bethh Life on the Funny Farm

bethh

Loving the herd life
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As most things I do, this journal will be similar. Oftentimes, I do things a$$ backwards. We’ve been farming for about 2 years and I’ve been on this site as long but now I‘m just getting around to making a journal. I’ll try and keep it up to date.

For anyone who made read this not having heard about my trials and tribulations with our farm, I’ll offer a small summary. Plus let’s be honest, the trials and tribulations have been minimal especially looking at all that is happening in the world with the pandemic.

We bought our little piece of paradise in 2017. About 3 weeks later, our kids and grandkids gave me the absolutely cutest silkie chicks that you’ve ever seen- 4 adorable bundles of white ‘fluff’. 6 months later, I’d find out these cutie pies were all roosters. In the meantime, we had added 4 buff Orpington pullets and 2 barred rocks, Lucy and Ethel. Lucy of course ended up being a rooster, but the name stuck. We lost a BO to a hawk.

This upsetting incident brought our next step. Our first LGD, Gracie. She is my sweetheart, but did she ever come with challenges. She was 6 months when we got her. She had been with chickens and goats her entire life, all that I had learned was important. Never thought to wonder how important would it be to know if she had any human interaction. Whenever a problem occurs with Gracie, I remind my DH that he brought the leash. LOL. Our issues resolved with the hawks with Gracie in charge. She quickly acclimated to life with PEOPLE and animals.

You can‘t have chickens and an LGD and not start thinking of what else we need to add to the farm. I began dreaming over Nigerian Dwarf goats. I read and looked and dreamed. I found a crazy goat lady near by and let her know we wanted a couple of does when her spring babies were born. We ended up with the cutest pair of does who started out living in a dog crate in our kitchen.

The more I learned about LGDs the more I realized Gracie needed support. I began looking for a second lgd. I found a farm not too far away and we bought Chewy. He was a bundle of fur and problems. Very early on, I found out he had a congenital heart defect. It was very severe. He would have to be on heart meds his entire life. When we found out the severity of the defect, we didn’t realize his life would be so short. We had to put him down at only 10months due to congestive heart failure. He was a very sweet boy. We were all devastated. I decided that I needed to wait awhile before looking for another LGD.

Gracie disagreed. It broke my heart when I would look at her and see that she was depressed. We talked about it and decided it was time to search again. I was very scared about getting another dog with issues. I found someone who had puppies and talked to her in length. We drove about 3 hours. I sat on the ground in the pen and held this little guy trying to see if I could tell if his heartbeat seemed normal. Of course, I couldn‘t. We drove directly to the vet had his heart checked. All seemed normal, I allowed myself to then to breath. Gracie accepted this new little guy without any issues. We named him Fitz. From the beginning with Fitz, I began to realize that Chewy struggled from almost the beginning. It wasn‘t evident until I had another GP to compare him to. Fitz settled right into the routine here on the Funny Farm.

My initial plan when getting the goats was to add a couple of boys so that we could breed the girls. I started searching for a couple of bucks. I fell in love with a little black and white blue eyed buck. I spoke with the owner and we made plans to drive to Tennessee to get a couple of bucks. The one I had picked out from pictures and the other once we got there. It’s a couple hour drive to Tennessee from our home and I spent that time looking at ads of other goats. Jokingly, I asked my DH if he wanted an already bred girl also. He’s like why not. We got to the farm and I asked if she happened to have any pregnant does that she was selling. We found a cute white buck who was ‘polled‘ who reminded dh of a silly video he’d seen. We had our boys. Now off to the girl pen. I spied a chocolate doe that was precious. We picked her also. We packed 3 goats into a dog crate in the back of the Infiniti and headed home. I again was looking at ads and found someone with a rooster. Minor detour, now we have 3 goats and a rooster. The cage the rooster was in wasn’t secure and he escaped. Instant rooster name, Houdini. We weighed our options and decided to pray they he’d stay settled in the back and not cause a ruckus.

We finally arrived home. Drove to the back to unload all our animals. DH got everyone out and decided to let our girls meet their newest companions. Well, for Dixie and Cash, it was love at first sight or should I say lust. They immediately hooked up. I was stunned. Our girls had never appeared to be in heat before. They didn’t realize I had a plan. Then it was time to get the goats in their respective areas. It was like a three ring circus. Time passed and I realized that our ‘polled’ buck wasn‘t actually polled. His brother was the polled one. Our ‘bred’ doe wasn‘t pregnant after all. It took forever to get our registration paperwork.

From our initial chickens, I always wanted silkies. I found a breeder in Alabama who would sell me a trio. We happened to have a conference in Alabama so we made our plans to take a detour on the way home. We planned to buy a trio and a dozen hatching eggs. Surprisingly, we kept to the plan. Those babies hatched and we have 9 silkie teenagers. We will keep some and then I hope to be able to sell some once they are older and sexable. Time will tell. One of our silkie hens went broody and I gave her some eggs. Everybody hatched. Right now she has 4 silkie babies. I’m going to keep 2 of them for the time being and someone is buying the other two tomorrow. Well, that is just the short version of the last couple of years.

