Spring has Sprung!

We are raising Freedom Ranger chickens this year to sell to our friends and community.

 

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The chicks are housed in a 4×4 tote that has been cut in half and filled with stove pellets to keep the ground clean. In the past, we have used heat lamps but due to us being off-grid and relying on our battery bank through the night we found the Brinsea Brooders use the least amount of energy. So far they have worked great and everyone is warm and active. I would not use them in a room that is super cold because I don’t think it has the capability to heat that much but at room temperature it works perfect.

 

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I fell in love the the Lavender Orphingtons I have been seeing online and decided to order a couple dozen hatching eggs. Unfortunately, our hatch rate was horrible! I ended up with five chicks out of the 25 eggs that were sent. I have always had success in my Brinsea Incubator so I am left wondering what happened.  I plan on ordering another set of eggs and trying it all over again.

 

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This little one is getting his or her feathers in. I am really hopeful I have at least one rooster and one hen.

 

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Not only are we raising little chickens we also have four Muscovy ducks in and out of the house. At night they get to go into a tote to stay nice and warm and during the day back outside. The nice thing about Muscovy ducks is you can tell the differences between males and females pretty quickly. The males get big fast and the little ladies stay petite. We probably won’t be keeping the males once they get to a certain weight because I have another chocolate and lavender male running around the ranch. The females will be here to provide us eggs and more ducklings down the road.

 

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We have had some hard times with our goats this year. We lost my first Oberhasli doeling at 5 weeks. I took her down for a Necropsy and there was nothing to report. It was heartbreaking and a huge blow to our perfect kidding record. Then we had Emily’s first freshener doe kid two weeks early and we lost the two bucklings. It is hard to type and admit to the losses but I think it is better to let people know it happens and it hurts but farm life goes on.

 

Here are some happy times with some of our yearling Nigerian Dwarfs:

 

Jack loves to run into the pasture and find “his goat”… this is Emmy giving him a hug.

 

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Emily loves to show me how strong she is and how she can still pick up the “babies”…this is Urban Acres SW Jit’RBug N’Jive.

 

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Oh and my sweet Elizabeth. She too likes to “hug her goat”…this is poor Emmy. (No goats were harmed in the taking of these photos)

 

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Next up to kid is A&W Farms CJ Valentine Olivia, she is due May 1st. Pleases keep us in your thoughts as we are hoping the troubles are behind us.

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Goat Kidding Season Preparations

With goat kidding season just around the corner I have been prepping our kidding kit and getting the barn ready. We have quite a few does kidding this season so I am stocking up a little more than last year.

I need to get our kidding stalls put back together. I love that they are able to be taken down and give the barn more room in the summer time.

 

So, besides our normal kidding schedule with my does (drying off, worming, C/D&T, etc) I also trim up their backsides.

I try to trim up the does before kidding to make the clean up and nursing easier. My does tend to get a bit hairy during winter so all that fur needs to go. I use my Oster A5 Turbo 2-Speed Professional Animal Clipper and my Wahl Professional 8900 Trimmer Cordless Rechargeable Trimmer to trim them up. I love my cordless trimmers and use it even after milking to trim them up and keep hair out of the milk pail.

 

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I have a rolling tool box that I stock with everything I might need during kidding. We live about an hour and a half from a feed store and it would take a vet about an hour to get to our house so I have to be sure I have all my bases covered.

 

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I keep it next to the kidding stalls so I don’t have to worry about bringing it down. Sometimes it is snowing when I have goats on the ground.

 

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Here are the items that I keep in the kidding box:

  • Puppy Training Pads: Used them to clean the kids off and catch any dripping goo from the doe.
  • Clean Dry Towels: Used for cleaning up the doe and drying off the kids.
  • Feed Bags: To clean up the afterbirth and any dirty towels or training pads.
  • Bottled Water: Used to clean my hands and wetting down towels for clean up.
  • Teat Dip Cup with 7% Iodine: Used to dip their umbilical cord and hooves.
  • Betadine: Used for cleaning up your hands and sterilizing especially if you have to go in to help.
  • OB Lube: To use if you have to go in and help.
  • Latex gloves and Long Plastic Gloves (Insemination Gloves)
  • Dental Floss: To tie umbilical cord if necessary.
  • Rubbing Alcohol: Clean any tools.
  • Baby Nasal Aspirator: To get the gunk out of the noses of the kids.
  • Scissors: If you need to pop the bubble or the cord. I have never had to do either.
  • Weak Kid Syringe: To feed the kid if he is too weak to nurse on his own
  • Gatorade: Great for giving the doe am electrolyte boost if needed.
  • Karo Syrup: Good for giving the doe a boost.
  • Tums: I give my does tums as treats for about two weeks prior to kidding and a couple weeks after. It is great to keep their Calcium up.
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
  • Molasses

 

After kidding I give my does a “After Kidding Tea” that is red raspberry leaf tea with molasses and tums in it. I give it to her warm and they slurp it up quickly. The Red Raspberry Leaf Tea helps stop excess bleeding after kidding and helps tone the uterus back to normal. The molasses gives them some calories and a little pep. The tums helps replenish the calcium that is lost.

