Monday, September 5, 2016

It's important to have good neighbors

  One of the greatest things about our house is we got to meet our neighbors while we were buying it. We really liked them. Still do, not just because they sold us the house but they are just amazing people. Something else we've started noticing about this town is that everyone seems to know everyone else. A lot of people grew up here and stayed here and kept those connections. Its one of the neatest things. Anyways, our super cool neighbor happens to know our other super cool neighbors... if you count someone who lives a couple blocks away a neighbor? We were 'gifted' some animals! I put the gifted in quotes because we did offer them some money but they'd only take half of what we offered and we really didn't offer much since it was in between pay days and after a trip or two to TSC and Sams Club. Basically we bought the last of the animal feed off of them. 

  First we got some more chickens. A lovely black australop hen who was sitting on eggs and her 6 adorable fluffy chicks. As well as their two lovely little bantam cochin roosters. Technically we didn't really need any more roosters but our kids are scared of our big roosters and these little guys are super adorable. I'm wondering if we should get rid of the other roos and just have bantam roos from now on. We didn't move the momma hen's nest since her eggs were all ice cold and we thought they were probably not viable anymore even if she decided she wanted to try to sit on them with the upheaval of moving. She's doing a good job of taking care of her little chickies and the move doesn't even seem to have fazed her one tiny bit. We are keeping her in her own nursery pen until her babies are older since we're afraid to add her to the rest of the flock with babies. I just would be heart broken if one of those little fluffballs got hurt because I didn't take precautions. 

  At the moment we currently two of our hens that have gone broody as well. One of our black australops has been sitting on her eggs for a little over a week and one of our mystery chickens joined her yesterday sitting on her own little nest in another corner. I'm hoping that they are successful and we don't have to buy chicks any more and deal with brooders. I love the idea of the mom's raising their own babies, it is one of the cutest things to watch.

  We didn't only get gifted with poultry either though, we also go some goats. Two gorgeous does. Wonderful milking does no less. Not old or sickly ones needing to be retired but young ladies in wonderful condition just before breeding season starts. I honestly thought it was too good to be true but they were 100% serious and the goats are great if just a bit skittish. 

   This delightful lady is very sweet. She didn't like me too much yesterday when I 'kidnapped' her from her daddy but today she decided I'm pretty cool and as the new source of food I am allowed to pet her and must do so whenever she wants. Her name is Peaches but it doesn't go with our Old Testament theme of goat names so I will have to come up with a new or secondary name for her. I'm thinking Naomi. I believe she is a Saanen/Alpine mix she looks so much like Esther is size and body shape. I do think Esther has a bit of beard envy. Not only does Naomi here have a beard but she also has wattles. Former goat parents think she's 2 or maybe 3 years old, I still haven't checked her teeth to tell for sure but I believe them.
  The second lady we picked up was named Dolly. She is Naomi's daughter but looks like she has a lot more Saanen in her gene pool. I'm thinking her daddy was a Saanen? She is a very skittish little thing and still hasn't quite forgiven me for upsetting her and moving her to a new home. I'm thinking her name will be Deliliah since it means delicate and she is that. I was worried that they would take a while to all settle in and there would be a lot of herd dominance issues but there's not. I'm thinking its because these girls have horns. Took about 15 minutes and everyone is aware of there place in the herd I'm still on the look out for scuffles but for the most part everything is going smoothly.

All 7 of the girls are in this picture, can you see them all?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Rabbit update

  I have been really amazed at how well rabbits have been doing for us these days. If you all remember I got a good deal on some at an auction. We intended to eat them but we figured that we would try to sell a few as pets or starter meat breeders if anyone was interested. Turns out a lot of people have bunnies as pets. The certainly turn a better profit than chickens and are so much cheaper to feed plus they are way more fun to snuggle and less stinky. 

