Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Today I taught John Leap of Papa John's Farm how to disbud his Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. I'd been doing his disbudding for quite some time and John decided it was time to learn to do it himself. It's not a job for the timid, but the more you do the easier it gets. John was a quick study and learned to do it quite professionally. He had a set of triplets to do today. John also brought over his hand milker for me to try out on my Nubian doe, Macey. Macey has small teats and is hard to milk by hand. I'm not sold yet on the hand milker idea. I really like doing it the "old fashioned" way. After the disbudding training session, we brought out our leftovers that we were having for supper and shared them with John and Liz. It was quite a busy day with lawn mowing at the farm, our rent house and at our son's house. Andy's wife, Erin, has been at Forsyth Hospital since Monday afternoon having contractions. Their first baby is due in August so we are quite concerned about the baby. We've been feeding Andy's sheep and llama and doing some yard and garden work to help out. We also disked the hay feeding spots in our pasture and sewed grass seed in them since rain is suppose to be on the way later this week.
Monday, April 27, 2009
This morning after milking was the time to give boosters of CDT and Pneumonia to some of my Boer kids and Nigerian Dwarf kids. By this time, they can really run and are hard to catch. We also moved around some of our sheds since we have a new paddock. We switched the cow shed with the sheep/goat shed. It comes in handy to have them on skids so they can be utilized in any pasture. We also began the spring cleanup of debris around the hay feeders. We'll use this decayed material to fill in holes around the pastures and to stop erosion on some of the hills. Tonight I gathered all of my stainless steel pots together and now I can begin making soap. I have approximately 12 bags of frozen, pasterized goat's milk in the freezer. I have just the right amount of milk in each bag for a recipe that makes approximately 32 bars of soap at a time. I hope I have good luck in making the soap.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
My Nubians, Macey, Lily Fern and Jackie were transported to a site off of Jenkins Road in Winston-Salem to be in a film, By The Fire, by Priscilla Anany-Williams. This film is being produced by UNCSA, School of Filmmaking. The location for the film was down by a lake with mud huts. The mud huts were covered with bamboo. Anyone who has goats knows that this spells disaster. Macey and the girls were eatting the bamboo and wrapping their leads around the poles of the huts causing them to fall. Where they are so friendly, they kept their faces in the camera's lense and were constantly all over the actors. When the DVD comes, we'll see if any of the girls are in any of the scenes or whether they are on the blooper reel. After lunch, we drove to Mayadan to purchase some more plastic Ball jar lids to fit my half-gallon mason jars for milk storage. They carry them in Wal-Mart, but they were out in Winston-Salem.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Today we started early and got the rest of the pasture fenced in with our son, Andy's help. The fenceline in that paddock is so steep it took three of us handle it. We finished about 1:30 and it was already 88 degrees. Really hot in April for doing this type of work. We'll finish putting the barb wire along the top and hanging the gate next week. We can handle that ourselves. After lunch, we rode to Stokesdale to Sadie's Herbal Garden. I bought some essential oils and a goat soap mold for more soapmaking supplies. I was happy to find this shop. They were very helpful and answered lots of questions. We've been seeing Sadie's while passing by on our way to Danville, VA to the Virgina-Carolina Livestock Market but had never stopped. We also drove to Reidsville to a flea market to check on some fans that they had been selling. They were big factory fans that mount on the wall. I was thinking of getting one for the deck but they only had one speed - - fast. I'll have to keep looking for the right fan for that area. On the way back, we swung by Jenkins Road in Winston-Salem to check out the parking situation for a UNCSA, School of Filmmaking's film. We'll be taking some of our goats there tomorrow for the filming of the movie, By The Fire by Priscilla Anany-Williams. We will be carrying the goats in a trailer and will need room to park and turn around since this location is on a dead end street.