Tuesday, October 27

I built some kidding stalls last weekend with my cousin Aaron's help.
They are already in use as stalls for our Jersey bottle calves which
should be weaned by the time we need the stalls for goat kidding.

I was able to scrounge for most if the material, the posts where left
over from a friends projects, I bought a bundle of surplus lumber for
some of it, and the slats are from the pallets I deconstructed last

Saturday, February 28

More horse photography

I did a photoshoot for a local horse owner recently.  Picture here is "Rusty" of Noblewood Farms.  Rusty is a

5 year old, 15 hand, ABCR Registered Bashkir curly with Mead bloodlines. Rusty is the only leopard appaloosa ABCR stallion in North America, and the only appaloosa marked curly stallion to offer shipped semen.
I liked the indoor photos the best based on the lighting, but of course the people who know horses like the movement shots.

Butter churnin'

Dazey Churn
Originally uploaded by duanekeys
The neighbors to the south of us raise Red Poll beef cattle and recently had a cow lose a calf during birth. They asked Jennifer if we could use the milk knowing that we're raising baby goats. Of course my ever enterprising and ambitious wife agreed. She's been helping to milk her for the past couple of weeks. Our fridge and freezer were getting pretty full of milk, as was the neighbor's.

One evening they pulled out the butter churn that belonged to their parents. They told us stories of passing the turn around the room to take turns churning. We hadn't the slightest idea what we were doing, so we hopped on the internet for some directions.

We did eventually get butter from this old churn, though it would have went much faster had we read some instructions first (letting the cream sit out until it's room temp is important).

We've made a couple batches at home using the blender, very effective and much easier on the wrists!

Wednesday, January 28


Originally uploaded by duanekeys
Pictured here is Jiminy and his twin sister (in the background) Cricket bouncing towards the camera. Baby goats are so cute when they're playing.

Sadly we lost Jiminy yesterday to what we believe was CDT. It was pretty traumatic for Jennifer and me. We were confident that we were doing everything right: vaccinating, controlling food intake, etc. We've been told we have to expect some losses even with vaccines and vigilant care, but that doesn't stop the guilt and "what ifs."

Monday, January 26

Ghost says cheese

Ghost says cheese
Originally uploaded by duanekeys
I couldn't resist posting this one!

DIY Goat Feeder

I built this nifty little hay feeder from plans on goatworld.com. I modified it slightly to include a roof that's hinged. It seems to work really well, and the goats only tip it over when it's empty, ha!

You can see Snowflake and Sampson along with their mother, Ghost in the background. Stocky little ones aren't they!?

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Bouncing Baby Goats

Things have been crazy busy on the farm the last few months. Our journey into the world of goats continues on. Pictured here are some of our bouncing baby goat kids running towards Jennifer. They're just so dang adorable! Princess, Jiminy, Cricket, Bella, and Stella have a great time bouncing off over turned buckets and bales of straw. Soon our two newest arrivals, Bugsy and Gander, will be doing the same. I can't help but smile when I call "Baby goats!" and they all "baaaaa!" back in unison. Jennifer and I can actually pick out their individual voices!

We just finished up ice storm preparation, hopefully it's for nothing:
  • all water tanks are topped off
  • extra bedding has been applied to all three goat barns
  • all feeders are full of hay
  • some slight rearranging of kid warmers and heat lamps is complete
  • wood hauled in and fire going

Should we loose power I should be able pull the generator out of the garage (it was test started last weekend) up next to the well house and plug in the well and run a cord in to the house for the furnace blower, as well as plug in minimum necessary kid warmers in the barns.

I hope everyone fares well during mother nature's latest. How do you prepare?

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Thursday, January 22

Buh Bye Wild Blue

I can hardly believe it, but I have DSL service now on the farm!

Overall, the WildBlue experience has been tolerable. It's better than dial-up, but that's not saying much! The latency and inconsistent performance was frustrating. Perhaps not having to wait on pages to load will encourage me to blog once again...


The greenhouse hoops are up. My
buddy Timmo came out last weekend with the welder... these hoops
aren't going anywhere. Next up is to build the ends and attach the
plastic. I considered straw bale construction but the learning curve
is probably too long for the time that I need to get the greenhouse up
and usable.

Any one have any tips? I think 2x4s treated will work for the ends to
hold a door, fans, and chimney...