   We ended up losing all of Xena's litter though, nearly broke my heart. Wait, I don't know if I mentioned losing Xena on here? The black bunny? Well, she was doing wonderfully with all her kits and we moved her to an outside pen so she would have lots more room and grass to nibble. This actually turned out to be a mistake I will explain why later. She was doing great but then an hour later she died violently with liquid feces. I believe that one of my children fed her a dandelion that had been sprayed with weed killer. They know the rabbits like and can have those and didn't know Hubs had sprayed that area around his shop. It was an accident but it was still sad. The combination of the kits weaning at such an early age (4 weeks) and the unlimited grass supply was too much for their little digestive systems and their intestines died and they couldn't poo and died slowly. It was heart wrenching and a valuable learning lesson. Supposedly if their mom had a main diet of grass the whole time while pregnant and nursing it wouldn't have happened but her whole pregnancy she was inside and occasionally given weeds and grass. 

  Our current litter is doing very well though *knock on wood*. Patty hasn't lost a single one which is very exciting for me. They all have their eyes open and hop around making adorable squeaking noises. They are a rex/californian mix so they have the softest little coats ever. We have decided to keep them inside until they are fully weaned and maybe slowly introduce them to grass after they turn 8 weeks old. We are not taking any chances this time. Hubs has even built a bigger cage so they have more room to maneuver and grow and let momma escape from her kiddos every once in awhile.

  Hubs and I are still working on fixing up the Bunny Barn. I can't wait to share all the pictures. I think it looks so much better already. We still need to figure out the poop systems, that's our main hurdle right now. After that we have room to add in 5 more cages and I'll get to keep one of our californian does we got from the auction plus a broken red buck so I can add color. I am so excited!

Monday, August 29, 2016

How to put up goat fencing

  To be 100% clear, Hubs isn't the one writing this and he is the one who actually knows how to do the whole fence putting up thing. That being said I helped. I took pictures while I helped. I will try to explain what he did and what tools he used but since I don't know what tools are other than a hammer and the difference between a flat and phillips screw driver there are no promises. Feel free to comment with any questions though and I will find out from Hubs if I don't know the answer which is highly probable. I didn't take any pictures of our first time putting up a fence which is probably good since Hubs got two pairs of pants ripped up and the fence is all saggy and loose. This time he got the fencing nice, tight and straight.

    As you can see from the picture of the first fencing we did it doesn't look so great. On the other hand it does keep the goats in so that's really all you can ask for right? We got redbrand sheep and goat fencing for anyone who is curious. We figured that anything that said it was for goats would work best. Before Hubs could start on the actual fence installing he had to mow since things grow here.

   I tried to convince him that mowing wasn't important to the job. I thought he would mow down the whole pasture. Hubs didn't do that, he mowed paths along where we want the goat areas. The far right grassy area is soon to be the new goat pasture and on the left we planned to turn it into the boy goat area. (Actually, Hubs has already done the buck pasture and finished fencing it in. He's awesome like that.) The mowing seemed to make straight lines easier but hubs still used a string to make sure everything was straight and placed an equal distance apart so it wouldn't bother me.
   Our two youngest kiddos 'helped' lay out the t posts straight and at regular intervals. I think this was the point that Hubs wanted me to stop taking pictures and help. FYI, I didn't. 
He drove in the corner t post first, there was a reason for it. He said it would be easier to make it straight this way but I honestly don't know if that's true or not.
  I told him to smile for the camera. Heads up, not a thing to say while driving t posts. According to Hubs its hard work and not something you want to smile and pose for the camera while you do it. He made it look easy though. A few slams with the t post driver and they went in. I think that is because we have good soil here. When we were in Nevada they were hard to drive in and Hubs hated doing it. Now he only whines it its hot and humid, which it was.

   I mentioned before that our soil is softer than what we were used too so our first fencing was not holding up well, especially at the corners. Hubs found these nice corner brackets called wedge-loc. They are great, they've completely firmed up the fence and made it much sturdier even after a good rain. We found them at tractor supply and they come with directions. Hubs absolutely loves them. In the last two pictures he was wire wrapping the corners since we didn't wrap the fence around the corner, it just doesn't get as tight. We found later on the buck pasture that it works better to clip a bit of extra fence and wrap the fence around the t post. I wish I'd taken a picture. Hubs did a great job. 



