Friday, September 18, 2009

Recent Happenings

Actually, not much happening right now.. But couldn't think of a better title.. So there you have it.. But I do have a couple of pics to post and a possible happening..

The other day I was doing some things to the boys shelter.. Gavin, being a bottle baby, just had to be near me.. I sat down for a minute to rest and Gavin came up for some attention.. I had my cell phone with me and snapped this picture..

Me and Gavin

He was chewing his cud at the time and I caught him mid chew.. Unfortunately, cud stinks and he likes to have his face close to mine so I can kiss him on the nose and scratch his face.. Won't be able to kiss him on the nose much longer though when its breeding season and he becomes a stinky buck.. To get that lovely stinky smell, male goats pee on their faces.. Of course they also get it all over their front legs and anything else that happens to be near by.. I almost got peed on by a young buckling once because he liked to mark people.. As if they were his property.. Obstinate little pissant..

And speaking of stinky bucks, I may have found a registered pygmy buck for my kinder project.. His name is Gambler and he's 6 yrs old.. He's older than either of my girls but I think his "experience" will help with getting the girls bred.. The girls, after all, are probably taller than he is..



Isn't he a cutie? And the lady said he's a sweetie too.. Need to talk to hubby and pick a day to go see him.. I told our youngest, Kaitlyn, that we might get him and now she keeps asking when are we getting him.. I guess to her its already a done deal..

Anyway, that's pretty much it for now.. Chickens are huge.. No eggs yet but should be any day now.. Rabbits still haven't done the naughty.. Figures that I would end up with celibate rabbits..

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My newest crochet projects

Not much going on here.. Sold two of my older goat does.. Still have Prima, my milker.. Still have all the babies.. Hard to sell them right now with the economy the way it is..

Still no baby bunnies.. Nobody seems to be in the "mood".. I've been told that giving the girls wheat germ oil helps.. Will have to get some from the store tomorrow and try it out..

Chickens are getting bigger.. One of them crowed this morning.. If you want to call it a crow.. When I first heard it, I rushed to the back door because it sounded like a person trying to attract the chickens attention to nab them or something.. There are two that I'm sure are roos, and two I'm sure are hens.. The fifth one I'm still up in the air about.. Definitely more comb development then the two hens, but not as much as the two roos.. But I'm afraid that one is a roo because later I saw it and the two roos challenging each other.. The black roo is definitely the boss already.. The blue roo is the one that crowed.. The chicken in question is black also.. Then there is the blue hen and the splash hen.. The splash hen is definitely more curious then the others and seems to be at the bottom of the pecking order.. I really hope that one isn't a roo.. It'll through off my ratio so much..

Anyway, my crochet stuff..
First one is an amirugumi crochet mouse.. Like all my crochet things so far, I got it off of youtube..
Amigurumi crochet mouse

My adorable husband sporting his new beanie.. It says #1 Dad.. Our 5 yr old, of course, had to be in the pic.. The beanie itself is the same pattern I've used for the other beanies which I got off youtube.. The lettering I also learned from a youtube video.. I definitely made the letters too big.. Will have to work on my lettering..
Hubby's beanie, says #1 Dad

I learn all my crochet stuff from a woman who has tons of very informative videos on youtube.. She also has a blog..

My next project I will sort of be designing on my own.. A doggie bed.. Part of it will be a tube which I learned how to make from one of her videos..

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I made goat cheese!!!

goat cheese

I finally took some of the extra milk I'm getting and made some cheese from it.. Haven't tasted it yet.. Its supposed to sit in the fridge a couple of days before you eat it.. This is the recipe I used.. I hope I did it right because it didn't have any measurements for the vinegar or the salt, and I only had regular iodized salt.. I really hope it turns out ok.. If anybody has any other thoughts or suggestions or different recipes, I'm all ears..

Friday, May 22, 2009

Another video of the chicks

You can hear the goats in the background screaming to be fed.. Prima is the loudest one.. She's letting me know that she wants to be milked because she knows that food comes right afterwards.. Anyway, enjoy the chicks..

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wow, I hadn't realized how long it had been since I'd posted.. Just have had so many things to do and so much on my mind that I haven't had the desire to sit down and say anything..

