Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Raising bugs as aProtein source ( for birds..)

I'm no stranger to raising insects. I admit I've always had a certain draw to the more large exotic species. So while pouring over data on protein for chickens it wasn't surprising or nauseating to fin thread after thread of breeding bugs.

I found everything from redwigglers, crickets, meal worms, and my favorite -Giant cockroaches.

I tried worms and I killed them ( I'll try again some time). I actually hate crickets and they smell and are challenging to Contain ( years of scooping and bagging the little buffers for minimum wage didn't help my opinion of them). The mealworms looked promising but it seemed they required a bunch of store bought substances as a food source, which defeats the purpose, right?

Which brings me to dubia cockroaches. They are glorious. Being cockroaches, they'll happily and garden waste. This particular species doesn't fly and can't climb up the smooth sides of the growing been. They are HUMONGOUS.  just a handfull a day would provide enough protein for my growing flock. They don't bite or sting or hiss ( the last time I bred bugs they were hissing cockroaches from Madagascar ).

They breed in temps above 80 so during the warmer months i wont have to provide a heat source.

I have to say I have insect love at the moment. My only concern was of several were to escape the confines of the bathroom in the RV ( where I plan on breeding them) would they be able breed in my environment when the temps were appreciate?

I was told probably not because its too dry and they are tropical. And as they die in temps under 70° as soon as late fall got here, they'd all be dead in no time.flat.

I have to say I'm very excited! Last year I asked for worms for Christmas.  Next year I'm asking for cockroaches For my birthday ( no Tiffany boxes here!). Boy, I am an odd duck.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My little bottle babe

Today I went out to spend some quality time with the goats. With the cost of hay continually rising ($2 already this year) and an unfenced pasture ( which didn't matter before because I had no neighbors ) I have to cull. I wanted to spend some time with my goat pals before they get culled.

My little bottle baby Orchid is still my love. She is just so darn sweet. She wags her tail and puts her head in my lap, shortly followed by the rest of her growing body. The other goats all can over to say hi( except for the two who have never been trusting) and nibbled on my clothes .

I didnt realize how much I missed my little goat. I used to spend time with her every day! I need to get back to that. She makes me happy. And she'll NEVER end up in the freezer so I do.t have to worry about that either.

I found one of her little dresses today when I was unpacking. I can't believe she ever fit that!! And while yes I know I'm a Nutter, the clothes really were to keep her warm until she was healthy ( and she just looked so darn adorable).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Costs of livestock without a garden or forage

  So I've been neglecting my posts as well as my values and aspirations. This move has been a doozy! I suppose moving into an incomplete home is a valid excuse! Anyway, so I've been racking my brain about What to plant next year. Gardening in this harsh climate is challenging at best, Between finding species that will survive the harsh climates to rabbits and birds doing away with your tasty morsels.

One Thing I keep coming back to is edible cactus varieties.  No- I've never eaten cactus, but I've noticed my goats like it! It can work as a crop for my family, for my livestock, as well as protection ( lets see a robber, be it human or coyote, tresspass over a scary cactus hedge!).

There are apparently over 200 edible species of cactus and most of those do just dandy in my southwest high desert surroundings. 

The rising costs of livestock feed has also got me thinking of what i should plant. Its not a very self sufficient life if one still depends heavily on purchased feed.
When I lived in the city I never purchased chicken feed. They were raised completely on kitchen scraps ( I only had 4 bantams). So the eggs i got 9 months out of the year were essentially free. Totally worth it, right? Right now I spend about $15 a month feeding the ducks and chickens.

Still not too bad considering the costs of free range eggs at the grocery. But I'd like to not have to rely on feeding them store bought dehydrated milled corn for $15 a bag.

When I got into goats, hay was $13 a bale. That was only a year ago. In my area its gone up to $17 dollars a bale. That's about $120 a month. This definitely doesn't equate to self sufficient.  My goats would produce about 3 gallons a week.  That would cost about $60 a month if I purchased goat milk.

Wow. This tells me two things: I need to cull my goat herd to get down to a reasonable number to make it financially worthwhile.  And I need to grow food stuffs to substitute my diet as well as that of my livestock!

Culling will be a tough decision. There are some goats that I have no problem having them end up in the freezer, there are a couple that are just pets that I can't part with and there are some I really hope to trade or sell because keeping them isn't economical and I can't bring myself to eat them.

SO- back to cactus. I know I can grow that! I know I can feed my chickens and ducks the cactus pads and fruit along with kitchen scraps.  I know the cactus will provide snacks for the goats and my kids ( if I can get them to try it.
I also want to plant a jojoba hedge and about 30 fruit trees and Berry bushes which will make everyone happy.

I've got a hefty to do list for next year. Its time to get crackin'!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Something is afowl....

Thats a saying, right? Whatever.

So this morning while making my rounds I noticed something a bit peculiar.  I had an extra bird.

What I believe to be a ross's goose has taken up residency with my khaki Campbell's.

I know someone around here keeps geese because I hear them yammering in sometimes. This little gal must have flown the coop, so to speak, and found comfort with birds of a different feather. I tied to catch her, Intending on doing the neighborly thing and return her.

No such luck however.

I cant get closer than about 10 feet and I don't want to scare her off. She isn't in the pen, but right outside it hanging out where the ducks are sunning.

I hope she makes her way somewhere safe before nightfall or she'll be some lucky coyotes din din ( not to mention draw their attention to my birds). Perhaps when Lover gets home we can devise a plan to catch her.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Its a renovation life for me!

Everyone is finally adjusting Roth NW diggs.  At least one duck and one chicken( out of 6 total hens) has begun laying regularly. I think it acutally may be a bit too chilly for them to lay now, where as before it was too hot. Next year a coop with heat for the winter is in order!!

We slept in our house last night for the first time. The RV was just too darn cold at night. Our house sort of resembles a house. The insulation is all in so with a couple space heaters the house was a little warmer ( and I stress a LITTLE). Thank goodness for down comforters. We should have bought heated blankets but they would have interfered with holiday spending. I usually make the majority of the gifts but this year there's just no time!

The drywallers are coming next weekend to do the master bedroom, bathroom and closet. It will be much warmer then!

The goats have put aside some of there petty squabbling in order to huddle together to hide from the chill.

We still don't have. Kitchen, although we do have a stove/oven!  Also within the next to weeks the hearth will be built for our Franklin stove.

I often think back to the pioneering days, seeing g as I'm living like one.....sort of.

