Club Nigerian Bucks, No Girls Allowed

As I mentioned when we were going through the “Bomb Cyclone” this past winter, all of our animals were fine except our little bucklings.  All they had to hunker down in was a corrugated steel hog hut.  Even with it facing away from the prevailing wind, it still swirled around because of the severe wind speeds and went into the entrance and made them very cold.  They had icicles on their fur and were so happy when we brought out towels to help dry them off.  It hurt my heart to see them.

I was very determined to ensure that that wouldn’t happen again.  Tuff Sheds were stupid expensive.  While out to dinner one evening, we noticed that a lot in the next town over had sheds.  So the next day I went in and inquired.  The company is Cumberland Sheds and are built here in Colorado.  They seem sturdy and given the price, I couldn’t build it for any less.

Hurray! Today was delivery day.  They had this gizmo called a “Shed Mule”.  They slid it off the trailer, hooked it up and moved it right into place.  We were even able to keep it true to the farm colors: Cream and Forest Green.  So tomorrow, I need to head up to the feed store and get some stall mats for the floor so the boys don’t stink it up and have the wood floor rot.

This little hut is 8 x 12.  It has a ton of room for a passel of goats plus their hay.  So one more building on the farm.  I have just resigned myself to “that’s what it takes”. After all, one of the bucks is the daddy of our two new babies!  I think I have found my favorite farm animal, Nigerian Dwarf Goats.  They are irritating, get into everything, have no sense of personal space ESPECIALLY when you have treats and are the sweetest little shits around!  The babies are doing great.  Ginger is being an awesome momma and in one more week, we get to start milking.

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Happy Labor Day

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Wishing all who feed our lazy asses a wonderful Labor Day; especially if you are still laboring today so we can have a Happy Labor Day and a last deck based flesh sacrifice on a bun.  Avoid ICE and may you and yours not wind up in a U.S. concentration camp.

Delivered Via C Section

Ten pounds baby!  They all have been 5 lbs. or better this year.  We’ve been eating a ton of Coleslaw.  Later today or tomorrow the crock is getting stuffed to make Sauerkraut.  We each had a couple of bites from our first ever apple this morning – a little green Granny Smith. We thought it would make us pucker, but we were surprised.  Best tasting apple ever.   That kind of surprise always reminds me of why Citiots don’t understand why there are folks like us.  They’ve never really had fresh food with full flavor that came 50 yards or less from their front door.  Even when I hate it,  I love it.

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We Haz Finded Our Legz

While we endured 98 degree desert heat, the little babies were very hot and panting. We spent the day canning and dehydrating yet again.  Tomorrow the beans get canned and the cabbage goes into the fermenting croc.  As the weather cooled in the evening, the babies found their stride.  They also found their legs.  They discovered that they are built out of springs!

 

Just Some More Hopping Around

The first day out of the kidding pen.  Mom reunited with her sisters and the babies hopped around under the barn awing.  They got their first dose of probiotic today to jump start their rumens.  They are starting to munch on grass, so they need a strong digestive system.

So the new quandary is that we discovered that they are both boys.  We have an offer in to the vet tech school our farm helper attends to see if she wants a buck for the school’s flock.  If not, then at least one needs to be wethered (neutered).  We have no need for 4 intact bucks.  The other alternative is to euthanize and that of course, will fall to me.  So we’ll see what happens.  Wethers are very sweet and can be kept with the girls.  The earliest we can do the deed is 4 weeks and today they are 4 days.  We will be pondering.  In the mean time…… they are so stinking cute!

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I’m Never Going To See My Wife Again.

Zina took the day off today to be with the new baby goats.  As long as I’m out in the barn with her, she’ll give me the time of day.  I’m thinking about getting a cot out there for her to spend the next few nights on!  Of course, she is smitten with the little duo.  They are ridiculously cute, which furthers my assertions about how babies grow up to be adults…. cuz they are cute!

Everyone is fine.  Momma Ginger seems to be taking it all in stride.  The interaction is kind of fascinating. She talks to them.  She tells them to eat.  She is always cleaning them to bond.  She will nudge them back to her udder.  They are totally interacting with each other.  Momma will come and rub on us as if to get reassurance that she’s doing everything right.

The little doe-ling gave us a little start today.  They both got their first vitamin dose.  Tomorrow is a pro-biotic to jump start their little rumens (how they digest).  Afterward, the doe-ling looked kind of lethargic and was having “wet” coughs.  All seems well now, but with goats this is the time where EVERYTHING can go wrong.  So this gave us some pause.  By the time we left them alone this morning she was up and even chewing on some alfalfa strands.  Zina just came in and said they were jumping all over her…. a very good sign.  Pictures below.

So the coughing activated Zina’s Italian mothering instincts.  I had to hold her back from trying to feed her red sauce and pasta (Food is love after all! LOL!). But I was not innocent of concern either.

