Proverbs 27:27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Abundance Kidded!

I went out to do the milking yesterday evening. (6-26-13) I checked on all my pregnant does and then started chores.  They all were laying around chewing their cud.  Just as I was finishing milking out Twinkie, Carolyn said she saw Abundance laying down pushing.  I just can't seem to tell when these goats are in labor!

So I finished up what I was doing and in the course of about ten minutes delivered triplets!  This is her first freshening so I was surprised.  She delivered two medium sized bucklings and a huge doe.  All very healthy and doing well.  I pulled the large doe off to bottle feed and left the two that were similarly sized on Abundance to be raised by her. 

This little buckling was born first.

Then this huge doeling was born.

Last but not least this sweet little guy!

Now I just have one more goat to kid.(Plenty)  She is very pregnant and uncomfortable in this Georgia heat.  Bless her heart. 

Blessings and happy farming,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Milky Whey Kidded!

I have been raising goats for 14 years and have only ever missed a few deliveries in all that time.  I am usually really good at telling when they are about to deliver.  I can usually tell with in a 24 hour period to be watching for it.  But now this is new territory working with the Nigerian Dwarfs.  I missed both Bounty's and Milky Whey's delivery!  I just like to be there just in case they need me.  Praise God these two so far did not. 
I checked all the Nigerian Dwarfs last night before I went to bed.  Everyone was laying around moaning and chewing their cud like normal.  No distress noted at all.  First thing this morning (6-25-13) my children go out to do chores and Carolyn comes running in yelling that Milky Whey had her kids, that there are Three!  Three!  As a first freshener.  Amazing to me.  Anyways.  They were still wet but she had them all cleaned off and nursing well.  Two were absolutely huge bucks marked up like her. 
White with black spotting. 
The third one was a miniscule little doeling!

I mean tiny.  So I left the bucklings with Milky Whey for her to raise and nurse and took the little girl to bottle feed.  She would never be able to compete with two huge boys like that.  And she is only taking about a half ounce to an ounce every two hours. 

But I did milk Milky Whey.  As I was to lazy to go into the house and thaw out colostrum.  So I milked a bit out for the doeling to bottle feed to her and Milky Whey is going to be a great milker.  Just stood there and let me milk her right in the stall.  Very happy with that.  Needless to say I am watching my last two pregnant Nigerians like a hawk!

Blessings and Happy Farming!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nigerian Dwarf Udder Update

Last week on Tuesday Bounty freshened and kidded with two very flashy beautiful bucklings.  They were precious. 

I have been watching all my Nigerian Dwarf does closely thru their pregnancy and had realized not to far into it all that Bounty was not going to make the cut for my breeding program.  She was however perfect for people who breed for the pet trade.  She was absolutely beautiful, small and fine boned and had those piercing blue eyes.  She also had papers.  So I listed her for sale the day she kidded and it was not long and I had her with her two bucklings sold.  The wonderful family that got her is indeed going to use her for their newly beginning breeding program.  They are retaining the blue eyed little buckling and selling the white one with brown eyes.  They were picked up on Saturday evening.

So now the watching and waiting on my other three.  Plenty is developing nicely.  I am very pleased with her large frame and huge udder for her first time.  Her teats are a nice size already.  She is a keeper for sure.  I just might retain a doe or buckling out of her.
 Plenty half way thru her pregnancy.

First udder ever on her as a yearling four weeks before due date.

Plenty's udder one week before due date. Not bad at all!

Milky Whey is also progressing nicely.  She also has a large and sturdy frame and great dairy character.
Milky Whey about half way thru her pregnacy.

Her very first yearling udder four weeks before due date.

I know this is a bad angle and a little hairy but here is her udder one week before her due date.  I will most likely be retaining a doe and maybe a buckling out of her as well.

Abundance started out a little slow.  She to has a nice dairy type personality.  Very nice largish frame.  She is a little more curious and adventuresome than the others. :)  Stunning blue eyes.

Here she is with her yearling first ever udder four weeks before her due date.  Not so impressive compared to Plenty and Milky Whey.

