Sunday, April 28, 2019


 Here are the dairy kids, Max is on the bench, his brother Romeo is on the ground beside him, then Bianca is in front, and Buster is the black and tan one with tiny ears.  They are all healthy and very active!  Max is the friendliest, he comes right up to me to be petted.  The other three aren't so sure about it.  All four have the same dad, my Kiko buck, with Max and Romeo out of Olga, and Buster and Bianca out of Speckles. 

Timmy the house goat was outside, but now he's back in for a few days till it warms up again.  We got 2 inches of snow and down to 22 degrees last night, and it's supposed to stay below freezing at night till Thursday, so he's in till it warms up again.  This round he doesn't have free range of the house, he's having to stay in the big kennel with supervised outings.  He discovered the house plants, and was getting into all kinds of mischief before I put him outside before. Luckily my husband is on vacation for a couple of weeks, so he's taking care of Timmy. 

Yesterday I got to get away for the day and went up to Libby to their inaugural fiber festival they had.  It was fun.  Not a whole lot of people, but enough to make it an enjoyable day. 

I am so enjoying weaving!  Too bad I waited for so many years to start on it.  But, when the timing is right, it happens. 

I'm almost done combing the goats.  Only 3 more to go.  I am spinning up all the icky cashmere I got back from the mill a few years ago.  I decided to spin it into rug yarn and make a cashmere rug out of it!  I will post a picture of it when I get it done later this year.

Well, that's all for now, hope you are having a good spring!  Or, fall if you are in the southern hemisphere. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019


Winter struck with a vengeance!  After having a pretty mild, mostly snowless early start, February has been somewhat brutal.  We have over two feet of snow, it's been really cold for most of it, with brief warm ups that are actually hard on the animals.  Going from 40 degrees to 0 degrees in a matter of hours is hard on their little bodies.

Timmy is still in the house, will be till spring.  He's pretty lucky being in where it's nice and warm.  His brother is out with the other goats in the cold.  His mom ended up dying in the last below 0 weather spell.  She was old and weak and just couldn't handle that amount of cold.  I had her in a low-roofed house with a lot of hay and straw all around her, but her heart gave out during the night.  So now I'm watching Tommy carefully to make sure he is keeping weight on and is okay.  Neither Timmy or Tommy are very hearty goats.  Tommy is more so than Timmy, though.  I sure hope he can survive out there on his own, I don't think my husband, or me, for that matter, could handle two goats in this little house.  Timmy is now pretty much trained to pee on the absorbent pads, but he still will poop wherever.  He is starting to contain his poops to one or two areas instead of all over, so we are making progress.

One thing about being off-grid, I can't have any heat lamps or anything like that, it takes too much electricity and would ruin our batteries if one was on all the time.  So my goats need to be hardy critters, which, thankfully, cashmeres are.  I sure would like to have a heat lamp out there for Tommy, though.  He does seem to be doing okay all by himself.  He has a low-roofed house with lots of bedding, so he's staying warm.  He eats better than Timmy, too.

My weaving is getting a little better with each thing I make.  I'm still chicken to use my cashmere on the floor loom, though.  One of these days....

I'm spinning up all the ruined cashmere from a few years ago into rug yarn and am going to make a rug with it all.  I think it will work good for that.  I'm spinning it a bit thicker than my normal size, which is a challenge.  I'm used to spinning a fine yarn, and making a thick rug yarn takes some concentration!  Plus, all the pills and noils in it I'm having a hard time just working those into the yarn.  I want to keep stopping and picking them all out, which is impossible.  I will post pictures of the rug when I get it done, which will probably be sometime this summer.  We have a fox around here!  I haven't seen one in years, but it's on the game camera.  Cool!  I'm not worried about it getting anything, the guard dogs will keep it far away from the chickens and goats.  I'm glad it's around, and I hope it stays around.  It will be good to catch all the pack rats that migrate to our place every fall.  We have a neighbor that has a lot of junk at his place that is a perfect breeding ground for the little beasts.  The neighbor doesn't live there, just has a bunch of junk piled up.  Between the bobcats, coyotes, and now the fox, I hope the rat population goes way down, or even disappears entirely from here. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

House Goat

Meet Timmy, a 9 month old cashmere wether kid.  He's now in the house till Spring.  He came in last December, a very under weight bag of bones.  I hadn't been paying too much attention to how thin he was.  His mom is my oldest doe, she had twins this last year, and while they weren't the most robust little guys, they were holding their own, at least that's what I thought.  I had moved Ming (the mom) and her kids, plus a couple of other does and their kids, plus Inky, the bottle baby/kid into a pen of their own so I could feed them more and they wouldn't be jostled around by the rest of the herd.  Everyone but Timmy here improved and were doing fine.  Then we got a real cold snap in December, and I noticed Timmy was pretty weak.  I actually caught him and felt him and he was a bag of bones.  It was hard to see just how skinny he was with all his cashmere.  So, I brought him in the house, warmed him up and have had to keep him in here now, since it's cold and snowy outside and he's all used to the warmth in here. 
I have him pretty much paper trained now.  Good thing Costco has big boxes of the absorbent pads used for puppy training!  That's what I use with Timmy.  He's learned to pee on one of those, then he gets a treat.  Only occasionally does he miss the pad, or go somewhere not even close to the pad.  He still poops where ever, but at least he's not peeing everywhere.  There will be some new flooring this year, after he's back outside with his mom and brother, who are both doing well. 
  Having an older kid in the house is way messier than having a bottle baby.  There is hay involved, which seems to be getting all over the house.  I spend half of every day cleaning up after him.  I do have one of those big wire dog cages set up in the bedroom where I feed him his hay and a little bit of grain.  But the hay gets stuck on his hair and there are pieces of it everywhere.  I will be glad when spring arrives and he's back to being outside!  Although he is cute, and he doesn't chew on things like a puppy does.  It's kinda like having a puppy in here.  It's also kinda like living in a barn with him in here! 
He is gaining weight and getting stronger.  He's not jumping on things yet, but he can get up on his hind legs to check things out on tables and  kitchen counters now. 
The blue eye you see is just from the camera flash, he has normal goat eyes and can see quite well.

February has turned into the month of winter!  We have 20 inches of snow and counting, it's snowing all day today.  It's been cold, too.  Single digits above and below 0.  Luckily we are not getting all the wind that the valley is, just a gentle breeze, so we don't have a big wind chill to deal with, too. 
Guess I'll go out and start digging out before it gets too deep.  have a great weekend!