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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Roosters Are Growing and Crowing!

Every year I get some cheap heavy breed roosters to raise and butcher to put up in the freezer.  One of my favorite things about buying the heavy breed rooster special is you never know what you are going to get.  They just grab from the left over heavy breed roosters boxes for the day and ship them.

This year I got a lovely assortment of all kinds.

I love watching them grow up and mature.  They are so beautiful as they get all their lovely tail feathers and start crowing.  All of them so pretty except for the Naked Necks!(Tukens)

Having so many roosters practicing their crowing is very interesting in the mornings.  :)  I did notice we had a a few hens in this batch this year.  I will pull those out and find them homes.

I pray all your farming adventures are going well this year!

blessings and happy farming!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pure Cutness!

Yesterday, Carolyn and I were outside playing with some of this years baby Nigerian bucklings.  We try to play with them daily when they are dam raised to keep them tame and easy to handle.  It makes them better animals for us if we keep them or for whoever we sell them to.

We were playing with this little, nameless, white buckling with black spots.  All of a sudden we noticed that he has a black spot right on his nose shaped exactly like a little black heart! 

So cute.  Just had to share it!

She is now calling him Valentine!

Blessings and happy farming!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Working Hard on the Farm

God is so good.  I really love the life we are able to live here.  We have a very active and busy home life with our large and special family but also stay busy with the farm part of life.

Between the gardens and animals we stay extremely busy this time of year. 

As I was feeding two bottle babies the other day, I realized I have been bottle feeding baby goats, with out a break since January!!   No wonder I am tired of it!  :)  Bottle feeding baby goats is not my favorite part of farming anyways.  Usually, I have my best milk goats milking and breeding and don't need any to replace them, so sell off the babies quickly.  I haven't had to bottle raise any for a long period of time to keep in my heard.  Actually in probably five or six years.  I sure got my fill this year.  But I need to bottle feed the ones I am keeping in order for them to really be tame and handle-able for milking purposes.  It is a time consuming but good investment.

We all work together here on our farm.   With us all working together it takes us about 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening every day to keep our farm running well.  But....about once a month we have a barn clean out/up day where we all work together to muck pens and tidy up.  And about every six months we take about a week to fix things, paint things, remodel things and just generally try to do what needs to be done to make things work more functionally and smoothly around the barn. 

Well, last week was that week.  The kids and I took time off from home schooling and just spent most of our time out in the barn.  We did everything from knocking down cob webs, scrubbing out all the feed buckets and cleaning.  To remodeling one of my Hay Saving hay racks to making one in a pen that didnt have one.  So we were very busy last week.

Here is some of what we did.  We have hard Georgia clay for flooring in our barn.  I love it.  As it quickly drains any urine right thru the ground and the pens stay pretty dry.  But over time, with us mucking out the stalls for the last 14 years, we have little by little taken out stall flooring (clay) as well with every load.  Bluebells and Twinkies stall was beginning to stay very damp because the floor, over time, has gotten about a foot deeper than the rest of the barn in some areas and the urine could not drain properly.  Also their Hay Saving Hayrack I had built was very large/long and bulky for just two goats.  A waste of space. 
So I took apart the old hay rack and cut the front hog panel in half and we mucked the pen down to the dirt.  My dad brought up a huge bucket load of clay with his tractor and we moved it into the pen and tamped it down and leveled it out.  Bringing the flooring back up to level with the rest of the barn flooring again.  I put two stall mats down where I was going to rebuild the new Haysaving hay rack to keep moisture from coming up under it and keep things cleaner around the hay rack.  I had intentionally made the floor slope slightly from wall to center so if the mats got peed on it would drain quickly to the clay flooring in the middle.  And here is how it all turned out.  

One of the other stalls, I used to keep a pony in, had a standard hay rack in it.  I now have Amelia, Minibell and Calfy in there and they were wasting a ton of hay every day.  So we cleaned out that stall and I build a hay saving hay rack in there as well, using the other half of the hog panel I had cut in half, from out of the other pen.  It is sooooo much better now.  They waste hardly any now at all.  Praise God! as hay is expensive here.

We also moved the Silkies we are raising into a larger pen.
I am only going to keep four good hens out of this batch for brooding me some leghorn chicks next year. 

