Said goodbye to my dog Mighty Mouse today. He was a good dog. Thought I could write something up, but I can't.
Long Live The King!
Cajun has arrived! Or, well, he has arrived to where he is going to be living. He won't be staying with the herd, but rather will be boarding with my friend Brandee. Cajun is going to be the 2019 herdsire for the Banshee herd, but in the mean time he will be shown in two shows this summer and is scheduled to be LA scored in July. He isn't very friendly at this point and doesn't know anything. It is going to be interesting teaching him to walk on a leash and preen for the shows, but I'll get it done. Oh, and bathing and clipping him is going to be a blast too! LOL! Actually I tease, but I am excited to be showing a buck this year.
Lions and Tigers and BUCKS! Oh My!
Exciting news on the goat front. I'm getting a buck! Agreements have been made and deals decided, all that is left is the logistics. I probably won't be using him for breeding until Dec/Jan, but it was important to get my buck early because I want to take him to the Monroe and Kennewick shows as well as get him graded on the linear appraisal rounds this year. The buck I will be getting is: Sans Gene De Cajun Swing. He is impeccably well bred and I think he will do well at the shows. His mother is a Grand Champion that scores an almost perfect score of EEEV90 and was sired by a buck who scored VEE90 (almost unheard of for a buck), her grandmother is also a Grand Champion that scored the nearly perfect EEEE91. His sire is a nice Sans Gene buck that scored VEE88 and was out of a Grand Champion EEEE91 doe. This boy has got the numbers and I can't wait to see what he produces when crossed to my girls, especially Alani!
No one likes going to the Doctor
Today was the kids' worse day of their life so far. The morning started off well enough with being allowed out of the pen and into the paddock to play with the big girls. Then Sabrina and Natalie came over, which the kids weren't too sure of since they were strangers. Then I rounded up all three kids, stuck them in a dog crate and took them on an hour car ride. Sabrina and Natalie stayed with Alani to make sure she didn't panic and hurt herself, but it sounds like after a few minutes of calling that she gave it up. In the mean time the kids were on their way down to Enumclaw and they made not a single little peep during the entire car ride, which to me says that they were terrified. Once at the vet's a big guy that they didn't know reached in and grabbed them out one by one and stuck them with a needle. Soon they were falling asleep, which was a good thing because what came next was even worse. Once they were out good the vet gave them lidocaine shots in the head and then burned their horn buds, cut the top off, and burned the open wound. It looks and smells as horrific as it sounds. The only saving grace is that the kids are well and truly out of it and don't feel a thing. They slept the entire way home and for a little while even after that. Hero was the first to awaken, perhaps because he is the biggest and wore through the sedative faster. In any case as soon as they woke up I put them all back in with their mother. Alani took them all back easily enough and once they had gotten a drink off her they seemed back to their normal selves. Goats are not allowed to have horns for shows or even for living in my city.
Playing with the Big Girls
Today was the first day that my entire herd was let out to play together. The yearlings, Diva and Tansy, were intrigued by the babies, but they played with them pretty gently. The babies had a blast running all over the place and jumping on everything that would hold still half a second. They are wild and crazy! They have absolutely no fear of anything outside and just want to run around like mad. I don't blame them. Alani seemed absolutely thrilled with being outside. She just seemed to wander around without purpose, but she seemed happy enough. She doesn't like being cooped up with the kids all the time and she has spent basically the last three weeks in a 6 x 6 foot pen. Since they are getting along well I am going to start letting them spend as much time outside as possible. They will still need to be locked up while I am at work until the weather gets a bit better... or they get more common sense... However, I will be letting them out during the days when I am home.
Video of the herd introductions
A Box is a Wonderful Toy
Yesterday I noticed that Darcy had figured out how to jump up into the feed basket. Since his siblings haven't figured it out yet, it is his own personal club house (see last pic). That got me thinking about what else I can do to give the kids something to play with. I didn't have many ideas since their pen is only 6 foot by 6 foot and I didn't want to take up much of their space. However, I thought, maybe a small box. They could stand on it, jump on/off it, and maybe play King of the Mountain or something. Well, that went over as a stellar hit with only one problem. It seems that Hero is convinced that the box belongs to him and him only. He claimed it immediately and does his absolute best to keep his siblings away from it. He has succeeded with Darcy, but shy little Roka was able to climb up on it while he was busy eating. The videos of all this are hysterical and can be found on my FaceBook page. Eventually even Alani got in on the action. I'm not quite sure if she was pulling a "cool mom" moment and showing the kids she could play just like them, or if she was trying to climb the box to escape her kids... either one is possible.
