Claudia is milking Taffy while Sarge keeps tabs... Taffy is currently the only doe I have in milk. But MayBelle the Oberhasli is getting HUMONGOUS and the little LaMancha I bought at the Veedersburg Sale Barn November 2? Surprised me with a buckling. A HUGE buckling on Friday. I don't know how she had him he is so large. I noticed she had a little pooch udder with tiny teats several days ago so I got her into the barn and in a pen. No wonder she wasn't growing. Anyway. I'll post her picture with her monster baby next...
Introducing Maris the LaMancha and her monster baby, Sir Prize...
She doesn't exactly look like it, but she's only a little little thing... I don't know how all that boy fit. Let alone got born. He's just a day old in this picture! LaManchas naturally have no ears. They were developed in the United States and are known for being great milkers and having great personalities. Hopefully now she'll put some size and weight on. She's very small. When I bought her on November 2, 2011, I figured she was about 5 months old or so. Way too young to be bred - but she was ~ 1 1/2 months along! Babies having babies. Her legs are about the same size as his. He has little "elf" ears. He may be 1/2 Saanen since he's so large but no way to tell, really what his sire was. I may keep him as an alternate buck as our little Nubian buckling has developed goat polio. We're treating him, but it will take quite some time yet to see if he'll make it. But back to this little fellow. He's huge.
Maris' udder is rock hard (congested) and with those tiny, two-finger teats, he's not going to get enough milk to survive. Hopefully, the congestion will subside - even humans get congestion after giving birth - but her udder is very small. So, we are milking Taffy then putting Maris on the milk stand (she's so small we have to help her get up on the stand) and then feeding her buckling while she's eating her grain. Claudia is feeding him here. Look at how large he is! Again, I'm so very thankful that Maris had him without having more issues. I've had to help birth very large babies and it's always a concern. So many things can go wrong. We are very thankful Maris and Sir Prize are ok.
Another new arrival! A used chipper/shredder! I'm very happy with it. I plan to use it to chip pruned branches from the orchard for the smoker but read in the manual that the large open bin is designed for yard waste. Well. I have a large round bale of sorghum-Sudan grass that I can't use for anything really. It can't be fed to most of my species since if it's not cured properly, it can be poisonous. I don't know how it was cured, so I chose not to feed it. I want to chip it and use it for various things. One of which is for the waterless toilet system we are currently using. It's gotten tedious to walk all the way back to the house to use the bathroom. So, we've got several waterless toilets we're working with. They require some kind of sawdust or bio-mass to compost properly. I think the ground sorghum-Sudan grass ground up will work great. I love Craigslist. I find all kinds of stuff.
Using a chipper. Take off any long mufflers around your neck, restrain your hair, NEVER reach into the chipper for anything. THIS was an egg that the now-free-range chickens decided to lay in the loose sorghum Sudan grass at the edge of the round bale. Just seconds before this pic was taken, an egg was lying, vibrating at the bottom of the shredding bin. Then? The suction sucked in the shell and shortly thereafter, it sucked in the scrambled egg you see here. If something falls into the chipper? Leave it. Turn off the chipper and THEN retrieve it after all motion has stopped. If something falls in and gets mangled? You can replace it. Any other idea is just plain foolish. And horribly dangerous.
Ok. Another "project." I saw her on Craigslist for next to nothing and couldn't leave her. The owner was selling her after she'd had her for a month and put 250# on her. She's got snots running out of one nostril, 250# underweight yet, stands off in the hind, warts in her ears, ewe-necked, runny eyes and just generally dejected. I bought her. $100 and the owner delivered her. Maybe she'll be worth it, maybe she won't. But I couldn't leave this poor hinny where she was. The cuts on her from the other horses where she was are starting to heal now... Just a week into her new life for this ~12 year old mare. I hope she does ok. Riding her may be an impossibility as she appears to have some sort of damage to her spine near her hips. We'll see.
THIS is on her neck. The white areas. Looks like a freeze brand to me, but I'll have to shave it to check. Maybe it is, maybe it's not. The cuts to the lower left are damage from the other horses where she was prior to coming here. Someday soon I'll shave that area and check to make sure. I'd like to know a little history on her... If it's a freeze brand, It's too short to be a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) freeze brand (if it's a freeze brand at all).
I set the hens loose as they were miserable in the chicken house. The large Barred Rock rooster has decided they are "his." They are so happy to be running around scratching in the dirt I'm starting to get eggs again! Two Americauna and one Rhode Island Red egg... Lovely colors... Just lovely. These are some of the colors that inspired Martha Stewart colors/paints. Lovely.
The hens and their rooster. There are three other roosters wandering around too. They like to start crowing about 4am. I'm not impressed. But the hens seem to be... I put out a new round bale for the goats and sheep and dug up all the old hay that had been sitting all winter. LOTS of red worms in there and all the stuff you see in the foreground. Cement blocks, some lumber, iron rods, you name it. Things collect places. Truly. They do. It's after 10pm here in Indiana, I've got to check on the buckling and get ready for work tomorrow! Have a good week! I plan to make some soap this weekend and perhaps during this week too. THAT will be wonderful. And I'll post some pictures of Murphy the pig - he's getting to be a very grown-up guy and is extremely handsome...
Gailann Schrader - Frugalista
I live on a Smallholding farm in NorthWest Indiana. I have American Guinea Hogs, an Arabian horse, a punk mule mare, a donkey, dairy goats, honeybees, dogs (one of which is a Livestock Guardian dog learning that cats aren't varmints), cats, guineas and chickens. I've owned geese, meat goats, cattle (on the home farm), sheep, llamas and rabbits. I'm as self-sufficient as possible and enjoy it!