Archive for January, 2009

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Goats & Christmas Trees

January 16, 2009

I wrote previoulsy about recieving a large number of left over Christmas trees to feed to my goats.  They are making steady progress on demolishing the pile of trees, and after I dragged a new one into the pasture this morning I thought to take some before and after pictures.

Remember these are Nigerian Dwarf goats that stand less than 2 feet tall at the shoulder, so just imagine how much more quickly a larger goat could get the “recycling” done!

Before.... (with some after's in the background)

Before.... (with some after's in the background)

After - it took the boys two days to strip this smaller tree

After - it took the boys two days to strip this smaller tree

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You don’t have to have a PhD to milk a goat!

January 11, 2009

A few weeks ago my sister came to visit during winter break from her PhD studies in Indiana.  She offered to watch the kids over night for us, so that hubby and I could get away by ourselves for the first time since the kids came along.

The one catch was it involved her doing chores, and that included milking Allie.   A very patient experienced milking Nigerian Dwarf goat.  Janet’s first attempts at milking Allie resulted in some milk coming out, but I don’t think anything made it into the quart sized Pyrex measuring cup I usually use for milking.   Allie finally had enough of all the nonsense and stepped into the milk.

Fearing our overnight excursion might be in jeopardy, I finally took my dad up on his offer to milk since he frequently brags about how he used to milk some 50 years ago.   He came over with my sister to learn the routine, and things did not go well.  My sister turned out to be the better milker.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time, and I so wish I would have had a video camera to record the three ring circus as they both tried to figure it out.

My sister did finally get the hang of it, and proudly showed off her newly acquired skill at least once more before she returned to the university.

So tonight, after putting up with my sister’s bragging my hubby finally agreed to have a go at learning how to milk.    Maybe its a guy thing, but he didn’t have any more luck at it than my dad.  Nigerian Dwarf goats are small, and there isn’t much “equipment” to work with when you are trying to milk them, so I’m guessing the larger mens hand may be part of the problem.

Ah well, at least he tried and I will keep trying to teach him how, in the words our four year old daughter, to be a “real farm boy”.

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Silly Heifer

January 2, 2009

As I mentioned previously I was given a couple dozen left over christmas trees to feed to the goats.  My Dexter’s also like eating browse occasionally and have trimmed all of the trees in the pasture to a very even height.

So this morning I decided to give them a tree to munch on and threw a smaller christmas tree over the fence into the pasture.  As soon as I did Maggie went nuts and attacked it.  At first I thought she was just trying to get a bite, but then she got it up on her horns and started tossing it around like a bucking bull tosses a barrel at the rodeo.

Meanwhile Matilda was standing at the fence looking for treats and occasionally glancing Maggie’s way with a look that clearly said “We aren’t really that closely related, she is only my HALF sister!”   I have no idea why Maggie was so riled up by that tree, but it sure was funny to watch!

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Happy New Year

January 1, 2009

The new year is being ushered in by flood watches and high wind warnings here.  Gusts are expected in the 50-60 mph range, which means they will probably be higher on our ridge top.

The lower pasture has been showing signs of flooding for several days now,and the cows have mostly been staying up in the corral or on other high ground.  We did have a bit of a lull in the weather yesterday afternoon and the cows ventured to the low lands to check out the small ponds that have formed and to look for any new graze that might have sprung up.

We here at Wags Ranch are wishing everyone a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year!