Video of the babies playing on their box
Registrations and Banshee Beginnings
Today I sent in the registration paperwork for Alani's kids. This is the first time I am registering animals that I have bred since I was a kid. I have registered tons of animals since then (mostly horses), but none were animals that I had bred. I am a bit nervous. I went over and over my paperwork and I think I have everything... but there is nothing to do now but to wait and see what happens. It could be weeks before I know. The names that I put forward for the kids are: Banshee Alani Roka, Banshee Mister Darcy and Banshee Little Hero. Banshee is my herd name, of course. I am registering the boys, even though they will probably end up as wethers and it is not normal to bother registering wethers. There are two reasons for this... I plan to show the boys at two shows in order to find out if they are quality enough to consider keeping as a buck, and of course they have to be registered in order to be shown. The other reason is that even if they are wethered, being registered means that they can be used in 4-H as dairy wethers for the kids to use for show and showmanship. Yeah, they will probably just end up as pets, but I would like to keep as many roads open for them as possible. I specifically picked the Nigerian Dwarf as the goat breed I wanted to be involved with because I disliked the practice of butchering unwanted boys and it seems that Nigerian Dwarf boys can almost always find homes as pets.
The Great Outdoors!
Today the babies are 10 days old and I decided that it was time for their first excursion outside. If they had been born in the summer, they would probably already be part of the herd and living outside at least during the day. My hope is in the next week or so to introduce them to the yearlings and, depending on how that goes, transition them to living outside during the day and locked up in the shelter at night.
I had previously let them out of their pen so that they could run around inside the rest of the shelter, but today was the first time they were to be allowed outside. The moment I opened the doors for them Alani booked it outside as fast as she could - no waiting for the babies! Perhaps she thought I was a suitable babysitter and she was making a run for it before I changed my mind. In any case the babies were reluctant to go outside at first. They would go out a few feet and then at the slightest sound or breeze would run back inside screaming. That didn't last long, however. Before you knew it they were running around outside like they owned the place. Run! Jump! Slide! Run! Hop! They are little maniacs! They mostly stayed on the cement and it seemed like they were afraid of the grass, but hey, it's their first time. Roka, as usual, stayed right by her mother which means she actually got exposed to the most (grass, bushes, puddles), while the boys ran around like mad but didn't follow mom off the beaten path.
Video of the babies outside
Another video of the babies outside
Best Mother Award
Alani is a fantastic mother. Not only did she deliver her kids by herself without any problems, but she has continued that level of care. She lives her days now stuck in a 6 foot by 6 foot pen with three kids who are probably equivalent to human toddlers. She feeds them, cleans up after them, and keeps them warm by snuggling up with them at night. She is always on guard and at the slightest sound she pushes them away from the edge and stands between them and the door. No coyotes are getting HER babies! What's more, she is their only source of entertainment. That means that they are ALWAYS bothering her. They have even gotten to the point where they consider her a jungle gym and climb all over her. I can't imagine those hard little hooves feel good, but she puts up with all of it with the patience of a saint.
Video of Alani with her babies
The babies are here! After no babies on Tuesday or Wednesday, I decided that I might as well go to work today. People joked about how as soon as I went back to work that would be the time she would have her babies... and I decided to take them up on it. I did have the spy cam up on one of my monitors so that I could keep an eye on Alani just in case she decided to do anything interesting. At 10:02 am I saw her laying on her side and it looked a bit suspicious to me. I posted the video and asked my FB friends if that was labor. They said it looked like the early stages and that I should head home from work. Away I went rushing home at 10:21. My friend Sabrina's daughter, Natalie, was monitoring the cameras while I was driving home. As I was getting off the freeway on my way towards home, Natalie started shouting at me (I was talking to Sabrina on the phone). Babies! Two of them! By the time I had reached the hill by my house a third baby! Afterwards I was able to check camera footage and see that the doeling was born at 10:41 and that less than 30 seconds after her birth the lighter buckling was born. The dark buckling was born at 10:46. I arrived home at 10:51. The babies were still all nasty wet and the last buckling was still covered in his birthing bag. I got right in there and got him cleaned up and helped Alani to dry the other two. She seemed grateful for my help and didn't fuss at all about me messing with her kids. Then she ate the afterbirth and placenta... nasty. The kids all were up and nursing in no time, but the little doeling couldn't figure it out and I had to show her what to do. She may have been born first, but she looks to be the runt of the litter... which is a bit disappointing since she will be the one I keep. Unfortunately within the first hour or so of birth, Alani managed to step on the last-born buckling while he was laying on his side. She just stood there on him with her foot planted square in his stomach until I finally just picked her up and shoved her off. She looked at me as though I were a horrible person, but her baby definitely was hurt. For the next couple hours he just sort of stood there with his head down looking really shaky. However, eventually he seemed to "walk it off" and be more or less normal. Still, I will have to keep an eye on him.
Video of the babies at 3 days old
Due Dates are for Bills
I've been watching Alani like a hawk for the last few days. This weekend I actually had a conference I was supposed to go to, but Alani looked too close and I decided to stay home with her instead. Monday I went to work, but checked in on her via spy cam quite often. Today was her due date and when I checked on her before work she looked (to me) like she was in labor, so I called in to work and took the day off. No babies all day. Alani is definitely loving the attention, but I don't know when to expect these babies. All the signs are there as far as I can tell, but my own inexperience is undoubtedly hindering me. It has become obvious that Alani is not aware of such things as due dates or scheduling.