   This time around Hubs decided he needed a fence puller. We went to Lowes and looked at their fence pullers but they were not what Hubs wanted. He came home and built this. Its got a winch that connects to the tractor and Hubs pulls it all nice and tight and then parks the tractor which holds it all in place while he attaches the fence. I thought it was a pretty good idea, a lot easier than trying to tighten it by hand which is what we did the first time. 
   After the corners are connect he connects the fence to all the t posts. I googled what they're called, t post fence clips and the tool is a clip bender. He did 3 per t post. I helped with these, I untangled them and handed him the next one he needed. I know people out there doubted my help but obviously I was essential. 
Finished pasture area with strong, tight and straight fencing
Hubs releasing the goats into their new area.

Happy goats :)






Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sheepish apologies

   No! I didn't get sheep. I just liked the animalistic play on words. I'm going to give you some excuses for why I haven't been posting updates on how everything has been going around here lately. I promise I'm going to get back to my regular posting. Although this blog is still new so its not like I have any followers or anything but it cathartic for me so I guess I'm apologizing to myself. 

  Over the last few weeks we have had more baby bunnies born and two more does due any day now. Thus far our new momma hasn't lost a single kit which is pretty exciting for us especially since the people we got her from said she ate her last litter. Her lumplings are all fat and happy and way more verbal than I thought any rabbit would be. Their little squeaks make me smile. The other two does were bred the same day but this is going to be their first litter so we'll see how they do. One of them has a belly button that has popped out into an outie position. I'm assuming that rabbits are like people and that means her delivery date is fast approaching. 

  We also decided it'd be fun to go to a nearby auction, you know to see how things work. I really and truly didn't intend to get any animals other than maybe a rabbit or two since I have been wanting to add some color in, we ended up coming home with 34 rabbits and a goat. The rabbits were going dirt cheap and I honestly could not help myself. Hubs didn't help matters by saying 'Well for that price. Why not?' So I totally am blaming him for my insanity. We only had one cage with us though because I really didn't plan on so many purchases so we had to beg for old cardboard boxes around the auction house and put rabbits in them. We did learn something though. I will never again purchase really young rabbits. We've lost all 16 of them except 1. They've just kept dying one or two a day and it breaks my heart. At first we thought it was because they were so young, we're guessing 4-6 weeks. Now though we're suspecting some worm or even e. cuniculi went through them. I am so glad we have a rule about quarantine. The older rabbits (8ish weeks) have been doing great. No deaths, eating, playing and just acting like rabbits in general. We did worm all the rabbits today just in case. I also got a beautiful 3 month (ish?) Flemish Giant doe. I love her. She was my most expensive rabbit. Honestly she cost more than all the other rabbits combined but I'm ok with that. Her name is Brunhilda and she is so sweet and snuggly.
The ill fated babies :(

The older buns, see Brunhilda? She's almost 3 times their size.
At the auction I also got a goat. I really didn't plan that one out either. We saw them lead the goat out and we thought it was a doe somehow both Hubs and I missed that it was a whether. If we'd known it was a whether we probably wouldn't have bid but we did and we won him for dirt cheap so its not a big loss or anything. He is adorable and loves people. His name is Zacchaeus and it took a few days for the other boys to accept him but he's now part of the little herd. Hubs says no more auctions for me until next year. 
Zacchaeus 

   In addition to all the auction craziness we've also been redoing the rabbit barn, gardening and getting the kids back to school. My life is finally settling down into a nice routine again. That's why I wasn't posting but starting Monday all four of my kiddos will be in school so I will have alone time and be able to do stuff. Given a choice between blogging and cleaning what do you think I'm going to choose? ;)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

All the pretty little horses

   There has always been a thing about little girls and horses. I seem to remember all little girls in my school going through a horse crazy stage. They want a horse or a pony. Seems like it is just naturally ingrained into girl DNA. Not me. My mom had horses growing up. They were ok, I enjoyed riding but I remember them being a lot of work. Might have something to do with the fact that my mom was one of those people who was always correcting my riding posture too. Now we have a farm and a little girl who has hit the stereotypical horse crazy phase. 

