Twas the Night Before the Storm!

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We are expecting a major snow even over the next 2 days with 6-10″ of snow in the forecast. We were very fortunate that our hay guy was available today to deliver 100 bales so we could top things off in the barns.

The loft in the buck barn is now full! I think this loft holds around 18 bales.

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Dominic is very happy. When I went out to feed the boys this morning Dominic peeked out from inside the igloo, I’m happy that he has discovered how much warmer it is in there.

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The chickens were happy to see the hay guy because that means they get the extra sweepings tossed into their coop area.

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Killarney has all kinds of scars and swelling above his eyes from the ramming sessions that the boys were having last month. He has also been ramming the fence a lot lately to try and scare Bablo and Dominic away from his girls.

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The girls sheep barn is full to the rafters, I think over 100 bales are up in the loft safe and dry.

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Gardenia, Kia, and Ava are a bit more docile with Killarney running the flock, we will all be happy when the breeding groups are broken up.

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I think Gidget was bred last month on Romeo’s first attempt.

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Addison went into heat yesterday and has been shaking her tail at Romeo for the last two days. Pebbles (black and white) may have been bred a few days ago. She has such a soft voice compared to all the girls.

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Pebbles is my Mini-Alpine and I am really excited to see how much milk she produces next year.

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Romeo is very gentile and pays the girls a lot of attention. Here he is giving Addison kisses.

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I have no idea if Lara has been bred or not but she can’t wait to get back to the rest of the girls so she can be the head of the flock again.

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Hoss is also quite the gentleman as well. He doesn’t get pushy like Killarney or the other boys who were sent to freezer camp, he is still just a fluffy loveable lug.

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The girl’s goat barn is jammed to the rafters as well. I think there is just under 50 bales in the loft here. It should take quite a while for the 7 goats inside to eat it all.

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More kisses for Addison. I might have some problems this year if Gidget gives birth first as the “Queen” likes to make sure everyone knows she is boss.

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The loft in the ram barn is also full, this one holds about 35 bales. Once the breeding groups are broken up only Hoss and Killarney will be hanging out here so it should last quite a while.

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The extra bales that wouldn’t fit into any of the lofts are behind the barrier in the ram barn, a little extra never hurts.

Once the snow hits any hay replenishment has to be done via a wheel barrow traversing ice trails. This is not fun. I think the hay on hand should last us until well into March? I sure hope so.

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Azalea hopes the hay lasts all winter too. She is in with Hoss because Killarney is her father. As the lone Cascade in with two Icelandics she has to struggle a bit with their bossiness, but Hoss has overall been very nice to her.

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Laboring Day

They hay racks have really cut down the mess and wasted hay in the sheep barn, but we still need to clean it.  So this Labor Day weekend was spent doing just that!

The ram shed was cleaned clear down to the boards and left to dry while the rams were busy out in their pasture.  They only get to graze in their pasture once a week so they didn’t even notice the work that was going on.

The girls barn is a bit harder to keep clean because of the amount of traffic.  As the lambs are sold off things become easier although I do miss the lambs!

I love a clean goat barn with the smell of fresh wood chips!  Too bad it doesn’t last very long.

The waste hay was dumped in low areas in the forest to fill in mosquito breeding spots while the hay that had more poo in it was spread in selected area to improve the soil and fill in holes.  The places where we did this last year have grown lush and green, I hope it keeps working.

I wasn’t the only one exhausted by the end of the weekend!

Thanks Dad

My dad was here visiting last weekend and decided to do a little carpentry work. Addison was skeptical and pretended to ignore him.

She couldn’t ignore the new gate he put in, it created a new holding area for me that I can use separate the new moms from one another.

He also put installed guard rails in the berthing stall to prevent the little ones from slipping under the fence, I learned that the hard way last year.

The new gate tucks away nicely when it isn’t needed, I love it!

Unlike Addison Gidget is very impressed.

The cattle panel between me and the rams was working but less than optimal.

My dad cut the cattle panel to fit and reinforced it with some treated wood. He told me that this should keep me safe!