As the weeks have gone by I have been steadily building out the carport barn. Today I built up the area for Alani's kidding. She is due next Tuesday, but of course, could go a couple days early or late. I want to be ready for her and figure the earlier that I get things set up the more time she has to get familiar with the new environment. I have divided the carport entry into both a goat entry and a human entry. The human entry also includes a two-part gate system so that there is a holding area to trap any goats who manage to sneak through underfoot. Once inside the shelter, the main part is also divided into a goat and a human side. The human side contains my chair, a storage bin of goat equipment, the camera, etc. The goat side is a lane going back to the far side where there are hay feed bins, mineral tubs, and a dog house for them to sleep in or climb on as they choose. In the middle is the 6x6 chainlink kennel with another hay feed bin and a huge amount of straw. I had thought that we would need two bales of straw, but it turns out that two bales is way too much... oh well. I still need to stick a water bucket in there and secure it in such a way that it can't be knocked over, but that isn't very hard at all. I plan to start locking Alani in to the kidding pen from Saturday on. Even after she has had the kids, I may keep them all locked into the shelter (even if not the kennel) due to the season. It has been a fairly warm winter, but it is still winter and I want to make sure my first goat kids do well. The two doelings, Diva and Tansy, seem especially excited with the new developments in the shelter. They have been playing near non-stop in the straw. Rearing, headbutting, running, jumping, digging and even eating the straw. Silly girls!
This weekend I got to work more on the carport shelter. It is almost ready for Alani's use as a kidding pen - which is good because she is getting close! In about two weeks I expect to see bouncing Banshee babies running all around. This weekend I got my new fencing set up to make a gate with a holding pool outside the carport. I got 2 of these excercise pen for Christmas and I already had one, so now I have 3. These are great because they allow me to move the fencing when and where I want. Since they are 4 foot all and made for outside use, I can use them to supplement the fencing I already have, or to make new temporary pens. They are great. Anyways, I needed to make a new gate area outside of the carport, but I also wanted to have a catch pool in case one (or more) of the goats escaped while I came in the gate. That had been a big problem with my old gate and now it is fixed. I also used the temp fencing to divide the carport so that there is now a goat zone and a human zone. This will be important during the kidding season and will allow me to have a goat-free zone to store things etc. In addition to all of that, Brandee came out today and we did goat trims on everyone, lice dusted, and then Brandee gave Alani her CDT vaccine and shaved her udder. The goats had only been 7 weeks from the last hoof trim, but their feet are faring poorly in this wet weather. They are overgrown, a bit curled, and have wall separation. From now on the goats will be trimmed every 6 weeks or even more often, although I expect this problem to fix itself as the weather dries up and even as the goats slowly move into the drier carport.
Not Quite A Manger
During Black Friday I purchased a large Shelter Logic carport tent for my goaty girls. It has been a bit of a project to get this set up and it has been happening over a couple weeks and isn't fully done yet. Brandee started putting it together Thanksgiving weekend, but got rained out and so came back to finish putting it together on 12/4. Then on 12/10 Will helped me to put the kennel inside of the canopy and to lash down the canopy so that the wind couldn't lift it. A third of the canopy will be set up as a feeding/sleeping area for the girls, but I need to come up with a dog-door type portal for them through the canopy wall on that side. Then the kennel will be in the middle. On the near side will be a storage area and small milk parlor. I will keep extra hay, grain, supplements and supplies there as well as having a sitting area for watching over Alani and the milking stand too.
The kennel will be set up in the middle as a kidding pen for Alani. I've still got to figure out the internal configuration of the shelter, but it will probably go something like the diagram above. I will need to purchase some fencing, a gate, a couple more t-post, etc to build out the inside. Then I will need lots of straw and maybe some plywood to help insulate the kidding pen. I am thinking of lifting it off the ground with a pallet that has a piece of plywood on top, then layering a nice thick layer of straw on top of that. I also want to put plywood along the back of the kennel between the chainlink and the carport wall. I might also do half-walls with plywood along two of the other sides of the kennel too. The point is to try and keep the kennel as cozy as possible since we are expecting late winter kids from Alani.
This is very much a work in progress. It has to be ready by the end of January, but that is still 6 weeks away. I have time to make it all perfect. I hope.
This year the annual sport of Black Friday was taken over by goat shopping. Both of my big purchases were for my goaty girls. The first was a carport to turn into a shelter and kidding area, but more on that in a later entry. The second purchase was an Arlo Pro wireless camera system. There were 3 cameras included in this, but I will be buying 1-2 more cameras later. This system is completely wireless which means that I can put them wherever I want, especially in the goat pen. There are some bugs (mainly dealing with ice, rain and condensation fogging up my view) that I need to work out and figure out the best camera placement. This might be a work in progress over the next couple months, which makes me glad that I started so early in preparation of Alani's kidding. Here are a couple pictures already.
Tansy knows there is something different, but she isn't sure what. It sure does make for a cute picture, though.
Alani during her great escape. She was walking around proud as a peacock, but she seemed more interested in finding a way back into the goat pen than in causing mischief.
Video of Alani on her escape
The girls eating. Yep, this is the most common view that I see day or night. They are always eating, eating, eating.
