I am not a goat person, but bless you for getting all of them, with no experience, and trying to do right by them. And, even if you had known what to do, no guarantee you could have saved the ones you lost because they might have been past the saving point. So you gave them a "happy place" to pass on to the next life.
Love the baby that Calamity had.....
Yeah, as with sheep, you learn that the boys start to feel their "Cheerios" at a very young age.
Like with our cattle, sometimes the girls start being "young ladies too early.....we have had heifers to surprise us with a calf at less than 20 months old.... not ideal, but it happens.
Does your property flood in hurricanes? If so, how much of it and how deep, does it get in the house, barn? I lived in hurricane country most of my life and know that is a concern. My sister lives in Conroe, not far from the San Jancinto river and she got 7 feet of water in her house in hurricane Harvey. It washed the bricks off the walls, nothing left but the 2x4's. She had flooded several times before, but nothing like that! She'll be moving to the Rio Grande Valley and will be looking for high ground.
Yes, the property did flood in Hurricane Harvey and Imelda. Currently, we do not have a house there yet. We have a tiny home/building that we are working on. The old RV was given to us by a friend but it is not livable. DH is a jack of all trades and a Master of many. By trade, he is a custom home builder. He can build a house from bottom to top. He doesn't like to lay brick or hang sheetrock, but he can. He has taught me all of those things that I am willing to learn and both our son, JM and our dil, MM, have learned right along side me. The appliances from the RV are all gas. It is pretty hard to find a gas refrigerator and ac unit. Our biggest issue is that the property we bought doesn't have electricity on the road yet. Every road around us has poles and power, but ours doesn't. We are the first to clear and build out there. There are 2 other people clearing but not out there. One is right next us. It is a 22 acre piece that we talked about buying but the guy wanted twice what we paid per acre. We didn't think anyone would be stupid enough to pay it. We were wrong. Entergy wants $40k to put power in. It is roughly 6400 feet to power in either direction, so we are about mid way down the road. Here we have Farm to Market roads aka FM 1132, FM 1135, FM 518 and so on. Our road is located between 2 FM roads that are pretty busy.....why we don't have power is beyond me. We do know that the guy on the corner at one end has power but has promised to block power to everyone else because he wants all the land for his cattle. So, if we had the $40k, we could come from the other direction and just avoid him. We built our bee business with cash and we are not in debt to anyone. We both drive paid off vehicles so no car notes. We have a small Toyota tacoma that is a 1999 and has 326,444 miles on her and she runs like a top. Sweet, cold Ac and great gas mileage! We have a Chevy 2500, 2002, with over 300k that is our Farm truck, runs great, good AC, which in SETX is a must in Summer! We have excellent credit and very little cc debt. We are trying to pay as we go but $40k is a bit out of our reach!
This was a week to 10 days after Harvey. The truck tried to back into our drive and racked our gate but denied it. They abandoned the truck and the water moved it down about 50ft from our driveway.
That is Captain Spiderman but that is NOT our truck. You see where he hit our gate and in person you could tell that was what happened. Oh well! Life goes on. All other pics have our new green gates. And a trail cam.
This was from Imelda
Not our property but that was as far as we could drive down our road. DH and JM had to wade in.
Since our kidding season had gone so well, we ended up having several bucklings. They were all so adorable that we couldn't decide what to do. We all agreed that making wethers was not for us. For one thing, none of us wanted several overgrown dogs that we tripped on. We already have Hamilton. He is too adorable but he had to learn to be a boy goat. Not a dog. Who we tripped over because he was forever under us. He is our only goat that has a permanent collar that has his name embroider on it with our phone number. He is too friendly to be without it.
Now it was just a matter of time before we had Justin, Phil, Staubach, Landry, Ashe, Rhett and Kelley to deal with before they became "big boys". We decided that we needed a bigger buck to lead our buck herd and we found Tuffy. He is magnificent! He is fairly friendly but he does challenge you, if he gets it in his head. He has figured out that I am not that easy of a target, even though I am only 4' 11", I learned a long time ago that the hardest thing I can hit you with, in a fight, is the ground......and I ain't afraid to go down as long as you are on the bottom! I twisted his head by holding his horns as we went down and he decided I was nothing to mess with unless he had to. JM hasn't taken him down yet, which cracks me up, so he challenges him regularly. I have told JM to put him in the dirt but he hasn't yet so......I will let them figure it out.
We decided when the time came, we would build our buck herd and left them grow. We can make decisions as we need to. Tuffy is definitely in charge but Justin challenges him regularly. Pics to follow of the boys. The little boys, who are all now about 5 to 6 months old, all just hop on and off Tuffy as he tries to manage them. He did ram one little one and we thought for sure he was dead but he just hopped up and shook it off. Staubach then learned to MOVE. So far, so good but we watch them closely for problems and we are able to move any issues as we need to. Separating the boys from their Momma's was hard. It got easier because the girls could just walk down to the boys pen and see them through the fence. Time has eased the parting. We can also control who mates who so we do not have inbreeding, which was a concern for us.
