Well we do like goats, but that is not the type of fan we are talking about. We made a new addition to the barn, we installed a new ceiling fan to keep the goats cooler on hot days. When we wired the barn last year we put in the wiring but up to now we had not installed the fan. The goats seem to enjoy it a lot.
Kermit's Road Trip
Yesterday we got a new, adult male duck, his name is Kermit. He is a likeable duck, but he does like to take “road trips”. Let me explain, today while working outside, I heard a car beep its horn and stop in the road below the house. It seemed odd so I went to take a look. Well, there was Kermit on the side of the road opposite the house and over 400 yards from the coop area. I thanked the lady for not running him over and proceeded to chase him back home. We will have to keep a close eye on him until he imprints that this is home.
Well we had real team effort here. Michelle had baked a lemon cake with frosting. We had just gotten a few small bits of it . That was all we got, One of the cats jumped up on the counter and knocked it to the floor, the dogs then ate the cake and some of the tin foil. We checked and both dogs had “lemony breath” . We are not sure how much the cats got, they are not telling!
Something in the Bog
There is something over in the far valley. I heard there is a bog there and at night I hear a loud deep roar coming from it. At night you see the glow of lights and sometime a voice drifting from there in the bog. If I did not know better I may wonder what it is, but it is just the monthly Mud Bog Races put on by on of our local volunteer fire department. God bless these men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe! I think about them on those deep, cold, dark nights when you hear the fire horn blow. I know that these people are leaving all that is near and dear to them to risk their lives to keep us safe once again! God’s speed may you return home safe!
Duck and Goat Swap
Yesterday was a big day on the farm, there were a lot of changes going on here. For starters three of our adult ducks were swapped out of a new adult male. This was done to introduce a new blood line to our flock. Further we sold nine of our ducklings.
Storm our ten week old buckling found a new home. We could not keep him since he would try to breed back to his mom and sisters. So he has a new home on a farm as a pet goat. A bud to another buckling, he will live out his life with these goats on a farm about three hours from here.
Someone hit our mail box today, they took out their passenger mirror. They bent up the mailbox, so out to the tool shed to retrieve tools. Then down to the road I went. As I worked on the mail box, bending and reforming the misshapen steel, I grabbed Dad’s old pliers, I had used them countless times before, but this was different. After the job was done I looked at the pliers and wondered where he got them. What jobs had he used them on, what stories could they tell about him. I felt a warm connection to him that we both used this tool, a connection of what was………
Coby has gotten a lot smarter in the last few days. He now knows what not to touch. Namely electric fences. But this knowledge comes with a price. Coby was over by the goat pasture and got too close to the fence. His wet nose got a shock and off he ran. He ran up toward the spring and kept going disappearing into to the dark green woods. We both gave chase calling the whole time hoping he would come back to no avail. Michelle went deep into the woods calling him. I followed up the rear and in a few minutes Coby appeared behind us looking for Michelle. He has found the other fences but this time on leash and now he gives them a wide berth.
As the night closes around us, we start to watch. Our chores go into the night hours most times. So we look for night eyes, those are the glowing eyes we see at the end of our flash light beam. What is it looking back at you? a rabbit, a fox, a coyote? With time you can tell what is looking back at you and if we need to do anything about it. This is rural country and we have all these things and more. So we keep our powder dry and our fences on at night. For you never know when you will see night eyes!
Well we do! Michelle and I have milk, 3/4 of a gallon per day to be exact. All three of our adult does are in milk now. One still has kids nursing, but we will be putting her up into the milk stand soon, since she is weening off the kids.
So you got to ask, “What do you do with all that milk?” A very good question, first we drink a lot of milk now it is very good for you. Second, Michelle makes yogurt, sour cream, and tonight she is going to try making cream cheese. Once we get a cream separator, she will make butter and hard cheeses.
OK, so what does goat’s milk taste like? A question for you what does real milk taste like? Goats milk will pick up any strong flavor it comes in contact with so it must be handled very carefully. First we only milk healthy does, second before we milk we wash their udder with a bleach solution and strip both teats of the milk in them. This means the teats are clean and have been flushed so no harmful bacteria is left in the teat from the barn. Third, the milk is taken in a closed system. A teat cup is attached to the teat and a vacuum pump pulls the milk into a sealed collection jar. After the goat is milked the jar is caped and the goats teats are striped of milk and the teats are dunked in a bleach solution and let dry before leaving the milk stand. This gives time for the teats to seal off before letting her go into the barn.
The milk is then whisked off to the kitchen and quickly chilled. After it is chilled it is filtered to catch any stray hair that may have gotten in during milking. All milking utensils are either glass or stainless steel and are washed in a bleach solution and let to air dry before their next use.
So to answer your question, what does it taste like? It taste like rich cows milk, you need to shake the bottle to mix the cream that has risen to the top.
Piranah in the Pond
In our pond we have piranha; well the fish think they are piranha. Let me explain, since we stocked our pond four years ago we have always fed the fish so they would grow and multiply well. Over that time the fish have associated people with food. So now any time you get near the pond, it starts, you see wakes in the water as the fish start streaming toward you. They will follow you around the pond hoping you will feed them. In the cool of the day every other day we go out to feed them. As they see someone coming, the water comes alive as hundred or so Bluegill swarm to the feeding area. As the food hits the water the water erupts as the feeding frenzy starts. This will go on for a few minutes until everyone gets their fill. This year we plan of harvesting some of the larger Bluegill, around the pond. They need to be removed to let the others grow to their full size.
The fish serve two proposes on the farm, they control mosquitoes in the pond and will later this year start to provide us with food. Further, the pond itself is there for brush fire control. Large forest fires are not common here. Our local volunteer fire companies do a very good job of knocking them down before they can spread. Also, this area has a tendency to practice good forest management.