, the purchase of a nitrogen tank, and all the equipment I would need to AI, Cam said, "see you on Saturday". 

Whoa, wait a second, the class is Sunday. 

"That's true, but the buck collection is Saturday."

And so we made a weekend of it. 

Whiskey taught some 250 pound Boer goats how it's done. While they were snorting and blubbering, he got right down to business and gave us more than enough swimmers for 50 straws. Then we had to take him to my father-in-law's farm to spend the night. 

Sunday morning, we debated whether to go ahead and get him or swing by and get him on our way home. It was a good thing we got him; we didn't get out of the class until 8:00pm and still had a three hour drive ahead of us!

I sure learned a lot and am excited to try some AI on my own does. Most of my senior does are already bred this year, but I may try to AI Betty Buttercup. I have Whiskey on ice as an insurance policy against anything happening to him. I traded 5 of his straws for 5 straws of another nice buck, and bought two straws of a third buck. 

If anyone is interested in any Whiskey semen, I have 25 I can sell at 5/$150. His dam is #1 on the Elite Doe list and he is one of about 15 lamancha bucks accepted into the Young Sire Development Program this year. His stock will go up once he has some daughters on the ground!

Sunday, September 6, 2015