Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monthly Totals

Milk: 44.37 cups
Eggs: 113

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Whey Bread

Made bread today with the leftover whey from the AWESOME cheese I made the other day (and again, ate a quarter pound of it on crackers almost all by myself).

The bread is really yummy. Light a fluffy with a slight sourdough taste. Yum. Yum. Maybe I could eat the whey bread with cheese and put on weight twice as fast. Except, I probably work off the carbs and fats just trying to milk the goats. Mmmmm.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Looks like World War Three took place by the super

of leftover honey. We didn't put it near the hives, because that can encourage the bees to rob each other. But they definitely fought over the honey...there were hundreds of dead bees all around it. But it looks like they cleaned it out quite well.

I have been taking the jars of honey and comb and straining it to get the honey out. It's beautiful. I think we are going to get about two quarts of honey. And enough wax to make some very small candles. I am also planning to make a batch of goat milk and honey soap that will be made with our own milk and our own honey. Yay!

Milking is going all right. Ginger is fabulous, though she gets restless on the stand when she sees Paul, because she's hoping he'll bring her a treat, so we have stopped treats on the milk stand, until all the milking is done.

Annie's kids have been spending too much time with her, so we are not getting much out of her. But we think we have fixed the fence well enough that Ted (and Vonnegut now) will stop escaping--they went out to explore the yard together yesterday. And Willa's leg is still an issue, she is still not putting a lot of weight on it, but she is compensating...she can still leap and play and will even jump into to wall feeders and wait for more food.

Aria will no longer be milked. It makes her SO unhappy and the other day when she tried to get on the milk stand, she miscalculated, slipped, and fell over backwards onto the floor. So, even though she'd give us TONS of milk (the selfish creature) we have to be content with her offspring. And we're told we'll get more milk every time we kid.

Goliath and Vonnegut will be going to their new homes next weekend. Vonnegut has now surpassed Goliath in weight--and he started out weighing not much more than Lilly--who, by the way, is growing up to be a very spoiled brat...and we love her. So, we will be prepping the two boys for their new home. They will be so happy and spoiled there!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

HONEY!!!!



Took off the honey supers from both hives today. There's quite a bit of honey in those suckers and they weren't even half full. We took the honey off by hand and put it into these jars. We'll strain the honey from the comb over the next few days. We don't have an extractor yet...but looks like we might want one for next fall.

Avalon (Buckfast bees) looks a bit on the underside of stores for the winter, but they still have time to fill up their deep boxes before winter comes on.

Bree (Russian bees) look quite happy and full. I have high hopes for them this winter, but still will hope and pray to the bee gods for a little help for everyone to make it through.

We put out the scraped frames in a super on the stone steps near the house for the bees to find and clean up for us. Looks like we could have gotten a lot more honey, judging from the puddles of honey beneath the box. Oh well, guess that's why they make and use extractors for honey.

Happy Beeing from WannaBee Apiaries at Bumblechick Farm!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Farm Updates

Tried to milk Aria tonight. She does not like to be touched anywhere NEAR her udder, let alone be milked. She freaked out and threw a fit, throwing her legs up in the air, kicking at our hands. It was crazy. So, we tried to let her eat and left our hands resting on her udder. She seemed all right with that after a while. But...And we could get an AWESOME amount of milk out of her...if she'd let us.

Willa is doing much better. She is still puffy and tender, but healing.

Annie is improving slowly on the milkstand...slowly, slowly...

Ginger is great...got almost a cup and a half out of her today.

Cider Press


The cider press is together! Let the cider making parties begin...

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Coyotes were wild last night. They woke us up

with their screams in the back woods. And when I got outside, they sounded so close and I felt surrounded. Even Troy had stopped barking. I have to admit, I was afraid to step off the porch until Paul made it out to be with me.

I love the sound of the coyotes and I love having them and knowing that there are such beautiful creatures in our back woods and that we haven't killed all the wild creatures off in the world...but now that I have livestock, it a little more worrisome. And when you know that you have nothing to defend yourself if they do get crazy enough to come in for dinner...it's even more frightening. But after we came out, they seem to have moved on to easier prey.

Willa is doing even better this morning. The swelling is still coming down and we think she is putting more weight on it, but in the dark with ten other goats rushing us for food...who knows for sure. We'll have a better idea this afternoon.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Willa Update

Willa's ankle swelled up last night and she would not put any weight on it, except to balance herself. But the bone seems to be in place and she has heat in her hoof, so that is a good sign.

This morning, she is still swollen, but it doesn't seem worse than last night and she might be putting a bit more weight on it. We gave her some willow bark tea (in lieu of baby aspirin--which of course, we don't have). We are going to give her some lavender oil which should calm her and help the inflammation.