  My daughter's therapist also suggested a horse. Well, not quite suggested buying a horse but suggested riding lessons or horse riding because her core muscles are very weak and riding will help develop those skills as well as balance. Brushing a horse also would help her build arm control that she needs to work on. To be fair there are other ways she could build those skills and we do use them. I am just trying to help my little girl in every way possible so it actually makes me want to indulge her a bit. We are in no way ready for horses. 

  We don't have a barn! What kind of rinky dink good for nothing farm doesn't have a barn? This one. Right here. Plus fencing. Poor Hubs is always doing fencing. Tightening, fixing, or putting new stuff up. His work is never done. We came up with a little compromise instead, that we would take our kiddos to a horse clinic at a horse rescue and see how they liked it. The best part is that it wouldn't just be about petting and riding but it would also focus on care of the horses and the amount of work that goes into having them. 

  The kids had a blast. All the kids got to ride and pet horses. The older kids learned a lot about horses and Cap would like to do riding lessons. The younger too had fun but didn't listen to the teacher as well but they loved feeding the horses jelly beans and riding. I enjoyed getting to know more about a local horse rescue. This particular one saves horses from slaughter auctions and rehabilitates them for adoption. They even had a horse that they tried to send home with us...

   They had an older gelding that was looking for a retirement home. He's great with kids but can't really do too much hard riding. What he really needs is a place that he can call home and take it easy for his golden years. They said that what they would do is a free lease. We could take him home for free and keep him as long as we want but if he ever became too much for us or the kids lost interest they'd take him back. Pretty sweet deal but once again we have no barn and only have sheep and goat fencing up so we had to say no. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Billy Goat? No. Bully Goat.

   Lately, we've ran into a little issue with out goats. My sweet Ruth has turned into a bully. Esther has always been a bit cantankerous. Ever since we've brought in Nebuchadnezzar the older girls haven't been too terribly fond of him. Its been ok though, since Abigail and him were getting along great and able to play. Of course, when I brought in little Danny he had yet another play mate. He had no interest in the old ladies. They ignored him and he stayed out of their way and all was well in my little goat herd. Until I brought home Jezebel. 

  I want to start by saying this really is not Jez's fault. She has no horns and she is underweight so maybe she is perceived as a weak link by the rest of the herd. The biggest problem is that she has such a sweet disposition that she just takes it. She doesn't stand up for herself at all. Hubs was working on a separate area for the boys since we don't want any 'accidents'. It was a good thing he had just finished it up too because I saw one of the most barbaric acts I've seen goats preform yet. Ruth and Esther were ramming Jezebel with their horns and trampling her. She was just laying on the ground not even moving. I thought that she was dead. I shooed the girls away trying to figure out what had happened and realized she was just laying there! Taking the punishment!

  Took some prayer, muscle and bribes but I was able to help her limp her way into the 'nursery'. The nursery is what we're calling a repurposed 10 by 10 dog kennel, half of the top and a side is covered with a tarp and then a quarter of the top has a shade cloth on it. Very redneck chic. In there I was able to address the damages. Jezebel had one leg she was limping pretty seriously on and another that was tender. Her nose was dripping blood but I didn't see any other signs of obvious injury. I'm sure she had plenty of bruises but nothing felt broken. I was pretty freaked out. I had never seen this kind of brutality amongst the goats. Of course I did what I did best, google search! Best I could come up with is that Jezebel is a weak link or maybe sick so the other goats are trying to drive her out. Could also have something to do with the pregnancy. Perhaps prejudice against goats without horns?

