Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Last year, when Prissy had her first set of triplets, she immediately rejected them. I had to hand milk her twice a day to feed them. Priss was never good to milk. I spent hours, days, weeks with bloody knuckles, milk dripping from my hair, my chin, my arms, trying everything from crooning to her, begging, cajoling, to belting her until she finally pushed me over the edge and I actually BIT her! It has pretty much been a unanimous consensus here on the ranch, that Priss is a pretty horrible goat and better off replaced...BUT she gives 1 1/2 gallons of milk a day, with a cream line! You just don’t see that in a goat that often, so I put up with her, milking her for 8 months, with a semi successful system of putting TWO sets of hobbles on her, and chaining her hindfeet down to the stanchion.
I had to try hard not to take it personally, when she allowed Moose the calf, to nurse with nothing on her. I wondered just how bad she was going to behave this year.

Once again, she had triplets, only this time, she didn’t totally reject them. They have, however, had a difficult time nursing because she has one teat that is ‘blown’ from over engorging last year. I have to milk that side each day until the kids are big enough to figure out how to use it. The first night I got a half gallon...out of the one teat. It wasn’t completely empty yet, but I wanted to try teaching the babies to nurse that side, hoping that if they could keep after it, it wouldn’t get so full and be so difficult for them. I set the bucket down and went to grab a kid to help it learn how to grab ahold of that side. Once I captured one of the slippery little runts, I turned around to see that Priss had drank all the milk already in the bucket! I guess we are now into recycling.

Bruno and Cletus went in and thoroughly checked over their new charges.
Right now I am actually getting a break, because EmmaLouMoo is dry, until she calves again in July. That means I don’t have to milk her, make cheese, butter, and all that goes with that, for awhile now.
I do have to milk Priss until the babies can do that for me. Then I will only have to separate them over night and milk her when I need some milk for soap or for us. There are bottle calves to feed and thankfully Randyman helps me with that, as the 9 of them tend to get tangled up and steal bottles from one another and such. I do occasionally have to feed one by stomach tube and give some shots or pills.

Our weather has been running the gamut from sunny 70's to freezing 40's with hail and high winds. I have 3 leppie calves that have come down with pnuemonia. One little feller we thought was dead this morning. We went out to feed and he was laying proned out by the fence, not moving, while the rest stampeded over us for their bottles. I went to check him and could see he was still breathing, but too weak to move. The inside of his mouth was cold and so were his lower legs, which usually means they are shocky and on their way out. I went ahead and lifted him onto his brisket and fed him by stomach tube and gave him a shot of anti biotics. I honestly expected to find him dead by noon, but when I went to check him, he was on his feet again so I was able to move him into the sick pen with the others. It started hailing again this morning, so we ran all the other little fellers down the alleyway to Em's old corral so they could stay in her tent.

There are 50 little chicks in the brooder in the milk barn that I have to keep an eye on, but that doesn’t take very much time. I check in the morning to see they have food and water, and turn their light off, as it gets pretty warm in there. I also make sure no one has “pasty butt’ which is when their vent gets blocked. A little chicky sized sitz bath and vaseline helps a lot in that case. I check them again in the evening. I lost a couple of chicks the first few days, but it was from the stress of shipping. Everyone seems to be thriving now, and I hope they will be outside in a couple more weeks, once they have feathered out enough...where to put them, and how, is a question I haven’t yet answered. I definitely need a Maremma to bond with them tho. I’m thinking perhaps a portable shelter and they can live in one of the pastures then.

I try to take my daily de-stress trip out to visit the critters during their siesta. They all have a little party under the octopus tree. The sheep, goats, cows and Maremmas. All of them. It is like a 'block party'.

 I strolled down and noticed Annie was missing. I walked all the way around the tree, looking in the tall brush, but no Annie. The dogs didn’t seem to be unduly concerned so I figured she was ok and they knew where she was. I took a seat and suddenly felt chips of bark falling on my shoulder from up above. Annie was up in the tree. I have no idea why I didn’t look there. Glad I didn’t have to call the fire department. 