First off, the babies are doing well.. Bluebell had two boys and since they'll be meat goats, I let her keep them.. So I only had the four nubian babies to bottle feed.. They are growing fast and at about 2 months old now, they're eating hay, oats, and alfalfa pellets.. I've got them down to just one bottle a day.. Before that, I was going through so much milk.. It was crazy..

We've named and gotten everybody registered except for Bluebell's babies.. (No sense in registering a meat goat..) But I'll go by the pics in the previous posts.. Prima's black and brown boy is Gavin.. The spotted one is Euwyn.. I've already got a deposit on him.. Velvet's boy is Spoticus because of the big spot in the middle of his back.. The spotted little girl is Moira.. We're keeping her..

For the week, they lived in the house.. We kept them in a big dog crate except at feeding time.. Week two-four they lived outside in the pen while the other goats were closed off into the yard.. Since then they've been living with everybody else.. The mothers don't recognize them so they don't let the babies nurse.. The babies don't see them as a milk supply anyway so they don't try to nurse..

Anyway, here are some pics and video..

The babies supervising me as I make a raised bed of cinder blocks.. More on the raised bed later..
my supervisors

Euwyn after he got disbudded..
Euwyn disbudded

The babies playing in the yard..

A video of the babies playing and chasing me that I had to put on youtube because photobucket was being a pain in the butt..

I also did another article for Gardengirltv's webzine so I made a short video to go along with it about bottle feeding baby goats..

That's about it for the goats so let's go onto the rabbits..

Since Trixie had her babies, I've been looking for a buck to breed them to again.. Didn't have much luck until a guy on a forum I visit said he was getting out of his Florida Whites and that I could have his buck.. He just wanted them to go to a good home rather then him having to butcher them.. I get his two does also once they have their babies and they're weaned.. I've already got Dixie possibly bred but Trixie is being quite resistant.. I've taken to just leaving her in with the buck for a day and then taking her out, waiting a little while and then leaving her in again.. His name is George, but I haven't taken a picture of him since he's a white rabbit and pretty much looks exactly like the girls.. His ears are a little bigger..

Don't remember if I posted about the eggs hatching, but I got six to hatch.. My stupid chicken eating dog ate one of them so now I'm down to five.. But of those five I have one splash, and possibly two blue and two black.. A nice ratio.. Now to wait and see how many are roos and how many are hens..

This is them about a day or two old..
blue, black, splash orpingtons

A video of them at about a week old I think..

Them now at about a month and a half old..
blue black splash orpingtons

blue black splash orpingtons

blue black splash orpingtons

blue black splash orpingtons

And a video..

Last, but not least, my raised cinder block bed.. My mom sent me some money for my birthday and my inlaws sent me a gift card.. So guess what I did.. I went and bought cinder blocks.. I was as giddy as some women are when they get a new purse or a new pair of shoes..

This is the pile when I brought them home.. 23 blocks.. I actually paid for 24 but apparently I miscounted when I was loading them and only got 23..
cinder blocks for raised bed

This is originally how I set them out.. But after watching a gardengirl video, I had to put the long side facing north since that's where I'll be putting all my vining crops..
cinder blocks layed out

The bed in its new position.. I've got cardboard boxes and feed bags layed out to smother weeds..
raised cinder block bed

I haven't done anything else with it.. I don't really want to put dirt from the yard in it because of the weeds that will be in it.. And I don't have the money right now to buy bags of soil for it.. Besides, I've pretty much missed the beginning of the summer growing season anyway..

Ok, that's pretty much what's been going on here, farm-wise.. I will leave you with a pic of my boys with mohawks.. I let them keep it for the weekend of my birthday.. Then late Sunday afternoon off it came.. My daughter wanted a mohawk too.. But my husband would have killed me.. = )


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two More Babies!!!

This time a boy and a girl.. These are Velvet's kids.. The boy will be sold and the girl will be kept.. They're eating good.. Sorry, maybe I'll have more details later.. I haven't quite woken up yet.. Here are pics.. Had to take two of the boy since he wouldn't stay still and insisted on getting his legs stuck in the cracks of the couch..

Buckling 3

Buckling 3

Doeling 1

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our First Goat Kids!!!