After JM built the Buck Barn on his property, we had a friend of a friend offer us 3 donkeys. I have always wanted donkeys but knew very little about them. We went and looked.....and took a trailer, just in case. It was a definite hording situation. She had about 2 acres in a neighborhood and on that property there were 13 goats, 7 donkeys (1 standard Jenny and 6 mini's. We did not want Mini donkeys. We wanted 3 Jerusalem Donkeys. We got 1 standard Jerusalem Jenny (Mai'zee) and 2 female mini donkeys-Mavis and Aspen and one mini jack, Branson. Oh....and one goat that was being bullied by the other goats. They were calling the goat Twin so I renamed her Honey.....because she is like a Honey Badger......I will let you figure that one out.......anyway, I named all the donkeys because they were just calling them things like "Little", "Jack" "Big Girl".......we were also told that the 2 older girls were pregnant. Aspen, the smallest girl, was only 9 months old and we took her because she needed to be weaned. The lady we got them from told us that they were on a strict feeding schedule and at 7:30 am every morning, Big Girl, now know as, Mai'zee, would let us know it was time for sweet feed. DH and I just looked at one another and smiled. She would not be getting anymore sweet feed. Nor would she be making the schedule. They were all pretty rough looking and when we were trying to catch them to load them, it was obvious that there was some mistreatment going on. I knew that Donkeys are smart. They also have long memories. Very good, long memories. The way you befriend a donkey, any donkey, is TRUST. You actually have to build a trusting relationship with a donkey. One thing that is different from a horse to a donkey is that horses choose not to hurt humans, for the most part. They don't realize they are big enough to do a lot of damage. Once in a while, you will get a horse that learns they are bigger and can be in charge but for the most part, horses follow humans, once they are tamed. Donkeys know they are bigger. Donkeys know they are stronger. Donkeys know they can be in charge and that is where the stubbornness comes from. They also remember. If you can teach them to trust you, they will love you forever. These donkeys do not trust. Well, now 2 of them do. Mavis and Aspen have learned we are friends. Mai'zee and Branson are tougher nuts to crack but we will in time. We were told that Mai'zee (the Jerusalem donkey) was pregnant and that Mavis was also pregnant.
We brought them home at the beginning of March 2020. We heard all the warnings about baby goats and we knew that these donkeys have been with goats all their lives. We were also bringing one of their goats with them. We could not have asked for an easier transition into our herd. For the donkeys or the new goat. We separated them for 2 weeks and had them vetted and tested......all the while, they walked the middle fence and nosed the girls and babies on one side and the boys on the other side. In week 2 we found 4 little kids in the donkeys pen, running around playing and the donkeys were just watching them. The little kids, Daisy, Minnie, Rockette and Skye all came under the temporary fencing, like they were made of paper.....they dropped and flattened themselves out, slid right under. I am sure my face was hilarious. I was so surprised they could do that. Oh well.....
We decided to remove the temp fencing and release the donkeys and the new goat. Sweet, long legged, Honey had a rough first week. She wanted to be herd queen and that is why she was getting picked on in her original herd. No one was really in charge. Our herd has a definite queen. Scarlett understands her role and she takes it very seriously. Her 2nd and 3rd in command understand she does not tolerate mess and they watch and move as she directs. She is a wonderful herd queen and doesn't hesitate to intervene when needed. She corrects adults, kids, donkeys, alpacas......she has learned that the Alpaca do not recognize her authority. It is one of my favorite stories to tell. Scarlett watched from a far but she learned......and she learned well. You do not mess with long necks.
Honey was put in her place several times during the first week. By week 2, with the herd, she settled down and figured out that she didn't have to do anything but be a goat. She is precious and she is loved by our herd....her herd.
At some point, I will go back and tell you about the melding of our little auction herd. It was such a hard thing to watch. So heart breaking and heart warming at the same time. Anyway, the donkeys were brought home in early March. March and April were good, busy months in which we did a lot of work at the farm.
This part of my journal gets kind of personal, because it will show you why my husband, my DH, is the leader of our family. I have been in love and been loved but when I met DH and we began to court one another, he said to me, "I am in this for the long haul. If you are only here for 5 or 6 years, get out now. I am looking at the rest of my life. I will never give up. I will never give in." My father was one of "those" men. The kind of men that are rare. He could be dropped off in the middle of no where with a q tip and a match and build a shopping mall, fully functioning and ready to shop. He was born in 1925. He quit school in the 3rd grade to drive a dump truck to earn money for his family because his parents had 9 kids. He became a 32nd degree Mason Welder. In 1982, my Daddy was making $2500 a week working for a company out of Houston that is now Halliburton. He worked there 33 years. He could figure welding angles in his head. One of THOSE kind of men. My DH is also one THOSE kind of men but he graduated 3rd in his class and is an Eagle Scout.
