15 April 2019

Goats for sale and progress bottling the keeper girls

First up, a short progress report on bottling Molly's two daughters, who will be two weeks old Wednesday.  I'm not entirely sure which girl was born first, but Madison (as in Dolly Madison), the girl with the smaller white spot on her forehead, took to the bottle almost immediately, and yesterday took down at least 8 of 9 ounces in the big bottle, plus squabbling for a teat once I let Molly into the pen.  The other girl, whom I originally was going to name Flanders (as in Moll Flanders) but looks more like a Francis (like Baby in Dirty Dancing), finally got a good latch-on this morning and chugged half the big bottle on her own.  So, two bottle babies out of three!  And as Meatloaf sang, "Two outta Three Ain't Bad," especially since these are the first of Molly's kids I've ever gotten on the bottle.  The boy, Pitcher (as in Molly Pitcher) is still not sure about the bottle idea, but I hope to change that the next few mornings.

Because my pasture will only support six adult goats in a dry year, keeping Molly's two daughters means I will need to sell two of the adult herd.  So far, I've decided on selling Tangie, the pretty girl who tends to have singles, but also has the temperament to make a good pet.
Tangie, ADGA registered adult in milk

Cocoa Puff's ornery little imp, whom I call Cinnabon
I'll be taking sales pages up for each to TSC in Palatka today when we do the feed run.

12 April 2019

Another set of triplets from Molly

Molly finally kidded last week on Wednesday (the 3rd), wrapping up this year's kidding season in fine style with healthy, good-sized triplets.  The first two were girls, as I had told Molly before taking her to be bred that I would very much like two daughters from her and Harry.  I was beginning to wonder if there were only the two when Molly laid down and delivered the boy.  According to one of my goat books, this is unusual, as "95% of the time" when both genders are in a kidding, the boys will be born first.  All three are horned, which means I need to fire up the disbudding iron, and hope I do a better job than I did with Cocoa Puff.  I'm working on switching them over to the bottle, as bottle babies are so much friendlier.  The punchline here is, after over 7 weeks of refusing, yesterday morning Cocoa Puff's daughter Cinnabon decided she wanted to try the bottle.
"Molly loves that camera -
she always thinks it is food."

almost like three peas in a pod

now you can see all three faces

02 April 2019

A picture a week of a garden box

Just hubby's weekly pictures of the lettuce and broccoli bed, with the last three being the most recent, where you can see the lettuce bolted, although not before we got several good salads out of it.  The broccoli has sort-of bolted, in that right now there are only three crowns not yet past eating stage.  They should all do side shoots in good style, though, so all is not lost.

21 March 2019


latest two hatches of Wyandottes

light-colored chick appears RED,
but still a full Wyandotte

Lacey and kits

Brooke and kits

the broccoli and lettuce bed

Dutch-Boy, at Frank & Caroline's
Hope y'all enjoy these pics and vids, courtesy of hubby's smart-phone.  Commentary later.

19 February 2019

Add three more goat kids

Maggie finally kidded.  Three little boys, who all look like their sire, Harry Houdini, except one appears to be polled.  The apparently-polled one is also the one most inclined to take the bottle, which will make him the perfect replacement for his sire, who is living up to his name a bit too well for Frank and Caroline.

Pictures maybe tomorrow, if the ones from this afternoon turned out decent.  If not, there will be more pics after the rain passes.

Oh, Brooke is due to kindle sometime tomorrow, and I am gathering more eggs for the incubators.  Busy, busy, busy!  We're both tired right now.

17 February 2019

New additions

Pics will have to wait until tomorrow, but a lot of new additions here.   My second incubator kicked things off, with the first two chicks hatching Thursday morning.  Friday evening Lacey kindled a six pack - all six live, healthy, and close enough in size there is no actual runt of this litter.  At first, I was worried she wasn't caring for them, or her milk hadn't come in enough for six, so I gave her a small handful of raspberry leaves and this morning those kits had FAT round full bellies.  Saturday ended the hatch, with a total of thirty-four live chicks out of forty-one that showed development at candling.  I guess the record from two weeks ago didn't last long.

Now, for the new addition I know y'all will want pics, pics, pics!  Yup, a new goat kid, but it wasn't Maggie who kidded this evening.  It was Cocoa Puff, who I thought had another week or two.  She sure fooled me.  One very adorable, nicely marked girl.  Meanwhile, Maggie is huge: the proverbial broad side of the barn.  We're hoping she at least has twins, for her sake.

Another addition, but not a baby: I have a new stud bunny.  I'll get pics of him when he settles in, as right now he's hiding in the privacy cubby of the new bunny hutch.  This one is almost exactly like the one last summer, and is situated under the tress.  We had to move the electronet fence after setting it up, but bunnies need shade.

It's been an eventful weekend, even before the weekend officially started.

02 February 2019

Thirty-three chicks

I finally have a GOOD hatch!  On January 11th, I set 41 gold-laced Wyandotte eggs, from Solo and the spring pullets I collectively named "the Young Ones."  Solo is named such because he is the only surviving chick hatched here last spring, and not so much for the Star Wars character.  When I candled the hatch on day 11 or 12, I only saw four obvious clears.  Two more were questionable, but I figured I'd let them go anyway.  So, I set 37 eggs Tuesday evening, and about a handful of those eggs cheeped at me as I moved them (a good sign!).  The first "early bird" chick hatched Wednesday morning, then Thursday they were popping out like popcorn.  I know at least one hatched Friday morning, as I saw a very wet chick when I looked in with the Mini-Mag.  I remarked to hubby there was no counting them until we pulled them out of the incubator because they were bouncing all around in it.

Yesterday afternoon, we set up the nursery, and while I added electrolytes and probiotics to their first water, and fixed up the first chick starter (I wet it with liquid from the fermented scratch), hubby pulled the chicks out one at time to count.  I came back with food to distract the adult birds out running around, and heard, "Thirty ... thirty-one ..."  Sure enough, once all the chicks were in the nursery, there were only four eggs unhatched.

That's an 80% hatch rate ...I think it's also a new record for here.

Oh, hubby got me a second incubator as my birthday present, so there are 42 more gold-laced Wyandotte eggs from Solo and the Young Ones.  The older hens aren't laying well enough just yet, so after I clean out incubator #1, I'll be loading it up with a third hatch from Solo and the Young Ones.  I intend to hatch a LOT of chicks this year.  Most will be sold or eaten, but I want to get another hen like Beauty was ... okay, I actually want a dozen like she was.  The best way to make progress in chicken breeding is to hatch as much as you can, and it is time to "move the chains" on this idea.