Emma looks as though she is very tired of being pregnant. She has always had a flair for the dramatic. I don't know who was more distressed...me, when I saw her laying like this, or her, when I woke her by screaming her name...okay, maybe I am a little dramatic myself. Not much, just a little. A teensy bit. Hardly noticeable.

Scarlett doesn’t seem to mind pregnancy. She just waddles around looking for handouts and neck rubs.

Mr T needs to be passing out cigars. Mrs B, the Buff Orpington has baby chicks! She was sitting on several eggs, but after the first two hatched, she jumped out of her box and they followed her. As they were not able to follow her back up again, she had to abandon the other eggs.

Oprah, my Black Australorpe hen is sitting on 14 eggs. (Not one of which is hers.) I snagged her and locked her up in a dog crate with food and water so she doesn’t have the same problems. 
It was warm the other day, so Wimpy and I went for a little spin. There were wildflowers blooming and trees leafing out, the grass is growing taller and the calves are getting fat.

It was good to see something besides the pasture behind the house and it felt good to be back in the saddle again. Maybe this will be my summer.


  1. Elizabeth RaineyJune 5, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Thanks for sharing, Kim. It is always nice to hear what's happening on the ranch. Never a dull moment, hunh? "maybe it will be my summer" sounds like a good plan..will send positive thoughts out your way. Give my best to Randyman and take care!

    1. Thanks. You will have to stop by sometime. Randyman say's "hi" back!

  2. I so enjoy reading your posts. Always a chuckle sometime. GOATS! Priss sounds like a royal pain, really! I love the octopus tree. Looks like Everyone does. :) What a wonderful place for an afternoon nap. :)

    1. I tested your theory about the nap and find it to be sound! :)

  3. You sure have your hands full! I have given up trying to figure out what the goats will be up to. Do you usually have that many leppies? Since I am a complete novice, are they leppies because they are orphaned - or rejected? Frankly, if I had gone out and seen EmmaLouMoo in that position, I would have been hollering, too.

    1. A leppie is a motherless calf, for whatever reason. This is actually a good year, I had 37 last year and over 30 the year before! I am glad I am not the only one who would scream...I did the same thing to my oldest son when he was a baby and fell asleep with his eyes half open. Randyman thinks I have a hair-trigger panic button.

  4. It always brightens my day to see you've posted another entry :). Prissy must be related to my first goat Beulah, also a Nub, that my dad bought from auction. She was a range goat and wanted nothing to do with milking. I was a high school sophomore and had never milked before. Naturally I was elected family milkmaid.
    My friends at school prayed for me when I showed up with big white bandages on my hands and could barely hold a pencil! Ah yes, the memories....
    Love your little Annie, how cute, she's a tree climber! Wimpy may not go for it, but give him a kiss on the soft part of his muzzle for me and tell him I think he's a real looker.
    Your weather is much the same as ours. Starts to warm a bit and I think, Yeah, finally! Then it switches up and rains bulldogs and doesn't even make it to fifty.

    As always your pictures are spot on... I feel like I'm there.I hope this is your summer too. Thanks so much.

  5. little x-boy is at karate camp this week so i get to comment. i talked to him today and he said he's tired of kicking around. he didn't laugh but i did. u got on ur horse! awesome! do u take every picture cos some of those r classic ranch situations so if u do u have a nice eye for it. journey has a stomach problem n i try not to worry about it but it still bothers me. vet says nothing to worry about...so why am i. darn that cow is lying in a weird position. love u petey. i won't comment till next time he goes to camp. d boy

  6. So glad to see you! That is funny, that he's tired of kickin around at karate camp. What a nut. Yes, I take the pictures and thank you. I hope Journey will be ok, Mister is prone to colics and he should be here on the 20th ish. I'll probably be worrying about him too. I will be so excited to see Cody when he brings him. I'll look forward to seeing you again. You guys mean a lot to me.