Monday, February 28, 2011

Josie and Elle May


          Our new Future Nubian milking goats



                          And Elle May

I couldn't believe how hard it was to find this breed of dairy goat. Although I have never had a Nubian goat before, They have always been my favorite breed. I love their long floppy ears And playful personalities.

These Two little girls are 10 months old. They will be bred shortly to our Toggenburg Buck. That should be a cute combination! We don't have a Nubian boyfriend for these two but that's ok, We still love the mixed breed babies, It's fun to see what you get.

If everything goes well, these guys should be in milk by late summer. In preparation I'm getting our barn office cleaned and ready to be our new milking room. We will have our milking stand in there,a sink,and a refrigerator, so we can chill the milk fast. This is going to be a exiting new thing for us!

Most of the goats here on the farm are Pygmy crosses for my parents petting zoo.
I'm used to their personalities.
So when I brought these two girls home yesterday I could tell the difference right away!

For starters they are very loud!
They sound like they are being murdered when they cry LOL. It cracks me up.

They are a lot more aloof and curious than the other breeds we have. But very friendly.

Overall I think they are big Goof balls! I noticed they like to throw their heads around a lot, They are natural comedians lol

 These girls are going to be the most spoiled goats in the barn! They went on a walk with me this mourning to the chicken house. With their new pink collars and leads of course! lol

Spring means work

Springtime on the farm means major spring cleanup of the laziness of winter.
And the beginning of sore muscles that haven't been worked much lol.

Not saying we don't get our fare share of farm chores and duties in winter time. But when the weather warms up a bit we all get in a major cleaning mood and go to town!

The last warm up we had we got a lot of stuff done in the day. Thank god for helpful family members willing to come out and help wrangle goats and sheep up for their springtime vaccinations,hoof trimmings,and dehorning babies. The day goes by a lot faster when you have a few hands and a lot of laughing!

My mom and my dad giving a vaccination to this little goatee

Our list of things to do when the temps warm up again

-Cobwebs and dust to clean in the barn
-Empty Feed sacks piled up to be thrown away
-Barn floor to be raked
-Stalls to be completely mucked and cleaned out
-All feed pans and water dished to be completely bleached and sanitized
We were also able to get a lot of the down tree's that were cut down in late fall, Chopped,split,and stacked. The tree's are shared by our neighbors and us, they are right on the property line. There were a few dead ones that needed taken down. The pile is smaller but still some left to do.

I think it's time to replace some of the old hay buckets as well LOL. This one ASAP! all that sharp metal isn't good in the barn, But makes for a cute picture :0)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bella and friends

(This video has its own music,you may need to turn off the blog music below)

Our little Dairy kids are growing so fast!
We expanded their pen so they would have some room to run in the horse stall. I decided it was time for Bella to meet these little guys. She loved it and was so gentle with them! She is truly the sweetest dog! Sammy is one lucky guy LOL.

Nothing makes me happier or clears my mind than sitting and spending time with my animals. They are so therapeutic!
Watching little goat babies jump around instantly makes you smile :0)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A new home

We have finally got a start on the new coop!
Well I shouldn't say we, more like Brad.
It was supposed to be done this winter but for some reason we go into Hibernation mode around here as soon as the temps get below 40 degrees lol. So now that it's a bit warmer, bring on the projects!
The new coop is being put on an old hay wagon frame, Makes it A lot easier to move it around the pastures.We still need to find some tires for this thing. Our other coop is on heavy duty Skids.Which works great as well But we cannot get it over our bridge to one of the pastures. Glad we will be able to do that with this new coop!

I like the idea of using this old Axle and recycling it into something useful.I know if we wouldn't have brought it home and rescued it, That it would have probably been used as scrap. Plus it was free from a friend ~SCORE~.
Not sure what look were going for yet,As Brad's building designs are what he likes to call them, pulled out of his You know what lol. I was thinking about going with a green roof, One that you can plant on. That would be neat looking I think, And cheaper than a tin roof! We will see how it comes along. But for now Brad spent some time last weekend and finished the floor! So maybe he will work on the walls this weekend.

Getting the axle in the garage. Its been sitting outside all winter.

Putting the floor together

Some pictures of Mobile coops we might go off.

Here is a green roof. Isn't it awesome and adorable? lol Just wondering what I could plant that would be low maintenance. Grass? then I would have to mow it. However I Could put a few chickens on it to eat it down :0)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Little ones

There here! My new baby dairy goats. I really wanted to get Nubians but they are so hard to find! Instead we welcomed a little alpine and a Saanen doe. I cannot wait to make some homemade goats milk butter and cheese! I think I'm going to try and find a doe in milk until these little girls are ready. So I have yet another project for Brad to do, Make me a milking stand lol. Poor brad always has something to make or do on his list. Ah that reminds me, His next project is another mobile chicken coop for our new pullets, and he is going to attempt to make a plastic mulch layer and tomato trans planter.Glad he took some welding classes in college. This is going to be a really busy spring for us! Wait isn't every spring..I think I say this every year LOL. Here are some pictures, more to come since these aren't the best. I took these in a hurry while bottle feeding them this mourning.

Alpine doe. I like the name Eleanor for her I think LOL

Little Saanen doe. Thinking about naming her Heidi

This is a little buckling my mom bought. He has a clef pallet and wouldnt have made it if not bottle fed. Thought we would give him a good life here on the farm. We are naming him Harry :0)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Chocolate egg!

I went into the chicken house this mourning and to my surprise gathered one our first dark brown eggs from one of our chocolate egg-er hens.A weird term for a chicken but I love it, Reminds me of Charlie and the chocolate factory Ha! The hens that are laying these are our Welsummer (Also known as the Kellogg's cereal chicken)and Barnevelder chickens. They are a considered a rare heritage breed.They are very cool looking too! I Love these rich dark brown eggs, You have to be careful though when you wash them as the brown color on these chocolate eggs washes off.

Illinois Certified

We are now certified to sell eggs in the state of Illinois! We are so excited. This means we will now be selling eggs at the Trinity Farmers Market in Moline this year! One of the requirements to sell eggs in Illinois is to candle them. This is to make sure they are perfect no cracks Etc. I feel so nostalgic using this old antique egg candler. It was Brad's Grandma's when she was younger. She used to have her own egg business in Cedar County Iowa. With around 300 hens. It's seen it's better days and is a tad rusty but it works great, They truly don't make things like they used to! This old candler works 10 times better than the new hobby farm modernized types that you can buy! Glad we can carry on the tradition