Friday, May 7, 2010

Lots of Excitement--and all before noon.

So I went and bought two dairy does yesterday. One is a two-year-old registered LaMancha who is very sweet, and the other is a yearling Alpine that I've got a registration application for. Last night I put them in our old dog kennel at the barn with the plans of covering some gates in our pasture to make it goat-safe this morning. I also had a hen and four chicks dropped off at my doorstep yesterday morning, so I made a spot for them to be happy all day yesterday and then placed them in the coop last night so they could get out this morning with my other chickens. Morning comes and I take Joe over to my mother-in-law's house across the drive so I could work on fence. I let the turkeys out in the chicken lot so they could get in the coop for the bugs as I went to the barn--we had a few barn cats dropped off this week and I watched as one was stalking my big Brahma hens--I'll give her credit for trying, but that's a bit too large a game for her. Anyway, I covered the two spots I knew for sure the goats would get out, led them to the pasture and turned them loose. No problems--they went to browsing and were content.
The hen with chicks was attempting to get her chicks to jump over the little ledge to get out of the chicken coop and they weren't going for it, so I helped her get them all outside--I'm not exactly sure they will get back in okay--I might put them in with the turkeys, (that's my usual chick pen). The turkeys were doing fine staying inside of the yard, so I decided it would be safe to go get Joe and bring her home so she could nurse and probably take a nap. Just as I started to nurse Joe, both does go running past the French doors because they'd escaped from the pasture. Poor kid, I yanked her off, set her on the floor, covered myself up, and headed out to catch them. No biggie--they are tame, so I went out to see where they got out. Sure enough the big doe had squeezed through a hole that the dogs use to get to the pasture. I covered it with the water bucket, but I knew she'd squeeze under the gate next. Needless to say my mother-in-law just took them back down to the pen until I could work on the extra escape routes later, and I went back in to feed my hungry daughter.
She went to sleep and I carried her upstairs to take her nap. I made myself some breakfast (it was 10:30 at least by this time), and sat down to do some work. All at once I could hear turkeys chirping--it was coming from Joe's baby monitor. I knew they weren't upstairs, but the window up there was open, so apparently the sound was carrying on the wind. I decided I better go outside and investigate because they shouldn't be on that side of the house.
Outside in the chicken yard are two of my five turkeys...great, where are the other three? I call for them, but don't figure they can hear me for the wind. They aren't down at the barn, so I call out again and hear a reply. They'd been out in our east pasture--where the goats were supposed to be. They started running for me apparently they'd gotten a bit lost and were happy I came to their rescue. I penned them back up, sighed, and asked myself why I like having livestock. They keep me on my toes that's for sure. Just another day.
This is the LaMancha--they are an earless breed. My poor husband thought I was kidding when I warned him that she didn't have ears.
This is the Alpine doe--she's not as friendly as the other one, but I can catch her and such, and that's all that matters to me.

So other than being escapees the goats are doing good. I'm looking forward to the cheeses I'll be attempting to make next spring with their milk, and all the calves and piglets I'll raise on them too.

1 comment:

Ficurinia said...

Jealous. That's what I am. Your morning sounds simply divine to me. If I ever move to my in-law's vineyard in California, the first thing I will request will be goats. Goat cheese is amazing too! I cannot wait to hear more about that next year... My husband is a trained chef and winemaker and we love all kinds of cheese, especially goat cheeses.