rachels.haven's Journal

rachels.haven

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
3,345
Reaction score
13,546
Points
533
Location
zone 7a
Pete daughters out on pasture.

PXL_20240709_135125851.MP.jpg
 

rachels.haven

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
3,345
Reaction score
13,546
Points
533
Location
zone 7a
A while back, I bought a mini horse/donkey/small pony cart to use with Pete before he decided to get deathly skinny over his first serious adult rut and kind of canceled that plan. It came with a harness. The original owner was an Amish guy with a mini donkey. The seller bought it from him to use with her daughter and her pony. Daughter lost interest in horses and the mother was respecting that and letting her move on so off the cart and pony were going. So today this after noon when it was only 90 and not 96 and everyone was calm but not stressed I got out Hera and decided to try it on her.

Turns out mini donkeys, no matter how wispy the seller who has a fat pony says they are, are much fatter than extra large female dairy goats. She thought the donkey harness would fit so she threw it in for free instead of throwing it in the trash because it was old. Hera would have to be morbidly obese for that harness to fit even on the smallest settings. So I guess I'm getting a goat harness. I might also want to get a smaller goat cart for looks. This cart is extremely light and well balanced so when loaded it only takes balance and gentle pull from the animal in harness, but it looks funny and it will look funnier loaded up with any passenger. (My three year old can pick it up and pull it so we have to hide it from him or he will take the pony cart and drag it off to parts unknown. Three year old is smaller than Hera or any goat I have currently.) I like the big wheels though. Big wheels = less hard to pull on gravel and easier on bumps (although cart as suspension for the driver)

So I slithered Hera out of that harness without unbuckling it and put her away. Or tried to.THAT was when she had a problem and put on the brakes. She was sure we were going to do something interesting and apparently liked the halter and harness. Talking her back into the pen was interesting.

Tune in next time to hear what stupid thing that won't work I try next.

Hera has the most patience and calmness for people (not with goats, she's a nasty, nasty herd queen, very dominant personality, which is probably why she went unsettled for 3 years) and most will to do things for you and gets under used. Her milk is also not great because she was unsettled for three years in her original home, bagged up, and appears to have had dry doe mastitis in that time and may have just started to get mastitis again (treated). The fibrous tissue blobs in her udder also partially obstruct the teat canals on both sides, one side making it difficult to milk, both making milk machine impossible because it vacuums the tissue balls onto the canal and seals it like a rabbit water bottle. And she leaks, probably because there's a mess in the way. She gave me 2 daughters in January, so she may be on her way to retirement as a cart goat. And her feet are very nice and upright and wide. She also has a fatty tumor in her neck and inch or so above a CL location, so I guess if her training succeeds she'll be getting surgery to get that off in the name of "looks". Too bad I didn't have my last vet who was a goat specialist do it.

Hera also has really long labors. She's one reason why I think goats should probably always kid before 3-4 years, no later than 2. And one of her hips gets incredibly loose at kidding time and makes it hard for her to walk to the point she's fallen off the milk stand...I forgot about that one. Yeah fine, I guess I'll retire Hera.
 

Mini Horses

Herd Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
10,044
Reaction score
32,272
Points
748
Location
S coastal VA
Goat carts used to be a real thing in other countries. Actually used to transport people & goods, in a meaningful way. But then so were oxen, mules & horses. In USA, mechanization took over. But the animals are still trainable & useable on the farm. Amish culture still use daily animal power. It'll be fun.
 

rachels.haven

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
3,345
Reaction score
13,546
Points
533
Location
zone 7a
After an hour drive to south mountain by the PA border we found a hay supplier and he delivered this Sunday trying to beat the heat. We're in alfalfa again.

This week's goal needs to be fencing in another pasture. We got some rain but pasture B is looking a little spent.

The next goal is to get a buck run in shelter and fence them in and put them out of sight of the doe pasture to try to preserve Pete, my Lucky*Star's buck. He looses his mind and eats lightly and runs fencelines all rut and if anyone comes into heat he goes bonkers and starves. I've got 12 doelings I'm leaving dry this year for growing-mostly his daughters. Perhaps putting him out of sight will help.

Pre-breeding biosecurity screening is also on the near horizon.
 

rachels.haven

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
3,345
Reaction score
13,546
Points
533
Location
zone 7a
You found a hay guy! That’s a good thing. Fence! AARRGGHH! That’s so much work!
Sort of. I'm running poly wire along the existing electric fence for now, filling in the gaps to goat size. When the other house sells I plan to get a contractor down the road to replace my poly wire with more low tensile electric wire and go over the old fence and make sure all is in good order because polywire is sort of short lived in the sun.

It will take like a week for my part. Maybe 4 days optimistically.
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
10,847
Reaction score
41,944
Points
748
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
Just make sure you make it possible to electrify the high tensile.... it is TEA TOTALLY USELESS unless it can be made HOT..... I totally hate high tensile... we have had calves get wound up in it... at a place it was hot and coyotes ran the calves through it.... deer get caught up in it.... and if not hot, the animals just put their heads through it to get some "tastier" grass on the other side... and just are able to push through it.... It is totally un- acceptable for perimeter fence in my opinion..... hot or not. That is just my personal feeling.
 

rachels.haven

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
3,345
Reaction score
13,546
Points
533
Location
zone 7a
Just make sure you make it possible to electrify the high tensile.... it is TEA TOTALLY USELESS unless it can be made HOT..... I totally hate high tensile... we have had calves get wound up in it... at a place it was hot and coyotes ran the calves through it.... deer get caught up in it.... and if not hot, the animals just put their heads through it to get some "tastier" grass on the other side... and just are able to push through it.... It is totally un- acceptable for perimeter fence in my opinion..... hot or not. That is just my personal feeling.
I think the existing fence is low tensile, and I think it's pretty old. Two strands stay reasonably hot. I put in three more in between existing strands and we're good. The neighbor said it was put in for goats originally before all the horse people came. I have no idea where to find more low tensile type wire but the guy down the road will. It's what people appear to be using down here.
 
Top