Blessedfarmgirl's Journal

blessedfarmgirl

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Well, here begins the journaling journey of a young farmer! I have been quietly reading on this forum for quite awhile, especially back when I was looking at getting a dairy cow. Now it looks like I'm into goats instead for better or for worse.😁 I really appreaciate all the input here, goodness knows I need it. I am still learning, and I have a good deal of knowledge from books and lots of research, but not a lot of experience.
My name is Ana, I was born and raised for most of my life in Houston, a big, nasty, messed up city. My family has always been into natural medicine and health and eating healthy food. Our food is our medicine, as my dad likes to say:) I lived in apartments for the first eight years of my life, then we bought a house and for the first time we had a big yard and could have gardens. There was no HOA thankfully, so we had huge gardens and forests of tomatoes as well as 6 illegal chickens. Everyone in our neighborhood it seemed like had illegal chickens and even illegal roosters. One neighbor kept ND goats behind their privacy fence! But even with our gardens and chickens, it was still the city. The noise, the trucking compay next door, drunken neighbors, gunshots from the apartments down the street, car wrecks, explosions, police helicopter chases, mean dogs, you name it, we had to deal with it. We started following homesteading families on Youtube and the vision to start our own farm and be more self-sufficient in a changing (not for the better) world, grew stronger. We did have some friends that had a farm about an hour outside of town, and some of my earliest memories include climbing through barbed wire fences to get to the treehouse in the cow pasture, milking a goat for the first time, chasing chickens and eating on the trampoline outside whilst fighting off a million cats. Oh yes, and I will never forget the impression their massive GPs had on me. They were very sweet, very lazy and very large to a small girl, so I was a bit afraid of them. I was a city girl and cried when my best friend kicked a cow patty on my dress by mistake. Now I walk around with five or six different kinds of poop on me, mixed with dewormer or milk depending on the day. I have also stuck my hands inside sheep, butchered chickens and mucked out barns😁
So about three years ago, I lost two grandparents, one on my mom's side and one on my dad's. It was heartbreaking, but at the same time, they blessed us greatly in their passing, and with the provision that God gave us through them, we were finally able to begin our search for some land. Interestingly enough, one of the Youtubers we were following at the time were also Christians, homeschoolers, homesteaders and had a house church. We visited them a few times and looked at land here in East Tx. It is gorgeous up here, and the culture is so much different from Houston, like night and day difference. We fell in love with the area, and after several months of spending lots of time on Zillow, we found a property with 28 acres and a fixer upper house. Long story short, we moved here the day after Christmas 2020. We are still pinching ourselves.
Anyways. So as not to bore you all, I will cut this part short and get on to the important part...our animals! After a year and a half we got our first animals, kunekune pigs. We also got an LGD puppy at the same time, but I will refrain from talking about her just yet. Her story is a long one, and is somewhat of saga that isn't all pretty. But she was my first dog and I had been wanting one for so long that I let my wanting get the better of my judgement. A few months later, we got a small herd of katahdin sheep as well as a second LGD puppy, my Moses, whose story is much pleasanter to tell. He is everything an LGD should be, protective, sweet and doting on our sheep and lambs and on us, doesn't chase chickens, doesn't roam even though he is now 16 months old and intact, doesn't escape our 3 wire electric fencing even though he could jump it in two shakes of a lamb's tail, etc.etc... I will tell our dog stories in more detail at a later date. I love them both.
We got and assortment of egg chickens a month or two later. The next year we ended up raising a whopping 70 cornish cross, I say whopping because we were total and complete beginners. But my dear dad is very adventurous, and he figured 70 was a good number to start with. 😅Our first butchering went well only because we did it at a friend's farm who knew what they were doing. We did 120 chickens that day, they had 50, we had 70. Then the next day, three of our family were quite sick for a day. I guess chicken guts didn't agree with our guts.
Our gardens here have all been flops so far because we have not been able to keep up with the weeds or the drought. I'm hoping for better things next year.
I'll introduce all of our animals properly later, but for now, here are some pictures.
 

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Baymule

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I was raised in Houston too! I left when I graduated from high school. Made my way to east Texas , lived on several counties, love east Texas!

I’m glad you started a journal. You have already come a long way, but there is still lots of adventure for you!
 

blessedfarmgirl

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Calling all goat people! I'm anxious to know what you think of the conformation of these girls. They are registered Nigerian dwarfs with decent bloodlines. They are not top quality, and their teats are small, but overall I think they are good goats. And yes, I know they all have fishtails. I only just discovered what that means, and I'm going to copper them asap.

The first one is Bridget, a 4 year old. She has kidded 4 times, had triplets twice and twins twice. She has been milked before, both at her breeder's farm, the second owner's farm and my farm, so she is a proven, good doe. (She gives about a quart or so per day to my knowlege) I think her rump angle is the best of all my does. Miraculously, I got a really good pic of her even though none of my goats can stand to be set up. I won't be showing them, LOL. I'll get full udder pics when I start separating at night.

Bridget.jpg


The second is her daughter, Iris. She also is pretty decent, her rump angle is ok and she has kidded once. As you may know, she had quads. She is very pretty and her babies are gorgeous.

Iris.jpg


Then comes Annie. She is really small. Hindsight, I will never buy a goat based off of just pictures again. We paid a small amount down on all three does because we wanted the breeder to breed them before they came on our farm since I didn't want a buck yet, so they had to stay on her farm for a month. Annie is small, insanely skittish, and has miniscule teats. She also did not get bred for whatever reason. Oh well, lesson learned. I will look at goats in person before buying next time. Hopefully she will surprise me when she does freshen, since her dam is an elite doe with milk stars and everything. She does have a nice level topline despite the rump.

Annie.jpg


And yes, I'm barefoot in the barn, LOL. I just put down fresh woodchips. But Annie was bucking and stomping on my feet while sis tried to take pics, so it was a bad idea to grab the camera without the boots.:\
 

Mini Horses

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Hint for pictures....if you want a conformational assessment, get the camera more eye level with these small goats. Camera person on knees or goats on a stand. 😁. The perspective of leg length, body depth, etc, is off otherwise.

Your aren't showing, so what you want is a reasonable conformation, no glaring faults, good temperament and production. It appears you have that. A good buck bred to them can sometimes improve some things you may not prefer in your girls.
 
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canesisters

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I think they're lovely... but I know just about one thing more than nothing about goats confirmation.

I did want to say though, I'm IMPRESSED that you're on what looks like course wood chips bare foot. My job requires that I wear safety boots, so my feet have been encased for so long that even a tiny stick on the ground will have me hobbling around like I'm dying!
 

SageHill

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I don't know about goats in particular. Overall they look nicely put together in general conformation. I've done a lot of dogs and horses for show so I'm basing it on that. Congrats on the goats and a good starting point with a plan!!
And like @canesisters thinking you've got tough feet! I put my boots on so often that I don't even have to look :) - But I can do barefoot in the house until a dog does a race-by turn on one! :lol:.
 
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