Prima had her babies today! Twin bucklings! I am so excited and so nervous at the same time.. I really needed girls for my kinder project, but I'm still really stoked about our first two healthy, happy babies.. I will be selling these boys so if you're interested, just email me.. I'm in central Florida.. Anyway, without further ado.....

Buckling 1

Buckling 2

Aren't they adorable?!!! I've already dipped their navels in iodine and they've both had about 3 oz of store bought milk with powdered colostrum in it.. Right now they're cuddled against me dozing..

Anyway, need to go check on mom and see if she's passed the placenta yet..

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What I Did Today

Most of the day we went to Dinosaur World for the younger son's bday.. But then I finished cleaning out the goats' shelter in preparation for the babies arrivals.. Bluebell is due a week from tomorrow.. I actually started it yesterday but then stopped to go to Pam and Hugh's to clean out a stall for them.. Hugh hurt his back cleaning out another stall and Pam was busy with her little girl and making goat harnasses and stuff.. You can check out her really neat goat gear here.. Speaking of which, tomorrow I'm going to take a pic of the halter and lead that she made for me.. Great products for great prices.. Anyway, here is a pic of the cleaned out goat shelter..

Cleaned shelter

Before I even got done spreading out the shavings, Velvet came in and peed.. Reminds me of when the cat lived in the house and she'd stand there watching me, waiting for THE second I was done.. If I turned my back to get something before I was done, she'd go ahead anyway.. Velvet was also my main supervisor.. The other two only came in occasionally to take a look.. Prima peed on the bare cement.. I guess she didn't approve of how long I was taking or something.. I had left it only half done yesterday.. Tomorrow I'll take a so-so bail of hay and spread it over the shavings for more cushiness..

Now I have to finish cleaning off the rest of the pen (all cement).. I think the cement makes it a little easier to clean because I can just use a shovel to scrape it up and a broom to get up the rest.. But I think it also makes it necessary to clean it more often because the urine doesn't soak through into the ground..

With the rest of my day, I'm going to sit here and do nothing.. = D

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's Official! The Girls are Mine! And Other Stuff

Got the new registration papers for the goats today, listing me as the owner.. You may now call me Farmer Kitti! Ok, maybe wait until the babies are born..

I am also starting my chicken project now, apparently.. Occasionally I bid on some blue orpington eggs on ebay, but I never get them because somebody always outbids me.. Well, last week I actually won an auction.. The eggs arrived today.. There are 12 blue orpington eggs, and three extra from other breeds.. You can see them in the middle to the left.. The two dark eggs I believe are welsummer eggs, another favorite breed of mine.. The egg in the middle of those two is labeled as a rock egg.. I don't really care for rocks myself.. A little too flighty.. But maybe it'll be a hen since rocks are great layers.. If not, we can always invite a young roo to dinner..

Blue orpington eggs and extra

For the last couple of days I've been working to get an incubator put together.. I had all the ingredients already except for the cooler, the wire bottom, and the glass for the top.. (I had the other parts from building a similar incubator before..)


I'm really excited because I've wanted blue orpingtons for a long time.. I really hope I get a good hatch.. I'm not going to hold my breath too tightly because they did come all the way from Arizona.. Hopefully they passed through some gentle hands..

Last, but not least, I'd like to introduce my son Marcus' new bunny, Splotch.. He's been wanting a dutch rabbit for some time now.. So when I went to the feed store last week and saw that they had a couple dutch, I just had to get him one.. Splotch isn't a quality bred bunny.. As a matter of fact, my son named him Splotch because he has a big splotch of color in the white band on his back.. He's a cutey though.. That is also one of our dogs in the pic.. Bonnie.. She's a chihuahua/dachshund mix.. She's very smart and is a really good dog.. She treats any small creatures as her baby.. She loves Splotch..

Bonnie and Splotch

Anyway, I think that's it for now.. Just waiting for the girls to kid.. Bluebell only has about a week and a half left.. I'm going to have to start keeping a very close eye on them now.. When I get up to check Kaitlyn's blood sugar, I'll be going out and checking on the girls.. Can't wait for the babies! I'm so excited.. That reminds me, I still need to test out my new double boiler to see if I can get it to hold 135 degrees for an hour so I can heat treat the colostrum..

