Above all, try something. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dairy Trims and Waiting on Runty

 Since Tuesday, we haven't had any more goat kids born. I have been paying close attention to Runty, as I noticed her udder developing in the past week, which usually means kidding is imminent. On Friday Ed helped me to give both Mama Janet and Mama-to-be Runty dairy trims.
A dairy trim serves two purposes.
First of all, it allows the milking doe to more easily be milked by her goat keeper, by keeping the area above the milk pail free of hair, and debris that can spoil the milk if it falls in.
Secondly, during the birthing process and for a few weeks afterwards the doe will be much easier to clean up as her body naturally purges itself of unnecessary birthing tissues.
The area of the goat that are trimmed using a standard electric trimmer are udder, tail, and stomach.
Above you can see Janet lined up next to Wild Child to see how nicely her trim ended up.
Wild Child did not take from our fall breeding with the buck and we hope to breed her in the next two weeks as she goes into her spring heat.
 Another shot of Janet and her newly useful udder! She looks great and producing a fantastic amount of milk already for a first time freshener. To freshen means to breed a doe, there fore refreshing her milk production.
 Excellent balance on her udder. My good looking girl!
 Poor Runty. Definitely pregnant, and now uncomfortable. She can be found lounging around the goat pen, usually grumpy looking.
 Grumpy smurf. I hope she kids soon!
 Did I mention we got 8 inches of snow on Wednesday? Yup. We did.
A final parting shot of the pregnant Runty. Hopefully next time I blog she will be a happy mama.
The two 5-day-old doelings are doing really great, by the way, happily pouncing, running, and bleating their way through the day. Completely indifferent to the snow we recently experienced, I finally decided to take their fancy sweaters off today. I decided to name them Flo and Pinkie, and will post recent Flo and Pinkie photos soon!
That's all for today.
Hugs and Hay in your gloves~ The Jack Creek Coyles

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Life Outside the Kidding Pen

Venturing Into the Wild

After a day and a half cooped up in their kidding pens, the new kids decided today was the big day to head out into the wild. Janet has been great so far, not venturing far at all from her kids. Here she is checking out the scene:

Here's General Tsao, our mean rooster, checking out the scene as well, making sure there isn't anything dangerous for the little ones. Orrrrrr, just planning his next sneak attack on me. This guy loves to pretend he's eating bugs till you walk by then WAMMO, he attacks from behind.

The one in the green sweater, possibly named Flo, after a marking on her head that resembles the state of Florida, has been the brave one so far:

Tentatively named Pinky, is a little more timid:

Janet seems to be telling her it's ok to go outside:

Here Flo tries to make friends with Wild Child. "Hey, ummm, I like green too"

And I'll leave you with a video I took this morning. If you click on the link below, it should take you right to it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

JANET DELIVERS! (2 baby doelings!)

Janet had her kids today! She had a rough night last night, as we could hear over the baby monitor, she was very uncomfortable, tossing and turning....
Today, I noticed she was going into labor as I left for a few hours of work....
(Trust me when I say, I was NOT HAPPY TO LEAVE!)
Ed came home from skiing, to oversee the laboring doe in the event I didn't make it home from work on time, THANK GOODNESS!
Janet delivered her two baby doelings just moments before I pulled (a million miles an hour) into our driveway this afternoon. She did a great job, needing no assistance, which made our complicated situation much less complicated.
 The two doelings just moments after birth, already standing!
 Here, I am introducing each doeling to Janet's udder. They required almost no assistance at all and were very quick learners. (I attribute this fully to the fact they are females.)
 Happy goat keeper! See the other doeling already nursing...Janet looks tired.
 I put the hobble on for just a moment or two to keep Janet from kicking off her baby girls. As soon as she realized 'the program' she was way into it, and I removed the hobble.
 Once the girls has fed a little bit, Janet decided it was cleaning hour and proceeded to lick every square inch of her fuzzy new baby girls....and my entire face as well. She was VERY glad to see me finally I think!
 Both doelings still have about  6 inches of umbilical cord attached, which I doused in Iodine and antiseptic spray to keep out bacteria. They should fall off in the next few days, just like humans.
 The proud mama with her girls.
Those small doggie sweaters are coming in MIGHTY handy on this cold, snowy afternoon and evening!
Needless to say, I am bummed to have just barely missed the actual births of these two gorgeous doelings. BUT could not be happier to have had our first successful kidding, not to mention TWO GIRLS!!!
So happy. La La La...
Stay tuned for 'The Runty Situation'...until then, we adore and play with our newest additions.
Hugs and Warm Molasses Water~ The Jack Creek Coyles

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Seedlings Love Fish Fertilizer

 Here's a couple shots of some of our seedlings at six weeks of age.
They are starting to go crazy...and the snow still flies outside.
We are planning on making long, narrow hoop houses to cover each row in our garden this spring, rather than one huge greenhouse structure.
The local winds, heavy spring snow storms, and wide array of temperature needs of our plants has greatly affected our decision to spend alot of money on a huge, high-profile structure. Instead, we will work with each type of plant individually under each tunnel to better meet that specific plants' needs.
 The broccoli, cabbage, and tomatoes and really beginning to get strong, and will be moved into our cooler mudroom in a short few weeks.
 Some of the random items I have recently purchased in preparation for our goat kids: a baby monitor, to listen for signs of midnight labor from the goat shed routed straight to our bedroom, a nasal aspirator, to clear mucousy new born airways, some cute and ridiculous XS doggie sweaters for tiny kids born on cold Montana nights, and last but not least, WINE for the stressed out goat keeper to sip after kidding!!
 Here's our favorite fertilizer to hit our veggie plants with once a month or so....totally cheap and worth every penny! (be warned, very stinky, dogs love.....)
 Hey look! Our turkey poults are getting big! As you can see from the photo, the two turkey poults in front are really starting to take off in size. I think we may have one Tom as well because one of the poults is much larger than the other, with some crazy tail feathers developing....
Last weekend we moved our chicks and poults from the chick brooder to this larger chicken tractor.
The advantage of owning a chicken tractor (Ed made this one for me) is that they don't have a bottom, making them ideal for putting the chickens out in the yard anywhere you want them. It is very light and easy to move around so that your grass doesn't get ruined. Right now, we have the tractor on the ground inside our chicken coop, with some hay layed down for warmth. Also, there is still snow on the ground outside....

Sorry this post is a little all over the place, but I was up until 4 AM last night as we sent off our good friend Joe with a going away party. Joe is moving to Mount Hood, in Oregon, for the summer and working as a Rock Climbing, Back Country Skiing, and Mountaineering Guide. He's awfully fun, and we will miss him, but hope he has a great season out there.
Have a happy Sunday~ The Jack Creek Coyles