These are not the best of pictures, but I was trying to get pictures to have an idea of how wide Alani is. She is, right now, half-way through her pregnancy with kids due Jan 30, 2018. She is supposed to have at least twins, but possibly more. To me she doesn't look very fat and so I worry (have I mentioned that I'm a bit paranoid where Alani is concerned?). Other folks have been posting pictures of their pregnant does and they all appear to be fatter than Alani. However, everyone assures me that I am worrying for nothing and that Alani is normal. So, I have decided to take periodic pictures to try and see if she is getting bigger... which would help me to feel better about it. Also, today I tried to measure her height for her records. It was a bit trickier than I had anticipated and so I think she is 21.25", but am not positive. In any case, she is under the 22.5" limit for her gender/breed and that is really all that matters.
Fur vs Coats
A few folks have been wondering why I have Alani in a coat and neither Diva nor Tansy in one. They have even gone so far as to accuse me of playing favorites. Alani may or may not be my favorite, I will not comment, however the reason she wears a coat is medical not preferential. Diva and Tansy both have nice, thick, beautifully warm coats that are natural and healthy. They have no trouble keeping warm at all. However, Alani was shaved for show back in August and her full coat has not yet grown back in. This has led her to getting chilled when the other goats were perfectly comfortable. Since goats have a hard time regulating their temperature once they get cold and they can go downhill fast and even die, I have decided that Alani will be wearing a coat. I have gotten her a coat that fits her well and she doesn't seem to mind it at all. At this point, unless there was a compelling reason to take it off of her, she will be wearing her coat until probably March.
One family, or in this case herd. Alani took over the big cedar house about a week ago and Tansy and Diva were forced to sleep in the dog igloo. This wasn't great because it left Alani without anyone to help keep her warm, and at the same time the doelings weren't happy because they wanted to be in the cedar house. Well, finally they are all sleeping together. It is a bit crowded in there and I'm going to need to get them a bigger house (especially once Alani's kids come), but in the mean time they are all snug and warm. However it is a bit difficult to get a picture of them in there together because as soon as they see me they want to hop out and see if I have anything for them. In this picture I was able to keep them in place by shining my super bright flashlight in there and I think kinda blinding them long enough to get the picture. You can see Tansy complaining about it in the back.
Alani not feeling so hot
We have had a sudden unseasonable cold snap this last week and it hasn't done well by Alani. I came home from work on Friday night to feed and noticed that Alani wasn't as quick to the food as normal, but since she eventually came, I shrugged it off and went inside. The next morning I noticed that again she was slow to feed but otherwise seemed fine. However, by the night feed she was eating, but was kinda hunched up and visibly shivering. Oh no! Upon taking her temperature it was well below the healthy level. I know that goats are really bad about managing their temperature and that getting cold is often a precursor to extreme illness and/or sudden death. This hadn't happened to me before as my goats have always had massively shaggy warm coats, however Alani was showing late in the season so had been shaved and now didn't have a full coat yet. I immediately called up Brenda who has been helping me with my goats and she had a bunch of suggestions and help for me. I ordered a couple coats for her, including one from Amazon to be delivered Sunday morning. In the mean time I put an old sweater on Alani. I gave Alani warm water with molasses in it to help warm her up and give her energy. The next day I got more straw for the goat houses, I got alfalfa hay instead of timothy hay and I put on the good dog coat that Amazon brought me. I watched Alani through the day and she appeared to be doing better. For this last week, I have been on guard with her and it has been extremely stressful for me because I am really paranoid with her especially since she is pregnant. She does seem to be doing okay now though and I am starting to relax.
Cotton Gets a New Home
Today Cotton left for his new home. I am really sad about this as I loved Cotton and had had him since he was a baby. I had gotten him early this year as a little ball of fluffy cuteness. My plan was that he would be a friend for the coming doelings. He is super friendly and loves people... he also likes the dogs and the goatlings, even if they don't like him. Yes, it is sad but true that the doelings aren't fans of his. Or rather, that Tansy is afraid of him. I think if it was just Diva that she would be friends with Cotton as she isn't actually afraid of him and used to play with him when they were both babies. Unfortunately Tansy is absolutely terrified of Cotton and runs like a maniac whenever he comes near... which isn't helped because Cotton will chase anything that runs. Diva knows that Cotton is playing, but Tansy is convinced that when he catches her that he will eat her. I have left them to their own to see if she would figure it out, but she will literally run herself to exhaustion and then collapse before she figures out he won't hurt her. That is certainly not conducive to a healthy lifestyle and so Cotton has had to live by himself. It isn't fair to keep a sheep by himself and I could tell that he was lonely. So, I found him a home where he will get to live with an old mare and two big, friendly goats.
I carved my pumpkin and it is just a basic carving, but it will do the job! What job? Well, superstition says that if you don't carve a pumpkin and put it out on Halloween night that spooky beasties of some kind might come calling. Do I believe that? No... but I watch a lot of scary movies and it just seems prudent to carve a pumpkin. Besides, it's fun and then I get to feed the pumpkin guts to the goats! Do they like pumpkin guts? I don't know, but the folks online say they do. I plan to test the theory.