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Less Than a Month To Go!

So, here are the goat girls, about 3 weeks away from kidding.. Getting a little fatter.. I think will only have one or two kids each.. Hope I get all does.. Velvet is developing an awesome udder for a first freshener.. Or I think so.. I'm no pro.. But looks pretty awesome to me.. Can't wait to see how her babies look..

Prima side
Prima backside

Velvet side
Velvet backside

Bluebell side
Bluebell backside

And then a video of them all..

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Kits Died

Well, the kits didn't make it.. This being her first litter, I guess she just didn't know what to do.. She had them on the wire, didn't make a nest, only pulled a mouthful of fur, and I don't think she actually fed them.. She basically did everything wrong.. But like I said, it's not uncommon for the first time to go bad.. I'll just have to get her rebred and hope that next time it goes better.. Daisy still hasn't had hers yet.. Could be tonite.. Could be tomorrow.. Eagerly waiting..

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trixie Has Had Her Babies!!!

She had them between 5pm and 9pm.. She started nesting behavior weeks ago and even pulled some fur.. But then she decided to eat all the hay I was putting in her nest box.. She ended up having the babies on the wire of the cage and I found one dead.. I put the others in the nest box and put some more hay in there and put some dryer lint on a suggestion from another rabbit person on a forum I frequent.. The dryer lint is to help keep them warm since she only pulled a tuft of fur.. Usually they make a cozy nest with their fur in the hay.. I'll check on them again later and see if she ends up having any more.. If not and if the babies feel chilly, I'll bring the nest box in the house for the nite..

Its not uncommon for a first time doe to have the babies on the bottom of the cage.. But since she'd starting nesting behavior early, I'd hoped she would do everything right the first time.. Well, at least the other four seem good and active.. Making funny little squeaking sounds.. Now we'll see how good of a mother she is.. A lot of does will make the mistake of having the kits on the cage bottom and then end up being excellent mothers once their instincts kick in fully.. We'll see how she does..

Now Daisy is due tomorrow so we'll see how she does..

Anyway, here's a pic I took real quick after I put them in the nest box but before I put in the dryer lint and cozyed them in real good..
Trixie's babies 2-19-09

They're also bigger than I thought they would be.. I guess I was expecting jelly bean size babies because of when I raised pet rats.. But rabbit babies are more like vienna sausage size, with legs and a head.. = )

The kids are already falling in love with them.. I've told them from the beginning that these are meat rabbits.. But now it's going to be really hard for them because they babies will be so cute.. But they have to learn that food is food.. We will keep a baby or two.. Will definitely have to keep a male so I can breed my does again.. But whichever litter I get him from, I might keep a doe from the second litter to slightly expand my breeding stock.. Let's get past the first couple of days though and see what kind of mother she is before we start making future plans.. Wish us luck..

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kittikity 1, Sweater 1

Ok, so I forgot to post the pic of the second doggie sweater I made.. I'm really pleased with most of it.. Might make the neck a little wider and definitely need to make it a little longer.. But I don't know if I'll be making any more for the dogs.. When they scratch they tend to tear up the yarn with their toe nails.. Will definitely work for the goat kids though.. Anyway, here is Bonnie again modeling version 2..

Sweater #2

I Wrote an Article About My Goats

Patti Moreno at GardenGirlTV is one of my biggest inspirations with my mini farm.. It was her website and videos that showed me that I could raise my own food on my little plot of land.. She does it on a much smaller space in the middle of a big city..

Well, back in December (I think it was December, might have been November) she asked me to write an article about the goats.. I was delighted, of course.. Anyway, it came out in her ezine in January.. If you want to read it, follow the link below.. It's the only article about goats so you can't miss it.. Read the other articles too.. Always lots of useful and interesting information..

Finally Finished the Cage

Ok, so finally finished one of the cages.. Actually, two if you count each section.. It's a two hole cage, meaning it has two section and two doors.. The whole thing is 5ft long.. The section on the left is 36w by 24d by 18 high.. The section on the right is 24w by 24d by 18h.. The wire on the bottom is 1x1/2 wire.. The wire on the top and sides is 1/2x1/2 hardware cloth.. Might go with 1x1 wire next time as the 1/2x1/2 was hard to work with.. Difficult to get the pliers in.. I used J-clip fasteners for everything, including as hinges for the doors which are on the top.. Each door space is 1ftx1ft.. I also made hay racks on each side.. I think I'm going to have to alter them a bit though because the hay doesn't stick through the 1/2x1/2 wire very well..