As far as I know, 100 years ago this was mostly Indians and a very small number of settlers ( like a single family). What did they use for heat? Fire places aren't really efficient in the desert since there aren't really any trees. Did they use the Joshua trees? Did the trek regularly to the nearby pine forests in a wagon?

Gotta hand to those folks.  I tip my proverbial hat to them

Monday, November 21, 2011

feathery PTSD

My ducks and chickens started laying quite nicely a few weeks ago. Our move has put a stop to that however. I'm not sure if its the stress of the move or the cols nights. I'm guessing a combination of both. The chickens have been here for about 5 days and the ducks, 3. None are laying.

Jagger got out of the temporary chicken tractor ( 3 by 6 iron birth cage layer on its side) but never leaves his girls. Its parked under a
Mesquite tree which be happily calls home.

This week I'm finishing up the insulation in the house. Luckily the house is quite small so it will go quickly. This weekend we finish up the plumbing. I plan on setting up the grey water recycling for the washing machine . At present the washing machine water is set up to drain I to the toilet so the flushes as with grey water. We can't keep it this way though because we'd have to change too much to make it permanent.  Bit its working out for now. Our tub raised so I want to devise a plan to use the tub water for the toilet. I'm.working on it.

Hopefully next month we'll be able to start the drywall. If we can at least get the master bedroom done we can move out of the trailer and into the house!

Here are more random pics of stuff pertaining to my life in the form of bathroom inspiration. Note: I did not take these pics and I don't know who did. They are images of stuff for sale in Internetland.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chicken orchard! !!

As I sit in my fifth wheel, gazing out the window, I find myself daydreaming about potential.

My thought process started with privacy hedge but ended up at orchards. I have a somewhat bothersome neighbor. Well, my neighbor isn't so bothersome,  bit their dogs are. Anywhoo- I haven't had a neighbor within  miles of my home for years, so now that I have some it weird.
So I was thinking g about privacy hedges. There is a triangular patch in the corner of my front yard that already has two water spigots on it. At first I was thinking leyland cypress,  along the slightly curved edge of this triangle. But they would block not only the neighbors but my mountain views as well. There are also two power line poles in there.

So then I started wondering what I could use as a hedge that only grew tall enough to block the houses from view. I instantly thought of a pomegranate hedge.

Somehow pomegranate lead to fig.. and then peach.. and that lead to small orchard. I can fit about twenty trees in this triangle.

Well if I'm going to plant all those fruit trees I might as well fence the whole thing in, plop a small coop in the middle an have a chicken yard amongst the orchard. They can eat bugs and windfall fruit while keeping g the soil nice and fertilized.

I'm not sure what Lover will think of the idea, being fairly traditional an preferring the critters to be in the back.

I can manipulate it a bit. I can say the trees will block the two houses and insulate the sound of the dogs. I'll mention how much money we'll save by not having to run more waterlines to the back of the property.

I'll leave the chickens out all together.. I'll just slowly transition them over.. it will be our little secret. ;-)

My only concern is the crowing rooster is going to upset the barking g dogs. Burning can put them anywhere on our 5 acres and a neighbors dog will no doubt, bark. I guess my next option would be to sound insulate the coop to keep the crowing to a minimum.

One of my new neighbors has geese. I heard them carrying on this morning. It made to have geese for neighbors.  I wish the neighbor with the dogs had geese instead.

Here is a pic of my triangle. You really have to look for the roads in order to tell its a triangle at all. Now close your eyes and imagine it full of fruit trees!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Playing catch up!

We got quite a bit accomplished at the new place this weekend. I've had to cancel so many plans with this house. Its upsetting to me, butthen I remember this I what I've always wanted and my fabulousfriends will probably forgive me. Remodels are an obscene amount of work- even when you house is only 800sf.

Speaking of size, I think I need to getrid of more stuff but I don't really know what! I've always prided myself on not being materialistic and keeping things to a minimum ( and I suppose to the average Joe this holds true), but we are moving to a smaller place.
I think I can regime some more dishes and perhaps more of the kids toys ( especially since my kids are a bit spoiled and they get stuff all the time).

I had a difficult time thinning down my books. I think I gave away about 15, which is at least a box full.

I know this post isn't very interesting. ..its more of a mental check list for me.
So here are a couple interesting picks of future plans

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

first duck egg of fall

I found my first duck egg in about 3 months. It has cooled down considerably and the ducks like it apparently.

This coming weekend well be heading up to the new place to set up pens, coop and enclosures. I think I'm going to separate the ducks and chickens. The garden they share now is quite large, but the chickens are very greedy and eat everything. The ducks eat twice as much as the chickens. I'm going through too much feed This way And Its getting difficult to convince Lover the ducks are worth it.

The chickens will eat pretty much any of our kitchen scraps- the ducks wont. If I can separate them the chickens will thrive on Just our kitchen scraps and left over skim milk from the goats. The ducks can't.

So have a large pen already on the property for the goats but no shelter. The one We have now stays here.

We need a house for the goats a coop for the ducks and another for the chickens. We need yet another for the tortoises.

Its going to be a busy weekend.
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Friday, September 30, 2011

cool weather equals egss

I knew once the weather cooled down I'd have eggs again. I found three nests. One I already knew of. The other two are new. I believe I have two chicken nests And one duck nest.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

playing catch up

Escrow on the new place is supposed to close Friday! Its a fixer upper, and all I can think about is how to improve the livestock area! There I'd already a chainlink pen for the goats, however it needs a new gate ( which I already have). There's something next to the goat Ben that resembles 2 small hog pens. Those will be the temporary chicken/ duck pens until I can get a coop built.

I'm also trying to plan for a second pen for the Navajo Churro sheep I'll be getting next year. I want a barn. I need a milking parlor and somewhere to store feed.

I want to plant a tree the day we get out keys. I'm thinking maybe a jacaranda?

Wow I'm excited.
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

soremouth strikes!

I went out of town for the weekend last week. I got an email from my pet sitter stating that one of my bucklings had a sore on his mouth. I didn't think anything of it.

When I go home I was too exhausted to go check on him so I left him alone until the next morning.

Holy. Crap.

My favorite little buckling, Brutus, had what appeared to be a giant cold sore at each corner of his mouth.


I immediately remove him from the pen and put him in quarentine along with his brother so he wouldn't be lonely ( even though brother goat had no such sores).

I then went and changed my shoes, washed my hands and went in to inspect the other 4 goats in the pen.

While its commonly referred to as soremouth, the sore can be anywhere on the body. The virus enters through an existing wound on the animal. Feet ,mouths , and ears are common sites for infection because of minor scratches received during browsing in brush.