Alani Came Home
I went and picked up Alani today from her breeder since yesterday she was confirmed to be pregnant with 2-3 babies. She seemed very frightened on the car ride home, perhaps because she had never left her home before without her herdmates beside her. I ended up singing to her the whole way home as she would become quiet while I sang. Introductions went easy with Diva and Tansy as they seemed to immediately take a submissive herd position under Alani. She wandered around the pen, jumped on things, and dug right into the food. All in all it seemed to go well... until night time. Rather then sleep with the doelings in the big house, or pick a different house to make her own, she spent the night standing on top of one of the dog houses. Not sleeping there, just standing. It makes me worry, but everyone online says that all is well and she'll figure it out.
Different strokes for different goats. Diva and Tansy show off their standing skills... some are better than others. Today the girls (and Cotton) got Winterized! Vaccines, hoof trimmings and treatments, copper boluses, tattoo checks, etc. I was going to worm them too, but was advised to wait and do a fecal test first. Thanks to Brandee for doing the hard stuff!
Feeder Experiment #1
Each day when I feed my goats they leave left over hay behind. Basically anything that came in direct contact with the ground is apparently contaminated and not fit for goat consumption. I am used to feeding horses who, while they cost a lot more to feed, at least make sure that they snarf up every last crumb of food. These goats cost a fraction to feed as compared to the horses, but they are WASTEFUL and I so resent it! I need to build (or buy) a winter feeder in the next month or two, but I needed to put something in place temporarily because the girls were wasting so much hay that I then have to clean up. This converted laundry basket was my first attempt. There is grain in the bottom of it, but the girls haven't figured that out yet. I think this is kinda neat and will work well while traveling, however I still need to build a covered wire/wood freestanding feed bunk for the winter.
And Then There Were Two
For the last 13 years I have been rescuing horses. In total I have rescued 70 horses. I always knew that rescue was costly (time, emotion, stress and money), but I had never really added it up until now and I find it astonishing. I am very satisfied with how I have lived my life and I don't regret a single one of the horses I have saved. However, now it is time to focus on my own. This weekend the last of the rescue horses left for his new home. I am now down to my personal and family horses and I don't intend to rescue anymore. These two horses, Archer and Shelta, are my horses. So often they have been pushed to the side because the rescue horses were more desperately in need of the time, attention, effort and finances. I am proud of my horses and I am looking forward to having more time to devote just to them.
Visiting with Alani
I went to visit Alani today at her previous home. She is going to be staying there until she is confirmed pregnant, but I wanted to visit her in person as well as see the bucks. I got to visit with Kristi Boyd and her younger daughter and they were absolutely lovely folks. Their property is a well thought out farm built on the side of a hill where they have plants, goats and even a couple horses. They brought Alani down for me to visit with her because they want to make sure their goat area stays biologically secure, which I can completely understand, and since I am getting one of their goats, appreciate. Alani was even better in person than what I had thought from her pictures. She is very very pretty and I love her build. She was sweet natured and quiet, but very welcoming of scratches. Just a nice calm girl and exactly what I was looking for to add to my little herd. I also got to meet her daughter from this same breeding and the doeling was very nice. I am anxious to bring Alani home and greatly hoping that she gives me a nice little doeling like the one I saw today.
Pending Another Goat!
I am getting a new goat! Her name is Alani (BBY BoydsBarnYard C Alani) and she is black/white with frosted nose and ears. She is 2 years old and has already kidded (a doeling) this year. She is a show goat and has three reserve championships already under her belt. Her mother just became a finished champion this last show season at 8 years old. Alani is a good natured quiet doe who is well behaved in the show ring and on the milk stand.
I will be showing her in the spring along with, hopefully, her kids. Yep! You heard that right, kids. She is already mine, but she is going to be bred to a buck at her breeder's farm and staying there until she is confirmed pregnant before coming home. The buck is named Thor (SLY Farms Catapult) and is also well bred. These kids will be the first Banshee babies and I am so excited about that.
These pictures were all sent to me by her breeder, Kristi Boyd, but I will get more to post this week. She will be coming home if she takes on the first try in mid-late October. I can't wait to get her here!
Pedicure and Pictures
Today was a bit of a spa day for the Banshee ladies. Diva and Tansy got their feet trimmed and then they got stood up for conformation pictures. I hadn't gotten any real conformation pictures of them before and as Diva is now 6 months, it seems about time. Unfortunately they were shaggy and not in show coats, but it didn't seem fair to shave them just for pictures when winter is coming. By the time I shave them next it will be May and these two will both be dry yearlings.
New House... or Toy
I have been keeping my eyes open for a new house for the girls to keep them warm in the winter. I have plenty of plastic houses for them, but didn't think those would be warm. Well, at Reber today I found a house I had looked at previously and it was $100 cheaper than last time I saw it. I snagged it up and brought it home. The girls fit inside it easily and I got it set up in their pen. They don't seem that impressed in it as a house, but they do think it is a great jumping toy. Maybe they will like it better when the rain and the cold starts up.
A box from the auction
So, today, at the auction... wait, I swear I've started stories like this before! Anyways, today there was a horse that needed pics and such in the kill pen so that it could maybe find a home, and it happens to be that this kill pen is at an auction. And it just so happens that this morning when I went down to get those pictures of the horse, that the auction was having a livestock sale. Well, now... I couldn't let that go unattended, could I? So, I bought something. Something for my goats. And I gave it to them.
