Tuesday, May 27, 2014

If ever you have to fall ...

When I left the house to make my final rounds for the evening, to check the animals, I was not expecting what was to come in the next few minutes!

Let me just say, if ever there is a time when you have to fall, I mean like there is seriously no way of avoiding it kind of thing, pray for the following things...
#1. a soft landing!
#2 that no one is around to witness or more importantly... take pictures!
#3 that no other humans or animals are injured during your escapade!
#4 that you are NOT in the middle of a messy duck pen and right next to the plastic kiddie pool the ducks use as their pond.
#5 that the wind didn't blow hard enough at that one direction, today, to blow the pilot on the hot water tank out.
#6 that you have some really nice soap available to wash your smelly self with.

The same pool only more 'mud' around it, but not the actual ducks involved in this incident.
 
No, my friends, THAT is not really what I had in mind when I left the house two hours ago! I really thought it was going to be just a nice quiet little trek to the barn. Check to make sure everyone was in their proper pens and shut the doors, gates, etc. Come back in, and finish my evening routine.
Have you ever heard about those little things call 'the best laid plans'? Yeah, you got it, they rarely work out well for me either.

Oh, and as for the prayers being answered? Well....
#1 Answered.  I landed in a mixture of about two inches of slimy duck poo and mud. And as if that wasn't soft enough? My arm and elbow landed on the edge of the plastic pool which proceeded to empty all around me and make the ground a LOT softer, and slimier
It was a lot better landing than those rocks, that are scattered throughout the enclosure, would have been.
#2 Answered! Not a soul (except the ducks) in sight. And an added bonus ... it was completely dark outside... so not even my mother (who lives across the road) could have seen, even if she had been sitting at her dining room table. And honestly, I don't think the poor ducks saw much - if any - of the landing... they were too busy running for their lives. Which brings me to prayer #3.
#3 Answered! I somehow avoided any serious injury as did the ducks. I'm sure I'll be sore and maybe even a bit bruised tomorrow but hopefully not too worse for wear.
#4 Let me just say God has a really odd sense of humor some days! :)
#5 Answered! There was plenty of hot water when I got back to the house, so I could get a hot shower ASAP. Maybe I should also mention that everyone in the house was sleeping, so I didn't even have to worry about them seeing me in such a state.
#6 Answered! There hasn't been a shortage of nice smelling, skin loving, goat milk soap in my house since I learned the art of making handmade soaps about 14 years ago.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Our Fire Pit

Our latest project. We scavenged some old blocks from a pile that has been out in the weather so long it was all covered in moss. Too bad the moss wont survive the heat of the fires we plan to have, I really like the look of it.



This was the view while sitting by the fire the first night.


There were no pictures of our first meal cooked on the fire but the boys sure did enjoy the hot dogs. Of course, they kept reminding Grandma that "the cookies and marshmallows are for after we eat", just like she is the one who couldn't wait to break into them... LOL

Friday, May 16, 2014

Where is my camera when I need it most?

I really need to start carrying my camera everywhere I go....
I just went to check on everyone in the barn and it seemed awfully quiet in there. I found Red in her pen all by herself. The piglets were nowhere to be seen. The goats were all out in the pasture, except the new baby who was in his pen napping. I figured the piglets were out rooting in the mud out back, but when I went to look I couldn't find them. Decided to fill the hay feeders for the goats and guess who I found sleeping in the goat pen, under the hay feeder? Yep, all 13 piglets were stacked up like cord wood sound asleep under the feeder.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Throwback Thursday...

 
A picture of me, and one of the goats we had at the time ( I think her name was Gena), in 1979. I was 4 years old and already in love with goats.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The one and only baby goat for the year...

I was not expecting him until around the 21st and until the 16th at the very earliest. He was born on April 10th. According to the breeding date he was born at 139 days gestation. The gestation period for goats is generally from 145 to 155 days with an average of 150 days.
This little fella is small but otherwise doing okay. He needed a little help eating for the first couple of days but he's becoming a pro now and I believe he will do fine. His Mama (Bubbles) is very protective and wont let him out of her sight. If by chance he is out of her sight, she makes quite a fuss, and is she ever noisy.... if I didn't know better I'd think she was full nubian, not just part nubian. I've lovingly nicknamed her Bellering Bubbles. (Is bellering or should it be bellowing?... hmmm.. I pronounce it beller so that is what I'm going with.)
So, here is a picture of the new baby, only minutes old.

 As soon as my 5 year old saw him he said he was going to name him Happy Feet. That seem appropiate for a baby goat, their feet are always on the move.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The baby pigs have arrived!

