Saturday, February 28, 2009


We have had a very rough two days at the farm. We had to put Jakarta down today. And though I say "we", I was at the market when things went downhill with her and Christian had to do it without me here. I am so very sad for them both.

We are blessed with a support system of many knowledgeable and experienced goat friends, and with the help of our friend D'Ann, Christian was able to rescue an unborn kid from Jakarta via c-section. So far she seems OK. We'll have to see how it goes.

I am unable to properly process and explain what happened still, but there was some biological anomaly that caused one of the fetuses to become extremely deformed and enlarged. There was no way Jakarta could have passed it and even a live c-section would probably not have been possible. She simply would not have survived. We are going to take the fetus to the labs at Texas A&M to see if we can get any answers. Neither Caroline nor D'Ann had ever seen anything like this in their many years as goat breeders.

This is our first loss of a goat and it is every bit as hard as I thought it might be. Christian is burying her now. I don't know if I'll update the blog or not even if we do get more information. And part of me wasn't sure if I should even post about this. But that's what a blog is. All the news -- even the ugly stuff. And honestly - I know it's probably silly to worry that people might blame us for this,but that's why I wasn't sure about posting. But, I'll tell you this -- even though it has all happened quite fast, I am 100% sure there is no blame to be assigned and nothing we could have done to change what happened. All we can do now is cope. And know that even when you do everything right, bad things can still happen. Rest in peace, sweet Jakarta.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Balancing a watermelon on four chopsticks

Poor, sweet, poor Jakarta. She is one of my favorite little does - a two year old we got from FOF Caroline last year. She is one of the spunkiest, most playful goats in our herd.

Or rather she was.

Now, still two weeks out from her due date, the poor dear is a Chipotle burrito on toothpicks. A watermelon on chopsticks. A city bus on broomsticks.

Poor, sweet, poor Jakarta can barely get her giant self out to the pasture, and when the rest of the goats wander to the very farthest part of our farm to see what's good to eat, Jakarta parks it under a tree and just hopes they'll come back.

It is heartbreaking. Look at my sweet girl. Compare her belly to her wee head. I think there could be quads in there.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I can't help but feel partly responsible

So, Saturday the Watercolor Art Society of Houston (WASH) held a "paint out" at our farm. I think we had about 15 people here painting. Because Naomi was having those weird-looking babies and I had cajeta boiling I didn't get to count very accurately, let alone see a lot of the work in progress - but the paintings I did see were really, really nice. Lots of talent in that group.

Anyway, Dory was in rare form. Normally when visitors come, he spends the entire time all "turkeyed out": Puffed up, showing off. This time things got a little weird.

He developed a very focused fondness for one of the painters and in a move no doubt inspired by his confused sexuality (for which I feel at least partly responsible) he shagged the man's boots. Several times. Like, enough times for me to stop laughing, go back to the house and get the camera, and document it.

It is with some shame that I present Dory + Dude's Boots: A love story.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mmmm...hmmmmmm that daddy.



And while with the last one, I was not yet sure if these guys were cute ... this one might just be winning me over.

Well now, that was unexpected.

Naomi had her babies this morning.

...they don't have ears.

Damn you, Yellow Stench!

We actually are delighted with the unplanned, crossbred babies. But, in unbelievably poor luck, they were both boys. So no showing them, either. And BIG boys they were, to boot. That Stench throws some ginormous kids. Photos to follow.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Genetics ... wow

So, Limerick kidded today. Exactly on her due date, which we love. But she only had one kid, and it was a boy, which was a serious bummer.

If you'll remember, Limmie was bred to the Big Yellow Stench back in Septmeber. The two breeds were intentionally being crossed for Caroline, with hopes to get a few "grade" does to show in dairy goat shows.

You can't show the dudes in a dairy show. :(

In any case, we got a powerful example of which genetic traits dominate in a cross.




Monday, February 9, 2009

Russell Crowe Caught Canoodling

Look what I found last week. Russell and Judy are in LOVE. It is so serious that Judy, after not laying any eggs in about a year, left an egg in the barn. That's right, Russell is so hot he made a dried up old hen start making eggs again. ...well once, anyway. Have yet to find another.

Chickens are kinda weird. I really don't get them still.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Pigs are also like trophy wives...

We are preparing to send boy pig to freezer camp. He is as big as we've ever grown a pig and he had an "episode" while we had some FOFs here for a visit that I won't exactly call an attack - but when over 300 pounds of pig comes at you full speed, well...

In any case, we opted for a wilder cross for pig pig round three. Christian will get to do an interesting taste test when their camp date comes. Meet Bacon and Chop. Bacon is on the left and is named after our friend Mickie's dog, who has similar coloring. It's just not as funny to name a pig Bacon as it is a dog, but whatever. Chop is maybe the cutest feral thing I've ever seen.

They are still a little skittish, but some leftover fish tacos have helped warm them up to us just a bit. We found it takes at least a week for piglets to stop freaking out every time you get near them. We will be patient.

...but I really can't wait to pet them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Oh, for the love of Pete!

We have been "on baby watch" for over a week now.

Stupid, stupid Naomi - who we didn't see get bred and so don't know her due date - started to show an udder a MONTH ago. Since uddering up doesn't happen to most of our goats until about two, maybe three weeks MAX before they kid, we moved her into the "big girls" pen and started increasing her food ration. (Milkers require considerably more food to keep up milk production. You don't want to throw their systems out of whack by doubling or tripling their feed all at once, so we ramp 'em up over two weeks before they kid.)

Miss Naomi has been in the dang milkers lineup for a month now. And still no kids. Just when we think her udder could not get any more full, marking imminent kidding, it stretches out a bit more and keeps filling.

Here is Naomi today.

Where are they, Naomi? GIVE US THE DANG KIDS ALREADY!!!

Sorry. I haven't been sleeping. I've been getting up two or three times a night for the last two nights, going out to check if babies were on the way. I mean - you should feel how tight this udder is by evening. It couldn't possibly hold more. Until it does. I love this goat. But right now I don't like her much. She is driving me freakin' crazy.

...but all signs show she will be an excellent milker with a high output if she ever squirts those kiddos out.

While I was out there, I got a funny/sad photo of Limerick. She's due on the 13th. No uddder on her yet, but look at her big fat belly! I hope she has quads. These are the babies from the Big Yellow Stench. We can't wait to see what they will look like.