Anyway - from what I understand, there are multiple strains and its very common. Its generally only life threatening to young kids because it may cause pain which makes nursing g painful and difficult. On that note, an infected kid can also Infect mama goats udders.

In commercial sized flocks its easy to see where the loss in income and kids would be detrimental. However in my tiny herd/ flock, it hopefully wont be too horrible.

I dont show my goats And have no desire to. I suspect the infection came from a goat Lover brought home from the animal shelter ( despite my constant protests). That goat is now gone ( it wasn't actually for us, but a friend).

None of my other goats have any sores on them. That doesn't mean it wont show up eventually. I can clean feed and water Containers with a scrub brush and bleach and that's about it.

Extreme summer heat can usually kill the virus after a few months. Unfortunately for me it just started cooling down here.

The virus can live in the fallen scabs for months to years.

On an up note the scabs will probably fall off here, and therefore not be tracked back to our new home in November.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

hello y'all!

I just got a call from my local county extension office. I called asking about starting a micro dairy several days ago.
Wow, did he deflate my balloon!!

Basically, he told me it wasn't worth it because in California a micro dairy is subject to the same laws and rules as a full sized operation. He went on and on about the difficulties and challenges.

I admit, some I already new of and like any new idea it takes awhile for The Man to catch up with the changing world around him.

He also told me a creamery ( cheeses and other processed milk products) are a bit easier because of the less stringent requirements.

So. Do I continue on knowing full well failure is in my future? Do I give up on that idea and perhaps try to find out something else I was to do?
I don't want to do something else. I think that's all that matters.

Only time will tell I guess. Plus, you know if I don't do it someone else will in a year or two and be very successful as the trend of micro dairies gain in popularity.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011


Can you see It? I was sitting on a rock drinking coffee ( decaf!!) When I heard some rustling coming from behind me. I assumed it was a cat a bird or possibly a rat or field mouse.
It sounded sporatic. Stop.go.stop.go.

I thought.. you know? That might be a snake. I should check.

And sure enough a coachwhip went from one bush to the next. Luckily I know my snakes and therefore knew better than to panic. I sat down on my rock and finished my coffee. Mr.pinksnake went off on his merry ol' way.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

herd/ flock gaurdians

Its common for people to use gaurdian animals to protect their livestock from predators. The Great Pyrenees dog is the norm.

But an alternative to dogs are llamas and donkeys! Both do well in the extreme weather of the Mojave desert. I'm not sure if the Pyrenees does well in the heat, but they are very large and very furry. If I were them, I'd be just too dang hot.
Plus if you use a donkey or llama you get double duty. Llamas will provide a fleece which can be processed and spun into yarns ( though not as much as the alpaca which doesn't really make a great livestock gaurdian).

Donkeys are just plain Rad. They are very protective and territorial and will stomp, kick, make, or otherwise destroy any creature who dare harm its charge. They're also pretty cute, and since I'm a Shrek fan I can't look at a donkey without quoting movie lines! ( try doing that with a llama or GP).

What I'm getting at, in this round about way, is that we'll probably use a donkey for our livestock. We have 4 dogs already and none of them are appropriate as a gaurdian. However my Pekingese herds pretty well. A llama would be cool too, because while I'm Not a talented knitter I am OBSESSED with natural yarns. Completely. Obsessed. But I already have fiber goats And sometime in the future fiber producing sheep so I have no need for a fiber llama too ( or do I).

Lover likes donkeys a lot too. And, well, the goats and sheep were my idea so I guess I should give a little on the gaurdian thing. ( besides I can always sneek a llama. Or alpaca in later...over probably wont even notice)

PS I don't take any credit for the above photos. I found them on Google.
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one of these things is not like the others...

Bar-b-que, the cat ( named by our 4yo) likes hanging out in the goat pen. He's in There every day! and yes- I'm aware goats shouldn't eat off of the ground. I usually use hay bags. I took them inside to wash and keep forgetting to take them back outside! kind of like the reusable grocery bags. once they go inside, I rarely remember to put them back in.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

growing figs in the desert

Figs. As is I'm not really a fan and neither is anyone else in my family ( as far as humans go anyway). I do think they make beautiful trees and fig jam is pretty tasty! I've never had figgy pudding but I've always wanted to try it

It still serves well here. My chickens loves the over ripe fruit that falls to the ground, as well as the colonies of insects that flock to eat the fallen fruit as well. Some of my goats enjoy the fruit and they all enjoy the leaves! In the fall I take up all the fallen fruit and leaves and give it to the goats as a treat.

There are a gazillion different species of fig. They can be grown in pots, on a trellis, or just a regular ol' tree. I love the white bark And broad leaves.

They easy care fruit trees too, often having two crops a year. The most common varieties in the southwest are Celeste and brown Turkey.

Though I haven't tried it yet I've read thy can ne rather simple to propagate from cuttings. Next month I'll give it a go.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Navajo-Churro sheep

Since there isn't much going on here during our sweltering summer days I've decided to profile various species of plants and animal that do well in this hot, arid climate.

First up: Navajo Churro Sheep.

Navajo Churro sheep, or Churro for short, were brought to the Americas during the early and mid 1500s by the Spanish.
Unlike many other species of livestock brought over, they thrived. They did run into a little trouble, there numbers dropping down to around 500 and those were on reservations. There are making a comeback thankfully, because these strong, resilient sheep are a genetic asset.

They do very well in dry hot climates making them suitable for the southwest region of the U.S. While most sheep are grazers, Navajo Churro sheep will also browse on shrubbery and dry weeds ( sort of like goats!). I've read that they can survive on just about anything.

They are lean and long legged with light bones. They have two types of wool: an outer layer that slicks away moisture and dust, bugs and a thicker undercoat close the the body. They Have approximately 14 color variations. They can Have 2-4 horns or no horns at all. Some people say they look like a bunch of different sheep breeds stuck together.

They are a smallerdual purpose meat breed sheep who also produce a decent wool. The wool quality is what made this breed so important to the American Indians in the U.S and Mexico as they used textiles/weaving for trade.

While they don't produce anywhere near the amount of milk as a milk breed sheep, they can be milked. Supposedly sheep milk is awesome for cheeses. It makes me wonder what mixing goat milk and sheep milk would do! I've read of people crossing Navajo Churro sheep with friesian milk sheep ( one of the two most popular milk sheep breeds in the US) to increase the milk yield of the Navajo Churro.

