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.

Video Tour of Quartz Ridge Ranch

I wanted to share a little more about our ranch and so with my Bloggie in hand I visited all our animals.

I feel like we have a unique little ranch and some people hear me talk about different breeds or how easy they are to manage but seeing it is a different story!

I think I will do a video every once in a while just to showcase the different breeds or different projects we have going on. I think a video is a million times better than photos.

So, please enjoy a little taste of QRR…Welcome

 

 

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.

Breeding Season

Our breeding season is coming to an end. I cannot wait for all the little goats next spring. Laura over at Elemental Farms helped us out with breeding our Nigerian Dwarf’s this year and we now have a buck for our herd for the next breeding season.

This is Elemental Farms SM Joe:

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He is very handsome just like his Daddy Max. You can find his Sire’s pedigree here. We are so excited for him to join our ranch.

I am still waiting for my new Sanaan/LaMancha to gain some weight and get a healthier coat before I breed her but she is coming along. She was used as a milker/brusher from her previous family and needed some supplement to her diet. We are doing a round of BoSe and Copper Bolus to see if her coat and appearance improves. We have a photo of her from the previous owner showing how beautiful she was in the California State Fair so I know what she should look like.

My two Oberhasli’s have been woo’d by my lovely Oberhasli buck Smokey. They have been spending some time by his pasture on the way to our home. I guess they wanted to check out what we were doing!

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My Indian Runner Ducks have been enjoying the sunny weather and spend all hours in their pond. I even catch them out there in the middle of the night! Crazy ducks! I am looking forward to incubating some eggs in the Spring. My drakes have great conformation and I would love to share the joy in raising these little guys.

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My newest set of chickens are growing bigger by the day. I recently moved all my older layers down to the barn area and made room for my Delaware’s and Dominique’s. Both of these are heritage breeds and excellent for meat and laying eggs. I will be incubating these two breeds in the Spring also. The Delaware’s are prettier than I ever imagined and they are very sweet.

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I think we have the ranch close to being buttoned up for the Winter. It has been so beautiful here that it is hard to imagine we will be covered in snow eventually. I am keeping my eye on the Spring and hope we get through the winter quickly and safely.