  Hubs as always was my super hero. He pointed out that since the boys were so laid back that Jezebel could just hang out with them and maybe then she could put on some more weight and we could try to reintegrate her to the female herd after Ruth delivers. Thus far, it is working perfectly. Jezebel has fully adopted Danny as her baby and has become the protector of the 'boy herd plus one girl'. Her confidence is going up and the boys hide behind her when the dog comes out with me. Funny thing is the dog would never hurt them but they're all afraid of him but Jez bravely stares him down and stamps her hoof at him. Hopefully, we can get her back in with the girls before we have an unexpected pregnancy happen though. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Care for a buck anyone?

  I missed some days of posting. I really suck at sticking to things everyday between all the stuff here at the house, all the animals and all my children not even mentioning my dear Hubs who deserves way more of my time than he actually gets. Plus I'm sometimes a bit of an air head. I forget what things I wanted to do unless I put them on my dry erase board. Blogging hasn't quite made it to the dry erase board since its mostly for me, its not really a chore. Its an inbetween thing plus America's Got Talent was on and they need my votes, hellooooo. Today, I'm going to introduce the rest of my herd. They're mostly, you probably guessed from the post title, bucks. 

   I've heard a lot of things against bucks: they stink, they make your milk nasty, they are aggressive, they stink, the pee in their mouth and drink it, during rut they really stink, accidental pregnancies and of course they stink. Stink seems to be the number one concern with bucks. Currently mine don't stink since they're young and haven't gone into a rut yet. They are also further away from the house. If they start bothering neighbors with their smell we can move them even further back, its the nice thing about having lots of property and growing a little at a time. As for aggressiveness I've heard very conflicting information. Some people have said that bucks tend to ram you more than females others have said that they're sweeter and want more attention. I think it really matters how they're raised. Our Boar buck, Nebuchadnezzar, is about 4 months old now and he has a sweet shy disposition, the girls boss him around. He is skittish even around us now we know this might change during rut. Daniel, our little Alpine/Nubian mix is the sweetest snugliest goat in the world and it probably has something to do with me bottle feeding him. He follows me around and loves me, Hubs not so much. The first time I see a buck pee in their mouth I will probably throw up a little, there is no getting around how gross that is. Accidental pregnancies are also really easy for me to avoid since our boyos will have their own pasture. Problem solved. 


   Now for intros, this handsome fellow is Nebuchadnezzar but since it is such a mouth full to say we normally just call him Neb or Nebber. He is a 100% Boar goat and a full red color which is apparently desirable? I'm not really sure about what people are looking for in the show circuits because that's not what I'm interested in at this time. He isn't registered because again right now that's just not something Hubs and I are worried about. Neb is our only non dairy goat. Boar goats are traditionally meat goats. I hear you all our there screaming no! How could you eat such a sweet little baby.Well, to be honest, I'm still not completely sure I could eat a goat I know and am friends with. They are so sweet and personable. Hubs is holding out hope so we'll just have to see. Even if I can't do it though people pay a decent amount of money for 50% Boar babies for fair and 4h projects which would be fine with me. Plus we're thinking about offering a stud service. 
   Do you see the ball of adorableness? No, not my daughter! The little week old baby goat we brought home. I was hoping Esther would let him nurse and then Hannah would have a play mate since they're only 4 days apart. Yeah, Esther would have no part in any of that. Even hobbling her legs she still tried to crush this innocent little bundle of love. His name is Daniel, I call  him Danny and sing him Danny Boy. He has some of the most beautiful coloring I have ever seen. For some reason I don't have a decent picture of him but I do have video ;) No perfect pedigree for this little buckling, he is 50% Alpine and 50% Nubian. Right now he is my favorite. Shhh, don't tell anyone. 

video

  True to my somewhat flighty nature, this post is not only about bucks. I have one doe to sneak in to today's post. Back when we had just gotten Ruth I had tried to buy a pregnant goat off of craigslist (for and amazing price). Unfortunately, before we could set up a pick up date the goat had her baby. The lady said wait two months and email her again to remind her we wanted this goat and see if we were interested in the baby. I'm so bad at remembering but I have siri on my phone. Siri is good at remembering, even months later. I sent the email but since we had already gotten Neb and Danny we weren't really interested in another buckling so we turned him down and picked up Jezebel. She is a naturally polled goat, which means she doesn't have horns and she was born that way. What's really amazing about her is if I hold her she will let Daniel nurse no more formula for my boy! Breast is best and all that. 