I think I Have a crush on this breed.
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Sunday, August 21, 2011


I love my goats. LOVE. They're cute and funny. They can be ornery and temperamental. So imagine my shock when Lover offered me a Jersey cow ( as a bribe) and I actually considered it! I would have to get rid of virtually all my goats ( no need for dairy goats When I have a cow).

I got very excited and did some research. If hay wasn't so expensive here in southern California I think I may Have done it. I live in the desert so the pasture available for a cow is crap ( pretty good for goats though!!) It would costs about $350 a month in hay to keep a Jersey and about $180 to feed my goat herd with a couple full sized does added.

Maybe after I have a productive orchard and beginning garden I will add Daisy-May ( don't you think that's the perfect cow name?)

Btw- Chunk, my Nigerian Buck, has moved on to another homestead. He was a good Buck but I wanted to introduce new blood into my herd and not buy another Buck.

Also the Boer I was raising for Lovers coworker got picked up today.
I'm down two goats, 3 more to go!
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Orchid Update

Orchid has come into her own. Unfortunately she still isn't being accepted by the herd and probably will never be. I've been penning Her up at night with Ethels kids in an effort to form a new herd. Another unfortunate the only goat she has bonded even just a little bit with wont be around much longer.
I tried getting some big girl pics but if I'm near then she's trying to get in my lap so the pics kind of suck.
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Friday, August 12, 2011

learning through experience

My khaki Campbell ducks haven't laid in awhile. I asked around andwas told its probably too hot. So I have several choices : A. Butcher them. This isn't what I wantto do. They were $40 plus the cost of feed. So that's not going to happen. B. Sell the flock. Not something I could do in good conscious. They generally are prolific layers, but not in our climate apparently. C. Let them have the sumer off, and provide heat during our short winter. Most bird don't lay during t winter, I would be reversing their cycle.

I've decided to go with option C. I had intended and not interfering, but it just wont work under my circumstances. And since I'm not going to make them lay all year through excessive climate control And hormones, I don't Have guilt about allowingthem to lay during the winter instead of summer.

My chicken have been laying steadily for about two weeks. Well, at least one of them has. She's been broody an not too happy that o keep taking her eggs away. I love how they just hang out and make nests in the shrubs and bushes - or in Her case under a small upside down kiddy pool propped up on one side with rocks. It actually got blown over that way when the water was dumped And they liked it so I left it.

Now if I could just figure out why my rabbits aren't breeding. . .
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

roosters don't really care what time it is

Most people use alarm clocks. I use Jagger, my rooster. Jagger starts crowing about 5:30. Most of the time. But not today. This morning he felt 4am was as goof a time as any. And of be lying if I didn't tell you that in that moment, I was thinking Jagger Soup was a great idea for dinner. Especially since none of my chicken eggs were fertile.

Once upon a time the chickens were on the other side of the yard so it wasn't that bad
Now however, we share a wall . HUGE difference. .
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

struggling, but still hanging in there

The past few weeks have been challenging. Ethel has a deformed udder which Makes her inappropriate for. Milker. Fortunately, she is producing enough milk to provide for her two surviving kids, as I've stopped supplementing.

Ethel's third kid dies, which always sucks.

My rabbits WONT BREED! Unheard of, right? I've been trying for a month with no luck.

My ducks and chickens aren't laying. I've been told perhaps its just too hot. I know people close by Have chickens so I'm Not sure how true that is right Now. One of the ducks has been sitting on a nest of apparently unfertilized eggs.

Lucys milk supply has dropped because of several mixed milking out of my control. I didn't just leave her. I gave her a kid back when I knew I couldn't get to it. Now instead on my little over one quart, I'm only getting about three cups. And my stand got busted somehow. Probably when all the goats escaped when I forgot to latch the pen.

The yield of my.beginning crop wasn't all the great either. Though the animals sure did enjoy the plants.

All of this is very discouraging and it was very easy for me to fall into old patterns: when things get hard or do work right, quit.

After teeing and throwing in the towel, I pondered my situation and picked my towel back up. What I was trying didn't work. So I'll. Try something else.

As some of you know we've been looking to move for about 4 months and so far nothing has worked out. I'm also rltrying to get pregnant.

What This means for me is downsizing. I want to cut my goat herd in half. Some of those goats will make their way to the dinner table, some will be sold or traded.

The fowl get to the end of the year. They may start laying again when the weather cools off. Bitthey eat A TON to keep around when they aren't providing anything. So if they don't start laying again, they too are destined for the table.

If the rabbits don't breed? They're too expensive to slaughter, so they'll be sold or traded.

Instead of a beginning garden next season ( fall in the desert) I want to plant fruit and nut trees instead ( but only if we actually buy a home).

So there is a little bit of reality check the the beginner hobby farmer/ micro farmer.

But I'm not going to give up, but chose to try a different path. After all, its not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.
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Monday, July 11, 2011

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Rest in Peace Little Bit.

Ethel's third baby, little bit, was struggling from the beginning. When the other two were running about shortly after birth , Little Bit was laying on her side panting.

She did walk a and stand for the first two days, but she went down hill from there. I did the same routine I did with Orchid but she just never thrived. She developed bloat, which is quite painful. I did the treatments and hoped she would be better This morning.

She cried most of the night, not the happy goat bloat, but The scared, lost bleat. I assume she was in pain. I got up wrapped her in a blanket and pet her until she fell back asleep. This went on all night long.

She started crying again this morning around 5 am. She was dish rag limp, unable to even hold up Her head. Her tummy was was still full of air.

I gave her 6 days to recover and made the decision to humanely euthanize her. She as put down at 6 am and for the first time in 24 hours She looked peaceful and pain free.

I held her until her heart stopped beating. She's laying in a shoebox. I'm waiting for the boys to wake up so we can bury her.

On a happy note, the other two are doing great. While Ethel only has HALF of an udder, her milk has come in on that one side and her kids are nursing. I'm still supplementing them 4 ounces a day with the bottle because I don't know how much they are actually getting from mom.

Three babes and only Half a developed udder. Nature had a way of evening out the odds. Little Bit was the sacrifice to keep Marigold and Nanobyte with us.
Her life was not in vain.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ethel kids right on time, however. . .

Ethel gave birth to TRIPLETS!! On the positive side, they all lived, two girls and one boys. The runt is incredibly tiny.

Ethel, unfortunately, never developed an udder so the kids are nursing and nothings coming. What does that mean to me? Three more bottle fed babies.