We also moved the 25 roosters, I am raising to butcher this fall, to a indoor/outdoor stall so they can grow out with more room and have outdoor access. 

They look happy!

A few other things we did was hang a few new mineral feeders and rise up some feed dishes for goats that have grown.

A few more days out there and I think we will have things up to snuff once again. 

Here are a few random pictures of our growing bucklings that I left on their moms to be raised.  They are growing so fast!

I pray your farming and gardening is going well this year. 

Blessings and happy farming!

Monday, July 15, 2013


Bluebell is such a good milker. Her mom was the best milk goat I had ever owned until Bluebell started milking.  I have so much milk that over a month ago I started milking her once a day.  I only milk her in the morning.  This is what her udder looks like every morning.

 This is how much milk God blesses us with by her every morning.  That is after we have went to one milking a day so her production has dropped.  That is after 12 hours of not being milked.  Those are half gallon jars.  She is still giving over a gallon once a day.  I am just amazed. 
I have never had a goat give so much milk and be so hard to dry off.  Her sister is good.  Twinkie gives almost a gallon a day milking her once a day right now.  Twinkie freshened in January.  So she should start to taper down some now.  I am working at drying her off.  My dad wants me to keep these last two larger goats from our old full sized herd.  So I will probebly retire Twinkie and never breed or  milk her again.  I have two of her little doelings from breeding her with Major Coco.  So I am hopeing those two will be good easy to milk little milkers and give us the smaller amount of milk we need around here now.  We just don't need the larger amounts we used to.

I also have Bluebells doe, Calfy, from this years breeding to Major Coco.  Same thing.  Hoping she will be a good little half gallon a day milker for us. 

Just wanted to share the reason why we are going to smaller goats.  We just don't need that kind of milk volume any more.  But was so grateful for it all these years.

Blessings and happy farming!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Final Kid Talley 2013

The two does I retained.  Mini Bell and Amelia(earhart)
The first goat to kid for the year was Twinkie in January.  She had been bred to Major Coco.  She had triplets.  Two does and a buck.  I retained the does and gave away the buckling.

Her sister Bluebell was next and kidded in April.
She was bred to Major Coco.  She also had triplets.  She had two bucks and a doe.  I gave away the bucks and retained the doe.
Calfy the doe I retained out of Bluebell.

Bounty kidded in June for the first time with twin bucks.
She was bred to Joseph.  She was very fine boned and on the smallish size.  Her udder was nice and symmetrical but her teats were on the smallish size.  I could tell she would not be much better her second year as a milker.  So I had to cull her from my breeding program.
I sold her and her bucklings as a package deal.

Milky Whey also kidded in June. 
It was her first frehshening.  She was bred to Joseph.  She delivered triplets.  Two bucks and a very tiny doe.  I left the two bucklings on her to nurse and lengthen her teats.  I pulled the doe and had to tube feed her for several days.  She is now nursing but needs extra care and more frequent feedings. 

I will be retaining a buck and selling the other buckling and the little doe.

Abundance kidded June. 
It was her first freshening.  She was bred to Joseph.  She delievered thriplets.  Two simularly sized bucklings
and a huge doe.
I pulled the doe to bottle feed and left the two bucklings on her to raise.  I will be selling her and her two bucklings.  As I really like Plenty and Milky Wheys udders and teats so much more.  She has a very nice udder and I have been milking off  the extra milk right now.  So she will make a nice milker for someone.  I just like the other two better and will be building my herd off of them. I am retaining the huge doeling as I already know what her mothers udder looks like which is good.  But this doeling is the only retainable doe to see what Joseph can add to the gene pool.  So I will raise her up and breed her and see what Joseph helped to do over Abundances udder. 

The last doe to kid for the year was Plenty. 
It is her first freshening.  She was bred to Joseph.  She kidded 6-29-13. She deliverd a buck and a doe.  The doe passed away less than 24 hours later.  She has a fabulous udder and teats.  A wonderful dairy temperment.  She let me just milk her with no training at all.  Good girl.

So the final tally of buck to doe ratio for 2013 is.......

Females born in 2013 - 6
males born in  2013  -8

So as of right now....the plans for my herd.....  I decided I am retiring Bluebell and Twinkie once they dry off this year.  I will not need that amount of milk again.  My dad wants to keep them as pasture ornaments and if I ever want any more mid sized does out of them, I still have them.  I could always breed them back to a Nigerian buck again.  They are both fabulous.

