Showing posts with label Boer Goat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boer Goat. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Keeping up Appearances...

Sometimes appearances are just that... appearances.  Here we are nearly mid April and still no sign of a baby goat for Chiba.  And since I sold the buck right before Thanksgiving, I don't really see how she could be pregnant.  

"I'm not pregnant"

A Boer Goats gestation is 148-152 days, with the gestation calculator using 150 as the average number of days.  I'm going to use November 10, 2014 as the date I'm pretty sure I sold him, because that was a Monday, and the small livestock sales only take place on Mondays, and because that was right before Thanksgiving.  Make sense? 

To clarify, if I calculate the number of days from November 10th, this would put her at 150 days as of today (April 8th).  I hope she proves me wrong and drops a kid this week, but it doesn't seem likely.  And if she isn't pregnant, well, then she is embarrassingly overweight and the shame is on me for letting her become that way.  Enough said. ~A

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Making Goat Cheese

We've been milking the Boer goat for a month now.  I thought it was high time to attempt making cheese.  There must be a million recipes and demonstrations on You Tube, which is where I found my recipe.  The cheese came out great, resembling mozzarella.  I highly recommend visiting You Tube and giving it a try yourself, even if you have to use cow's milk instead.  I love learning new skills, and now I have one more DIY food item to add to the list of things I can make myself, rather than having to fork over major cash at the grocery store. : )

If anyone out there has a favorite cheese making recipe they'd like to share, I'd sure be grateful! Have a lovely Wednesday!  ~A

Basic Goat Cheese Recipe

¼ C. Cider vinegar

½ Gallon fresh goat milk

Bring milk to nearly a boil (about 200-208 degrees) stirring constantly so not to scorch it, remove from heat, stir in vinegar, let sit until curd forms.  Drain curd in cheesecloth, smash apart, season accordingly (salt, herbs, etc.)Wrap in cheesecloth into cheese mold or colander and press down with all your strength.  Wrap and store in fridge.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goat Milk, Goats, Gardens and More...

Sadly, Chiba the goat gave birth to a still-born doe on May 13th.  On a good note, she seems to be recovering well, and is producing around two pints of milk every evening.  I've been freezing all of it with the hope of making cheese in June when my Mother and Grandmother visit.

Chiba's milk is on the right.
Around the farm, things are "greening" up nicely and the temperatures are definitely much more pleasant.  The garden is in and things are growing well.  Last weekend I bought a peach, pear, and two apple trees, bringing the total fruit trees on the farm to seven.  Can I declare I have an orchard now? 

The Buck goat was moved outside into a large pen, and the little spotted mare is his pasture mate for the time being.  They seem to get along fine. I'm hoping that being outside will settle him down a bit and he'll become less aggressive to humans.  Time will tell. 

I walked the back of the property yesterday evening, and so far the ticks do not seem to be a problem.  Maybe the harsh winter took care of few of them?

Louie, having a swim...
June is just around the corner and soon farmers will be cutting the first hay of the season.  It's one of my favorite times of the year.  June also means that if I want to have a heritage turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, I need to hatch some soon or buy some chicks.  The six eggs I have in the incubator are due to hatch yesterday or today.  So far there is no sign of anything trying to make its way out of an egg shell. I'm going to be really bummed if I can't hatch my own turkeys each year. I hope all of you are enjoying your spring and weather is good. ~A

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Pear Shaped Princess

Still no signs of a baby.  I spoke with the vet about the possibility of a blood test to determine if she truly is pregnant.  She's looking in to it for me. Then at least, if I found out she wasn't, I could start her on some sort of diet and exercise plan... Happy Friday! ~A

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A break in the weather

No changes in any of the animals.  No babies.  No sickness. Nothing but waiting.  Waiting for warmer weather and waiting for babies, hopefully. 

This week I've started setting eggs aside to put into the incubator this coming weekend.  I'm hoping to get 40 of them in there.  But that depends on how busy the ladies are this week, and how many eggs are fit to put in there.  I'm only going to incubate the darkest of the dark eggs, with the hope of improving the Marans line in the future.  We'll just have to wait and see what hatches?

It's been a week, but there hasn't been much to talk about or anything exciting happening.  The weather gave us a break over the weekend and reached a high of 40 degrees, so I took the opportunity to clean up the barn a bit and walk over the property to see that all was well.  Chiba spent a lot of time outside inspecting the yard and looking for food. 


Monday, February 17, 2014

Weekends on the Farm

A quiet weekend, with more snow and more brutal cold. The "norm" this year so far.  Even with the cold, I did manage to get a full day of work accomplished on Sunday, shoveling the stalls and cleaning up the barn a bit.  And of course there was the routine visit to the feed mill for the week's rations. 

