Monday, April 30, 2012

My mostly free milking stand

I'm frugal...very much so. And while I love the fancy pants milking stands, and feel they are a definite worthwhile investment,  I just couldn't bring myself to spend $150+ on a milking stand. I'm also not very crafty when it comes to wood working so a beautiful wood homemade one was also out of the question.

What I am is resourceful.  Enter the mostly free milking stand. The stanchion and base are made from solid wood cabinet fronts given to me by a friend. She gave me tons after she had her kitchen redone, knowing I'd eventually have a use.

The 2X4 supports were cute from a cull piece of lumber which cost me a whopping 51¢.

The screws were from the screw jar. A jar I keep full of random bits left over from other projects.

The only things I actually purchased specifically for this project was the hook and eye latch for about $2.50 ( and it came with two sets). I also used 4 corner brackets. The two heavy duty ones that are attaching the base to the side of the kidding stall were actually left over from building the kidding stall.

The two smaller L brackets were used basically to stabilize the stanchion and single leg while I screwed everything together. I left them attached for extra support. Those were about $3.50 for a set of four including screws and I have two left.

I'll probably use the remaining ones to attach some sort of feeder.

So there you have it. My ugly, mostly free milking stand.
I plan on lining the top of the base with some anti slip something or other that will help keeps the goats from sliding around as well as keep the hooves trimmed up.

I'll also add a top to the whole  pen some time in the near future. In the high desert we get crazy heat, wind and snow so a roof is a must.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Two more bucks sold!

And just in time. Brutus, whom I was planning on keeping, and his brother are no longer on the homestead.

Too many boys around isn't a good thing. Now I Have my saanen Buck ( supermodels future boyfriend) and I'll keep Lucy's new buckling for future crossings with supermodel and her offspring from the saanen. If all That works out I'll sell little Lucy and Have no more pure nigis. They are adorable but I'm learning i much prefer working with goats I've at least partially bottle raised myself. They seem to Just be easier This deal with.

Plus a mini saanen/ lamancha cross will still be bigger than lil Lucy. She's quite petite even for a nigi.

So that's my plan!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Im a grandma!

Lucy had her kids! Oh and they are so darn adorable. Its very difficult not to keep them all.

I've already got homes for these two little darlings,  thankfully.

The buckling is going This a friend of ours who runs a horse rescue.  She wanted a companion for a mini horse. He'll make a great wether for her.

The doe is being sold to a neighbor who raises dairy goats. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Comes from crossing out lamancha with our new saanen this fall.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Goat training

Since Supermodel was a bottle baby and all ready leash trained I decided to jump right in with her. I've been putting her face halter on daily for the past 3 days and just letting her walk around in it. Today I put on two. One is normal sized for her and the other was a thin adjustable one I made for smaller goats. Why did I use two? Because my halters are rope style with 4 foot attached leads. This way she had reins.

She did very well!  She was already training.ed to walk by my side so I would just slow Slow down and sneak behind her. She "woah'd" quite well, it was keeping her going that needs work. She kept wanting to.stop and sample the greenery.

We walked around the house a few This
es before I put her back. Every time we stopped at my.command she got a treat. Of she stopped on her own I'd tap her back legs with a stick and say "yip yip" in a high voice. That is a command I already used to call my goats.  They'd start running if they heard it! Now I just shake a blue bottle with rocks in it Amy they Come.
Usually when training goats, I read, there is someone leading with a leash and another behind the goats with.the reins.I didnt have a helper ( I tried using my.5yo unsuccessfully ) so that's why I'd tap her rear with a stick. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't. was her first day! I think she's going to be a natural!!

And other good new, Barnabas,  our new saanen Buck, ate from my hand. The trust is forming. He even followed me down the length of the pen. I sit next to his pen and talk sweetly to him and the other goats. He's getting  curious now. I'm looking forward to this weekend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Macrame and bailing twine

Every farmer, ranch hand, equine And. Capring enthusiast know what bailing twine is. Its a synthetic fiber that's wrapped around bales of hay and straw, usually in groups of three.
We also have a tendency to hold on to because its very strong and very useful.

I happen to hoard it, often thinking up amazing and useful ideas but never seeing the to fruition.

Until today.

The 4 strand macrame lead.
I bought a back of claw type hooks for $2 and put one on each end. Then I can clip it to a fence or to itself or to another animal.

Viola. Before and afters

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Finally, an udder pic

Took me a while This sneak up behind her, but I finally got the pregnancy pic of Lucy's udder.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

a very pregnant Lucy

I was trying to get some udder shots, but just wasn't having it. At present, "she vonts to be a-loan. "

She looks so uncomfortable waddling around the goat pen, poor baby!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Before and after a cut and style.

Those bigger heavy electric clippers Intimidate the hell out of me so those are Lovers job. Luckily for me, Orchid is a tame little thing and sweet as pie so she let me clip her with plain scissors.  It took about 25 minutes but whatever. I realize the pros can do at least 5 animals in that same amount of time but Im not charging myself! I haven't walked her on a leash for a long time. I'm surprised she did so well! It was a little trek from the goat pen to the pergola where I cropped her. She did very well.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bitter sweetness

Marigold and Clover have left the farm. It was an executive decision that had to be made. Marigold was such a beautiful little goat, but she was so tiny I was concerned about using her for breeding. I decided to go ahead and sell her and her brother together and I hope to get my lamancha bred this fall to my Nigerian Buck.

They went to an acquaintance of mine who live fairly close and has owned goats before. I know they will be well cared for there!

And on the up note, Lucy's mucous plug has begun to make an appearance.  It isn't drippy drooling out ( I know its gross) its just sort of bubbling out. I thought from sure she'd kid the weekend, but it looks like it wont be an Easter kidding after all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kidding stall and milking pen

Introducing the new kidding stall. 8 by 8 feet of recycled splendor! Its still not complete. .. I need a roof for avoinding the scorching summer sun. But there is a manger for the goats and four walls and a door. This space will be where my goats kid in spring,  a loafing area during inclement weather and a milking pen. It will be expanded eventually so that these areas are all separate but, for now, its functional . It ain't pretty though! For only $6( the cost of hardware ), I can't complain.