So, what I have decided is all I would like to have goat wise on the farm is.  About four or five good bucks to choose from.  My two retired full sized goats.  3 good mid-sized milkers and 3 good Nigerians Dwarf milkers.  Thats my goal.  Now the fun is breeding to get there!

I pray all is going well with you this farming season!  Blessings and happy farming!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Gardening Update

I have had such a good time gardening this year.  We have actually had regular rains this year for the first time in years.  Praise God.  This is the second year I have been using the raise beds and it really is so much easier and more productive.

I did plant the smallish ground plot down at my dads end of the property this year.  The beans didn't do well and the deer ate half of my okra plants already.  sigh.  Hopefully those deer will be thinned out during the next hunting season.  Last year we had at least 12 deer living on the property.  They ate most of our pears and my whole garden plot we planted down at my dads end of the property.  I planted the plot down at my dads end of the property this year knowing we only had about 6 deer left after hunting season living on the property now.  If they finish off the plot down there again this year, I will not replant it.

The raised beds have done well last year and this year.  The soil is so rich that the plants just really get huge.  Especially the tomato plants.  I have to keep cutting them back.

With all the rain we have been having I have had a lot of issues with leaf rot and leaf mold on the lower branches.

Squash bed and Strawberry bed.

Zucchini bed

One of my pepper beds

Asparagus bed.

 Onion barrels.

Grapes.  These grapes I planted last year on a fence.  They are Concords.  It is a toss up if they will do well in our area.  I have three rows of muscadines in the middle of the property.Those were established and here when we moved in 14 years ago.  They always produce well and do the best in our area and climate.  I thought I would just do an experiment with the Concords.

I pray you are enjoying your gardening and farming this year!  Blessings and happy farming.



Friday, July 5, 2013

Squash Soup!

So what do we make in the summer with those squash that get a little too large?  

We make squash soup!  It is one of my families favorite ways to eat squash.  Just a note....I have never tried to make this recipe with zucchini.  Although I am sure it would be just as delicious, I don't think I could easily get my children to eat green soup!!!

One of the things you need to make this if it is going to be really smooth and creamy is a really powerful blender.  We have a Vita Mix.  The other thing you want to really keep in mind is to be careful.  Very careful, when you blend it.  Blending hot foods needs great care.  Blend small batches and I put a hand towel over the blender and vent the top as I blend it..  You might want to let it cool down some before blending it just to be on the safe side.  So that is my warning when making this.  :)

Squash – enough washed and cut up to fill the pot you are cooking them in.
Tomatoes (One cup fresh peeled and crushed) or one large can of diced tomatoes
Garlic – two large cloves – peeled and chopped up (I used elephant garlic today)
Sweet onion (s) (I am using 3 small Vidalias today) – peeled, sliced and cut up
Milk 1 cup -  (or a cup of creamed cashews if making it casin free)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Bay leaf 2 of them
Olive oil a few tablespoons

Take a large cooking pot and pour several tablespoons olive oil in it and set it to medium heat.   

Add the onion (s) and cook them down till just starting to brown a bit.

Add the garlic and lightly cook it.  

Then add the can of diced tomato or ones from your garden that have been washed peeled and crushed.   

Then fill the pot till almost full of cut up squash.  Add enough water to just cover the squash.   
Add the bay leaves and let cook till squash is soft not mush.   :)   You will have to stir it around a bit so the top ones get under the water and soften a bit.

Remove bay leaves.

Now this is the part where you have to be very very careful.  Take small batches of squash, onion, garlic and liquid and liquefy them.  

As you do this, in small batches, pour them into a very large mixing bowl.
Once it is all blended you can add either a cup of milk OR

 If making it casin free……take a cup of cashews and use enough water in the blender to make it into a cream and add it to the mixing bowl of soup. 

Then salt and pepper to taste.  

This is the exact same recipe for my Cream of Tomato Soup, when I have to many tomatoes coming ripe in from the garden all at one time.  Just use all tomatoes instead of the squash! 

Hope you have an abundance of produce to eat and find uses for this gardening season!

Blessings and happy farming!