Chiba the goat is still waddling along.  She did manage to get out and get a bit of exercise, even with the deep snow and cold.  Still no signs of a baby on the way.  I'm no longer sure she's pregnant.

I wonder what the conversation was about?

The chickens are still hanging out inside (or very close to) the barn.  Its still far to cold for their liking.

Louie and the horses still seem not at all bothered by the snow or cold.  Lucky bunch.

I peeked into the "Bunny Hotel" to check for babies.  None there either.  My guess is that the boy bunny is still just a bit too young to get the job done.  He's only four months old, which is still considered young for the larger breeds. 

The only thing there was left to do after the barn work and errands was cook, eat and drink some wine.  Ahhh winter...

Pumpkin-Spice Cookies sounded like they were in order to offset the winter blues...


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pressure cookers, snow, and a fat goat

"You know who" has still not shown any sign of a due date.  I'm ready to give up on her...

I'm feeling rather low and beat down with all this cold and snow and snow and cold.  And what do woman tend to do when they're feeling down?  Shop, of course.  And so I did.

I have an aluminum pressure canner/cooker that I absolutely love, but knowing that aluminum is not the best to cook with (only to can with), and knowing how often I use my canner (a lot!), I decided to splurge an buy a smaller, everyday stainless steel cooker for non-canning use. So I bought an 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker this morning on Amazon and now I can't wait for it to arrive!

I hate waiting.  I'm already dreaming of all the recipes I want to try with it. 

Five days or so and it will arrive.  Unless the delivery man cannot get up my snow filled driveway.  Fingers crossed...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Still no signs

Well, its February. 

February is Goat kidding month.  The month when goats normally start having babies (aka "kidding").  But the only kidding happening here on this farm is my goat kidding with me about whether she will ever give birth.  Can you tell I'm getting impatient? 

February 3, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hello February, Good-bye Ethel...

A lovely, quiet weekend on the farm made for a great beginning to February. Saturday was a day for butchering two of the Turken (aka "Naked Neck") hens that had approached the ripe old age of two years.  But really I was in a hurry to butcher them, because they are constantly eating everyone else's eggs, and because they are just plain mean to the other chickens.  Roosters included.

So the deed was done, and on Sunday I made a nice dinner of roasted chicken with a side of au gratin potato. The butchering chore was preceded that morning by a breakfast of French toast sprinkled with summer blackberries pulled from the freezer.  I even tossed a chunk of butter on top.

Mmmmm.... French Toast

The potatoes were easy; one potato-sliced thin, grated parmesan and heavy cream...

The dogs needed to get out and run, so I took a nice walk late afternoon to check fence lines and have a look around. The creek back in the woods was frozen, but I could still hear the little waterfall underneath the ice and snow. The dogs very much enjoyed the walk and slept well in the warm kitchen the rest of the day. Although, they seem to be confused as to which bed is in tended for which dog.

Louie on the hunt...

Checking the Fence

There's a waterfall under there somewhere...

Later in the evening when it was time to bring the horses in for the night and feed everyone else, I ended up needing Louie's assistance to help catch the turkey hen that escaped her pen.  She's done this three times now, so last night I clipped her wings. Hopefully this will put an end to that.  Her name is now "Lady Houdini..."

Friday, January 31, 2014

Adios January

Its 36 degrees today as I sit here slurping a hot bowl of tomato-basil soup, and this weather feels absolutely amazing after so many days of arctic BS.  This is the last day of January and I am very glad to see it go! I am so hoping for a kinder February and looking forward to spring again.

Not much of anything is happening on the farm right now.  Its just cold and uneventful.  Mama-to-be goat still has not shown any sign of having any babies any time soon.  I really am beginning to wonder if she is in fact pregnant?  What a trick that would be.  She went out for a stroll and played in the snow with her BFF doggie "Louie" yesterday, and seemed as content as ever bouncing around the snow covered pasture.

I am almost decided that a pig will be added to the farm this year.  I'm a little leery about getting one, because I know nothing about pigs and I still have to set up a pen for it.  But the farmer called me the other day and said the two sows had just given birth and the piglets will be ready in mid March.  So I need to hurry up and make a decision, pig or no pig. Have any of you out there raised a pig before, and if so, can you give me the dirt on what I'm getting myself into if I get one?  Is it worth it? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Well the weekend is finally here, and I'm looking forward to some better weather and the quiet time to experiment with some new recipes. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

What (almost) a year can do...

A little flashback to some of the farm babies, showing how they've grown over the past year (or less).

June 2013 (We're focusing on the little yellow guy here)

Remember that little yellow guy?  Here he is in December of 2013

And how about this cute little man back in March of 2013...
 Here he is now in December of 2013.  (With a suspicious turkey watching from behind....)

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