Wednesday 3 April 2024

It's Easter!

Chickens at Sunrise

I got busy cleaning out the barn. There was the old hay and poop of having chickens in there through the winter plus I wanted to get teh mobile coop out of there now that the winter is over. The barn wasn't stinky or anything because I had kept up with adding more bedding, but I knew stirring up the straw on the floor was going to be nasty work, so I made sure to have the proper gear on. You do NOT want dehydrated chicken poop dust in your eyes or lungs.
PPE

clean out started

Over the past month I've been slowly gathering all the gear I'd need for the goat. Things needed too milk her, trim her hooves, and otherwise simply house her, but since the weather had finally stopped with the wind & rain for a bit, it was time to get the last minute work done. Between installing the temporary goat pen, hauling straw and hay, as well as cleaning out and renovating the barn, I was worn out before she even got here.

loft

star

This is the lovely lady named Star. She arrived Sunday with her milking stand and I got her set up with a proper collar and leash. She's never been trained to a collar or halter so I'll have some work ahead of me there, but she seems to be a quick learner. She needs some work on her hooves and to gain a lil weight but is otherwise in fit condition.

fence

I had put up a small pen just to get her used to "this is home" before letting her roam. Getting her to go in the pen was an interesting exercise in goat psychology, but we did manage. She explored it a bit while I sat on the other side of the fence but .... it didn't even last 15 seconds after I walked away. I knew goats need companions but OMG she was just the neediest and hopped/clambered over that fence lickity split to follow me.

thief

At first I thought the goats and chickens could co-habitate since goats are herbivores and wouldn't steal the eggs, but Star quickly taught me that she could not be trusted anywhere near chicken food, not even if it's up on a shelf. It's fine, it was time for the chickens to move back out to their mobile coop for the summer anyway so I'll just make sure there's a goat proof divider in the barn before next winter.

on stand

closeup

Monday morning was our first milking. I didn't realize she'd be so fussy. Seems her previous owner was just letting her loose as soon as she finished eating because she let the kids take care of the rest. About halfway through the milking at 7:30am, Star simply refused, so I packed up and went back inside for breakfast and then tried again at 10am. The second milking I was able to empty her out. The full amount of milk was about 2L.

I spent pretty much all day Sunday and all day Monday hanging out with Star to keep her from panicking. I did switch her to morning AND evening milking because she looked really full at night and I wanted her to rest comfortably. On Monday, Star spent her time as a mix of on a lead and off, which allowed me the freedom to come in the house occasionally (even though she complained at the door the whole time) or even just sit outside with my laptop. As long as we could see each other she was happy, so she didn't go too far. We even went for a little hike together. This whole week was very tiring for me so, to save my sanity and hers, I hurried the search for another goat.

Flossie

Enter, Flossie. This yearling doe arrived on farm Tuesday afternoon and will be ready to be bred for the first time in about 6 months. She's a Nubian/Saanen cross with a great line of milkers before her.

both

As you can see, there is quite a size difference right now but Flossie should mature to be almost as big as Star over the next year or so. They're currently battling out their social standing and should be good friends by the weekend.

I knew goats need a buddy... I thought I had a week or two.... I was wrong, so very wrong. So now I'm a bit sunburned from being outside pretty much all day for three days to goat-sit Star through her herdless days.

We popped out to the shop on Tuesday and picked up some cheap chocolate because.... well because cheap chocolate, and I'm feeling so old with this shrinkflation stuff. I remember Buying a "solid 1lb chocolate rabbit" for $1.99...... On sale they were around $4 and only weighed 330g instead of 454g. The $1.99 ones were 100g.

Peppa is still her tiny precious self and enjoys sunbathing daily. One of the upsides is that the floor is one place she can stretch out and roll over without falling off something. I swear this cat has no sense of how wide a ledge is at all. lol

Peppa

Well I hope you all had a good long weekend. I'm looking forward to taking the next few days to catch up on all the laundry/dishes/etc I had been neglecting, and then taking a few days to just do "nothing" (aka the minimum of feeding the humans and animals and then zoneing out in front of the tv). A belated Happy Easter to you all!