Now I have a place to talk about everyday life here on the Funny Farm. I’ll post some pics so you can meet everyone. Well, probably not everyone but enough that you get the idea.

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Gracie and the 2 year old above. Herb, dh, and Elvis, one of our first chickens.
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Dixie and Tipsy almost inseparable, our first goats.
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Newly hatched silkie chicks, selling the 2 yellows, keeping the one with the chipmunk stripe and the black one, at least for now.
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the teenagers, can’t wait to see how they grow out.
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looked pretty, but it was a poor hatch, still learning
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Cash, one of our bucks. Can’t wait to see what kind of babies he’ll throw.
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Dolly, our skittish doe. Hope she will settle in.
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bethh

Loving the herd life
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Location
Duluth, GA
The rain stopped so I need to get out and take care of everyone this morning. But before doing that thought I’d post this pic. We have to go out of town overnight to finish cleaning out my mil‘s house. Our daughter is going to manage the chores this evening and in the morning with the help of her 5 year old. She came over last night for a crash course. Had to get her suited up otherwise Fitz would leave his mark of slobber. (He reminds me of Hooch from the old Tom Hanks movie, Turner and Hooch. If I had realized we were purchasing a slobber machine, we would have named him Hooch.). This is her son Harrison with his favorite chicken, Fiskars.
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bethh

Loving the herd life
Joined
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Location
Duluth, GA
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grandkids enjoying the animals. This stinker is 4 and a half. He tells me I don’t have a real farm because I don’t have a cow or horse.
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Fitz loves the kids and their toys.
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the barn cats Lucifer and O’Malley, reigning from the zero turn

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Willie our other buck. I’ll post more another time. Hope y’all enjoy the insight into our life on our Funny Farm.
 

bethh

Loving the herd life
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Wow, wrangling grandkids sure keeps this grandma busy. It has been non-stop. I know this pandemic has some people looking for things to do, not me. I can't find time to do the things I need to do. Thought I'd post a few pics from last week or so.

The goats are starting to show. I'm getting a little nervous about goat delivery. I'm pretty sure it will all be fine. We have a little over a month before Dixie is due. The other girls are due later in July. More eggs to hatch this week. I'm waiting for a cabinet incubator that I ordered. Hope it comes soon.

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bethh

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Grandkids and chicks just go together. Enjoy your nap!
Nap didn't happen. My doorbell rang and the inside dogs started barking. I was out of bed like a shot. I was so afraid it was going to wake them all up. Grandma needed some quiet time. LOL. Once I recovered from the door bell, I stayed up knowing I didn't have time to take a legit nap. I got some computer work done until everyone woke up. Yesterday they couldn't play outside because of rain. They got to have popcorn and a movie after their naps.

I decided to let them watch the original Absented Minded Professor. Charlie, almost 7, tells me she doesn't like grey movies. :lol: She ended up loving it. The sun is starting to come out. We will head out soon and see what kind of mischief they can get into.
 

bethh

Loving the herd life
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They will fight the bottle for a while. they will fight a "different" milk. BUT you will hold him and keep at it! Instead of a dry formula, try just heating whole milk. He's eating hay, that will help. If you have a doe in milk....use that milk. In another month, you will be able to work him off of milk as his rumen will be more developed.. Hindsight -- I have a large enough freezer to keep some frozen colostrum and some frozen milk. This can be a saving Grace for these situations we don't want but sometimes have. Even if you mix milk real goat milk with powdered to transition him with taste & body workings. :hugs
Thanks. This is my first kidding season and if I weren’t so stubborn, it’d be the last. I don’t have any milk reserves. Our first doe kidded early and all 3 were stillborn. Dixie was the second and it’s been only problems. I think she would have been a good producer but not this season. Tipsy hasn’t kidded. She has about 3 more weeks.
 

bethh

Loving the herd life
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:weeeDash has figured out the bottle.

Dixie was looking better but she seems to be looking thin again. I’ll see about follow up bloodwork for her. I’m not sure what else we can do for her if something shows up. We’ve followed all the recommendations from the vet, no grain just hay/forage and weaned Dash plus no milking. Not to sound callous, the ball is in her court.

Tipsy is due in roughly 2 weeks. We don’t have a firm breed date for her. When we thought she was bred, it didn’t take. Hopefully, we are right about the dad. We plan to let her milk the kids.

We have 20 silkie eggs in our new cabinet incubator due to hatch 8/5 and 8 Easter egger eggs under a broody due to hatch 8/2-3. I forgot to mark the calendar. So much going on around here I can hardly keep up Or keep it straight.

Grandkids that I’ve had since mid March are supposed to start school on the 10th and 13th. Part of me is relieved because I will get a break but the grandma in me is very concerned because the numbers here continue to grow.

As if we didn’t have enough happening around here, we decided to remodel our master bathroom. We started a month ago and it’s a work in progress. Well, I guess that’s enough rambling for now.
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