Tag Archives: Astra

Selling, Weaning, Moving, and Milking

28 Jun

I started milking with Ava.  I wanted to ease into milking to get my hands back in shape.  I must say, they’ve done well.

Ava

That means I was ready to add more girls to be milked, and that means I had to start shuffling goats.  First, I let Margarita and Joy out with their kids.

Margarita

Instead of being on the front pasture and in the buck room, they got put back with the main herd.

Joy and Seven (Sidney behind them)

I only have the small buck room on the front pasture for shelter, and I had to put kids in there to keep them weaned.

Fannie, Freddie, Avril, Jester, Joker, and Six

I added both Astra and Cinnamon’s kids.  They joined Freddie and Fannie.

Six trying to figure out how to get back to her maa.

Antigone and Aphrodite are still there with their kids too, but they will get moved when I need the space.  I also need to make sure Kate and Edith will be able to keep up in the Back Forty.

Antigone with Kate and Edith (nursing)

Then I started milking Cinnamon and Astra.

Cinnamon

Astra

Before I could wean more kids, I had to sell Uno.  I need to put my little bucks up with Xerxes, and Uno is really big.  He was picking on Freddie for the few minutes he was with him.  Uno needs to find a forever farm.

Uno (with Xerxes in the background)

I also sold Marge.  She was not intended to be a keeper, and it’s the pandemic that delayed her being sold.  My nephew came and helped me tag and load them.

Uno and Marge ready to leave the farm

It was a rainy trip, but I managed to get them hauled to the sale barn Saturday morning.

Waiting to unload behind some sheep

With them gone, I can next add Zinnia and Cutie’s kids to the group that got weaned, and I can start milking both of them.

Cutie always has the most cud-stained mouth and beard.

That will be five girls.  I’m already getting five quarts per day with just the three girls.  It should probably double when I add those two.

2 1/2 quarts–the morning milking

That’s a lot of milk.

draining chevre

I’ve started making cheeses–first up is chevre.

Summer Showers

26 Jun

We’ve had quite a few rainy days lately.  It does make it hard to get lots of outside work done.  Luckily, my mom and I spent quite a bit of time yesterday weeding the garden because it finally dried out enough from the last rounds of rain.

I was hoping we would be on the miss side of the hit-and-miss rain overnight.  That way I could cultivate today.

But now it’s way too muddy to get in the garden, and we have more rain chances for this evening.

At least the rain is making everything grow well.

I don’t really mind the break from outside work.  It gives me a chance to slow down and just enjoy things.

grape vine growing by my house–I have plans for this vine

lily

raspberries are turning

grape leaf

yucca

morning glory

I think I’m getting too old for a lot of the hard work on the farm.  The goats are not fans of rain and mud either.  Purl seemed a bit surprised by the mud when she came out of the barn.

Hilda with Stitch and Purl checking out the puddles and mud in the barnyard

Don’t worry.  Her mom took her back in and found a nice safe place for both Stitch and Purl to sleep where nobody was going to accidentally step on them.

Purl and Stitch tucked behind a gate to sleep.

Some goats were lounging on the picnic table to stay dry.

Astra (front) and Joy

Penelope

Others were just napping and lounging in the buildings.

Pasture Rotation

18 Jun

Part of good land management includes making sure pastures don’t get overgrazed.  Before I bought the farm surrounding my acreage, my poor front pasture was constantly eaten down, which is really bad for it.  With the addition of another almost forty acres of pasture, that has really made things much better (and I finally made a map of my pastures so you can see what I’m talking about).

This past weekend I shut the gates to the back pasture in the Back Forty. There are several reasons.  First, the goats have been eating back there most of the time since March.  The grass isn’t very tall, and that’s where we make hay.  I want to get them off the hill so the grass can grow.

I was also tired of making the long trek to the back hill two or three or four times each day to make sure nobody was stuck in the pasture.  This past week, Milo decided he wanted to get stuck in the fence.

Milo

Then Penelope got stuck in the fallen tree.

Penelope

I kid you not, she could not figure out how to put her head down and just back out.

I was also really struggling to count my babies in the tall grass to know if I needed to go get someone out of the fence.

Joker, Jester, Astra, and Avril

I decided that it would just be much easier to shut the gate.  Now they are confined on the front half of the Back Forty.

I still have Joy, Margarita, Aphrodite, and Antigone on the front pasture.

Front to back:  Antigone, Aphrodite, and Joy

Over the weekend, I checked that fence and found where Uno managed to escape to get back to his maa, and I plugged that with a panel.  The escape route is marked by the purple spot.

Front: Penny; Right: Athena; Back Cutie, Addie, Chiffon

I’m pretty sure Freddie and Fannie haven’t forgiven me for weaning them the other day (for like ten minutes), but I managed to catch and wean them again.  This time, they are on the front pasture.  We’ll see if I did a good job repairing the fence.

Ava with kids Fannie (front) and Freddie

I have more changes planned pretty soon because of the need to replace the fence between the Back Forty and the crop field.

Aurora, Maybeline and Odie

It’s kind of a necessity.