One of the best part about taking the goats to pasture are the bouquets I walk home with. My partner tends to tire of reading after about an hour, so he rambles off and returns with a lovely wildflower bunch. The hardest part is keeping the goats from eating it while we wrap up.
Just when I was so proud of my eggs…I went to collect eggs for neighbor while they are out of town. Made my little dozen look so small!
I got my first double yoke this morning from our chickens. The egg wasn’t even oddly large.
Our chickens have been laying soooo many eggs recently! I didn’t think it would be possible with two chickens, but we can hardly keep up. We reached our first full dozen (normally we eat them before a full dozen is reached) so made a delicious and all-local frittata! Can’t wait for more summer veggies to add to the mix!
Chomping away on our walk home from the pasture
With the arrival of the ducklings, the goats have not been getting their usual amount of love on the internet. Never fear, the goats are still the livestock apple-of-my-eye and doing great. Lal is getting bigger and bigger with each passing day and now has a wicked set of horns. One of these days she is definitely going to accidentally maul us… so wait for the black eye pictures coming your way soon no doubt! Additionally, Lal is going to be a little escape-goat (Ha!). Beverly has to be sweet talked to leave the pen and go to the pasture, but Lal is more then excited to explore the world. We really worked hard at socializing Lal when she young and took her almost everywhere so she would willing go to new pastures/ places. This may backfire on us. Currently if she does get out, she doesn’t go very far, but poor mama goat she makes such a fuss when their is fence between the two.
Lal: escape goat
With the nice weather we constructed a makeshift pasture for them between the rows on the farm. Unfortunately the current technique of a lead connected to a washing line means we cannot leave them out there all day. Fortunately, it means that I have an excuse to sit on a hillside, read a book, and drink a beer. The goats have almost completely cleared their densely wooded pen so next week will be installing another large pen to clear/ thin the woods by our neighbor’s deck. Hopefully soon our neighbors will have a clear view down to the creek thanks to our brush-clearing goats. I am curious to see how the goats and the ducklings will get along. The goats have a tendency to head-butt the chickens if they get too close to their food, hopefully the ducks will learn early on that is not going to fly.
I think that we have given the goats a pretty darn good home: nice dry shelter, plenty of water, access to brush, daily (but limited) access to pasture, climbing structures, grain, and table scraps. My only concern is that the herd is too small. Goats are herd animals and become depressed and distressed when not in a proper herd. Luckily there are two of them, but I will be glad at next kidding season when there are more goats to keep each other happy.
The ducklings are officially moved outside, which means my bathroom is now duckling free. I have to admit using the toilet and taking a shower with the peeps was a little unnerving. Their brooder was too small within days with the ducklings spraying water and distributing poop all over the place. The next solution was a larger brooder I found in the recycle bin at my job, but once again within days it was too small. Due to the smallish boxes their tummies would get gross every couple of days, so we gave them a bath every other day to they could be nice and fluffy. We filled up an old laundry bin with water about 8 inches and let the little sprouts go wild. Next we washed them tummies with a very diluted Dr. Bronner’s soup, they were less into having their tummies scrubbed. Though we now have a way to tell them apart: dirty belly, clean belly, and partially bald belly.
Brooder Box II. Even with changing the litter every day, it would get too soiled too quickly.
Now that the weather is getting nice, we have moved the duckings to the portable chicken house that lives atop an old rabbit hutch. This works perfectly for this transition period of being large enough to be outside but not developed enough to be with the other animals. We started out moving them out there during the day, but it got to the point where they were clearly so happy outside that we left them there overnight. I was concerned about it being too chilly at night, but we loaded the “house” part of the coup with straw and they did just find. Poor guys, as soon as they are used to being outside a big ol’ storm comes slamming rain down for several days. Contrary to popular belief, ducks have a limit to the amount of rain they can handle. After running out into the rain to refill their water (despite the rain, they still went through a crazy amount of water) and topping off their grain I hadn’t seen the little squirts for several days. Then BAM, huge ducklings!!!! They still have their soft baby feathers, but their mature feathers are really starting to come in. Its remarkable the speed of their growth, it seems much faster then chicken- chicks I have dealt with, and much faster then the goat. It seems like I just got them, and now they are HUGE!!!! Still waiting for them to get big enough to sex, however I have a sinking suspicion that we have one female and two females. Hopefully I am wrong!
Ducks taking a bath/ swimming practice
Post bath shock
Goats lounging for the last time in the chicken coup/ duck house
Fixing it up for the ducklings
Ducklings installed. Lal is confused who/ what is in her sunny lounging spot