Monday, October 5, 2009

Cat Sketch

Last night I was "home alone," so to speak, so I picked up my sketch pad for the first time in a really long time. My cat was drowsing on the back of the couch, so I took the opportunity to draw her. Not perfect--she kept moving her head--but I think I got her eyes right.

Friday, October 2, 2009

First Eggs!

In May, we got some new baby chicks. Yesterday, we had one 2.4 oz brown egg, from one of the Turkens, and a lovely little green egg, from one of the Araucanas. The Turken laid it on the floor (not surprising, since 2.4 oz is really big for a first egg--it probably caught her by surprise), but the green egg was in the nest box. This morning, all three eggs were in the nest box--two more greens and a pinkish brown that could be Araucana or could be Turken.

Here's a pic:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Baby Chicks

Yesterday, we had 28 baby chicks arrive, mostly Araucanas, but also some Turkens, Black Minorcas, and a "mystery chick" that I'm pretty sure is a Dark Brahma.--probably a rooster. We made it through the first night without any losses, and I haven't seen any sign of pasty butt. I think that no losses is due to not just dipping their beaks into water and food, but watching them and making sure any that just stood around looking sleepy really did start drinking and eating. I think possibly the lack of pasty butts is due to already starting to feed them greens--broccoli sprouts and spinach.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weaning Maria

I had about 2 weeks of going out and milking 4 times a day for 6 oz. of milk a day if I was lucky. So I decided it was time to wean Maria. But how? With three goats, it's impossible to separate mother from baby without having a screming goat somewhere.

So I decided I would have to find a way to control when Maria nursed. The most obvious and convenient way I could think of was to tape the ends of her teats so that Maria couldn't get at the milk. I had some "Coach" sports tape from when one of the dogs had a wound that needed to have gauze pads taped over it. This tape is very soft and breatheable and tends not to stick to hair or skin as badly as other tapes. So, what the heck I said. And that's where my experiment with taping teats as a kid weaning technique began.

I started out on a schedule of milking at 7 am and 4 pm and taping the teats at 12:30 pm and 9:30 pm. This gave Maria the hours of 7 am to 12:30 and 4 pm to 9:30 to nurse, or a total of 11 hours. To start out with, this gave me about 12 oz. of milk a day. I'm gradually moving the times together, so that Darcy spends more and more time taped, and Maria is slowly getting less and less milk. Right now, I milk at 7:45 and 5:30, and I try to tape at 11:45 and 9, though that doesn't always work out. I got 3 1/2 cups of milk today--almost a quart.

This doesn't sound like much, but I'm very happy with this production considering Darcy almost died after the babies were born. Also, she does have more milk. It's just Maria is drinking it. If we get too much more than a quart a day, we'll have to start making cheese and yogurt. Shame :-).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First milk

With Darcy's having triplets and then getting sick, she hasn't had any extra milk. Now that she's down to one kid and recovering, we've been "attempting" to milk her for several days. Up until yesterday, the pickings were so slim that we fed the dribble or two to the dogs. But yesterday, we finally got enough to make it worth while to filter it. I had that nearly 4 oz. of fresh, unpasteurized goat's milk on my oatmeal. Totally delicious!