A box! My goats LOVE LOVE LOVE boxes! They get to jump on boxes, and jump off boxes, and play queen of the hill on boxes! Boxes are like their favorite thing ever! But... this box was a bit defective, which came as a total shock to them. You see, this box had something in it... two somethings, actually. My goaty girls were not at all sure what to make of their box-intruders, but they seemed willing to accept the company. Now let's just hope that the bunnies are smart and stay in the goat pen where they are safe.
Spent the day with the goatlings and friends up at the Goatalympics in Monroe to benefit New Moon Goat Rescue. It was a great time! Diva was a diva and had crowds of people enthralled. I mean, she literally probably got her picture taken with over 200 people. She just soaked up the attention! We did the obstacle course and she did it *perfectly*! She didn't take a single wrong step, however, we didn't go fast enough. We did get an Honorable Mention ribbon, though, which might not seem like much but hey, it's Diva's first ribbon! Tansy also got to go and she participated in more events with Natalie. She was over the crowd pretty quickly and then we had to ask folks to leave her alone as they were stressing her out. She still did really well though and won a bunch of ribbons! Ryan & Sabrina were also there and Sabrina took all these pics. There will probably be more pictures later on as folks post what they took from the event and the event photographers post stuff up too. Oh, and Mary was one of the judges! I also saw Cori and Jack! All in all it was a great day
Solstice! First day of Summer!
Working Girls! My goats may go to shows and all that fancy stuff, but their real job is as weed eaters. Here the girls are earning their keep. I had the day off today and didn't do much of anything, but at least I did it in good company.
It is a good thing that Bravo is such a patient and tolerant dog. All my other animals just crawl all over him. At best he is a toy and at worst a stepping stool. What is an old dog to do? Do they not know his ancestors were wolves?
Archer! What did you Do?
On June 11th, I noticed a big nasty *thing* on Archer's shoulder. I posted this about it on FB: "Has anyone ever seen anything like this before or have any idea what this is? This is on my Shire cross gelding Archer and I don't think it was there as of Thursday afternoon. He doesn't mind me touching it and I can pull it forward and it is just in the skin and not attached to muscle or anything underneath it. It has the consistency of like a callous or something... not soft, but not a "hard" feeling either. I lathered it in SWAT and left it... but I am pretty concerned as I have never seen such a thing before." Most people assumed that it was a sarcoid and told me to leave it alone and it would go away on it's own.
On June 13th, the mass was surgically removed by the vet and sent off for examination.
On June 17th, the results came back from the lab. Not a sarcoid, but cancer. Squamous Cell Carcinoma to be exact. The good news is that it appears that Dr Dana got it all. It is very odd that a horse would get it on his shoulder, especially a black horse with no lack of pigment there. It is also very odd that it spread so quickly. The carcinoma was there for less than a week and yet it got that big - I hate to think how big it would have gotten in a couple weeks. By that time it may have spread beyond repair. I am very grateful that DrDana changed around her schedule in order to come out so quickly and remove it. Her quick action may well have saved my horse's life.
Shelta - A two year old
Shelta turned two today. Nothing fancy happened, I just made sure to bring her in and get pictures of her. I am so happy with how she is developing. She has lovely bone and build. She is probably about 15.1hh which is a tad taller than I was hoping she would get, so here is hoping that she stops getting taller now. She still has a long ways to go about filling out, but she won't be fully grown until she is about 5 years old. She is a very sweet natured filly who loves everyone. Every now and again she has a "teenage" moment, but for the majority of the time she is very obedient. Right now she is just learning to be a horse within a herd and doing random odd things with humans.
Kennewick Show - Wine Country Classic
Tansy fairly well rocked this show. She was in three classes and got two seconds and a third. She kept placing behind her aunt, so she was very consistent. Tansy was better behaved than the other goats too. Diva, well, Diva did the same as always, lol. She placed tail-end of all her classes, but she behaved herself nicely. Frankly Diva just likes to go to shows for the attention and the opportunities to sleep on me. I do think I am picking up a bit more about this showing thing though as my "favorite" of the adult goats kept winning and winning.
I put up a canopy over part of the goats' playpen today... I also got them a bigger dog house for inside the kennel. They aren't spoiled at all.
The goatlings paddock is complete! Actually it is overly complete. I will be removing one of the dog crates and anything else that they don't use. Right now they don't seem interested in the playhouse and if that stays the case I will be getting rid of it. They like the slide thingy and they love the pallets. Ironic that their favorite things are the simple pallets.
Finally! A real home!
Tansy and Diva moved to their new home today - my front paddock. It is probably about 1/3 acre of tall grass, weeds, and blackberry bushes. I moved their kennel out there along with 4 dog houses. I figure the dog houses are dual purpose sleeping quarters and jumping toys. I need to get them more toys... I did have an overturned muck bucket for them to jump on but some how they broke it. They seem to be taking the change pretty good so far - but that might shift as it starts to get dark. All together I think I spent way too much time out in the sun with them today, yesterday and then at the show on Saturday as I'm feeling the effects of too much heat/sun now. So, time for a cool shower and a relaxing night!