Now, it is still just a matter of waiting to see. She is eager for food and eager to get around--she even tries to get up on her hind legs to see if there is any leftover food in the momma food bowls attached to the stall walls. She seems to be annoyed and uncomfortable, but not in severe pain.

We will keep you posted.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Willa

"Mommy, my foot hurts."


Willa got stuck in the fencing between the kids and the Mommas today. She pinched her back left foot just above the the hoof, but didn't cry until Paul unstuck her. Then she cried. I don't think it's broken and it's warm so she's still got circulation. She is walking and getting around, but she isn't putting much weight on it. We'll have to wait and see how she is in the morning.

Baby Chickens

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Morning chores

Mary took a bath today in a cooler full of warm water because she was so desperate to get to the food before anybody else. We had to towel her off and cuddle her for a bit before anybody else could eat.

Vonnegut is eating so fast now, that he's having these choking and sputtering fits that are quite scary sounding.

Lilliput is still getting a bottle feed before she gets her grain--something I am slowly weaning her off of...morning feeding in the dark--Yuk. And she runs out every time you open the door, she is so freakishly fast that it's let her out and drop her back over or crush her in the door.

Willa has a bit of a puffy eye, probably from being slammed into the wall by her very cranky grandma Aria who is, I think, a little tired of being the only Momma goat in a pen full of kids. So, she got a touch of antibiotic cream.

And all before breakfast...and 'real' work.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the wines


The wines:
DandyLion--light, sweet flavor. you can taste the herbal bouquet.
Mixed Berry--light, sweet flavor with a very berry smell.
Rose Mead--smells like roses, tastes like rose water.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Troy is

enjoying his new Loop Trail. He particularly likes the part where it's an animal trail and he can usually find some cool things to roll in. And one day, he found the left over remains of one of our chickens that had disappeared.

Milking is going well. Annie is still a pain, but part of that might be that she has a dry skin issue, so I think it is uncomfortable for her to be milked, especially when we just start for the day. But she is settling, and we're getting more milk now that we have fixed the fencing so that her kids don't just climb over the 'kid-proof' fence and hang out with the moms all day, sucking Annie dry.

We're beginning to think about winter. The boys need to be fenced behind the barn, to make it easier for us to feed and water through the cold and snow. We chopped some trees down and now need to get up the fencing and move the boys and Troy. The chickens all need to be integrated and the young rooster will need to disappear before we mix them with the big chickens and Max (the big, mean Java rooster).

And the bees. We need to get in there to check them out, but as the time is going by, I might just wait until it's time to feed, so I can do all the fall tasks as once, and only have to bug them two more times. Take off the honey super and excluder, and put on the feeder. And then one last time to take off the feeders and let them get ready for winter...I feel that the less I disturb them, the better, especially this summer, which seemed kinda hard with the rain and swarms.

So, yes, I have to admit that summer MIGHT be coming to a close. I'm hoping for a long warm Autumn.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fruitlands Museum


The Fruitlands Museum is the Bronson Alcott homestead where they created a utopian commune and tried to live off the fruits of the lands for a year. Living off the land...in New England, using no animals...in the 1800s. Hmmm. Not brilliant, but the museum has a very cool tree sculpture exhibit going on right now.

Tonight's Milking

Annie threw a FIT. I took away her food twice and finally took it away altogether and put her back home. Maybe by morning, she'll want grain bad enough to let us milk her. It was very frustrating--she had been getting better. And my knee is never going to be the same...I think I twist it at an odd angle when I hold Annie's leg up so that P can milk her--and well, it's a bit off now. At least I have two of them, knees that is. One to spare.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Birthday TROY


Troy turns TWO today! We're going to make him a nice Meat Birthday Cake for his birthday. And his other present was that turkeys are now creeping along the edges of our yard for him to bark at. I guess the fox and the turkeys now know that Troy can only go as far as his fenceline will let him...oh, well. I still am sure that if he really needed to, he could jump that fenceline...I've seen him protective and I would NOT want to be on the receiving end of that.

But now that he's two, maybe he'll stop chasing chickens and goats! Maybe...

Happy Birthday Troy! We love you, Buddy!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lots of Goat FOR SALE!!

Mozart and Puccini were disbudded this morning. All went well. Pat thinks that Puccini could be a good buck, but we're not sure he's worth us keeping intact as he can't be bred to any of our girls. But he could be 'rented' out for services or sold if someone is looking for a buck (he's a direct Tom Thumb line as Aria is a Tom Thumb daughter). But we will probably wether him and keep him as a companion to Aria.

