4 September, 2012

Introducing Frankie Four Feet

Yes, well, I’m a fan of the movie Snatch, what can I say?

Anyway! In the wee early morning hours of the 31st of August, 2012, Annabelle presented us with this young gentleman:
A teeny tiny three pound baby goat rests in some straw.  He is mostly white with patches of red-brown, a leetle black nose, and startling blue eyes.

Mother and baby are doing swimmingly well; Annabelle is a dedicated (if over-anxious) mother. Frankie Four Feet is an adventurous young man now that he’s reached the great age of four days old, prone to tearing around the yard as fast as his teeny, teeny legs can carry him. This drives Annabelle nuts and she follows him around trying to lick him and yelling at him to be careful and don’t eat that and don’t touch that and OMG YOU ARE DIRTY AGAIN! I JUST WASHED YOU.

Because the next questions will be about his future:

Frankie Four Feet is currently for sale. If, however, no one speaks up for him in the next 4-5 weeks, he will be wethered (neutered). At that point the odds of someone buying him drop drastically, and anyway wethers don’t eat much and don’t really need grain at all. So either he gets bought as a buckling (registered with the AGS, make me an offer!) here in the next month, or he will probably stay around until such time as I have a doe for sale who needs a buddy to go with her.

At any rate, the next big event in his future will be disbudding, since he did not have the luck to be born polled. Need to call and schedule that.

And happily, my barn arrives day after tomorrow, so very shortly we will have things set up so he can meet the rest of the herd and learn to be a real goat. And also the dogs will get the back yard back.

3 April, 2012

Being a lady of leisure is not as fun as I hoped.

I’m two days into unemployment and already looking for ways to get myself in trouble. Next week I’m probably going to start Siddy on herding. We enlarged the goat paddock today and could definitely have used a good herding dog’s help! So Sid shall become a dual-purpose dog, hopefully.

In other news, Annabelle is currently shacked up in connubial bliss with a blue-eyed boyfriend, which means kids from her in September. Once she’s knocked up, Esk will go done and spend some time with a buck, and be due to kid in October. Our winter milk and cheese supply is therefore assured. Josie, due in late April or early May, continues to inflate like a hairy balloon on legs, and her udder seems to be filling.

Meanwhile I’ve applied for unemployment and am waiting for the determination letter to tell me how generous (HAHAHAHA) my payments will be. And Daniel has secured perhaps the coolest part-time job ever being a bad guy for the FBI. So we’re doing all right despite it all, but given my boredom levels I think I might reconsider my plan to take this summer off from school.

22 March, 2012

Poor lawnmowers, excellent edgers!

All right. So I did pick up two tiny adorable Nigerian Dwarf goats, and then as things do they kind of got out of hand and I picked up a pregnant Oberhasli mix doe who is a year old. This way Daniel and I will have milk and cheese this spring, summer, and fall, and the little girls get a chance to be a year and a half old or so before I breed them, which I think is better for all concerned.

Things I have learned about goats:
They make very poor lawnmowers. Well, I knew that from my reading and talking to other goat owners. They do, however, make excellent edgers. They’ve been living in the backyard while the goat fence got installed, and during their free-range time they have been working in a very dedicated fashion to clean up the dead leaves piled along the fence and also the dried grass stuck in it. What good goats. But what you actually wanted was goat pics, right? Right. Let’s see if I can make this work.

Two tiny goats, not more than knee-high, stand with their heads turned looking at the camera.  The one in front, slightly smaller, is white with orangey-red spots, while her sister is mostly white with a pale creamy red stripe down her back and patches of the same color at her knees and ankles.
That’s Eskanazi, affectionately known as “Esk” in front with the spots, and Annabelle in back. They’re the Nigerian Dwarf does I picked up last Friday evening. Esk loves people and loves to be petted, while Annabelle is a little shy.

A close-up of the face of a doe.  She is mostly a russety goldeny red-brown, with a black muzzle and black stripes at her eyes and on the front of her face.  On top of her head is a perfect halo of russety goldeny red-brown surrounded by black.
And this is Josephine, who should give birth towards the end of April or beginning of May. She’s an Oberhasli mix. Oberhasli are an alpine dairy breed whose milk is mostly used to make cheese. I am so looking forward to home-made cheese!