I don't really care for having the nest boxes on the inside as it takes up floorspace.. Want to figure out a way to put the nest boxes on the outside.. Maybe build a wooden section on the back with wire floors for ventilation and waste control..

Now to finish the other one.. I'm making two since the wire comes in 10ft lengths.. And so I can have more rabbits, of course..

Rabbit cage

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Moving Forward

Good news for the SA farm! We are getting a really good tax return so I am going to be able to accomplish some things around here.. For one, I'll be able to join the American Dairy Goat Association and transfer ownership of the girls over to my name.. Yes, I've had these goats for almost three months and I still haven't transferred them.. Costs money.. Enough said.. I'll also be able to register my herd/farm name.. Yay me!

And I'll also be able to get my red new zealand rabbits! Yay me again!

I also plan to get supplies to start my hydroponic seed starting setup.. We went by the farmers and flea market place today and there isn't anybody selling veggie or flower seedlings.. Or that I saw anyway.. It might be a bad time of year and somebody might be doing that later in the year.. We also got there kind of early and most people were just setting up.. But I still want to try it.. I also plan on trying the handmade items thing with the crocheting.. Knitting will come later if I ever really get the hang of it..

I can also finish the rabbit cages.. I've been trying to figure out how I'm going to do the doors.. I'm putting the doors in the top, that way it will be at least harder for them to escape.. It also leaves the sides free for feeder or water bottle space, or whatever else I might need the sides for.. But I want to make the door itself out of something more solid.. But don't know if I should use wood (chewable) or something else.. I've almost got one cage finished.. I just need to cut another opening for the other door, put in a divider (need more wire), and get some feeders to install on the sides.. Oh, and the door issue thing.. I still haven't figured out if I'm going to put the nest boxes inside the cage or cut a separate hole to hang them on the outside or underneath.. I'd love to put them underneath since rabbits naturally make burrows for their nests.. But no idea yet how I'd attach them or how I'd be able to check on the kits.. Still some brain storming to do..

The last thing I'd like to do (for now) is start my raised beds.. But we'll see how much money we have left after we catch up on the bills and I accomplish these other things.. I also agreed that hubby can get a Wii.. It was that or an Xbox 360.. I like the Wii better because it gets you off the couch and actually participating in the game.. Not just get cramps in your thumbs..

Anyway, enough talk about money.. We won't be getting it for 8-15 days anyway.. Past bedtime.. Nite nite..

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What I've Been Up To

Other than the usual stressing over bills, that is..

Cleaned off the goat's pen and put all the wasted hay and poo in an area that I had tried to make as a cement raised bed.. Found out cement is much more expensive than I thought and doesn't go quite as far as I thought it would.. Would end up taking A LOT of cement to complete that project.. So I never bothered finishing it..
Cleaned pen

Instead I'm using it as a compost pile..
Future compost

Also working on making the cages for the new rabbits.. Still haven't completed those yet so don't have any pics to show..

Spent most of yesterday moving around the living room and giving it a really good cleaning.. Every once in a while I just have an urge to rearrange stuff for no reason.. Today I feel very apathetic and don't know if I'll accomplish anything.. Need to finish up a little left of the living room and probably do some laundry.. We'll see if it gets done or not..

Thursday, January 22, 2009

First Harvest

Well, here is what I was able to salvage from the ruined garden.. Some spinach leaves and three tiny pea pods..

First Harvest

Some of the spinach leaves were a bit frost bitten so I gave those to the rabbits along with the three pea pods.. They seemed to really enjoy them.. The rest I washed off and gave to hubby as a spinach salad.. He said it was good..

Now the rest of this winter I am going to either till up that spot again and add lots of the hay the goats waste, along with their poo and the rabbit poo, or I'm going to make a compost pile of it and see what I end up with in a couple months.. Hopefully by then our finances will be a little better and I'll be able to make the raised beds like I've been wanting forever.. But we shall see..