Our final goats for sale:

Lilliput - retained
Vonnegut - sold
Mary - FOR SALE
Goliath - sold

Willa - FOR SALE
Ted - FOR SALE

Mozart - FOR SALE
Puccini - retained

It was a hard decision, and it's going to really break our hearts when they finally leave the farm...but it has to be done or we'll be overrun with goats. Not that that's really a Bad Thing...but we have to be somewhat realistic. I guess.

I will try to get pictures of of the goats for sale before too long.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Milk

Got a cup and a half out of Ginger today...would have been AWESOME, except Annie only gave us 3/4 of a cup.

Making cheese after tomorrow night's milking--as long as there are no milking accidents.

Gave Aria her second to last antibiotic shot...I will be SO happy when those are done.

Still haven't decided which of Aria's boys to keep. This is so hard! They are both so beautiful and cute. So far, only Mary and Ted are officially for sale. We're going to be OVERRUN with goats soon. We'll have to cut down all the woods to accommodate them all.


Kahlua

Made a batch of Kahlua today. It's actually quite easy: the recipe I used was simply dark coffee, sugar, brandy, and vanilla bean. Now, it's just got to sit for a few months for the flavors to meld and age. It should be ready for Christmas! Yum.

Let me know when it seems to be time for me to join AA!

Friday, September 4, 2009

new photos

Ginger and Babies.
Puccini (notice Harry Potter Glasses marking) and Mozart. They venture outside to play!

Things are settling down in the barn. Vonnegut and Goliath met their new owners today...they are going to our six year old nephews and the boys (human) are very excited for their new companions.

We still have a few left to sell and it's going to be sad to see everyone go when the time comes.

We are beginning to average about 2 cups of milk a day from Ginger and Annie-perfect for a weekly batch of cheese and extra to share (these days with Lilly, but eventually with our human friends). Aria has been retired from milking...she has earned a well deserved rest from kidding and milking--and she is SO badly trained on the milkstand, I don't thing we can ever retrain her!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Busy Busy

All Eight!

It's busy in the barn. Lots of little ones.

Lilly is still being fed by us twice a day. Ginger and Annie are being milked at suppertime. Aria is definitely feeling better, because she will have nothing to do with anyone near her udder. And I gave my second shot today--I figured if Aria was going to be on a seven day course of antibiotics, I'd better learn to do it myself. It's not too bad...still not sure about those huge needles in a little kid, but I think I can manage the adults now.

Ahh, Crazy Farm Life.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ginger's Beard

Now I know who's trimming Ginger's beard!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Evening Update

Aria looks much better. She still seems tired, and her rear is quite raw and sore looking, but she is a very happy mother. I am so grateful that she had living kids after all that hard work on her part. Mozart has some interesting coloring that we are curious to see how it will look as he grows. And he definitely had a bit of a red head from all the pressure. But he seems just fine. Puccini is a love and just enjoys sleeping in your lap with his head nestled under the crook of your arm.

Vonnegut got neutered today. He took it like a champ...well, except for his crying now, but I'd be crying too. Goliath was supposed to be neutered, but well, he seems to be well endowed everywhere...but where I need to do the job. So he has a few day reprieve while things grow a bit. I would have liked to do them both at once and only have to listen to the cries at one time.

So, one down...FOUR to go. And next, the girls will get their tattoos. Jeepers, the life of a goat stinks.

Aria's Kids

Puccini
Aria and Mozart
Puccini, Aria, and Mozart

It was a terrible night last night! I thought that we had lost the babies, and was sure Aria was going to die. Mozart's big head was stuck in the birth canal and blocking everyone else--including the rest of his little body. After much mixed advice from the experts and a lot of going back and forth about what is and isn't the best thing to do...we went on instinct--helped where we could and tried to be as least invasive as possible. We finally called for the vet who wasn't sure it was worth him coming out. Followed was a lot more tears...and sweat and pushing (these last on Aria's part) and with a little bit more human help, Mozart came out. I was shocked that he was alive. And right after, out popped little Puccini. Two boys!

The vet was here in time to look over the babies, give some antibiotic shots and a painkiller for Momma, and slip me a bill. And after he left...the coyotes, who were looking for an easy dinner, left.

What a CRAZY night. It just feels awful to not know exactly what to do...and to be getting such mixed and sure advice from the experts. I was so afraid of doing something, or not doing something, that was going to be the one thing that made everything turn for the worse.

I think the best advice I got (and I think this is the best advice I've gotten for any and all of my farming endeavors): follow your instincts! And it is the first piece of advice most easily forgotten in the panic of trying to do the perfect thing to solve everything just right.

And the best thing...is having your friends and family behind you--supporting everything you decide and helping every step of the way. Thanks to you guys!!!