I'm not sure of the little runt will live. I need to have a goat sale!! I want to name them but I'm scared!! Lisa wants to replace Chunk with his new son because she likes his coloring better. I want to replace Ethel with Her daughter. That gives me a doe am two bucks to hopefully sell before they end up on the dinner table ( or organic raw dog food). That's the ugly side of raising animals ,I guess.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

introduction to the Buck Pen for my little Orchid

Now, its not What
You're thinking. I'm not risking knocking Her up. As you know, she gets out of the doe pen, which is 6by6 grid panels. The Buck pen is chain link. Today She got out and charged at the car. I couldn't drive because She's under the car. Its very dangerous so I rise the Buck pen.

Chunk, my Buck, is pretty calm because I keep an out of season doe with him year round. He doesn't go Into a crazy hormonal rut because of this. It wasn't him I was afraid of, it was supermodel. She's always competing for top bill. They both sniffed her out and then ignored her. Lucy beats the crap out of her any change she can and Lucy has horns!

Orchids a tough ( but stupid) little cookie. So she is going to live in the Buck pen during the day and the goat house with the twins at night.

In 5 more weeks the boys will be weaned and transitioned in to the Buck pen. At that point Orchid will be back in Tue doe pen, hanging out with Ethel's new kids. And I can only pray she's too big to squeeze through the pen!!
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Monday, June 20, 2011

on the milk stand.

This post was accidently uploaded to the wrong blog, so I'm cross posting it here!! Tomorrows postwill be about the costs of hobby farming/ranching

getting better!
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Note On Desert Homesteading

Finding information on homesteading the desert is challenging. I know what you're thinking... " of course it is! Who the hell wants to live there?"

Well, I'll tell ya... I'll take 100-115 summers for 3 months over 4-5 months of snow and ice ANY DAY.

Obviously they main drawback is the lack of water. However its usually there, you Just have to be smart about it.

Most deserts have little rain, bit when it comes it comes hard and fast over a short period of time, resulting in flash floods. That's is A LOT of water, if you can harvest it. Rain barrels And catchment systems do work. The native Americans would dig pits and carve out rocks to catch rainwater and fleeting melting snow.

But " you can't grow anything " you say. Sure you can! You Just may not grow what you're used to eating ( and really, most of the fruits and veg at your local grocer aren't from your area anyway its shipped in).

I've successfully grown summer squash, pumpkins, tomatillos, swish chard, carrots, potatoes, yams, pomegranite trees, fig trees, and mesquite.

Lets not forget greywater systems from washing machines, tubs, and bathroom sinks. When done correctly, that alone can keep your desert fruit trees watered.

Bees can travel up to 5 miles for pollen have a hive! And if your desert property happens to have ample brush, how about a small herd of goats? Its possible.

Lets not forget about solar and wind energy, solar hot water heating. And again Like the native Americans before us, escaping to a higher, cooler climate duringthe harshest of heat.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

dangers of rural living

I saw a. Coyote in my front. Yard for the first time a couple days ago. It was just passing through. It ignored the cat and the goats that were out. It trotted right passed a family of quail and a blacktailed jackrabbit that was playing in the dirt.
That's not to say they don't pass through all the time, just That I don't see them

Today, its was a young red diamondback rattlersnake. Luckily They're a docile species, choosing flight or fight more often than not. I heard the dog barking hysterically and it was a scared rattlesnake in the corner of the dogrun.

I know They're there. I keep my eyes peeled and moving, but sometimes I let my guard down under a false sense of security after going so Long in-between seeing the critters.

IF we move the common venomous snake is the Mojave green. It is one of the most AGGRESSIVE species of rattlesnake here. When we looked at the house the first time, there was one in the front yard.

Snake proof fencing will be a must And as owners we'll be able to do it.
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Monday, June 13, 2011

onr of these eggs is not like the others

Notice the three eggs on the left are fairly uniform in size And color. The egg in the right is much larger.

SO- Either one of my dickies just happened to lay a large egg, or its the first chicken egg from my gals.
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Bad Lucy! Good Lucy?

For the past three days Lucy has been meeting me on our front porch around milking time.
Around 7:10-7:15, I'll hear the unmistakable sound of hooves on wood followed by a good long bleat. I have yet to figure out how she's getting out of the pen.

Either she wants her grain badly, or perhaps her crying kids are bugging her since they're locked up at night. I supposed she COULD just be concerned for them.

I think she wants to be milked because her udder is full, and I'm sure you breastfeeding human mamas can relate! Followed by a grainy snack And the release of Her boys.

Shes starting to kick them away more often. They still have at least another 4 weeks of nursing. Next week I'll start milking twice a day so she doesn't begin to reduce her milk production.

I also need to start making plans to list Brutus, one of her kids, for sale. He is incredibly sweet and loving. He will make a good buckling for someone. I have no need for another Buck so Have decided not to keep him.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Propagating Pomegranates

I know, I know. Its a bit early in the year to propagate cuttings. But as my old boss used to say, " growing cuttings from existing plants costs nothing, so you might as well try it".

He was an avid gardener who grew literally THOUSANDS of plants. Every time he trimmed his trees back, he stuck the trimmings in rooting hormone the shoved them in a Pot.

So our dear departed Dr. Pasco taught me a bit about taking cuttings. I took a couple suckers off of the fig, and about 6 or seven of the larger suckers off of the pomegranate.

Standing by was a small bucket with water, rooting hormones and a couple tablespoons of bleach. Dr. Pasco would also put in plant vitamins but I don't have any so oh well.

I cut the plants as low to the group.d as possible, moving soil away and cutting just underneath where the suckers were more ' woody '. As I cut, I also stripped off all the lower leaves and flowers/ buds. They require a lot of energy to live an I want the energy to go into making roots right now. They soak in this bath until I'm finished trimming everything up.

I have my pots prepared. They have moist potting soil with a bit of sand mixed in. While many would recommend mixing in peat moss, I'm ethically against using it. Peat bogs are rapidly being depleted so if I can successfully garden without it, I will.

I pour a bit of rooting hormone I to a baby food jar to stick the ends of the cuttings in. This eliminates the jar of hormone being contaminated with anything harmful.

After the ends are dipped I just shove down I a pot and move the pot to a shaded area. I have to water about every other day and I water from a can filled with rooting hormone and( when I get to the store) plant vitamins.

Viola! Plant cuttings. Its all in mother natures hands now. Wish us luck!
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Orchids make-shift udder

Why, oh why, didn't I think of this sooner?

I can't claim the creative genius behind it however. I found the idea in a Homesteading Today forum. A sheep lady wrote about it.