It's Cold!!!

Last nite we had a really hard frost come through here.. We've lived in central Florida for 4 1/2 years now and I've never seen it this bad.. Well, maybe bad is the wrong term.. We have the heat on in the house, all the animals outside are fine.. Its already warming up.. But the water buckets do have a layer of ice on the top..

Frosty day

Frost on the ground

Frozen bucket

But my garden is really done for now..

Frosted garden

Frosted spinach

I think the pictures say it all.. Its actually really neat to see.. For me anyway.. I come from south Florida where it never does stuff like this so this is a bit of a novelty to me..

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kittikity 0, Dog Sweater 1

Ok, so this crochet project didn't go quite as well as the beanies had.. Of course, I couldn't find a dog sweater pattern exactly to my liking so I kind of made it up as I went along.. I wanted a pattern that I didn't have to make in sections and then have to piece together later.. I thought it was going well at first, then for some reason it started getting skinnier and skinner towards the back.. I can only assume I was doing something wrong that was maybe reducing the stitches.. Like accidentally skipping a stitch or something.. I also did some increases around the neck that ended up just making it look at bit poofy.. Might not be able to tell from the pics though because Bonnie wanted to roll over to have her belly scratched every time I reached for her..

Anyway, take a look.. If you have any suggestions about what I did wrong or how to fix it I'd love to hear them.. I'm starting another one and I'm going to do it slightly different.. I'll let yall know how that one goes too..

Bonnie's new sweater

Bonnie's new sweater

Introducing Daisy and Trixie!

We went and got our new rabbits yesterday! This is Daisy and Trixie.. Don't really know which is which, but I'm calling the one that's slightly more nervous Daisy and the calmer one Trixie.. Hubby helped me take pictures..



This is my 5 yr old daughter holding Trixie to give you an idea of their size.. They are 10 months old and might get a little bigger, but I think their max is 5 or 6 pounds..

Have them in small temporary cages right now.. Will make new cages when hubby gets paid again and then I'll take new pics of them in their new homes.. Then hopefully in a month we'll have baby bunnies, and 3 or 4 months after that we'll have rabbit stew.. Sorry if that offends anybody, but the point of my farm is to provide food for my family..

Speaking of food.. My garden is kaput.. We had a hard freeze last nite and the squash and corn plants (the ones that were doing the best) are now dead.. So I guess I'll be tilling up the whole thing and trying again.. But this time I'll add all the wasted hay from the goats, any goat poo pellets that is in it, and hopefully rabbit poo pellets soon also..

Oh, and the guy pointed out a name on the pedigrees that he got his breeding stock from.. He said that breeder was one of the top breeders of Florida whites in the state..

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm Gonna Have Bunnies!!!

I put a post on craigs list about needing some cheap meat rabbits.. But somebody contacted me with something better.. There's a man not far from here (same city that the lady lives that gave me the yarn) that has two Florida white rabbits that he's going to sell me for $10 each, with pedigree papers.. And he's even going to breed them for me.. Normally he sells them for twice that but he needs the cage space..

Florida whites were developed in Florida (of course) and are a medium sized meat rabbit.. Same body type as a new zealand, just a little smaller.. Supposed to be a very good percentage of meat while eating less then the bigger meat rabbits..

I guess I better make some cages tomorrow.. He's already got one bred today.. I'll post pics, of course, when I get them home..

Friday, January 16, 2009

Good News and Bad News

Good news is that the lady called me back about the new zealand red rabbits.. Bad news is that I, of course, don't have the money for them.. But she did say that she or the rabbits aren't going anywhere anytime soon and that I can make payments.. Now the question is, can I talk hubby into letting me doing the payments? And will hubby's job hold out long enough for me to make those payments? Yes, there is doubt to that last part.. In this economy, there's always a doubt to that last part.. But I want those rabbits so bad.. They're absolutely beautiful..

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Am The Beanie Master!!!

Beanie #3 is done.. Took me a little longer because I didn't dedicate as much time all at once to it like I did the other two.. But here it is.. That's my eldest child in the pic.. His hat..



Definitely time to try something new though.. Next crochet project, dog sweater!