I say all of this to say this:
On May 1, 2020, during a normal conversation about future plans, I mentioned that one day, I would like to have Alpacas. You can see where I am going with this, as you already know, I have Alpaca. But.....on May 1st, I did not have Alpaca. I simply would like them, one day, before I die .......
I would say "long story short" but I am not going to do that here. Here I am going to tell the long story. On May 3, 2020, DH woke me up and said, "I'm tired. I need a few days off. I would like to take a road trip. Alone. Just to clear my head. OK?" I looked into his tired eyes. I knew he was tired. I knew he needed a break. I mean, just 4 short years ago, we had an empty nest. We were alone. No kids. Just me and him. Then, BAM, we had 2 kids home, another "kid" pregnant and needing help. Then another son, wanting to make a life change. So within the last 4 years, we now have a household of 7. We love it. Truly. But a 2 year old waking us old folk up every morning, climbing over "Granna", snuggling between me and "Poppa" to hid from Momma because he doesn't want to get dressed for school......is wearing. We wouldn't change a single thing but I could see he needed a break. "Ok, my love." I knew it would be good for him to get away.
The following morning, at 3am, my DH got in our little truck and left. I had no idea where he was going but we have a strong marriage and more trust than I have ever imagine possible. JM and MM had no idea he was gone for 2 days. Finally, JM asked where Dad was and if he would be at the Farm today. I said, "No, Dad is gone for a few days." Stunned would be mild to describe their reaction. They couldn't believe I didn't know where he was or what he was doing. I often wonder why more marriages are as secure as ours. You trust your spouse enough to marry them and live with them. You are at your most vulnerable, sleeping next to them.....but they cannot be out of your sight, on their own for a few days without you knowing where, what, how and when....every more they make. I don't know....maybe I am weird.
Throughout those 5 days he was traveling, we spoke several times a day. I never asked where he was or what he was doing. The last night he was traveling he did tell me he was stopping by his cousins house to visit and spend the night. He would be on the road home at daylight, home by 6pm. Meet him at the Farm.
JM and I argued where said cousin lives......I said, "Colorado" and JM said, "Oklahoma." Turns out, we were both wrong. It was Arkansas. Oh Well!
The next day, at 6 pm, we all arrived at the Farm to wait. 5 minutes later, DH pulls into the driveway, hauling a livestock trailer, borrowed from a friend, and en capsuled in this livestock trailer are 3 beautiful Alpaca girls. All the way from Minnesota. Yes, Minnesota. Can you believe that? He had searched and found these 3 older girls, pretty cheap, on a Farm in Minnesota. Texas to Minnesota and back in 5 days with 3 Alpaca. WOW.
DH is such a man. He is the Leader of our Family. I will follow him off the end of the Earth and into Forever. I think our journals can be anything that we want them to be but I also think that they are meant to teach us about each other. Who we really are. I do not believe that we, as a society, will survive without a basic bond. Friendship. The ability to reach out and know that their is a true friend ready to grab our hands. That is what we need in America now.
As I have said, DH is one of THOSE men but I am one of THOSE women. One of my top 2 pet peeves is when someone quotes a famous saying but they only quote the part that they like or that they approve of. For example, "Curiosity killed the cat". That is not the full quote. The full quote is, "Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back."
My other pet peeve is walking around unnecessary stuff stacked in a clean walk way.
As one of THOSE women I feel obligated to explain what I mean. A specific mis-quote that always sticks in my craw is from Ginger Rogers. It is said that she said, "I did everything that Fred did, only I did it backwards and in high heels." Thus saying that women are better than men.
By saying that I am one of THOSE women, I simply mean that I think that God's greatest creation is men. Not them human race but the actual male of our species. Men.....and men are meant to be, are the go getters. They leave the cave and go kill a bear and bring it back to feed their family. That is the kind of man DH is.
The actual full quote from Ginger is this: "I did everything that Fred did, only I did it backwards and in high heels. However, Fred is my Leader. I am the picture, he is the frame. If I did not follow where Fred leads me, I would be pulling away from him and we would be going in separate directions. There would be no beauty." She made it clear that she understood she was as important as Fred but that he was the leader.
I have veered off topic, sort of......so back to the Farm.
May 6th, We have 3 Alpaca, 4 donkeys, 100 chickens, 32 goats and am a bit overwhelmed.
May 7th, We have 3 Alpaca, 4 donkeys, 100 chickens, 31 goats and....wait, 31 goats? Where is our 32nd goat? Who is missing? 1, 2, 3............31........recount.....31.......start with the kids......wait, SKYE....Where is Skye?!? 2 hours of searching turned into 3 and 2 additional people show up to help look. We walk the road, the LNVA canal from end to end, we call, we yell, we search......nothing.......and to this very day......nothing. We have never found her or anything to indicate where she went or what happened to her. No buzzards. Nothing. We can only assume that she, being little, got out under the front fence and someone driving by saw her and "rescued" this abandoned baby goat. At least, I hope that is what happened. Well, time to run to the store and get groceries!
Pics to follow of boys!