Anyway, it does two things for me: A- allows me to feed and water the rest of the goats while she's ' nursing' and Ab- when they're empty I hang them up higher and she spends about ten minutes trying to reach them to get milk instead of following me back to the house.

When its time for Orchids next feeding, I just switch out the bottles. I've been doing this for 3 days now and its great. She was always weaving in and out of my legs , making me walk like a duck to avoid crushing her.

I still give her Mama time, however. But because I sit on the ground all the kids come jump on me and lay in my lap. The adults come pull my clothes and let me pet them, so she's still participating in the herd antics.

Goddess bless you, Sock Udder!

So when we move, I'll be building an Infirm in the goat barn for weak kids And a place to hang sock udders for weak kids. I love that I'm actually learning something through experience. It really does help make me more confident and all around better shepherdess!
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Monday, June 6, 2011

I've created a monster without fear

Even though Orchid joined the herd as soon as she was able to walk, she is adjusting slowly. She'll romp and play with the twins and every now and again approach an adult( who promptly head butts her) but she still taking her time learning she's a goat.

She follows any human, not just me. She squeezes out of the pen and runs to the back door, bleating loudly.

Orchid CONSTANTLY butts my legs, the way a kid will butt mamas udder. Not a very grand idea since it involves weaving in and out of my legs and careful maneuvering to avoid stepping on her.

I think I may start hanging her bottles on the side of the pen for her instead of feeding her myself.

Darn her cuteness.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rookie mistakes

This morning, while examining Ethel's udder, I noticed something I should have looked for the day I picked her up. There on the left side of her udder, was a supernumerary teat.

Its about half the size of her actual teat, and right up against it. Dang. That is not a desirable trait in a dairy goat! I can hope that if she kids doelings they wont have them. I can try to breed the trait out using one of Lucys boys as a Buck.

I don't honestly know how detrimental This could end up being bit I do know I don't want a whole herd of extra tested dairy goats.
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we're gettng better!

Nearly two cups the morning. I dent even strip Her out because she still has babes to feed.
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Orchid Is A Goat. Period.

Thats what I keep have into remind myself. Yesterday was Orchidsfirdtfull day outside with the herd. Well, mostly. I did bring her in for a couple hours while I went out shopping.

She did well. She's running around with the other kids an following after some of the bigger goats. She's being a goat. She even wont take crap from Zooey, my herd queen.

I check on her about 10 times a day. I don't go out to the pen
unless I can't see her ( she's small enough to fit through the fencing ). Usually I spy her from my deck lounging in the sun or hopping on the eucalyptus log that's in the pen.

She still cries when I leave after I give her a bottle, and I have to run or she'll try to follow me.

I survived my first bottle baby, and she survived me.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

beautifully farm fresh

My ducks and chickens have a free range garden, about 3 or 400 square feet. They have a XL dog vari-kennels they go in at night.

It used to be I would find the eggs randomly. Every day was an Easter egg hunt. Last week instead of getting my usual 3 eggs ( my chickies aren't laying yet ) I was getting one, or sometimes none. Being the person that I am I immediately thought someone was eggbound. But it would make no sense that all three Campbells would be bound at once.

Then today, while hanging laundry on the line, I spied a bit of peach under a long deceased lavender bush. I had FINALLY hound the nest! I gathered 12, leaving the five on the bottom there. I assume they're quite old And I want them to continue laying in that spot.

So now, my eggs are awaiting the " sink or float" test to check their goodness, or rather, their edibleness. Good eggs sink, bad eggs float..

So I'm now getting eggs regularly, milking one goat,and eating home grown greens. Orchid survived and is doing very well. Believe me, my smile is big and toothy. :-P
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

it breaks my heart, but it had to be done

Orchid survived her first week. She's walking, jumping, eating and pooping all on her own now. So with that being said, she's now sleeping in the nursery with the other babies.

My heart is sad for me but happy for her! She tried to play with the other babies but they ran from her in terror. I'm only going g to put her in at night until she's big enough to deal with the others.

I can now milk Lucy to provide her feedings. In the meantime, here's an Orchid video of her being cute!
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not quite a milking stand

This is where I mills Lucy. Notice no stanchion, no leg ties. It was until the grain was gone that she began to get peeved. Butball in all she did very well!
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i milked my goat!!

Goddess Bless Youtube ( for showing me how to milk)
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the problem with bottle babies is. . .

Well, thee are many problems with bottle babies. That Darn Goat is a bottle baby and She is OBNOXIOUS.

But there are health issues too. Most recent health. Concern with Orchid is constipation. It doesn't sound like much but it can he deadly for ruminants.

Yesterday Orchid received two enemas, and another this morning. An obscene amount of stool was vacated. She's a bit happier today, but still bunches and strains at poop time.

I kicked the aggressive goats out to pasture and put Orchid I with her mama, Lucy, and Lucys kids. She walked around a bit then found a chubby to sleep. She's. Still too small to keep out there. Lucy, my tiniest goat, walked on her. So I'll keep taking her out to hang with the herd, but I've go at least a few weeks more before she can move in.
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Orchids goes outside!

Everyday is better than the day before. I'm starting to feel much more positive about her survival. I know since she is a weak kid, and not really knowing the cause of her condition, that she can take a turn for the worst at any time.

But for the time being she is doing well. She is happy and I'm happy! She gets loads of attention and affection.

So here is a video of her first romp outside at 5 days old.
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

trying to help my baby.

I know you can't save them all. But having a veterinary background its really hard not to try. Orchid seems more stable. She just had Her second tube feeding.

If I help her to stand she can bare weight for about a minute now. Someone told me goats have to stand for the rumen to work. So the sling ties into a laundry basket to help hold her up. There is a hole cut out for her belly so there is no Pressure on it.
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Orchid is hanging in there

I didn't think my surprise baby would make it through the night.....but she did.

She's still incredibly weak. I got her to accept two bottles yesterday , but during the evening Ans this am should wouldn't suckle. I don't have a tube yet so I used a dropper and fed her a couple tablespoons at a time.

I thought I would be able to detach, having worked for a veterinarian for 7 years but its not proving to be so simple. If she dies I'll be devastated.

The vet opens at 8. I'll be buying a feeding tube and some LRS.

PLEASE keep little Orchid in your thoughts.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

live and let learn

Today I learned that those mesh seed starter pod things aren't necessarily a grand idea for root crops. Granted, there is a slight chance these are those little baby mini. Carrots, but I'm thinking they aren't. Just sad, malformed veg as a result of my gardening ingnorance. This ones going down in my 'Things to NOT do next year' journal.
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Sunday, May 15, 2011


Lucy's babies have finally arrived! 2 Big healthy boys were scampering about in the pen. They look just like their mama! Beautiful coloring. I didn't Have any afterbirth to clean up ( except That which graced little Lucys udder). I treated the umbilical cords and gave mama some grain and hay.