Two is a crowd
This weekend Tansy came home to live with Diva. She has been graciously raised by Sabrina, Natalie and Natasha as a house goat up until now. She seems to like it here and be having fun, but there is still some adjustment going between being a house-goat and a yard-goat. She does NOT like Cotton, but seems to think Diva is good. Unfortunately Diva is not at all impressed with the idea of having a little sister. They are funny and I am sure in a week they will be inseparable and in the mean time they have separate houses inside their night kennel. In the pasture there are separate houses too. I can't wait for the day when I can take a picture of them cuddled up together.
The Monroe Goat Show was a blast. I showed Diva while Natalie showed Tansy and Sabrina provided cheering power to both.
Before the show Diva got spruced up with her clip and trim by Brandy Green. I was pretty thankful for that because although I had clipped her, I thought I did a pretty poor job of it and didn't want it to reflect badly on her. Diva placed 4-5 in all her classes, but they weren't that big. However, she seems to absolutely love showing and is getting better at it. She may not win, but she does try! She is a champ in her leading around the ring, is better at staying where she is put for the line up, and just chills between classes. She is very interested in watching everything happen and seems to be completely content to attend the shows. More than anything I think she loves the shows because she gets to spend so much time sleeping on me.
Tansy was not that impressed by showing. She placed poorly, but it was her first time out. She has been a house goat and yesterday was very traumatic for her. She got shaved(!), her feet trimmed, then had to walk on a leash, stay put and generally not be catered to. She was handled by Natalie and she did an absolute rockstar job of handling Tansy. You could obviously see the difference between the first and third classes. Tansy was already learning what to do thanks to Natalie's direction. None of the judges had anything negative to say about Tansy, and in fact they said good things about her, however they consistently said she wasn't developed enough to compete yet.
|First Show - Chehalis|
I'm back from the goat show with Diva. It was a first for both of us and we are both completely exhausted. Diva actually spent the last half of the show sleeping on my chest. She might as well have, we placed at the tail-end of every class. Still, Diva was very well behaved and the sweetest goat there, I swear. The show was way easier than I had thought and I definitely over stressed about it. Next show a week from today, but in the next one both Tansy and Diva will be in it!
The other thing I learned was that judges have WILDLY different opinions! I watched goats place near-last with one judge and turn around and be first or second place under another.
OH! I forgot to mention the LOOT! I won 1 silent auction and 3 raffle prizes! Wooo hooo!
Update... my whites are no longer white. Apparently I had a raffle ticket (red craft paper) in my white jeans when I washed them last night. My white show clothes are now pink.
Diva (not quite 3 months old) got her first clipping today. She has a show coming up and all the articles online say to shave them a week or two in advance so that the coat has a chance to even out. Well, I hope that "evening out" can work miracles because not only was this Diva's first time being clipped, but my first time clipping. I have had easier jobs trying to halter an unhandled draft stallion! I know she isn't posed right, but we haven't learned that yet. She does walk on a leash though, so there is that! However I still need to trim her feet and then scissor the hair around her hooves. Other then that I think we are about where we are going to be for her grooming for this first show this weekend. We have been practicing setting up and she will now let me move her feet and will stand there. Unfortunately me taking pictures of her was too distracting and she wouldn't hold a pose - that doesn't give me much hope that she will hold a pose for the show either, but we are learning.
Vet for All!
Today was a busy day with the animals! The whole equine herd (my own and the rescues) got their yearly vet work done, their feet trimmed, and some extras. Diva got to come up to the horse pasture because she needed a microchip and some travel paperwork for the shows. She thought it was a blast because she got to run all over the place, climb on strange things, smell funny things, and explore unknown areas. Shalla had her second vet check. This time we did her teeth, vaccines and she also had internal exams. She is NOT pregnant! Yay! But she does have a cyst in her uterus, which is why she probably didn't take even though I know that the breeder who dumped her for slaughter had to have attempted to breed her several times over the last few years. Her teeth were also pretty nasty, however other than that and a few small gray-horse-tumors, she appears to be in pretty good health. Now all she needs to do is gain some weight and she'll be looking good! Skandal also got her teeth done and vaccinated. Dragon and Shelta didn't need their teeth done, but they did get vaccinated. Archer was vaccinated, floated and had his sheath cleaned. I had meant to worm them all today, but that accidentally got left behind at home so will have to be done this weekend. This weekend will also be a good spa-brushing day and will be a day Archer dreads - Return of the Muzzle Day! I have to say that today was a huge success due completely to my wonderful vet Dr Dana and my farrier Erin who came out and not only trimmed all the horses but helped to handle them and keep everything smoothly going. It was literally one horse in another horse out in a constant flow due to Erin jumping in and helping so much. Thank you!
Tansy has a bad day
Tansy had a bad day. Today Tansy got disbudded and tattooed. Two things that no kid wants. She slept through the whole thing and was actually wagging her tail while she was being disbudded. However, it hurt us to watch it and I'm sure it will hurt her when the drugs finally wear off. In other news... Tansy did get to meet her Caprinae family today. She was reluctant about Diva (who seems to be a bit of a bully), but she did hold her own. She really didn't take any notice of Cotton - perhaps she thinks he is a dog or a pony, both of which live at her foster home. She sure is a cute little bugger and I absolutely love all the gorgeous shades of gold in her coat.
