20 June, 2012

Dairy Goat Profile: Josie

A close-up shot of Josie's face as she stares up at the camera, doubtless considering whether or not she can eat it.

Josie is a grade dairy doe, meaning no one has kept her pedigree. There’s at least some Oberhasli in there, as no other breed has that distinctive coat of rich bay with black trimmings, but she lacks the black belly of a purebred Oberhasli. She is the enforcer of the herd, out to headbutt the world, or at least that portion of the world which is other goats who annoy her. She even tried it once on Miss May, shortly after we brought May home. Just once, though, as May put her massive head down to meet Josie’s incoming rush and Josie bounced off her like a ball off a brick wall.

Josie is also the mother of the first pair of goatlings born here at the Manor, proudly giving me twin doelings at her first birth (and mine!). She’s now being trained to be milked, which is a slow process requiring much patience on all sides. Evidently it’s weird to have someone milk you. I really can’t fault Josie for feeling that way, either, since I am pretty sure that if someone tried to milk me I’d do more than give them a vicious side-eye.

But I digress. Elegant, stubborn, and determined, Josie is an excellent paragon of goatliness. She even managed to teleport out of her Executive Kidding Suite at one point, to the great mistification of all human beings. But her life could be improved by an endless supply of fresh pine tops and also her own personal servant to follow her around fanning her. Tragically, she must climb trees to get her own pine tops (which are only available in spring anyway), and depends on the vagaries of weather for a fresh breeze. Your awareness will surely make the pine trees change their growing habits, and also convince someone to show up and fan her.

1 June, 2012

I know, I vowed to be a better blogger

But then life got the better of me, as it does. Josie did have babies, two of them! They are adorable, now the ComfortCam is our pick for the best wifi baby monitor that way we keep on eye on them all the time. Pics later, I need to take a few more. She presented me with two little doelings which is quite nice as they will be easy to sell.

Chicken plans are in the works, and the brooder is full of week-old Old English Game Bantams at the moment in crele and black-breasted red. The incubator is full of Feltner line Pumpkin Hulseys, the most gorgeous of the American Gamefowl I have ever seen. I’m planning on getting out of silkies entirely, which means I need to sell them all off, and for that matter need to set up a “for sale” page here to publicize the chickens and goats on offer.

Last weekend I was at WisCon and had an absolutely amazing time and spent time with wonderful people. I worked Sid, it was more or less his graduate-level Final Exam and he passed with flying colors except for one incident when applause startled him out of sleep and he barked twice.

The cats are all doing well with the exception of Aida, who has been very ill but is hopefully on the mend now.

Tink, Beowulf, and Zille are their usual wonderful selves.

I’m trying to decide what classes to register for this fall.

More updates as events warrant.

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.