But all of a sudden she is blooming.  So I pray she will be a keeper.  I like a lot of her genetics.  Especially her dam and grand dam.

All three of these does are due in a week.  So we shall see even more when their milk comes in.  I am excited also to see what the babies look like.  I bred Joseph to all three of these and he sure made some pretty bucklings out of Bounty.  If you want to see what Joseph looks like just go to the top of the page under resident goats and scroll down to the bucks area.  He is a flashy boy and his mom was easy to hand milk.  Praying for good things. 

Happy farming,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nigerian Dwarf Babies Born!

Yesterday afternoon Carolyn went out to the barn to muck her pony pen.  It was not even a few moments of her going out and she came running back in excitedly yelling that Bounty was having babies.  So I went out to the barn. 

I always try to be there when my goats kid.  There has been many times they have needed me to help.  Also several times that babies would have died had I not been there to get the sac off their little faces so they could take their first breath.  The moms were just not paying attention. 
 Well, I went out there and Bounty had just passed her after birth. 
 Bounty did great! 
 There in the stall were the two cutest little bucklings.  She had them just about cleaned off all by herself.

One was white with brown and black spots all over it and it had blue eyes like Bounty!  This tells me that Joseph, the sire (who has brown eyes) carries the gene for blue eyes!  So that was interesting. 

The second little buckling is mostly white with a few black spots and has brown eyes. 

These are the first Pure bred Nigerians born on the farm.  So this was quite an experience.  They seem so very small compared to the full sized goats I have bred and raised all these years.

Last year I did by all four of my pure bred Nigerian Dwarf does as kids.  So I did have an idea as to how small they are when young.

All of those four goats should kid with in the next few days.  As I bred them all  at the same time.  Bounty was first to kid yesterday 6-17-13.   Her udder is very nice and symmetrical and her teat orifices have a very nice sized stream that comes out.  But her body frame is very dainty (I like big bodied goats) and her teat size is not what I am breeding for.  So I am not keeping her and have already posted her on Craigslist last night.

I did go ahead and deworm Bounty as I always do that the day they kid.  Often times the stress of labor and delivery will raise the worm load and can cause weakness and troubles.  And since I dewormed them a week before I bred them, they have not been dewormed all thru their pregnancy of five months.  So I always deworm the day they kid.  If I were to milk her and drink the milk, we don't start to drink it for one whole week as it takes that long for the colstrum to work its way out of the milk.  And by that time the wormer is out of her system as well.  So I usually don't have to worm them during their lactation because I dewormed them the day they kidded.  I hope that makes sense. 

Looking at the rest of the girls.....Milky Whey's udder and teat size looks great.  Plenty's udder is  huge and teat size is very good.  Abundance's udder is a bit smallish and teat size not as good as the other two.  So she might be culled as well.  But we shall see.  I am going to let them keep there babies this year to lengthen teats and I will be milking them a bit as well to get them used to the whole milking routine.  Any does born out of Plenty I will most likely keep and any buck or doe out of Milky Whey I will most likely retain.

I pray your day is filled with blessings.  Happy Farming!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Caramelized Beets!

Ok, I admit it.....I have never been a beet lover.  Alot of things that I didn't like to eat as a child, I have either grown to love or acquired a taste for.  Some things, like onions and garlic I really like alot.  But alas....not beets.

I have very few things I can eat with out having a food reaction to it.  You guessed it.  Beets is one I don't have a reaction to.  Sigh.  So, since I have such a limited diet I was determined to find a way that I would like to eat them.  So here it is.  Caramelized Beets. I not only can tolerate them this way.  I like them alot and crave them this way.  So here it is......

First, you will need some beets.  When they are prepared this way they shrink up alot.  So make extra.  If there are any extra the next day, believe it or not, they are good eaten cold.  But that doesn't usually happen.  So I make even more.  :)
I like garlic so I use a lot in this recipe.  Usually two cloves if it is elephant garlic and four if it is other types.  Peel the skin off it and chop it up finely into little chunks.
Put it on a small plate and salt it. Set it to the side till later. 

