Monday, November 7, 2011

The New Additions

What a whirlwind of a week here on the Ranch.  For those who follow my Ranch FB page you know that we welcomed the sweetest little boy in our family on October 28th.  Aydan Joseph Eagan 7lbs 1oz, 19 in.  He is loved by all and a very good baby.  We call him Bubba...

Our other new addition is a strapping young lad who is yet unnamed.  

This is really exciting because it is the first Saanen buck we've purchased. The Boer bucks have come and gone but having a Saanen buck that we own means that the Saanens are here to stay!  Yipee!  To be honest I've considered on more than one occasion to sell off the Boers and just concentrate on my favorite dairy breed.  Here are a few more pictures of the new boy.  And just in case you were wondering....he is white under all that urine....we hope.

The girls seem to really like him too!

The perfect caption...."Hey Big Fella"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Summers End

Ok, ok, I have heard you and I will attempt to become the blogger you expect me to be.  Let me remind you that from the beginning I have been honest that I hate writing.  I promise from here on out I will post regular goings-on around the farm. 

So yesterday the kids wanted to carve pumpkins and since my little sister was spending the night I thought it was the perfect time.  As dumb luck would have it we happended to have some pumpkins growing from our manure pile....that's right!  We threw our rotton pumpkins in the manure pile last fall and in August Gary hit something with the tractor while trying to control the untamable weeds around the soon-to-be-garden.  He came running in the house..."Shell, you gotta come out and see what I just hit with the tractor!"  Not exactly what I was expecting to hear.  Oh crap!  How bad is the damage? was my first thought.  So I followed him to the other side of the barn...there it was, nestled in the long overgrown weeds....The Great Pumpkin. 

As we started to look around the grass we were shocked to find four more large pumpkins that had gone completely unnoticed until now.  The next lovely surprise was the smaller blueish gourds that obviously came from the heirloom pumpkins I had bought at Bartens Pumpkin Patch the year before.  In the picture they appear very green but actually have more of a blue color to them.  I must have had my camera on the landscape setting!

What a nice surprise.  So yesterday was the day the kids had been waiting for....

They each picked their pumpkin....

Now let the carving begin! 

A special thanks goes out to Karen Walkington and her family who provided us with the pumpkins last year when we had family fun night at her house! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kidding Season Has Come To An End

Well, Daisy FINALLY had her kid.  She surprised us all by only having one.  Last year she had triplets.  We have one of her girls from the triplets, who we bred when she was only 8 months old, and even she had two.  In her defense she did have a very large kid, 11 pounds (the largest baby) and a girl so we are pleased that she and her girl are doing well.  That makes a total of 12 kids born to 6 dams, one kid lost :( and we are blessed with 11 very healthy kids, 7 boys and 4 girls.  The most interesting is the order of their births.  All the boys were born and then all the girls!  The ending is bittersweet.  No more miracles to witness untill next year but also no more running to barn around the clock every hour.  They, like my 2 legged children, are growing way too fast.  The first set of triplet boys have pretty much doubled their weight in just the 2 short weeks since they were born.  They are getting quite muscular and are getting the massive muscular necks that are the trademark of a Boer buck.  We have three that we are convinced would make great herd sires some day.  We are torn as to which one to keep.  The real trick will be to find herds for them to join before they reach butchering weight.  Shirley, Rosie and Lilly have rejoined Snowy with all their kids in the main stall area.  We like to give them a week in their private stall to bond with their kids before they have to join the rest of the herd.  Blossom will join the herd tomorrow and I will probably let Buttercup stay in her stall next to her mom for a few more days just to keep Daisy company.  Shirley who had a difficult delivery (she is the one who lost one of her boys) is now doing really well.  She had a 5 day course of antibiotics for her uterine infection and she seems back to her sassy self.  I really have to say that I love the Saanen's the most.  Nothing can beat their unique personalities.  They are super silly and the most cuddly!  These are the many faces of Shirley.  I was trying to take pictures of the new babies in the stall next to her and she just wouldn't have it.  Always the center of attention!