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The gory side of goats.... kids!

   Now in the last post I mentioned that Esther was pregnant and due in August. Naturally she gave birth on July 26th. I'm thinking that the previous owners didn't really keep track of their breeding appropriately. I write everything down in my planner, I also write them down on my animal binder and put a reminder on my cell phone. Family teases me saying that I have OCD, well surprise I am actually diagnosed with OCD so that's not as funny as everyone seems to thing it is. I just like things to be organized and I like to be able to plan ahead for the health of my animals. There is nothing obsessive about that. It's just good animal management. Luckily because of my OCD I do check my animals constantly through out the day, almost obsessively so and its really bad when they are pregnant. I do constant pooch checks, belly checks for kicks as well as udder checks to see how well everything is filling out. 

   Remember, I am not a professional nor have I ever done any sort of veterinary classes. I'm just a lady who has google and a library card and really likes to research things. I've read a lot on goat births but since I've never actually seen any birth (other than birthing my own children) in person I don't consider myself an expert. A few days before the blessed event (I think about 4) there was a stringy white goo coming from her vagina. It was maybe a little yellowish colored but more like egg yolk. I am sorry if this grosses anyone out I'm just trying to provide information for the curious. I wish now that I had taken pictures because her pooch was certainly swollen and her anus was lowered towards it. There were no tail ligaments at all that I could feel so even though I had been told her due date was August I was pretty sure things would be happening sooner. The morning of the 26th there was a bit of rust colored discharge. It didn't look like blood, it was too brown in color. Everything online told me that it was most likely a rupture of the amniotic sac or losing the mucous plug. I told Hubs that I thought today would be baby goat day and he just rolled his eyes at me and went to work, nerd. Of course, that meant that I had to quadruple the amount of times I checked on her. I think I was checking about every 10-15 minutes. 

   I went up dutifully not expecting to see anything but as soon as I got there she had a contraction. With that contraction out popped a tiny nose and two little hooves. Of course, I had forgotten my phone this time so I started screaming to get my kids' attention. All my kiddos came running. My biggest boy brought my cell phone but they all obediently waited outside the goat yard hoping to catch a glimpse of the new baby. Esther was not a first time mother and she went into the goat shack to have her baby while I sat in the door way to keep our other curious goats out of the way but still be close enough to help if she needed it. I grabbed some 7% iodine since that's what all the goat books say to use, scissors, alcohol wipes and water so I had the basic medical supplies for goat delivery. By the time I got back, the little goat's head was sticking out. I quickly cleared some of the goop away from her nose and mouth. Next contraction, Esther pushed her out and I gently guided the baby to the ground. It was pretty much a perfect delivery. 











   Honestly, Esther did just about everything by the book. I was so thrilled that she had a little girl. We had our fingers crossed for a doe. This is Hannah. It took a couple days for us to decide on a name. 
video
Then I couldn't tell if there was another baby in there. Her last time having babies, she delivered twins. In the goat world twins are more common than singles. So being a panicky new goat mom I did the only thing I could think of. I called the people we bought Abigail from. I figured they had two goats this year that had twins. They'd know how to tell. I probably sounded like some sort of psycho. First questions she asked me was Esther having any contractions still? Well yes of course she was but she hadn't expelled a placenta before and even human people still have contractions until the placenta is out. Then she suggested I 'bounce' momma goat's belly. You gently hook your hands under her belly and lightly bounce. I didn't feel anything. We assumed there wasn't another until something else started coming out. I didn't know what it was so I sent her pictures.
   What the heck was that hanging out of her backside? Was she prolapsing? Was another kid coming out backwards? Nope. That is what a goat placenta looks like on its way out. Some sort of nasty bloody water balloon. Gross. Technically after the placenta is delivered a goat can still deliver another kid but its not really that common. Sometimes twins or triplets have their own but from my 'studies' they seem to commonly share one. 
  I even sent the poor lady a picture of the placenta or bloody water balloon when it was all out. I wanted to know if there was anything missing or anything to worry about. Come to think of it that's probably why she doesn't want to hang out with me huh? Now one last cute baby picture to wipe the gore from your mind.







Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Goat Week!

  Goat week, its like shark week only better 'cause its about goats and goats are amazing. I go out a couple times a day to just get my goat zen on. Nothing helps with anxiety or stress quite like watching baby goats at play. That being said I'm going to start out letting you all know I was not supposed to get any goats until next year. Of course, that means Hubs caved and got me some this year anyways. I'm currently up to 7 right now and one of those is pregnant. Poor Hubs. I'm going to do intros today since like I said I love my goats. They are all so different and its so fun to learn their personalities.

  First goat we got was Ruth. We called her Booger for a long time (still do). I wasn't supposed to get a goat thus we had no where to put her. She went into our rabbits outdoor pen and Bunny Barn for a night and day until Hubs threw together a goat pasture. That is just how he works. I tell people how he is a miracle worker but no one really believes me. Anyways, back to Ruth, she was severely underweight and had patchy hair from poor diet. We didn't know it at the time but she was actually pregnant in this picture. Now anyone who knows anything about goats knows they can't be along or they'll be depressed so we had to get another goat... the next day. :) 

   I went and picked up a goat that I was told was a Nubian mix the next day. Her name was Momma for a long time since she was pregnant. It is now officially Esther. I got these goats about the end of May and I was told Esther wasn't due until August, I just want to let you know that due date was wrong. So wrong. As of today, August 2, we have her very happy healthy doeling running around with her in the field and she is about a month plus a week or so. Also now that we know a bit more about goats we don't believe she has much Nubian if any at all. Esther looks to be mostly Saanen mixed with something else, maybe pygmy since she actually has a very short body. 

  Hubs built a shaded little area for the goats out of pallets that we affectionately dubbed the 'goat shack'. One side was water proof thanks to a stapled on tarp and the other just provided shade which is what Esther wanted since everyone knows being pregnant and in the sun is awful. This was a temporary structure. Like I mentioned before Hubs threw this whole set up together in less than 5 days. I pretty much gave the goats unlimited feed at this time too. The grass was still pretty sparse and with Ruth so scrawny and Esther pregnant it just felt like the best plan. Goats are a little bit like potato chips though, once you start.... you just can't stop.
   Next we got this lovely lady, her name was Clementine. That of course didn't go with our theme so we changed it to Abigail. She is younger than the other two goat so she likes to play more which means she made more work for poor Hubs. That little temporary structure he made just wasn't ready for this sweet little girl to jump on. In case you're wondering she is a purebred Alpine goat, no pedigree or anything like that of course since we don't care. Her horns are a little wonky from an attempted disbudding that didn't quite go according to plan.  
   Hubs had to put OSB on top of the goat shelter since she likes to play around on top of it. He also added some more 2x4s to strengthen it up. Also added more tarp so the summer thunderstorms wouldn't be able to blow the rain in. We still consider it to be temporary since we'd like a barn for them to into in the winter time at night. This is more of the field house. 
  In case you think that Hubs does all the work around here. This picture is here to prove you wrong. I made that hay feeder. I even carried the old table up there myself. I'm pretty handy too ;)
Goats like branches. They think they are some of the best treats in the world so we Hubs tries to trim trees a couple of times a week for the goats. Its not like we don't have plenty of trees in desperate need of trimming. I'm going to end day 1 of goat week here since the next goat we added deserves her own post.