Take your beets and wash them well.  They need to be washed well because in this recipe we don't  peel them.  Cut off the bottom long root and tops.
If I am using the beets from my garden, I save the tops to eat later.
Cut the beets up into thin fry like strips.  Almost julienne style but shorter.  
Put olive oil in the bottom of a pan and put in your beets.  I put the stove top on medium but usually have to turn it down as they are cooking down.  Stir them frequently till they have shrunk up and are blistered on the outside.  Do not burn them.  For me it is about 20 minutes.  It depends how much you are making as to how long to cook them.
Once you know the beets are caramelized push all the beets to the sides of the pan making an open area or well and put the garlic there.
Stir it around for a very short time till cooked.
Then just stir it all in together and put it into a bowl. 
I made this batch with the first three beets from my garden of the year.  The rest were not ready yet.  It only made a small batch and so I have proportionality more garlic this time than beet!  It was still yum!

Since the beets are  not seasoned every time you get a bit of salty garlic in with a mouthful you get a flavor explosion.  Kind of like bacon bits on a salad.   (even though I can't have bacon bits!  :)   )

Hope all is going well in your gardening adventures this year.

Happy farming,

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tying Up Tomatoes PT2

Everything in the raised beds are growing nicely praise God.  I thought I would show everyone the progression of what it looks like when you tie up your Tomato plants as the growing season progresses.  How the wrapping around of the hemp twine looks as the plant grows.  I use hemp twine because it is study at the beginning of the growing season.  Is soft and gentle on the plants and very easy to wrap around the plants as they grow.  By the end of the growing season it has stared to biodegrade and you can literally pull it down with out cutting it when I am stripping out my garden beds.  I just toss it on the composting pile with the rest of the plant.  I don't have to work to separate it and throw it away. 

When I did my last post about this, here, I showed how we used T-post to hold up a pole and then plant the tomatoes directly under the pole.
Then how I tied the hemp twine over the pole and a little loose loop around the bottom of the plant.  I started wrapping the twine around the plants but in that post the plants were still so short I only got one or two good wrap arounds.
Well over the last few weeks every day or so I go out into my garden and as the plant grows tall enough to wrap the twine around again I do so.  I also pinch off any sucker in the branches at that time.  The plants have grown very tall now so I have wrapped the twine around many times now.  As you can see.
Doing this gives total support to the main "trunk" of the plant.  If I have a plant that has two main trunks I drop another line down from the pole above and start the wrapping process on that as well.  Or if any branches start to get to heavy.  Same thing.  I drop a line down from above to give support. 

The rest of the pictures I am posting today are just the progress of some of the rest of my raised beds and how they look now that we are a few weeks into the growing season.

Tomato plant on the left (had extra and had a space there.  Put it in a cage next to a little fence to tie it to for any extra support.  In the front of this bed is squash and training up the back trellising is cucumbers.

Pepper plants. I plant garlic or onion all over in all my beds where ever there is a space as we always use so much through out the year.  It is also said to keep away some pests.

Asparagus bed over looking squash.

The front small raised bed is an herb garden.  If you look all the way to the back raised beds you can see spinach and beets.  Usually spinach is done by now but it has been unusually cool for this time of year and it was still growing and had not bolted yet.  I took these pictures a week ago.  I actually finally pulled it all out now and we are working on eating it!  As I had planted pepper plants amongst it thinking I would have harvested it all before now and it was stunting the growth of my pepper plants.

My potting bench with some succulents on it.  Over grown mint to the left.

My little gardeners in training.  They are out there weeding.  I was walking up into the house after milking the goats and could not help myself from taking this picture.    I built Zeke and Carolyn each an 8x4 raised garden bed several years ago side by side.  They are allowed to grow anything they want in it.  They keep it all up themselves from weeding to watering.  Carolyn chose mostly flowers this year.  I was surprised.  Of course boys like to eat so his is all food.

I pray your growing season and life is going well.  Blessings and happy farming!