Now that is a big personality!

Don't forget, this Saturday is the first Ruedy Ranch Open Barn from noon-4pm.  Hope to see you there.  Check out for more info.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pictures of the goat kids born this week at Ruedy Ranch

This little girl was looking a little chilled.  For some reason Grandma would only let mom nurse the one girl so this one kept getting pushed away.  We finally had to put mom and her new babies in a private stall without Grandma and then mom was more than happy to nurse both!

We keep little dog coats on hand just in case anyone needs to warm up a bit.  This little girl was very thankful for her little coat!

Grandma was very helpful. Here she is giving her daughter Buttercup a little nuzzle of encouragement.

Grandma Daisy helps to clean off the girls.

They stop to pose for a family portrait, 3 generations.

Finally some more girls.  Until these two were born we had only one other girl and 8 boys!

Here is the little one who was a little chilly after being born.  Now she is dry and more comfortable.

Such a good grandma.

Pretty girl.

Here they are with mom after being moved to a more private stall.

Mom and babies are doing wonderful.  They are close enough that Grandma can still see them but she can't interfere.  Anytime one of them makes the slightest little peep Daisy runs up to the fence to check on her granddaughters.  I can't wait til Daisy finally has her kids and then they can all be together.  I wouldn't be surprised if Daisy willingly nurses her kids and her grandbabies!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And Finally A Girl is Born!

I will try and get some pics up tomorrow but just wanted to give a quick update.  We finally have some girls.  Last night at about 8pm we all watched as Blossom gave birth to twins.  The first one tried to come out with only one hoof forward so I had to go in and pull the second hoof out so she could deliver her little girl.  It wasn't pleasant.  I had to put my arm in almost to my elbow before I finally was able to grab the other leg and pull it forward.  The second was a boy which she delivered with no problems.  Both kids weighed in at 7.5 lbs.  A little on the smaller side compaired to the other girls but Blossom was only 8 months old when we bred her so this is to be expected.  Her next kids will be bigger.  Then tonight Buttercup had twin girls, alos 7.5 lbs.  She was also 8 months old when she was bred.  We didn't see her have them but came home after running some errands and there they were.  Daisy and Buttercup were both licking them off  and doting on them.  Daisy is Buttercup's mother and the grandmother to the twin girls.  It is not unusual for a Doe Mom to help her doeling as she gives birth.  Daisy was a little too involved so we ended up moving Buttercup to one of the stalls so that she could bond with her babies and not have mom butting in!  Daisy is the last one left to kid.  She is really close so maybe tomorrow.  Rosie and her 1 week old triplett boys have been moved back into the main group pen.  Those boys needed room to run and run they did.  Wow are they fast and wild and adorable.  Keep an eye out for picture in the next day or two.  Check out our Ranch Facebook page for info on our upcoming open house.  This event is open to the public and feel free to invite your friends.  Hope you can make it and that the weather will cooperate! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Two More Bucklings....SERIOUSLY??

Lilly having a well deserved treat.

Sweet girl!
Don't get me wrong.  I'm just thrilled that we are lucky enough to have two more healthy kids but the reality is that these are meat goats and we don't keep the boys.  If we don't get a girl soon my kids are going to be devastated.  I've already convinced myself that we are keeping Shirley's little boy.  Anyways, congrats to Lilly!  She is the proud new mama of two little gigantic boys!  One tipping the scales at 10 1/2 lbs!  The other a mere 9 1/2 lbs.  I missed the whole thing because I was at work but got a call from Madeline at about 7:30pm telling me they had just gone out to check on the girls and they found Lilly with her two boys all cleaned up and she was already nursing them.  I should note for all my co-workers who I told she had a boy and a girl that clearly Gary was mistaken.  I'm not quite sure how those huge testicles could be mistaken for anything else but in his defense...... Um mm, I got nothin'!