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thank goodness for some wet weather, we don't have to do any fencing today! Johnny went to Horizons Residential Care Center in Rural Hall, NC this morning and purchased some half-gallon canning jars for my goats milk. When you're getting 2 gallons a day, it fills up everything fast. These jars were used back in the 30's when they were a children's home. They probably had 800 of them in storage. The money they receive for the jars will be used for the developmentally handicapped that are there at the home now. I found them listed on Craig's List. Had to get a new tractor tire for the Massey Ferguson. Somehow, the side of the tire got a big cut in it and went flat. We just had the other side repaired last week - - a flat and a leaking valve stem. Hopefully, we will not be getting any more flats any time soon on this tractor. We use it quite a lot to help with the fencing because of it's front end loader. Darren Ziglar and his Dad stopped by and tried out our peach homemade ice cream using goat's milk. At first they just wanted a taste, but ended up eatting a big bowl each. They really enjoyed it. I'm changing my milking schedule to 9AM and 9PM now. The 6PM schedule seemed to interfere with dinner every night and we weren't getting to eat until late. We'll see how this works out.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
On Friday, April 17, we went back to Newton, NC to pick up my new does. Jeremy Hood was sad to see them go, but needed room in the barn for all his new kids. While traveling through Statesville, we picked up a few 80 pound bales of alfalfa from Deal Rite Feed and visited G&M Milling. We talked with their owner about their various feeds and the availability of them. We purchased a sample bag of rabbit feed and goat feed. We also found Moore's Dairy Supply and purchased some teat dip while there. They were very helpful and carried all kinds of milking machines, coolers and other products. At 6PM I used my new milking stand and milked two of the girls, Macey and Lily. I milked 1/2 gallon each from both of the girls. We will be getting 2 gallons of milk daily from them. Lily is easy to milk taking only about 5 minutes. Macey has small teats and it takes quite a bit longer. Both of the girls stand very well and are easy to milk.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
On Saturday, May 2, a FAMACHA Training Session will be held in Winston-Salem at the Forsyth County Agriculture Building. It will be led by North Carolina A&T State University - Cooperative Extension Program's new Animal Science Specialist, Dr. Niki Whitley. Dr. Whitley has been planning research involving the use of natural dewormers for managing parasites in goats and sheep and has given talks about various aspects of livestock production and management at earlier Forsyth/Stokes County Sheep and Goat Seminars. Contact Amy Thomas for more information and registration.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Johnny traveled to Holmes County, Ohio on Wednesday, April 1, to attend an exotic animal auction, check out hay prices and to do some shopping at Lehman's Hardware. While in Holmesville, Ohio, he met Eddie Raber and his wife, who are Amish. Mr. Raber owns Prarie Manufacturing Company. Johnny purchased a handmade red oak milking stand from him for my new Nubian milkers. Mr. Raber also makes handmade brooms, window frames for buggies, stainless steel dish drainers and buggy parts among other items. Today I also ordered some milking equipment for my new goats from Jeffers and Hoegger's.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The next Sheep and Goat Seminar will be held on Thursday, April 23, at 7 PM at the Forsyth County Agriculture Building and all are welcome. The guest speakers will be shephards, Ann and Ron Fay of Rising Meadow Farm in Liberty, NC. They will be discussing their holistic approach to adding value to their farming operation. Contact Amy Thomas for more information or to register.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
After getting 1-1/2 inches of rain last night, we continued to work on the fencing of another paddock for our miniature Zebu cows on the south side of the farm. The land is hilly with trees. It will be a fine location for their loafing and round bale feeder. We had brisk sales yesterday and today of Easter bunnies. Children and adults like the 8 week old bunnies this time of year. We sold lionhead and mini-rex bunnies and will have others available their first of May. Some of those kits have already been reserved.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Today I gave "baby shots" to some of my new Nigerian Dwarf and Boer kids. They received their first vacinations for CDT and pneumonia. In 21 days, they will get their second booster. Thank goodness I only had six kids needing shots this go around.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Despite the rainy weather, artist Isabel Forbes was at the farm today painting. She was visiting Germanton as part of the Painting North Carolina Plein Air Show. You can see paintings from her trip on her blog including one of the paintings of our farm. Isabel's paintings and those of the other artists are on display at the Germanton Art Gallery. -April 6th Update- Isabel blogged about her adventures on the farm, and posted a picture of her Buffalo Creek Farm painting!