|The days of haying the animals is almost over!!
Hallelujah! This shot was taken at the beginning
of March with no green in sight. We have clover
and rye grass starting to appear finally. Now we
are putting hay out for the goats to try to keep
them from getting bloated on all of that rich
|This is how we have been haying the goats.
Shane stands a roll on it's side and we just peel
the layers off like a cinnamon roll. It works out
much better this way. Our Kawasaki mule has
been a lifesaver since we've been on the farm.
Haying the goats is just one of it's many duties
here on the farm.
We have weaned our winter kids this month. It has been a super rough winter for the does and the
kids. Shane and I had planted clover along with rye grass for them to have to forage on this past
winter, but it wasn't productive at all. We had a lot of below freezing temps, rain, snow, sleet....this
is totally uncommon for our area. So our goats managed to survive under less than ideal
conditions with us feeding them hay. They have proved that they are kiko tough!! Now that we
have forage coming out, I can't wait to see the animals take off!
We have a portable electric fence that we purchased a couple of years ago that has come in real
handy. We needed an extra pen to put the bucklings in until we can get the rest of our property
"goat proof" We put up the fence in one of our small hay fields next to the house to let them clean
up the briars on the fence row. I must say they have enjoyed themselves very much. I have
enjoyed having them close to the house too. I am able to go outside every morning with a cup of
coffee and just enjoy the view of the little fellas playing and nibbling briars. It's times like these I
feel so lucky to be able to live on a farm.
Now for the industrious things that have been going on......Shane built a dog feeder for our LGD's.
We have so many separate fields for the dogs that it takes a while to get them all fed. This will also
decrease the amount of human interaction with them, which will probably be better. I have a
tendency to really show affection to Kimba and he has become fond of it. Since the dog feeders
have been used, he doesn't pay as much attention to me when I go out there as before. Shane
found these cages at work and modified them a little. They are working out real well.
Shane also constructed 3 watering pads like these below in 3 different pastures. He has signed up
with the NRCS of the USDA and this is one of the projects he has done. They are going to be really
nice especially when the cows get brought into these pastures. We had these drinkers before
without the concrete pads and the cows stood in line waiting their turn to drink out of one. It made
such a muddy mess! Also thanks to "Cubby" for working with Shane.
We are officially out of the hay making business! We sold the hay baler and hay mower last week.
With Shane working a full-time job off the farm, he felt this was the best decision for right now. He
is planning on purchasing hay and storing it in the barn for winter. We'll see how this works out
this year. Most people around here think it was a crazy move, but people only have so much time
in a day to work. Maybe we'll be able to spend more quality time with the kids. Just this past
summer, Mallory had to entertain herself in the back of Shane's truck while he and I worked on hay.
It was parked under a pecan tree and turned into a "play pen" if you would call it that....Cooler with
kool-aid , snacks, coloring books, crayons, building blocks, dolls, blankets, pillows, baby dolls, etc.
We won't have to do that style of babysitting this summer! Whew!
Yes, I know, another dog is our employee of the month; but without our LGD's we wouldn't be
able to stay in the goat business. Kimba, an anatolian shepherd, has grown to be an
outstanding LGD. He is with our main doe herd along with Jael in a 15 acre pasture. At night,
and even sometimes during the day, we can hear coyotes cutting up just on the other side of
the fence. They would be feasting on goats if it weren't for Kimba keeping guard. Some goat
farmers around these parts, don't know a thing about having an LGD with their herd. Some
have even got out of the goat business because they couldn't keep the coyotes from killing
their goats. We can't stress the importance enough of having an LGD with your herd! We
haven't had a loss to predators since getting the guardians, so that is why Kimba is our
employee of the month......