Sunday, December 30, 2012

I'm Back

Wow, the holidays have kicked my behind!

Wish I had more of this homemade eggnog for the recap (so much better than the guar gum garbage they try to pass off as eggnog. The raw eggs haven't killed me yet).

Anyhoo...we'd planned to butcher chickens after Christmas. On Saturday, Dec 22, I checked out the 10-day forecast and it was miserable. Rain, rain, more rain followed by wind and bitter cold. I decided that if I didn't want these birds to get sick and die and if I didn't want to butcher in 40 degrees with a 15 mph north wind, I'd better get them done. So we butchered them all the Sunday before Christmas.

I feel terrible that the change in plans meant some people didn't get the birds they'd ordered but I was not sad to have them gone over Christmas.

We had a really nice time with family get-togethers Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day.

The handmade goat milk soaps were a hit! Didn't my mom do a great job helping to package them?

Cole's little silkies started laying. It's confirmed, they are all 3 hens so I've ordered him a rooster on Backyard Chickens. He's coming from West Virginia and the seller is throwing in an extra for free. That makes 4 roos at Hammock Haven- my neighbors are going to love me.

No, this is not mine! My dear friend got a Mini-Jersey cow. She was on a milking schedule of 4:30 am and 3 pm. I would be an abysmal failure at that! My sweet little goaties put up with my 9 am & 5 pm routine. Morning person, I am not!

Speaking of goats, we visited my adorable little Alpines. The breeder is sending the pregnancy test in on Jan 15. I can't wait to get them but need some bred goats!!!

Friday afternoon, hubby took the kids to his folks' for the weekend. I was looking forward to a weekend of R&R but when I got up to milk Saturday morning, Kat was back in heat. Ugh, I couldn't believe it. At least Onyx didn't cycle this month.

Hubby had our truck and my farm hands and I needed to get the buck! Another wonderful friend let me borrow her husband and son to unhook the trailer from Hubby's work truck and load the goat gofer in the back. Thank God for good friends!

Buddy the Buck is going to spend a month here this time. If yesterday's escapades didn't get her bred, we are running out of time as January is probably the last time she will cycle this year. Keep your fingers crossed!

And finally, I found a clutch of green eggs in the muck (did I mention it's been wet). I assumed that my Easter Eggers had finally started laying again and cursed them for their taste in nests. I removed the nasty eggs, threw them against a tree and blocked off where they were laying. 

I found another egg in the run on Friday and yet another in the muck last night. That's when it occurred to me. These are duck eggs not waterlogged chicken eggs! Poor Clay, I destroyed her nest. This morning, I took a bag of hay the goats had spread around the ground and made a nice dry nest where I'd found the first eggs.

That's about it around here. I'm going to putter at taking down Christmas decorations this afternoon. I hope you all had a great holiday!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Elf Antics

Our elf, Connor, has been up to some crazy things this season.

That's my shoe as a sleigh and the boys' guitar cord as reins.

Then there was the day he took all our stockings down and hung our underpants intead. I won't post a picture of that one.

Last night must have been poker night. He probably needed a rest after tumbling down the stairs in a roll of toilet paper the night before. I forgot to snap a picture of that one. Naughty elf!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Home Grown

I love it when I sit down to dinner and realize that the bulk of the meal was raised right here. Saturday night, we had panko breaded chicken cutlets (my chicken) with creamy poblano cilantro sauce (my goat cream, peppers and cilantro), sweet potatoes (yup), and broccoli (picked 30 minutes before we ate it).

Hammock Haven contributions to tonight's dinner include the broccoli, eggplant, and garlic.

Hubby was hard at work on the barn this weekend.

He got the stalls finished and siding on the rest of the loft eave. This is my view from the milking stand. Buddy thought he needed a turn too!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I Brought Home a Buck

I have been a ball of stress over getting my goats bred. January is the last possible time to get them bred for the year and it's coming upon us fast! As you remember, Onyx didn't get pregnant on her date and Kat miscarried. The left me with only one out of three bred.

That may not seem like a huge deal, but I assure you it is! Goats who are not freshened will not produce the volume of milk that they should into next year and I won't have the kids to sell. I have well over $1000 in the animals themselves (not counting feed, housing, vet, stud fees etc) and I really need to recoup some of that money. Not getting them bred would have an 18 month consequence!

I was hoping to bring Onyx to be bred again this month, but Thanksgiving got in the way. Then she ended up cycling later than expected so Thanksgiving wouldn't have gotten in the way after all, but Christmas would! Instead of adding the stress of two 4-hour round trips over the holidays, I decided to bite the bullet and breed her with my friend Dave's Nigerian Dwarf Buck for MiniManchas this year.

This is Buddy and he is a ball of stink, but a really sweet boy! He's enough to make me think I can handle a buck around here. I sure hope all the MiniManchas sell well, I'm going to have a bunch of them! We are keeping Buddy here at Hammock Haven until Kat gets bred again too. She should go in heat next week. In the meantime, he loves, love, loves Onyx!

Amanda, the breeder of my little Alpines, thinks one of the girls is bred. She's still waiting on the other. If all goes as plans, I'm looking at 6+ MiniManchas and 4 Alpine kids this spring!