I haven't been sharing much here but I will make an effort to try harder... I know, I know.... I keep saying that and I can understand if you are all like "Yeah, whatever. We've heard that before!" I'm truly sorry but life seems to get in the way of my best laid plans. Then I get so far behind that I don't even know where to start updating... does that ever happen to you? I mean like when it has been a long time since you've seen a good friend then one day you do see them and you have so much to say to that person you just can't find a good place to start. Well that is the way I feel right now, so I'm just going to start blurting out whatever comes to mind..... you've been warned. [wink]

One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of recent things that have happened here on the farm is Red (the pig) had babies. This is the fist litter of pigs that have been born here since 2002. Yes, twelve years ago, that is a long time. Especially when you are trying to prepare for a new litter and can't remember the details of how to calculate the due date (yes I remember now it's three months, three weeks, and three days), the first signs of labor, etc. I really had to delve into the recessed of my brain to answer some of the questions that *T* had about pigs having babies. This is the first litter he has ever seen born or had any part in raising.... it has been quite an experience for him .... and for me trying to reassure him everything will be fine.... I really think he was as nervous about these baby pigs' delivery as he was when I was in labor for our two boys. He'll never admit to it but it's true!

So, here is a picture of Red a little over a year ago on April 14th. We had just brought her and her sister (Patches) home. They were about eight weeks old at the time.

 
Here they are the day we put them in the outside pen. They looked so small in that huge outside pen... but they loved it!
 
 
In mid November we helped my mom, who lives across the road, clean out her garden and the boys hauled some of the 'leftovers' home to give to Red. Yes, just Red, by then we had sold Patches and Red was our only pig. She had no problem cleaning up the garden leftovers by herself. I'm thinking she was kind of glad she didn't have to share her "goodies" with anyone.


 
She was one happy little (okay, big) piggie!

I almost forgot... I was going to tell you about our baby pigs... sorry I get sidetracked A LOT!!!

On January 1st a friend of ours brought his boar to visit Red for a couple of months. She was in heat the day he brought the boar but we wanted to make sure he was still here if she cycled again. We never noticed her in heat again, so we figured she should be due to farrow around the 25th of April. Well, I should say "I figured" because *T* counted the days differently than I did and came up with May 1st.... I'm not sure how he counted 115 days (three months, three weeks, and three days) from Jan. 1st and came up with May 1st. Either way, by April 24th she was getting pretty uncomfortable and couldn't lay still and didn't seem to know what to do with herself. While *T* was at work I moved her into a bigger pen, hoping she would be able to find a more comfortable position to have her babies.




The first one was born Friday, April 25th around 5pm

 
The boys thought this was great entertainment...
 
 After having seven babies she seemed to take a little break and I was thinking that she might be done. Seven is a nice size litter for a fist time mama pig.
 
 This was number twelve!!!! YES, TWELVE!!!
By this point it was like watching clowns get out of a VW.... how many more could there be in there?
 
After number thirteen Red got up and was walking around in her pen looking at the babies like "what are those things and how did they get here?" I will admit I was a little bit nervous that she wasn't going to want them at first. We stayed with her until after she laid back down, we wanted to make sure she didn't smoosh any of them.We were all getting tired and hungry so we left Red and went to the house to eat some dinner (it was close to 8pm) and get the boys ready for bed. After getting the boys settled into bed I went back to the barn to see if Red had passed the placenta..... she sure did.... and another baby! WHAT? I counted and recounted those wiggly little piggies almost a dozen times to make sure I was not mistaken.... sure enough, there were fourteen piglets! WOW. That is a lot of piglets for a first time mom.
Then when we were cleaning up and taking the placenta out we found one more that was dead. So she had actually had 15 babies. WOW.... I'm still in shock. I can not believe she had that many babies!
The next morning we found one of the babies dead, it looked like she had laid on it, but the other 13 were still doing good.

 

 Here they are at 6 days old.... look how much they have grown. All 13 are still going strong.

 
On Sunday they were two weeks and two day old. We moved them to the big outside pen and here is a video showing hem out for the first time. They were so curious about everything, yet still a little scared to be too far from Mama for a while.
video
*** And before anyone fusses about me not being too concerned when my child screamed bloody murder.... he was fine! I could see him and he was playing on the slide. Later he told me that "that is our scream slide. So we have to scream every time we slide down it." So no hate mail, or anyone saying I was more into filming piggies than I was checking to see if my kids were hurt..... They were happily playing on the other side of the yard, within sight of me the whole time. :) ***
 
 After being outside for a few hours they got brave, and also found a hole under the fence....
video

There really isn't anything much cuter than a baby pig.... unless of course you can find a rare moment like this one...
video
 
They were so excited that they finally got their hands on one of the piglets! I thought *Z* was going to drop it because it got to squirming around so much but he didn't. Of course my memory card ran out of memory so I couldn't continue to film, but we put the baby back in with Red and the rest of the piglets.


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