Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Wide Load/Goat

She looks pretty happy.
The brat is at it again.

She sure is wide.

Looking fat and happy.
Well, we are still on baby goat watch. I think our cashmere goat, Penny, has decided not to have her babies after all and will just lounge around the yard looking for extra treats and back rubs. She sure seems to like all of the extra attention she is getting and in no hurry to have little bratty goats stand on her back. They are so funny racing all over the place causing their mothers much stress and anguish. It is particularly hard on the mom with twins, Ruby, as her head is swiveling in all directions trying to keep and eye on both babies. Her favorite seems to be the black one as she is easier to see being a little bigger. Maybe today will be a new goat birthday, it sure is beautiful, warm and sunny. A perfect day for it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Twins Arrive

Dressed up in their little sweatshirts.
What a difference a few days make.

Twin girls born this morning.

One is black with gray and one pure white.

Very tiny and loud.

The cashmere goat was still as large as a house this morning when my husband went out to feed. He woke me up with "I need help with a birth!" So I threw on some sweats and ran outside only to see the other angora goat giving birth on the compost pile to a pure white tiny little girl and then out comes a black baby girl. Where the grey black baby came from, I have no idea. We usually only have reddish or white babies. They are very tiny and cute but cold. I went in the house and cut up an old sweatshirt. If you take the sleeves and cut the wrist band off, cut two leg holes and cut it rounded at the back, it makes a nice little goat coat. I have used this on bunnies when I have to cut them down in the winter and it works very well to keep any small animal warm. This helped to warm up the baby goats as it keeps the heat close to their body.
Meanwhile the goat baby buck that was born Thursday is so full of beans, we named him Brat. He has taken over the whole yard and is standing on every goats back especially his mothers who thinks the world of him. He has gotten bigger in just 3 days and seems heads larger then the twin girls born today. He boinks all over the yard and spends the rest of his day eating and sleeping. Needless to say, we didn't get much accomplished today as we spent most of the day making sure the twins were eating and were warm enough. They are fun to watch and to hold.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Arrival

New addition to the herd
A very proud mother

Nibbling on hay.
I was going to continue my spring cleaning system on the blog next but we had a spring surprise this morning instead. We have a few angora goats and one cashmere goat. Well, the cashmere goat is the size a house and we have been watching her for a few weeks now, thinking that she would give birth at any time now. We were not watching the angora girls as they really didn't look too big yet under their winter coats. Well, surprise, surprise, when my husband went out to feed this morning, we had a sweet little buck goat all cleaned up and walking around. He is a doll with a bright red head and mom is so proud of him. We lost his dad a few months ago from old age so we were really glad for a boy to continue the fathers line. We will have to wait and see how the other moms do but this mom is certainly thrilled about her new addition. The warm weather also made it much easier on both mom and baby.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Paybacks after Pa.

Bluebells junior buck.
Ashley looking at his neighbor.

Wool and bunny pops for sale with interested bunnies looking on.
My husband really does help me out with the bunnies while I am away by feeding and watering them. One of the ladies at the show got a phone call asking questions about feeding the bunnies and I asked who that was. She said " That's my barn boy." What barn boy? "My husband". We all had a good laugh and I told my husband he was now my barn boy. He had a good laugh about that too.
Anyway, he will feed and water but not really clean so I had lots to do when I got back. The does with litter generate a huge amount of poop and since they are in my laundry room, I can't tolorate any odors. Over many years I have come up with a quick and easy cleaning system and I clean 9 cages in 45 minutes. It goes like this:
1) Have you supplies on hand.
Spray bottle with 1 cup white vinegar to about 32 oz. of water.
Spray bottle with Vanodine with 2 tablespoons of vanodine to 32 oz. water.
Newspapers, I prefer the N.Y. Daily News or N.Y. Post as they are small, fit the pans almost exactly and have great gossip pages.
Trash bag, bucket, dust pan and brush plus a sturdy wire brush ( I use a long handled plastic grill brush with a scraper end) and throw away gloves.
2) Put on gloves. Use the dust pan and brush to scoop up all of the poop and spilled food from the first pan and put it in the bucket. Roll up the newspaper and throw it in the trash bag. Take the wire brush and scrape under and on top of the floor wire. This drops any remaining material into the pan. Sweep this up and spray the pan well with the vinegar water to dampen. Let sit and go to the next pan. Repeat above.
3) While pan #2 is soaking, go back to pan #1 and wipe down with paper towels including edges of pan. Spray with Vanodine and cover with newspaper overlapping it so it is easy to roll up next time. I also put extra layers in the back so it will absorb more. Plus it's fun for the bunnies if they have some interesting pictures to look at through the floor wire. Repeat with the rest of the cages.
4) I put the contents of the bucket in my compost pile and use it in the garden. It makes the most incredible black rich soil and there is less trash to carry out and less going to the county landfill.
I know this probably all sounds very simple but you would be amazed how no one even knows that I have bunnies in my house. It is quick, easy and I can even get it done before I go to work in the morning. More on spring cleaning next time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pa. Convention

The Bunny mobile.
New breeding of mini angoras.

Tulips babies go to the show.

Tulip daughter is a clone of her.

Tulip as a young senior.
A fun time was had by all at the Pennsylvania State Convention. It was great fun to see everyone after a long winter break. We always have some kind of joke going and I was particularly silly this time with the "Bunny Mobile". Notice the ears and pink nose with whiskers? I really did need to add a big fluffy tail though. Next time.
With the mixed up weather this year, my coats on the bunnies were disappointing but I did take Natasha and she actually behaved herself. She had good comments and the judges really seemed to like her. I also got to show some of the babies from Tulip, photo above and was very pleased with the placings. The pearl line is something that I have had for many years although it used to be Lilac instead of sable. They are very striking and always cause discussion.
My Jersey Woolies did very well and I was excited about the placing considering the heavy competition that was at the show. Of course the "King of All" took his turn up at the table but he was a little rough over the back due to my fear of over feeding him. he only weights 2.9 lbs. He still came in 5th over I think 17 broken senior bucks. He just loves going to a show and everyone commented on his beautiful blue grey eyes.
As you can see by the photo of the small cage, I've started to breed mini angoras but they are still a little genetically unstable. No ears yet and some were born with only one eye. I will have to keep working on them for next time. Linda sure had a good laugh over them. ;-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Snow and Snow Babies

Fluffy snow in the yard.
Hiding all the raking and weeding I need to do.

Andi's babies with Sullivan. Little Snow balls.

So soft and pretty.
Well, the on again, off again snow fall that we maybe, possibly, were going to get hit last night and when we woke up this morning, there was a winter wonderland. It was so beautiful and fluffy, covering everything in sight. It made the yard so beautiful that I forgot about all the yard work that awaits me underneath. Already starting to melt and fall off the trees as the sun came up later this morning. It is supposed to be 50 degrees by the weekend which will be great for the Pennsylvania Convention show. Usually it about 0 with a wind chill factor of 20 below. One year they didn't turn the heat on in the angora room until Saturday morning. I was wearing my coat in the show room for 2 days and having to go into the cavy room to warm up. Judge Peg Hailey kept looking at me funny until I told her I had frost-bite and needed to raise my body temperature back to normal.
Andi's babies are doing well and look like small bricks in a fur coat. Talk about solid body types. Sullivan has such a small round body and Andi is solid and very round plus both have great wool. They were out of the nestbox as soon as their eyes were open and chasing mom around the cage for some milk. Andi doesn't mind this at all and is happy to have all of them sitting happily on her back while she has a snooze. She is such a sweet heart.