Monday, October 25, 2010

Maybe just one more.....

You guessed it, we have a new goat. I couldn't resist, and I tried. I had been eyeing this guy for a little while, but said no. But then the circumstance was just right and into the car we jumped and off to New York to pick up Esau. He is an Angora buckling in beautiful Morritt coloring. We won't be able to breed him until next year, but he assured us he is all boy. It was quite a stinky ride home. Our current buck Castor is 1 1/2 and just doesn't seem to have any drive. If we have any kids next spring, I will be surprised. He has settled into his new home quite nicely, even if he is in a temporary pen. I actually have him out with Pan during the day and for the most part they just ignore each other. I did catch Esau wagging his tongue and shaking his had at one of the girls yesterday.
We also got a surprise of Duck eggs. At first I thought they were really dirty chicken eggs, until I pulled one out that was HUGE. I re examined the others and sure enough we have ducks a laying.
This week Bryan and I are going to start on the winter duck enclosure, it is getting cold and we should have done this a few weeks ago, but better now than when it snows. The enclosure will also give the turkeys somewhere to roost out of the weather as well as our 6 hens who refuse to use the chicken house.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

time for catch up

It has been quite awhile since I posted and I have tried to figure out the best way to catch up. So here goes....
First up Goats:
We have 2 new goats, Pyche (formerly Psycho, but Psyche fits our naming theme.)and her half little sister Maple. Psyche is Sable and Maple is Saanen. For those of you who are interested A Sable is a Saanen that carries a colored gene. Poor Pysche only has a small black spot on her coat that comes out in her winter coat. And for those of you not interested, that was kinda boring. Psyche is still in milk, which is quickly being turned into soap, cheese and just plain drinking milk. I am amazed at how little difference in taste there is between cow and goat milk, if you have the right milk. Our girls are fed nice hay, pasture and organic grain. The combo makes tasty mild milk. Maggie has made the switch without complaint, in fact without knowing. Sarah doesn't drink milk and Bryan is doing ok.
It is also mating season, though I don't know how we are doing there. My Angora buck Castor doesn't seem to have a big drive, so we shall see if I just missed the activity. If not i will have to find a new buck for next year. When I brought Psyche home she had been bred but Maple had not. Maple is a doeling from this year and I had not planned to breed her or Alice, however Pan

my Oberhasli buckling had other ideas. Flo has not come into season, at least not that I was aware so I could get her up to the buck for a little rendezvous.
Nothing new with the sheep, except I hope that Zeus has done his duty by the ladies. Again, we shall see.
Fowl news:
I was able to sell 2 Turkeys, so we are down to 5, and only 1 destined for dinner. I will keep 1 Tom and 3 hens in hopes of breeding next year. We are holding at 10 ducks but that will change soon. Ideally I want to be down to 5 but it may be 7. We are still having trouble with our pond, but the ducks don't seem to mind swimming in nasty green water.
Isabella and her chicks are doing well, but as the weather gets colder, the dilemma grows as to what to do with them. We had reached a peak of 12 eggs a day and suddenly dropped to 5-6, someone is hiding their eggs somewhere. I will find them, I swear. The last of our hens, the ladies, are of laying egg age but refuse to enter the chicken house. They roost out of reach so I can't snatch them and put them in.
Bryan has turned the garden under for the season with only sole surviving pumpkin vine. The chickens had a great time in the spring eating all the vines. I think the vines will be a bit more secure next year.
Our barn cats are all settled in and doing barn cat things. The boys are still at the point that if you kill it you get to eat it. I have found a few half eaten 'things' by their dishes in the morning. Eeww. Lola seems to be accepting the boys as well, though grudgingly. I think it is more an issue of them not letting her ignore them.
The soap shop is coming along, the electric is being finished as well as more paint and new windows. I have also been turning my inventory into goat's milk soap. My hopes is to have it open early November.
I think that is all I will do for now, I don't want to go on for too long.