Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Country Homemaker Hop #65

We've been keeping busy as I am sure you are too.  Here's an update on our progress this month.

Our bottle baby nigerian dwarf kids are growing like weeds.  My little guy was wethered a few weeks back and is doing well.  My little doeling is putting on the weight now with the daily supply of real fresh goat's milk, so I am reading up in preparation of weaning them at twelve weeks.

It's been a week since I brought home my first ever freshened yearling nigerian dwarf, Lily.  She is providing a steady 4.5-5 cups of wonderful milk every day which my bottle babies are happily consuming, but in another month or so that milk will be all mine for wonderful cheese, soap, and who knows what else...

Me and Lily at the show on the day I got her. She placed 2nd in all three shows.
I am keeping the goat kids housed separately from my yearling, though I do give them supervised visits daily.  She's just so strong and they're still too small to play together unsupervised I think.  They're housed in adjacent yards.

Our plans for the barn were set back when my father-in-law took ill two weeks ago and ultimately passed away.  Understandably, my hubby went to stay with his parents for a time, and I needed immediate safe housing for my milker before she arrived so I converted one of my ever growing population of chain link kennels into a safe house for warm nights.  I wired the top and bottom with no climb horse wire so nothing can dig or claw into the pen.  (This is a temporary fix) Ultimately, Jerry should have my goat barn done before the worst of Summer weather I hope.

At night, I place the kids into a 4x3 open wire kennel inside the 12x6 kennel and leave Lily free inside it.  That has been working out pretty good so far.

Lily says Hello!
I have no livestock guardian dogs yet since Jerry has not completed the goat fencing, but eventually I will have.  For now though I have something equally intimidating to small predators.  Please don't laugh when you read this next bit.  I admit I did re-reading it.

Meet Chocolate.  My baby boy.  He's 7 yrs old now.
I have two male shih tzu that think they're great pyrs.  They sleep in another horse wire lined kennel adjacent to the goats and provide loads of barking, which seems to scare off the wildlife.  It's been working out great so far.  So well in fact that for the past 5 mornings, like clockwork, at 7:30 a.m., I hear the boys barking and spy a wild turkey hen and her baby strolling from our yard under the cattle fence and out to graze.  I hear foxes screaming all night long and see them some nights next door at a vacant home, but they have yet to cross my fence since my dogs have been sleeping outside in the fresh air.  That turkey hen choosing to bed down behind m dogs and goats at night tells me she finds their barking helpful too.

My dogs are groomed monthly, vaccinated, well fed and pampered.  Please don't worry about them.  It's been plenty warm enough for these little guys to sleep outdoors.

tiny mini chicken with her brood last month
In fact, it's been unusually HOT lately.  So hot last Saturday (109deg) that I lost my best broody hen.  I called her the Tiny Mini Chicken.  She was a salmon faverolle.  She hatched 10 babies a few months back.  Unfortunately, she went broody again in this horrible heat last week. Though I kept removing her from nest boxes during the day and tried to collect every egg I could to keep her from setting, I missed one and she sat til she was overcome by the heat that evening.  I found her dead just inches from the door to the run. That was an awful night.

The night before that, I was locking everybody up as usual and got another surprise. I have to get down on my hands and knees and reach into the small run for my silkie roosters to lock their coop door. I did that and stood back up only to spy another rattlesnake looking at me less than 3 feet away.  This guy was number four for the season already!  Yikes!  I had no time to be queezy.  I had no shovel.  What a dummy.  I carefully extricated myself from his gaze and ran to the closest shovel, nearly stepping on a great basin gopher snake as I stopped. Ugh.  I ran back in time to separate him from his head and call it a day.  There's NEVER a dull moment at the new homestead. Lol.

I could go on and on forever with more crazy stories like these, but I'd rather read about your adventures.  Please link up and share if you can, below.  Thanks!

Have a GREAT week



  1. EEEk! Rattlers...So glad we don't have any around here!

  2. You are so lucky you didn't get bit! Sorry about the hen. That is a bummer. Glad the dogs are earning their keep. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your father in law. Sending prayers for the family. Also about your hen. We lost a couple last summer due to high heat too. The goats are wonderful though and so it the guard dog!! Our neighbors raise goats and they chose (for goat dogs only) a mix of Australian Shepherd and Great Pyrenees- big goofy dogs that like to round everything up! They eat, sleep and live all day with the goats.

  4. Yikes on the snakes! You be careful out there!
    We have been really hot here too, blech.
    I really like those big dog kennel thingys. I wish we had a couple of them here. Ms. Lily is a beauty, congrats!
    So sorry about Jerry's dad.


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