Goat books know nothing about goats.

I take everything back I said about it being WRONG to wean the kids from their mama.  The little theives (the triplets) along with help from Little Lola, have robbed me blind of my milk.

Yesterday morning was a banner day.  We locked the little ones in their dog kennel (5′ sq. chain link kennel in the loafing barn) overnight.  Milked mamas in the AM.

Cinderella – 4lbs even
Gypsy – a whopping 5lbs. 10 oz.

This is a fabulous amount of milk for us!  We were thrilled. 

The children told me yesterday, “The triplets nurse off of Cinderella and Gypsy.”  “Oh no,” I told them, “Cinderella won’t feed any of the babies.  She isn’t their mama.”  Elizabeth pipes up, “And she nurses Lola!”  Now, I’ve caught Lola sneaking milk, so I know this to be true.

Sure enough.  Milk time rolled around last night and Cinderella gave me…

What?  Four pounds?  No.  Three pounds?  Nope.  Not even TWO pounds of milk.  That’s right.  The little milk stealers took almost all of it.  Now, I had some set aside (for my REAL children, not the kids) that I got to feed the other four starving goats.  Do you think I gave Lola her full bottle?  No I did not! 

And so it’s official.  All babies are all weaned as of today.  They’re getting bottles and I’m not letting them back in with the big does until they know milk doesn’t come from UDDERS, it comes from a BOTTLE.  Maybe this way we’ll end up with a little milk too.

Heartless?  Maybe.  But I tell you I’m figuring out this goat raisin’ learning curve.

Ooh, I want these so badly!

Ooh, I want these so badly!

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The “kids” (both human and goat) decided to work together on the goat shed today.  We have all ten goats, loose, outside.  Gypsy won’t leave the barn, therefore neither will her triplets.  Cinderella can’t stand to be more than 3 feet away from a human at any time, so we’re not worried about wanderers.  The kids are working on the barn, the babies are working on the brush! 

Sweet Little Heidi - our most beloved

Sweet Little Heidi - our most beloved

Goats HAVE personality.

Gimmee a kiss Baby!

Gimmee a kiss Baby!

 

Whatcha taking a picture of Mom?

Whatcha taking a picture of Mom?

 

Ana & Legend

Ana & Legend

 

I'll jes' nibble on 'yer ear a 'lil.

I'll jes' nibble on 'yer ear a 'lil.

Yes, Legend looks a little pathetic here.  No, he did not get in trouble. 😛
He was asked to look at Grandma instead of snufflin’ whatever was in front of him and he was a good boy when told, “Leave it,” but it sure didn’t make him happy!

On the other hand, Legend is proving to be a very worthy farm pooch.  Despite being “talked” into um, “playing” with the chickens this morning by “that other” dog and getting into very serious trouble, he has been trying to herd the little goats by nipping their tails.  Cinderella takes great offense at this and we have to watch her very carefully as she would love to get in a hard head butt.  All things considered, I think they get along famously!

What a great day!

(And on the school pictures, bah!  It’s too nice to clean my house and do a lot of school.  Maybe tomorrow!)

Clueless.  That’s me.  Absolutely clueless.  As I gleefully milked my goats last week in 50-60 degree weather, who would have ever thought it was going to get cold?  Now, rationally, we live in Iowa.  But, I’m telling you, I really just didn’t see it coming.  It’s three degrees this morning!  THREE.  That’s it.  Why, after twenty below weather, does anything above zero feel nice, but after 50 degree weather, three degrees feels insanely cold?  I’m SO chilled from chores!

Legend, however, didn’t mind the cold this morning.  As a matter of fact, he seemed to love it, jumping around in the snow!

Legend investigates.

Legend investigates.

I’m a lot of things.  The thing I am not is an enthusiastic hobby farmer when it’s cold.  I will say that goats come with certain perks.  I am no longer tempted to sleep in as I have no choice.  But I haven’t yet decided what is better – the fact that I am forced to wake up and stay up at the crack of dawn (okay, before) and get moving, OR the fact that by the time I’m done with our various chores it’s 8:00, all the kids are awake, and I’m full of the knowledge that now I get no shower ’til naptime and will have to smell like goat butt until then.  Sigh.  I still like them though!

Gypsy modeling my new milk stand

Gypsy modeling my new milk stand

This is what my favorite man built me this weekend!  I told you he was handy.  There are a lot of things I like about my husband.  But, my favorite one is how he’ll willingly throw himself under the bus for any new little hobby I pick up.  I can say that he has, with great relish, thrown himself into these goats.   We found the plans courtesy of Fias Co Farm and you can visit their site by clicking on the picture above.  He had it cut and together in no time flat, but that may well be due to talent. 🙂

Above is the PROPER way to use a milkstand.  Below is not so proper.  Is this how you train a doeling to milk?????

Naughty Babies

Naughty Babies

 Please note Lilac, the ringleader, is in the middle.  Lilac is our troublemaker.  She cleared a 3.5′ fence this morning with frighteningly little effort.  I’m worried.  Beside her are her cohorts, Lola and Latte.  Lola is getting the grain out of the bucket.  Latte is just a willing follower to Lilac.  Where one (Lilac) goes, the other two are right behind.  The three stooges – goat style.

As promised, here is a quick picture of our seedling starter.  It has adjustable shelves and then has a multi-cord plug in attached to the side.  The grower lights attach to the bottom of each shelf to shine on the shelf below it.  It would be incredibly simple to build, but wow, how wonderful it will be for our seeds!  We can’t wait.  We have almost no limit to the size of garden here, so this is pretty thrilling.  Heirloom plants would be nearly impossible to find locally, so starting them from seed is our best option.

Seed Starter Shelving

Seed Starter Shelving

 

And, leaving you with a final picture of Mark’s $4 recliner.  I’ll be spending time down there this morning in front of the woodburner, trying to get rid of this chill from chores this morning!  Would it be wrong to have the kids do school in the old cellar?

CJ getting cozy on Dad's recliner

CJ getting cozy on Dad's recliner