Those are some chubby babies.

The latest count: Three does delivered and three to go.  Seven kids....all boys.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shirley Had Twin Bucklings

I have been out to the barn every two hours around the clock every day this week.  Three of the fours does left to kid are first time mommies and chances are they will be so distracted by their pain they won't have any clue what's going on.  I worry that if someone isn't there they will leave their babies lying there not knowing what to do.  Rosie and her triplet bucklings who were born on Tuesday are doing great.  By noon on Wednesday Shirley had gone into labor and had delivered one of her kids and was still laboring when I walked into the barn.  If I had been out there 15 minutes earlier I may have been able to save her first little buckling.  He was big.  Just shy of 10 lbs.  She hadn't even turned around to look at him.  He was laying there completely lifeless and soaking wet.  I tried to revive him but no luck.  I quickly moved her into a kidding stall and she delivered her second boy with no problems.  I put him in front of her after I knew he was breathing and she started licking him and taking care of him.  I wouldn't say she is the most attentive mother but she is doing a good job considering all the problems she is having.  I had to go to work that afternoon and when I got home I noticed she still had not passed all of the placenta.  There was a definite odor as well.  Not good.  Signs of infection.  I called the vet and scheduled a time for her to come out the next day.  I had also scheduled an office appointment for our puppy Sophie because she had an ear infection.  I got a call from Dr. Mary asking me if I could bring them both into the office because Dr. Barb was gone for the day and it would save her a lot of running around.  I thought this was going to be really interesting.  Goats really don't like dogs.  I suppose they are too similar to coyotes and foxes to really trust and it is not unheard of to hear than a domestic dog kills a baby goat just like they would kill a rabbit or bird.  Anyways, when the time came I put Sophie on a leash on the front seat and tied the leash to the little handle above the door.  Then I tried to get Shirley out of her stall and into the van.  She wasn't going anywhere without her boy so I picked him up and she reluctantly followed me.  She was less than thrilled when she saw the dog.  I put her on a blanket right behind the front seats and she stool there the entire 20 miles to the vet between the seats giving Sophie the evil eye.  Sophie, by the way, is the worlds most obnoxious and excitable dog but she was so terrified of Shirley she laid down on the seat facing and refused to even look in Shirley direction.  Shirley has a strip of fur right over her spine which is about four inches long and longer than the rest of her coat.  It stood straight on end the entire ride!  Finally we got to the vet, everyone got their antibiotics and we were heading back home.  Another uneventful ride with the exception of the lady we surprised in the Taco Bell drive through who said she had never seen a live goat before and told me I had made her entire day when I pulled the two day old buckling up from behind the seat.  We pulled into the farm and unloaded the dog and settled mom and baby back into their stall.  You could tell Shirley was already feeling better.  She is on a regimen of two medications twice a day for the next 5 days and we pray she will completely recover and be able to look after her boy.  I have not started to milk her yet.  I really feel it's important to let her get her strength back before I start milking.  It takes a lot of energy for her to make all that milk and right now she just doesn't have it.  Her little kid is the cutest stinkin thing I have ever seen.  I don't know how I will ever be able to sell him as a market animal.  I would really like to have him go somewhere as a pet.  If any of you know anyone who would be interested in a Saanen/Boer cross wether please let me know.  I would sell him for $125.00 and would disbud and wether him before going to a new home.  He is all white like a Saanen but has the roman profile and the pendulous ears of a boer.  At two days old he is already bouncing around like a crazy little kid and loves to be pet and held.  He coos and will fall asleep right in your arms.  I am completely smitten.  I just might have to keep him.  Oddly enough I don't feel the same way about the full Boer boys.  They are so masculine and bucky looking I don't really find them as cute.  Of course my heart is with the Saanen breed anyways.  So here are some pictures of Shirley and her beautiful boy.  Enjoy!