Dolly becomes Diva
Dolly has had a name change! It's been lurking for a while now, but now it is official. Dollies to me are sweet, yes, but kinda mild and boring. This gal is sweet, but she is not mild and she is not boring. I think she's more in the "Warrior Princess" category than the "Dolly" category. Today was a nice sunny day so we got some play time in after work. Diva played Mountain Goat, explored the yard, chased the dog, was chased by the dog and in general just made a fool of herself all over the place. In addition to that she got her first hoof trim (and my first time trimming a kid) and practiced walking on a leash for the first time. She was definitely better with the leash than she was with the trimming!
The Queen Has Arrived
Dolly made it home today, but there aren't many pictures due to the atrocious weather, so sorry to disappoint.
I met Brenda (Dolly's breeder) and she is a great gal who told me lots about the goats and showed me all her babies. There is one baby left, a little chocolate doe, if anyone is interested! She is super friendly and I do have to admit that I thought about it, myself.
Dolly was quite the little queen of the castle at Brenda's place and felt comfortable bossing everyone else around, so I am hoping she keeps that here. She was initially not pleased at the idea of being stuffed in a crate and driven hundreds of miles from everything she has ever known, but after the first few minutes of screaming her head off she settled down and lay quietly for the rest of the trip. Once home she checked her new place out, but she thinks my little dogs are wolves. Unfortunately she also thinks Cotton is a bigger wolf... hopefully that will change over the next little bit as they are meant to be friends!
The 500 Mile Goat
Well, it has been quite the day! After a nearly 500 mile drive, Tansy has arrived home... but only briefly. She is now about 45 minutes north of here to spend a month or two with Sabrina and her daughters Natalie and Natasha. She was a lovely traveler and didn't dirty the car at all. I was quite impressed! She is extremely friendly and just wants to be held all the time. Such a sweet girl!
|The beginning of a Herd|
I have posted about each of these little guys individually as I got them, however I haven't posted as a group. These guys will be my caprinae mini-herd for the next two years. During these two years I am going to learn, attend and participate in goat showing and other activities. I will decide how interested I am in this and at the end of 2 years I will decide if I want more, or if it is not for me. These little beasties are first and foremost pets, after that they are yard workers, and lastly the two doelings are potential show goats. Even if I decide that the hobby-goat world is not for me, these two little does will remain pets and yard workers.
Dolly, the buckskin/white doeling is a month old at this point. She is polled, blue eyed and has moon spots so she is like the trifecta of bells and whistles. Her registered name is "R Serenity All Dolled Up" and she is from R Serenity Farm in Vancouver, WA and was bred by Brenda Bensmiller. Dolly is out of Castle Rock lines on her sire's side and on her dam's side she has Camanna, Poppy Patch, Algedi, New Creations and more. Her mother, "R Serenity CT Girl Next Door" is ++VV85 and has won 1st place and best udder in first year milker at the Clark County Fair. This year her mother moves to Melody Miller-Ennis's farm and will be linear appraised in June, shown and then next year will be on a milk test. Dolly comes home to me on April 22nd and I will finish her out on a bottle here.
Tansy, the gold/white doeling is four days old. I don't know if she is polled yet, but I am hoping so. Her registered name is "Loperrized TTT Tansy" and she is from Loperrized Nigerians in Hermiston, OR and was bred by Nicole Loper. Tansy is from Loperizzed stock on top and bottom that goes back to Sandy Hollow, Rebel Acres and Rosasharn lines. Her mother is SGCH "Loperrized KT Trella" (4*M VEEE 90), she has had a very successful show, milking and breeding career. Her dam's mother is SGGCH "Sandy Hollow SHO Treasure" (3*M VEEE 90) and was also a great success. Her dam's granddam is SGCH "Sandy Hollow UK Sunshine" (2*M VEEE 91). This little girl has a direct maternal line of three grand champions in a row and perhaps she can be the fourth! Tansy will be picked up from her breeder on or before April 9th and will be raised as a bottle baby. Sabrina Connaughton and her girls are going to raise her during her first month or two, then she will likely be ready to come home and join her little family with Dolly.
|Pending Another Goat|
I have found my second doeling! She does have a name now - Tansy! Her name will be Loperrized TTT Tansy. Right now she is only 3 days old (born March 27). This is my only picture at this point, but she'll be coming home as soon as she can get picked up from Hermiston. Sabrina is going to bottle raise her for me, so this little baby is going to get to be a house goat for a while! This should make her super friendly!
|Pending a Goat|
My goat dreams are one step closer to reality. I have found a doeling for me!!! She is gorgeous and very friendly! Her name right now is Dolly (R Serenity All Dolled Up). She is a well-bred Nigerian Dwarf and won't get very big. She was born on Feb 23rd, so I won't be able to get her until May, but I have already sent in her deposit. She's being dam raised, but she has already been taught to take a bottle too. I am still searching for doeling #2, but there is a litter due in less than two weeks that I am hoping she is in.