Did I introduce Chribrydon Maybelline’s Siri? Siri (and “Sweetie”) to her friends. Her friends include every biped she’s ever met, and her favorite thing to do is to come stare lovingly into your face while she has a cud and you rub her neck. She’s a gorgeous little thing, a more modern style of Nubian with a graceful, delicate build and a lovely arch to her nose. And, of course, this gorgeous bundle of love comes wrapped in a rich mahogany red coat sprinkled with white roaning and sporting some awesome moonspots.
But mostly when you try to get pics of Siri, you get pictures of her face, because she needs to be close to you. She needs love. Love NOW, monkey. Love.
Continuing catch up, I’d like to introduce Skinny Lane Lilliana, who is known more familiarly as Lily and Lil and “Lil Bit” (which is a joke because at 185lbs, she is the largest goat in the herd by 40lbs).
The cool thing is that she looks a LOT like Queen May, although as far as I know they are not related, except she has SPOTS. Glorious, glorious spots. Also adorable little wattles, and really elegant ears with a delightful flip on the end. Oh, and a lovely profile that has the characteristic Nubian look without being extreme. Observe!
Lily is a really adorable goat, very sweet and mellow. She’s taken over as Queen May’s second in command, and the two ladies are often to be found side-by-side, affectionately scratching their heads on each other and having a cud while they watch the smaller goats get up to shenanigans. She’s also dried off nicely and is about to be bred for spring babies. I can’t wait to see her kids, and I seriously hope they get her sweetness and also spots.
Continuing my theme of playing catch up, here is Sophie (Esk’s baby). She is a really adorable little thing who is totally testing my commitment to selling excess goats and keeping the herd size under 10.
She recently discovered her ability to leap into and out of human laps without assistance. Given the hardness of the heads of even very small goats, this means that sitting down in the goat pen is a high-risk occupation and may result in receiving a ballistic baby goat to the face. But like all kids, she is adorable and sweet and wants to suck on your fingers and if you hug her enough, she will eventually settle down for a lovely cuddle and nap.
Here’s a picture to brighten up your Monday morning: Clementine and Crispin, two of the kittens that we placed, one year on. As you can see, Crispin has inherited the “There’s a camera! Quick, stick your tongue out!” gene that most Manor Cats carry.
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:
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.
It’s a little-known fact that dairy goats love collegiate athletics.
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.
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.
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!
So all I’ve been doing this weekend is staring at eggs as they turned into actual chickens. I wound up having to help three of them because I’d opened the incubator at one point to get a picture, dropped the humidity, and shrink-wrapped them (that is, the inner membrane around them toughened to the point they couldn’t get through it without help). One chick who had pipped died because I didn’t help soon enough, which I feel guilty about. Well, and guilty about opening the incubator for a picture and shrink-wrapping some of the little guys.
At any rate, here’s a pic from above showing the inside of the brooder with the 10 of them who made it! There’s Lavender Splits (they are not visually lavender, but carry the gene for it), a couple blues, a black, two adorable porcelains, one buff, and one partridge. Then there’s the one random bantam from one of my eggs and Lord only knows what color he will turn out to be! Probably black, though, by the look of him. The others are all silkies, hatched from eggs I bought from Catdance Silkies that were shipped to me. Nine of the 18 eggs I got from Catdance hatched, which is EXCELLENT for shipped eggs. Only one of the eggs from my chickens that I stuck in there hatched, which is terrible. I think I need to trim the cushions on my porcelains (their butt feathers can get in the way of mating) and have a pep talk or two with Kemuel the Modern Game Bantam rooster about doing his duty and fertilizing eggs.
Oh, right, I was going to post a picture. I got a little font-happy, but then I love fonts almost as much as I love chickens.
Zombirella I believe I mentioned here as the young pullet who got the back of her head pecked off down to bone. It turns out chickens are startlingly resilient; we moved her into the house, got her antibiotics and kept her safe from flies and infection, and these days you can’t even tell where the pecking happened since the wound closed up and the feathers are growing back in. She’s become a favorite of ours, since spending those weeks in the house she has decided that people are definitely her friends and comes running to be petted whenever we go out to the Big Chicken Pen.
One is, of course, the first chick ever hatched at the Manor. I swear he’s a cockeral, Daniel claims he’s a pullet. I guess we’ll find out who’s right in the coming months as he finishes growing up!
One is actually colored just like their daddy Blackbeard. I should probably bet Daniel money that One is a rooster-to-be, because I am that sure of it. One of these days, One is going to go roostertastic — probably about the time we move Mad Mel the Magnificent into a pen with some beardless silkies in case I want showgirl chicks.
Kemuel, a black Modern Game Bantam rooster.
Our latest worry on the dog front is Beowulf, who is not only developing a wide variety of lumps (Dobermans, particularly gentleman Dobermans of a certain age, are prone to fatty lipomas, which are benign but sort of weird to feel when you’re petting your dogs) but has also developed a deep, hacking cough that is going to require a vet visit. He turned seven this month, so he is kind of getting up there for a Doberman, passing out of middle age and into “of a certain age” since a Doberman who lives to 10 is doing well and one who goes past it is living on borrowed time.
But he is still a sweet, steady, and dependable boy, if one who is starting to slow down from his adventurous youth, when he and Tink spent many an hour zooming ferociously around the yard. He is still determined to protect us from squirrels, those tiny yard-pirates with their suspiciously fluffy tails. We’re looking forward to years with him yet, just need to figure out what’s going on with that cough and make sure that his latest crop of lumps are, in fact, lipomas and not something more sinister.