I'll check on them periodically to make sure their nursing.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

theres no such thing as climate change.

Strange and ominous weather dances on the horizon. An hour ago it was a still ,sunny day. The temps were hanging out in the high 90s. Now? The skies are dark and the wind is blowing and Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind about which mood she's in.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tornados.... globally.

Yes. Climate change is a natural enviornmental process. Does it really matter whether its happening NOW because we brought it on quicker with our irresponsible ways or that its happening because it was always going to happen?

Its still damned scary.
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

That Darn Goat!!

A day late, but its her fault.

As previously stated, my property isn't fenced. So- whenever I leave, or can't otherwise supervise, goats mist go back in their pen. So yesterday when is was time to pick up my oldest from school i had a goat round up. Well everyone was present and accounted for, reluctantly returning to their pen....except for one, whom I could not find.

Torn between panic and a ' good riddance ' sort of relief, I did a quick property search. No Supermodel. I called her name. I made that silly little noise I found they Come to. I shook the grain can. NOTHING. I was now running late and had to skidaddle so I said screw it and got in my car. Then as I'm driving away I see Supermodel belly crawl out from under the trucks snug top camper shell. She stared for all of two seconds before hauling ass, bleeting loudly after my car.

Crap on toast. I had to stop . I grabbed some bailing twine, which is ever so handy to keep around, and made a makeshift slip leash. Then I had to run all the way back to the pens to put her up and run back to my car.

Lucky for me my sons bus was also ten minutes late and we ended up getting there at the same time.

When I got back I had a stern talking to with that gal. I noticed she was a bit powdery and had black on her chin.

I looked her over andshe seemed otherwise fine. As it turned out, Lover had stored a couple bags of cement and a jug of old motoroil under the camper shell. When she crawled out she knocked over the bottle of oil spilling into the bag of cement she undoubt tore open. I assume she didn't ingest any since she's alive and kickin', probably plotting out little schemes to gray my hair And turn me Into a stressed out, chainsmoking, alcoholic with an addiction to Xanax, giggling wickedly to herself all the while.
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

first possible kidding day!

Today is the 145th day in Lucy's pregnancy! From what I've read, average kidding for nigerians ( most goat breeds?) Is 145-155 days.

Lucy wont bee to happy. But that means she's in the kidding pen at night until I see some babes. I also wont be letting her out to browse during the day because our ' pasture' isn't fenced and I don't want her birthing out under a bush somewhere where I can't see her little self ( but a hawk overhead would be able to see juuuuuust fine to snatch up my goat grandbaby!).

Wishing my little Lu a happy easy birthing experience ( and praying its sooner rather than later and during the day instead of evening).
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

That Darn Goat!!

I'm going to try to make this a regular Wednesday posting, if I can remember. I recently took in a full sized lamancha doe. Up until her, my personal goat experience has been nigerian dwarf goats and pygoras.
I didn't really * want * another goat, especially a full sized one, but purchased her at a low price more out of mercy for an acquaintance who could no longer care for her.

She is the wrench in my gears. The fly in my ointment. THE PAIN IN MY ARSE. My property isn't fenced. I let the other goats out and they stay put. Oh, no. Not Supermodel. She wonders....far... an encourages the rest of the herd to follow suit. Sometimes I tie her out ( I'm home all day so can watch to make sure she doesn't get caught up). When the herd is with. Her she's fine. When they move on however she screams like a crazy person. And its not a cute little bleat like my nigis. Its a loud panicky yodel.

Did I mention she's a fence jumper? My little goats Have never even tried to scale the four foot fence that makes up their pen. After a month, she decided she didn't like it in there and found my front porch much more appealing. She now resides in the Buck pen. A 16/16 chain link square. She can't get out of that ( though she does Jump on the door at feeding time making it damn near impossible to open ).

I've though about trading her for an alpine, because in my head They're smaller and therefore more manageable. Then I get terrible guilty feelings. She's very friendly and will probably be an easy milker. Then she does this criss crossy thing back and forth in front of me when I try to walk and all guilt evaporates like goat pee in the sand.

I think ' hhhmmmmm.... if I can just hold out a little longer. I can breed her and make mini manchas And then sell her!'

But with my luck, I'd just end up with Mini Supermodels, plural, Instead of just the one.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

the pumpkins are coming!

I have 4 pumpkin vines. Two of them have little teeny pumpkins forming. They haven't really started vining out though. The last time I did pumpkins the vines were several feet when the pumpkins started making their appearances. The vine in the picture is one I was convinced would die. Most of the leaves fell off do to a surprise frost. That's the one that is now doing the best!
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

rest in peace my little wiggly friends

My first attempt at vermicomposting failed miserably. I was doing good for awhile. I'd turn my bin over a couple times.a month to aerate and check on everyone. I got them in December for Christmas ( yes, I asked for worms for Christmas). Things started going bad when A. I drilled small air holes in the bin and B. A added rabbit droppings with shavings. I think the nitrates were too high and the shavings absorbed too much moisture and kept drying it out.

So my vermicompost is now the start of a traditional compost pile. I've always had problems getting my compost to heat up but now living in the desert I think my problem.will be vermin and dryness. I'll try again with worms in the fall. Who knows. Maybe a couple survived and will start breeding like rabbits! Or... you know..... worms.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

gardening learning curve

Out of the original 60 or so seedlings I started about half are left and in good shape.

Most of my corn, some cucumbers and eggplants were consumed by the chickens who somehow got out of their coop. I lost some to the baaad goats. Some Just never thrived.

What's left and so far going strong are 3 of the 4 pumpkins that survived the transplant ( after my kids uprooted the 8 I had ). 3 watermelons out of 10. 6 swish Chard out of 12. The ones in the ground See doing significantly better than the ones in pots. All of the carrots are alive and well and most of the beets are gone. The tomatillos are doing fantastic, as are the bell peppers. Those make me the happiest of all because I harvested the seeds myself.

Slow and steady does it I suppose! I will make a note of which crops I did Well with and plant those again in triplicate. My main reason for wanting vegis was to cut down on livestock feed not family food. In learning to take things one day at a time. And since the desert has two growing seasons, I don't Have to wait too long before I get a second shot.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

hot = flies

No matter how clean you keep your stables, barns, or paddocks, whether your screen your compost bins or not, one thing that's guaranteed to make an appearance on any sort of farming/ ranching operation is flies.

