Friday, May 31, 2013

Goodbye May

We have one bee hive on our property owned by a local beekeeper. The bees had outgrown their hive and decided to swarm. Luckily they only traveled about 30 ft. to our plum tree, where he was able to gather them back up.

What was left of his hive after the great divide.

We finally had a long enough break in the weather, that my Mom was able to get the large garden planted. These are all plants that we grew from heirloom seeds.

My Mom weeding the Provider beans.

We should have a large bounty of plums.

Gypsy tomato

Sweet Dumpling squash

Sucrine Du Berry squash popping out of the earth.

Winter Dickenson squash. The variety of squash that is grown for canned pumpkin.

The blood orange tree has grown quite the sucker. Just another thing to go on the to do list.
The Tufted Buff geese hatched out a new gosling. Here they are proudly hissing at me from the wood pen.
My foe (Star Jasmine). It grows on the fence in our front yard. Although its pretty, I am horribly allergic to it. I would really hate for something to happen to it. Resulting in an untimely death : )

Can you spot the finch. I have been trying for a year to get a picture of a Bush Tit. They are soooo tiny and fast. They flit around the yard picking bugs off of the plants and trees. You can always hear them as they tweet around the yard, but trying to get a picture is practically impossible.
The apricot tree that I posted pictures of blooming. It has very few fruit again.... We will most likely replace it.

Lula Bell. Yes I named the tractor. Isn't she cute.

The livestock guardian dogs have been growing like weeds.


A couple weeks ago I found a suprise in a box on my bedroom floor. I guess my Mom just couldn't resist.
 I named him Emmet after the character on Keeping Up Appearances, because he is terrified of us. Poor little guy. I hope I can win him over with comfrey and parsley. He detests oranges.

Last week my Mom and I, checked out a new local thrift store. Thrifting is my most favorite type of shopping. hehe
We found several records. Yay!
There is something so wonderful about the smell of records, and lets not forget that crackle.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

No Calf?!

My Mom wanted another milk cow, after her last cow died of old age in her 20's. So she bought a Guernsey bottle calf, and named her Sweet Pea.

The woman she bought her from, transports cows for the dairies, and was told to take her to the auction, but she just couldn't do it to her.  She said she was a tiny premie twin. So she bought her from the dairy, and raised her for about 1 month before putting her up for sale. We didn't know anything about Freemartins when my Mom bought her. When we were informed about what a Freemartin was, my Mom called the woman to find out if her twin was a male, but she didn't know. The twin was born dead, so the dairy workers had already disposed of it before she got there. So all we could do was wait and see. She started coming into heat like a normal heifer, and when she was old enough we had her bred.
We were expecting her to have a calf around the end of this month.
We have watched her belly grow and her udder start to develop.

We have had the cows over on a neighbors property since winter.  Around the beginning of of the month Sweet Pea gave us a scare. The neighbors called to let us know something was wrong with our cow, that she was on the ground, and unable to get up. We rushed over to find her layed out and bloated up. Unable to hardly move or breath. She was so big we could not get her to her feet. So my Mom began rocking her with all her strength. It seemed to get some of the gas out, but not nearly enough. I ran home and called a vet. I ran back, and traded off with my Mom. Then when I was tired, my Dad took his turn. I started to head home to watch for the vets arrival, when my Mom started yelling. I turned around to see Sweet Pea standing. Sweet Pea had tried to get up, and my Dad pushed with all his might. He rolled her onto her chest, and she was able to stand. My Mom walked her home, and we waited for the vet. We didn't understand what caused this. She wasn't on lush pasture. It was drying up, and it had been VERY windy. The vet arrived, and gave her a thorough inspection. He checked to see if she was in labor. Nope. So he checked to see how far along she was, and he said theres no calf. What! No Calf!? How could that be? She looks pregnant. She's developing an udder. How could she not be pregnant? He asked if anything was suckling on her to cause her udder to develop. Nope. Hmmm. He checked her udder, and she had milk. But she is a twin. Is she a Freemartin? So he gave her a very thorough check. He said she is not a Freemartin, but she's not pregnant. That he is 95% positive. We know she's over weight, but he had no explanation for her having milk. He said it's the first case of phantom pregnancy he has ever seen in a cow. We don't know what caused her to bloat. He said she might have started to get a little ketosis (meaning her body was starting to burn its fat, and making her have sore muscles), because the field was drying up. She also might not have wanted to get up in the morning, because of the strong wind. So she stayed laying down, started bloating, and then couldn't get up. But these were guesses, we don't know for sure. All we know is she gave us a scare. Sweet Pea is now home on our irrigated pasture, playing boss of the goats. Her bag has continued to grow since her visit with the vet. So I took the pictures above. I search online for information on cows having phantom pregnancies to no avail. Is there such a thing as a 5% chance of pregnancy?


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Twins, and Twins. Kidding season is already over!

Jubilee ended up beating Joy to kidding. She had her twins Tuesday. They are 3/4 Angora X 1/4 LaMancha (we call them Llama Goats).
She hasn't finished shedding her coat yet, so she looks a bit scruffy.

This is her little doeling. We just love her markings. She also has brown markings on her legs.

And this is her little buckling. He's marked like his Daddy, and also got his Angora ears. I was suprised to get another black baby this year.

Joy had her large twins today. She picked a nice warm sunny day.
They are 1/2 Angora X 1/2 LaMancha with just a smidgen of Pygmy.
I didn't get a good picture of her with her babies.

Here is her buckling. He has what we call helicopter ears. They don't really want to go up or down.

Here is another shot of him. He is a very large boned boy.

And this is her doeling.

And thats the end of our kidding season. It lasted a whopping 4 days, and we were blessed to not have any birthing problems. We had a total of 5 kids: 3 doelings, and 2 bucklings.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco De Mayo Llama Goat Kid

Jetta started out the kidding season with one tiny little doeling first thing this morning. She looked small, like a twin. So I waited, and waited for a second baby, but she was a single birth.
I don't get many black babies, so she was quite the suprise. She's 3/4 Angora X 1/4 LaMancha. I call the crossing a Llama goat, because they look like little llama's with the fiber and short LaMancha type ears.

I think Joy is going to kid next. She is soooo big. We have never had a goat give birth to more than two kids. So it will be exciting to see how many she has.
You can tell she has dropped by her hip bones. She doesn't even have the sunk in spot in her sides, because she's so big.

Laying down. You would think she would be miserable, but she acts very happy, and comfortable.
How many kids do you think she will have?

We burned our brush pile recently, and the goats have been enjoying rolling in, playing in, and I think even eating the ashes. As if they weren't filthy enough, the wind came up again, and blew one of our tree's into the pasture! They are in heaven covered in ashes, and tree sap.

 Do I look beautiful?

Kanga grew this tuft of hair out of HIS right side of his mouth. He wasn't wanting to participate in being photographed. It looks like he has a cigar sticking out of his mouth.  We think it's cute, and adds character. 

We got our meat back on Saturday. The hanging weight was 777 lbs. We got all the fat, and bones too. It turned out really good. I don't think we will be shopping for beef for a while.