Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Too Many Bucks!

I have seven bucks on the place now!  Time to sell a couple of them.  These two are Red and Moonshine, two of this years' kids.  They were born in April, Moonshine is a couple weeks older than Red.  $275 each.  Red is out of Spot and Snowflake.  Spot is white and Snowflake is black.  Both of them have excellent fleece, so Red does, too.  Moonshine is out of Midnight and Miss Kitty.  Black, and red. Both have beautiful fleeces.   Interesting what colors the kids come out, isn't it?

I am tempted to keep them, especially Red, I like his coloring, except they are related to most of the herd, so there aren't enough does they could breed to warrant keeping them.  So, my loss, your gain!  If you are interested, I can send you pictures of the parents.  Miss Kitty is one of the prettiest goats on the place.  Nice conformation, beautiful head, and a nice deep red/brown color, like Red, only a shade darker.  Snowflake is a pretty goat, too.  Solid black with a soft grey fleece.  Red's great grand dad was a red color, too.  So if you'd like to add red to your herd, either of these bucklings carry that color in their bloodlines.  Moonshine has a creamy colored fleece.  He's like his mom, you can't see the cashmere till you start combing it out, then there is a lot of it!

The dehairing machine left on Sunday.  It is a relief to have it gone.  It was just too big of a machine for my situation.  It is made to be in a mill, and that is where it is now.  It used too much electricity for an off-grid homestead.   I enjoyed doing my own fleeces, but it is one of the slowest processes on the planet, and it's not why I'm here.  Now I have time to do all the other things I need to do around here that always got put off for the last 4 plus years.  I am open to whatever happens next.  It's all part of the journey called life!  Who knows, maybe I'll develop a "personal" sized dehairing device that anyone, anywhere can use and it won't cost an arm and a leg to buy.  That is what is needed in the cashmere world.  So, we''ll see what happens in the coming months.....

If you are interested in either of these boys, let me know.  Thanks!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Combing Nellie

After one hour and 45 minutes, Nellie is a fluffy hairball instead of a matted hairball.  She finally let me comb her out!

 This is all her hair that came off.  That's one of the Akbashes in the goat pen watching all the proceedings.  Probably glad they shed out much easier!
 Nellie was worn out after that and had to take a nap.  She was not entirely sure of the whole thing, but decided to let me work on her.  I guess she was tired of all the hair matts, etc.  For the longest time she wouldn't let me touch her, she'd head for the hills as soon as I had a hold of the comb.  But, today was the magical day.  We both feel better now, although I have a blister on the hand that was holding the comb the most.  It's worth it though.
A few years ago she "blew" her coat and was almost bald.  She did not like that at all, so she hasn't let me get near her since.  Now she sees that she can get combed and pretty and still have hair, so maybe from now on she'll let me comb her more often.  After that one time, she hasn't ever blown her coat again.  Feeling the air on her skin just about drove her crazy, I even had to remove her collar for a while.  Nellie is a wonderful dog, but I don't think I'll ever get a Great Pyrenees again.  It is too much work grooming them.  I like the Akbashes better, they don't bark quite as much either.  They shed out easier and have shorter hair.
Well, that's it for now.  More as it happens....

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Rain is falling!

We are finally getting a good rain!  There is almost 3/4 of an inch in the rain gauge and ti's still coming down.  It's quite chilly, too.  43° is all.  The wood stove is going and the heat feels good!

John is enjoying being back home again, and I am enjoying having him back!  Thanks to helpxers, the wood shed is 95 % full, and John has about 2/3 of the trees that were cut and left in piles out in the woods all cut up into firewood.  They just need to be stacked and left out there for another year and brought in next summer.   It looks much better out there now.  It's nice to be able to turn the gardening over to John and I just have the animals to take care of now.  I'll have truly tame goats again!  The last three years the kids haven't been handled much, I haven't had the time, so there is almost half the herd that won't let me touch them easily.  Time to work on that!

I'm busy spinning and needle felting.   Today is a good day to be inside.  The goats are all staying under cover.  Most of them have a good cashmere coat growing already.  I love petting them now, they are so soft. ☺

We are having to run the generator today.  It hasn't been run for months, but it's been cloudy for a couple of days and lots of electricity has been used, so it needed to be started up.

We've started processing the young roosters from the batch of straight run laying chicks I got in May.  They sure are scrawny compared to the meat bird crosses!  A bit tougher, too.  But, they still taste good.  They are either Jersey Giants, or Buff Orpingtons.  So far we've done more of the Orps than Giants.  I was going to wait a few more weeks, but they are starting to fight a lot and harass the hens too much. So it's time to downsize the rooster crop.  I'm going to keep one of each breed and all the hens and go from there.  I'll let them hatch out their own chicks next year and keep the flock going now without buying more. I do think we will get some more meat birds.  They are easy to raise and it only takes 8 weeks.  It truly is only 8 weeks, too. 9 weeks or more and the quality goes down.  I kept two to them longer to see, and 8 weeks is the best time to process them.

I lucked out and got into a feed co-op here that buys organic feed at wholesale prices.  That has really helped with the feed bill on the birds.  The turkeys are eating us out of house and home.  They are getting huge, too.  The toms spend most of their time fanned out and strutting around.  The two hens stick to themselves most of the time.   It's funny how the toms gobble at any noise they hear.  Forget about trying to carry on a conversation with someone anywhere near them.  Every time a person starts to talk, they gobble.  Silly birds.

Well, that's all the news from here for now.  Time to get back to spinning....