The heat picked up This week, and so did these annoying little creatures. What was once a three times a week chore, cleaning rabbit cages, has now become a daily chore. The monthly chore of raking the goat pens has now become a weekly chore. I know this was bound to happen flies or no flies with the rapidly approaching kidding season when my small herd of six may double.

All I can say is thank goodness the horses are Lovers responsibility! The ducks and chickens are pretty easy. I just set the spray nozzle This high and powerwash the poo into a ditch that drains into a garden. I get my cleaning/ watering/ fertilizing done in one clean swoop!

On my agenda for this weekend is to build a couple large fly traps like the one I found online pictured above. I need at least three. The ducks and chickens don't need one, I'd be robbing them of their protien enriched snack.
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Monday, March 28, 2011

adding to my self sufficient ways

I've learned since I started knitting, that it could be an expensive hobby. Sure it ain't sailing or some other extravagant hobby, but when ones skill level increases so does the quality of yarn used. That $15 project of acrylic is no longer satisfying. Soon, one discovers merino, cashmere, mohair and angora. Now we're paying $15 per skein instead of per project.

And for One of use who takes things just a little bit further..... fiber animals and a spinning wheel.

Yesterday I scored an amazing deal. There in the corner of an antique shop perched on top of an aged tallboy dresser, sat a spinning wheel in all in glory. Its unlabeled so I'm not sure if its actually antique, vintage, or a reporoduction. But frankly, at $98 with all its parts and in working condition, I couldn't care less.

I am now the proud owner of a Saxony style spinning wheel. It even has a bobbin in it( which is great because its hard finding replacements for older wheels).

The boys have been warned that they risk life and limb should they go withing 10 feet of it and the dogs have been threatened with the removal of their teeth should they even take a sniff of all the antique-y shop scents. My fingers And toes are crossed as I pray to the yarn gods that this wheel will survive my household.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Woman who Stares At Goat Butts

Never in my life have I spent so much time staring at the rear end of a goat...or anything g for that matter. Today I noticed my Little Lu has begun to bag up! Translation: her udder is starting to fill out. Generally this happened 30-45 days prior to kidding.

After I noticed her little udder, I spent a great deal of time.following behind my more modest nigerian, Ethel. She was hesitant to let me get behind her ( a window into my milking future I suppose). After following her for some time I an okay look she's much more hairy than Lucy so all I could make out were the tips of tiny teats ( try saying that one 5 times fast!). I tried to reach down and feel. If she had hands she would have slapped me for sure. She DOES have horns but decided against using them on me.

Zooey the pygora isn't bagging up yet either but with all her fleece there's no way to see first sure. The first weekend of April is shearing weekend. Perhaps I will actually be able to see something then.

In non goat related news, I finally got all my seedlings transplanted today.
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Lilys new home

No, I didn't get rid of my Angora ( heavens no!). She just finally got out of her quarentine And is now with the other goats.

She seems so much happier over there!! It took me about 5 weeks to get her to come over to me and eat from my hand. I destroyed that trust in 2 minutes flat by grabbing her horns and wrangling her over to the pen. Guess I'll have to start over.

She most certainly is the most bazaar goat. They aren't supposed to like rain. At all. While I don't believe she particularly enjoys it, She makes no attempt to shelter herself from it. She just lays in the rain Getting soaked.

The ranch I purchased her from had all their animals out on open pastures, except for kidding season. Maybe she's just used to sleeping under trees and bushes? She's now had three different shelters and I ain't making her a new one. Rainy season should be about over soon anyway.

Lucy is due to kid in May. Followed by Zooey and Ethel in June and July. Lily was sold 'exposed to Buck's but I don't think she's ' with child'.

Anyhoo- there's your goat update!
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Lilys new home

No, I didn't get rid of my Angora ( heavens no!). She just finally got out of her quarentine And is now with the other goats.

She seems so Mich happier over there!! It took me about 5 weeks to get her to come over to me and eat from my hand. I destroyed that trust in 2 minutes flat by grabbing her horns and wrangling her over to the pen. Guess I'll have to start over.

She most certainly is the most bazaar goat. They aren't supposed to like rain. At all. While I don't believe she particularly enjoys it, She makes no attempt to shelter herself from it. She just lays in the rain Getting soaked.

The ranch I purchased her from had all their animals out on open pastures, except for kidding season. Maybe she's just used to sleeping under trees and bushes? She's now had three different shelters and I ain't making her a new one. Rainy season should be about over soon anyway.

Lucy is due to kid in May. Followed by Zooey and Ethel in June and July. Lily was sold 'exposed to Buck's but I don't think she's ' with child'.

Anyhoo- there's your goat update!
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Todays chore list

Clean the rabbit hutches.
Catch and move Angora out of quarentine to new pen.
Weed the garden patch and fertilize.
Plant seedlings gs that were started in doors.
Resize Maces 'new' shirts
Take kitchen scrap pail to vermicompost bin.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

woman powered

This morning I hacked off about 5 three inch thick branches of the tamarisk that were hanging too low. Then I hacked off all limbs three inches and under off of a medium sized dead eucalyptus. Followed by digging it out of the ground and transporting it about 20 yards with help from my kids Fisher price wagon. I had to put the heavy rooted end in the wagon and I actually steered with the top of the tree.

I used a hacksaw to cut it up. Not a chainsaw ( While we own one, it intimidates me). Mornings like this make me feel very capable and proud to be a strong woman. I know to some it doesn't seem like much, but to me it is!

Remember Renee Zellwegers character n Cold Mountain? I feel like a channeled that gal juuuuuust a little bit..
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

chasing geese....eggs

Lover brought home 5 goose eggs, from a nest on a hotel balcony, That had to be removed. I have no idea if They're fertilized but I do get the pleasure of caring for them over then next 30 days. At preasent I Have no incubator so in trying it the reptile way until tomorrow. That means the eggs are in damp sand in a plastic shoe box marked with an X on the top for easy turning identification. They're in my bathroom a.k.a hot room bird nursury. Wish Me Luck Y'all! !
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SCORE!!! Potatoes!!

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Monday, March 7, 2011

its like christmas! again!

Today was a very good mail day. No bills today for me!! However I did get the new gurneys seed catalog, the next Torchwood disk from Netflix AND a new book from!! I'm very happy
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

goats v. kids

I love my goats more than my kids. They're cuter, listen better And they don't smell as bad.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011