 

Also, the day after my doe kids I give her dose of Valbazen (do not use in pregnant does). Since kidding is so stressful, worms tend to wake up and can be very harmful to the doe. I do not like using a lot of chemical wormers in my goats but I believe that this is a good time to use it.

Bella and Blitz: A kidding story

C.L.G. Farms Bella had us in kidding limbo for a week. I had her in her stall all set to kid and she was not progressing. I just figured she would kid on her own time and I needed to just leave her alone. I went out of the kidding stall area and looked into the pasture an saw C.L.G. Farms Blitz all by herself, pawing at the ground……she is about to kid!

I took Blitz into the other kidding stall and kept an eye out on her. I have heard so many scary stories about standard size dairy goats having kidding issues that I didn’t want to leave her alone for long. We noticed how she was trying to push for a while with no progress. I waiting a bit and then decided to go in a help. Luckily, my husband was there because this little one was not coming out.

We got our long gloves on, covered it in betadine and then lubed it up. I had no idea where this little one was stuck but by the look on Blitz’s face…she knew she needed help. I held her while Jeremy got its legs out. It seemed to be stuck with its legs out and head facing up. He massaged the head down until he could get the nose in line with the hooves. Then with each contraction, we pulled. He finally came out and was alive and breathing. Thank goodness!!

Without further ado, I would like to introduce to you Quartz Ridge SH Halite “Hal”:

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Hal is gorgeous! He is long and level and everything you can ask in a buckling. I am still deciding if we are going to sell him as a buckling or wether. I firmly believe that bucks should be few and far between but with his genetics it is hard to make that decision. I will see how he looks at 10 weeks.

Now…let’s not forget about Miss Bella who is still in the kidding stall watching her daughter (Blitz) kid. She decides it isn’t her night and beds down for the evening.

The next day we had to head down to the city and get some shopping done. I joked the entire day that Bella was going to kid while we were gone. Jeremy didn’t think so…well…guess who won!

When we pulled up Bella had just kidded a single doeling! She looked fine and she was a bit smaller in the head than Hal! Thank goodness! Bella kidded easily and took to her baby quickly.

Introducing Quartz Ridge SH Iris:

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Iris is beautiful! She is going to be a force to be reckoned with in a couple years.

Are you interested in Oberhasli’s? They are actually on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation List and considered as a “Recovering” breed. That is what led me to them as I am a sucker for heritage breeds. I also have found their intelligence and personalities are unlike any breed I have owned.

Nigerian Dwarf Kids 2012 First Set of Doelings

So far we have had two of our three Nigerian Dwarf goats kid. They both surprised us at kidding at 145 days! We came home from shopping and there were two little doelings in the stall. Then I noticed my other Nigerian standing off in the distance…I knew she was in labor. It all worked out fine and we now have three adorable kids.

HT Livestock Annie’s Girl kidded a single doeling sired by Proctor Hill Farm CG Mezcal

HT Livestock Annies Girl 4th Freshining

HT Livestock Annie’s Girl “Cocoa” 4th Freshening

Proctor Hill Farm CG Mezcal

Proctor Hill Farm CG Mezcal

and now announcing……

Quartz Ridge Celestine

Quartz Ridge Celestine

 

Our other Nigerian Dwarf Doe Time Out Princess Kaylee kidded twin does sired by Proctor Hill Farm RT Blackjack.

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Time Out Princess Kaylee

udder

Time Out Princess Kaylee Udder

Proctor Hill Farm RT BlackJack

Proctor Hill Farm RT Blackjack

and now announcing…..

Quartz Ridge Amethyst

Quartz Ridge Amethyst

Quartz Ridge Brookite

Quartz Ridge Brookite

 

Our next Nigerian doe A&W Farms Olivia is due at the end of the month.

I have been super happy with how each doe turned out! I cannot wait to see what they look like at 3 months.

Goat Kidding Stalls

We knew we would need to build kidding stalls this year and there were so many options on what we could do. You can purchase something already made like this…

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however, these are super expensive and just not worth the money for shipping either. So my husband set out to make our own out of wood. We have a 12×12 stall in our barn that we made into two kidding stalls. Each stall is 6 feet wide and 8 feet long a good size for both our standard breeds and our Nigerians.  Continue reading