The birthing process attracted every fly within a mile radius.  If you’ve never endured fly season on a ranch or a farm, just think annoying like mosquitoes.  So I set to cleaning the barn and turkey coops again with gusto, as well as getting the wood chip bedding freshened.  I also sprayed the barn with fly repellent last night like we have been doing all summer and then realized that these little guys are smaller than a Chihuahua.  So, of course, I worried all night that the fly repellent might do something awful to them.  Nothing like parental or care-giver worry.  I can’t blame mine on my heritage.  Dutch people don’t really give a hoot.  Must be all that ice in Northern Europe.  Must be something else.  Guilt.  We’ll go with guilt along with a little shame if we actually fail at something.  A dead baby goat… its all your fault you .. fill in the blank.

So all appears well, but I miss Zina.  I could go out  there again, but I worked hard again today and breathed in a lot of turkey poop dust while cleaning the coop and am kind of wheezing.  Yes dear,  I wore a bandana as a mask.

Here is more serious cuteness:  Breast feeding in public?  Who friggin cares!

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You Never Understand Until…

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>>> A little size perspective.  They probably don’t weigh a pound a piece and the entrance to that cat carrier is only about a foot.  They are little bitty turds.  We will wait a bit to make sure we are out of the woods.  If the little boy makes it, his name will be Neo.  He will join his daddy and uncle: Tank and Dozer.  The little girl will follow the rest of them and get a name after an herb or spice.  Currently we have Cumin, Paprika and Ginger.  But we reserve the right to re-use names (The dogs are Basil and Sage, so those won’t work).<<<

We read everything about goats.  We had “How To” books, read online websites and all things “expert”.  However, NOT ONE THING  about that stuff makes any sense until said critter is in your lap.  We have had our goats going now into our second season.  We’ve got the adult part pretty well under control.  Then, BABIES!!  We gots this too, but it is one thing to read what you should be “looking for” and actually seeing it.

This morning I walked into Uncle-Farmer-Jon-hood.  It changed the entire day.  “OMG!  She gave birth and didn’t tell us!  Did they get their Colostrum?  Where are the birthing sacs? She ate em?  Wow!  They are so clean and seem to be happy!”  “Ok.  So if they aren’t screaming for milk, mom must have done her job.  Breathe you idiot.”  “But will she feed them and what kind of schedule do we keep for milking that is best for the kids?”  “I got her teat to squirt, so the faucets work, but Nigerians are little goats and I have walnut crusher hands.  I think we need a milker”. Ordered. $$$.

The babies seem happy.  Momma doesn’t seem to have rejected them, but she is a first timer and was bottle fed….. how is all this going to transpire?… answers damn it I need answers!  Someone really moved my cheese today.  I was going to build my new garden wagon, weed, plant and harvest and make Sauerkraut and tomato sauce, but NOOOOOOOO! The universe dumped two new goats on me.  Deal with that control freak!

So I jump on our most informative website.  Funny name “Fias Co. Farms”.  Today I was living in a Fiasco all right.  I felt like Trinity in the Matrix having the ability to fly a helicopter downloaded into her head within seconds.  I’ve been learning factually, that which we knew only conceptually.  Didn’t I already do this 24 years ago?  Do they need a college fund?  What about a bassinet and crib?  I just have these questions!  Aaaagghhh!

So Fias Co.  said that these little hopfrogs like to have a little place to crawl into to nap.  So I took one of our cat carriers, took off the door and they love it!  The humor was that the little buck went in there and proceeded to plop down for a nap.  Sister didn’t see him do it and started screaming like a baby with a wet diaper because she couldn’t find him.  The reunion took place and all is now calm.

I knew that we were going to have to dis-bud (de-horn) them.  It involves taking something like a soldering iron and burning off the buds that will form horns.  I’ve branded, doctored and castrated calves.  These are much tiny-er and it is on their head.  The thing burns at 1000 degrees F. Knowing vs. doing….    So I checked into that as well today.  It is suggested that it is done within their first week!  Crap. I don’t have said soldering iron or the box to hold the kid in.  Ordered…. more $$$.  Now granted, our little herd is pure bred and registered blood lines, so some care and expense is in order.  I was just too pumped on adrenaline to remain calm.  So next week when said branding equipment comes, I get to burn goat buds.  I WILL be wearing earphones.  Just like baby pigs, they can scream like you can’t believe.  What a thrill.

So this evening I went out and put the turkeys in their coop and checked on the newborns and momma.  All seem well.  Ginger wants to get out of the kidding pen, but that won’t happen for another day or two.  Friday she gets to go out and graze a bit.  In about a week, after the disbudding, the babies will get to go out and explore a bit too.

One site says, milk immediately.  Another says, wait 2 weeks or wait until they are weaned.  I guess, like with everything I do, I’ll land somewhere in the middle.

On top of this, my new garden wagon came, the weights for the fermenting croc arrived, all the other animals didn’t disappear or seem to not need food today.  Breathe, breathe, breathe.  As usual, I’ll get this down once my mind processes it over night.  If the babies are still alive in the morning, we’ll take the next step.  After all, goats aren’t endangered and have been reproducing for millennia.  I imagine they will muddle through whether or not I know what I’m doing.  Good job Ginger!