Wednesday, April 20, 2011

horses, fowl, and goats Oh My!!!

My red hat friends and I went to a miniature horse farm this past weekend in Fort Collins. Beautiful facilities and horses. Long ago I remember miniature horses, but with big heads. But these horses looked very proportionate to my untrained eye. Of course, a lot of them were in winter coats, but they were very appealing to me. We saw some babies, the youngest being a week old.

The moms are usually 150# and the babies are 30# I believe she said. Ouch! My Nubians are bigger than these horses.
These folks show their horses all over the US. They had a treadmill in there barn, and work out the horses for 20 minutes every other day.

Picture of their indoor birthing facilities. I am told that there farm is listed for 2.5 million dollars. But you would not have to do much fixing up, could move right in!

My favorite was a black and white stallion, named Buckaroo. Pictured here below.

I was told that I could own one of these horses for $500-$20,000. Not in my budget right now.

Update on eggs.
Our guineas were nesting out in the pasture, and were up to over 30 eggs. (I included a picture and had written about them a few days ago.) Dennis was going out to get them with three egg cartons in hand, and was going to put them in the incubator as it has been so cold, and the bugs aren't hatched out yet. Well anyway, the night before the dogs had found them, and had eaten every egg. I was wondering why Bear did not eat much for breakfast. A few days later I found 3 piles of regurgitated egg shells. He felt much better after that and is back up to eating his usual portions. Being a big working dog, he eats 8 cups of dog food per day, and LuLu eats 4 cups, Casey eats 2 cups. Anyone want my dog food feed bill? But I figure it is cheep security.
The turkeys hatched out 10 babies, we have them in the garage under heat lamps.
We are now incubating 30 guinea eggs and are starting to collect chicken eggs. The guinea eggs take 28 days to hatch and the chicken eggs 21 days. So we won't have to buy chicks and have them shipped from the hatchery.

We have baby goats.
Gabby gave birth to 3 baby Nubians on Monday night, a cold and rainy night. She had 2 bucks and a doe. All black and white. The birth was not without incident however. Gabby was a first time mom, and we knew that she was going to have her babies that day, was standing off to herself, and stayed in the barn most of the day. She started with pushing labor around 10pm, with no progress. I checked her and her first kid was breech, one hock could be found, but I could not find the other. Since Gabby is not a bottle raised goat herself, she is the most skittish of my goats, and was hard to do an assessment on her, we really needed 3 people to do the job. So the vet was called. Gabby was lying on her side, screaming and in so much discomfort,(it was all I could do from totally loosing it seeing and hearing poor Gabby in so much pain.) but she did deliver the kid before the vet showed up. The kid must have repositioned itself. After the first kid was "unstuck" the other two popped out within 5 minutes. So I was very busy cleaning them off.We had a good visit with the vet, (she is a very knowledgeable goat and sheep vet)and she did an exam of Gabby to check that nothing was torn. So everything turned out OK. Also, turns out that the vet is an avid quilter(mostly hand quilting) and invited me to her quilt club that meets near Wellington. Of course,I had to show her some of my quilts, while Dennis was blow drying the babies. Any way, when all was said and done, we went to bed at 12:40
Gabby is a very good attentive mother.

Dosado is our next doe due on the 25Th. So some time to rest during deliveries. I have a Radio Shack monitor system that I have out in the barn, and I turn this on at night so that I can hear if the does are starting labor. It makes for a less than good night rest.

Happy Easter, if I don't hear from you all.
More later......................................................................

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ramblings on a Sunday Morning

We have water. Well actually I had my first bath here on Tuesday, so have been relishing in the richness of having water again. It was a brutal 17 days to say the least, but we survived, albeit not the cleanest at times.

Yesterday was a bluebird day, but windy as usual on the plains. We went into town and bought two different plum trees and got them planted in the front yard. We are digging another hole for either a crab apple tree or an ash tree. Our wishing well is over the new well, the old well was on the side of our house. They also left us a big pile of dirt(behind the wishing well) as the ground will settle.You can see the tree planter on the right of the picture. (My dearly beloved, who goes along with all my plans).
10 years from now, should be nice trees. I really miss the trees of Minnesota, and the mesquite trees we had in Arizona. We hope to put up a small decorative fence in the front, with an arbor, and plant Russian Sage, ornamental grasses, put in our koi pond and plant flowers. . You can see the galvanized stock tanks that we are going to be using for the koi pond. They hold 700 gallons of water each.
The fence will break the wind somewhat, and keep the chickens out. It is a lot of physical labor for doing this, so will see how far we get. The trees will be on the outside of the fence, giving some shade to the pond. I figure we have 9 more fence post holes to dig for our sheep pens, before we can start on our fence. Wish that I could find a fence post that had the hole included. Now that would make my day!!!! But anyway, all this that I have planned should add eye appeal to our house.

Last night when we were getting ready for bed, I heard a few loud thumps on the back of the house. Then LuLu started barking. I went to the deck doors and there was Lulu on the deck, looking toward the house. There was a grey tiger colored cat on the deck railing, looking scared as all get out. With me standing there, and Bear trying to get up the steps, it took off into the night, with both dogs in hot pursuit. I worried all night about that poor little cat, how brave or stupid it was to venture onto our property. This morning when I woke up, there were no cat parts anywhere, so he must have scaled the chain link fence and the field fence to safety. Probably will never see him/her again. I love cats, have always since a small child. I don't have any now as members of my family have allergies, but I sure miss snuggling up with them.

The guineas are nesting. While walking the alpaca pasture, Dennis found this nest neatly hidden in the tall grasses.
It has been multiplying by 3 eggs each day. Here you can see one guinea keeping watch as the others search for food. The sentry guinea is scolding me for coming too close.The blue house in the background is our neighbor to the east of us. We have never seen these people. They come and go at night. Never outside. Very mysterious.

In Mn when we had guineas, they did not sit on the nest until there were over 30 eggs. 2 hens sat on it, and when the chicks hatched, they had two mothers to protect them. Can't wait to see the little keets darting about catching bugs, while trying to keep up with their mothers.
Our two Bourbon Red turkey hens are nesting also. This one is on top of our hay. It takes 28 days for a turkey egg to hatch, so they should be hatching in a week or 10 days.
We candled some of the eggs yesterday when the hen left to eat and get a drink of water, and the ones we candled were all fertile. Both turkeys are nesting in the hay barn.

We are getting 3 quarantine pens/catch pens ready for our new sheep that we will be getting the end of June or so.This is a small pen that opens up into a larger pasture area.
We will feed them in these pens every day, and then lock them up in them at night, so if we need to catch them, they will be a smaller pen. Another view of our catch pen.
They will be quarantined about 30 days. Fecals done,blood drawn, and to just make sure that everything is all right before they are let loose in the big pasture.

Gabby, my first goat who is due to kid April 19Th.

Spring flowers on this April 10Th Sunday morning.

More later...........