This too is a temporary fix as when he returns he promised to put in stalls like he did for the girl sheep and the goats. He will reuse the cross beams in the girls barn to make two more gates, I love my Dad!

Oh, let’s not forget the latches he installed on the Ram shed to keep both the top and bottom pieces of both dutch doors secure – he thought of everything.

Spring Cleaning, Goat Edition

The last post was about cleaning the sheep barn, that didn’t go over too well with the goats who always want to come first. To placate the drama queens we cleaned their barn right after we finished up with the sheep.

The waste hay was quite deep in the goat barn too. Note how high the hay comes up to the feed basket.

While the goats may have wanted their barn cleaned they in no way expected to help clean it themselves, that is why they have we human servants around.

At one point during the cleaning process the Commander looked up at me and stated; “You have to feel this waste hay, it is hot to the touch! There must be some type of chemical reaction going on.”

As I looked down at him I said to myself; “Self, what in our history together would give the Commander the idea that I would actually take off my gloves to feel the warmth generated by decomposing poo and pee in goat waste hay?” Of course I didn’t say that out loud, I just told him I’d take his word for it.

The goats really do waste so much hay, I had no idea how deep it had gotten in there. At least (according the the Commander) they were warm.  I spread a little DE down to keep the vermin out and turned the goats back loose inside there newly clean barn.  I love the sound of their little hooves echoing across the yard as they bounce around inside the barn on its wood floor.

Mucking Around

Last week I mucked out the birthing stall in the goat barn and put all the “stuff” on the snow that covers the garden. It seems the goats really waste a lot of hay.

Today the Commander mucked out the stall that the sheep sleep in, he told me that it was a mushy mess. Both Barn doors and the windows were open today in hopes of airing things out a bit and helping it dry. (When the sheep were put up tonight the stall door was closed but when the Commander checked on them to see how they were getting on in their new sleeping area he found 3 of them inside the mucked out stall. The must have jumped over the railing, and Jeepers and Gardenia are hugely pregnant! He left the stall door open after that.)

Chip was not impressed by the pile of sheep poo stacked outside the door. The Commander couldn’t haul it off anywhere because the snow was too deep and slushy for the wheelbarrow.

Chip didn’t like the smell of sheep poo one bit!

The sheep were curious about what was going on inside their barn but Chip wasn’t about to let them get by him.

After running off the sheep Chip tried a bit of baking soda in an attempt to clear his nose of the smell.

It worked!

“Quick Gidget, come over here and eat some of this while I hold them off!”

The sheep gave up trying to get past Chip and went back to eating.

Of course Chip and Gidget had to try some of the hay that the sheep were eating, just in case it tasted better.

The sheep weren’t happy but being good hostesses they let Chip and Gidget help themselves.

It was 41*F today and we had hamburgers on the grill, they tasted like sunshine!

Spooling up for Spring

The last week has had temperatures well down below -15 degrees, so It has been too cold to do anything outside. I promised Farmgirl from Critter Farm that once it warmed up a little that I would sit on the goat spool for her.

The snow was way too deep to get in to the spool from the gate!

We tried opening the pasture door from inside the barn but the bottom was frozen with several inches of ice blocking it tight.

That left only one option, through the goat door we all went!

Gidget wasn’t too sure what we were up to but didn’t want to get left out.


The Commander had to break a trail several times before Sara and Becka Boo would even attempt to plow through the deep snow to get to the spool.


We ended up with a one way traffic jam, no room to go forward or to be able to turn around and go back. One step off the path meant instant floundering in knee deep (for humans) or over their head deep (for goats and dogs) snow!

The Commander shoveled off half the spool so you could see how much snow was compacted on it. I’m not short and it was knee high to me!

Sitting on the snow was odd because it was very solid, very little give.

The snow on the spool was taller than Gidget!

“What is that sound behind me, is it a Yeti?”

The rest of the goats decided it was safer to stay on the ice trails then to go back wading into the snow. “We will wait for Spring before playing on the spool thank you.”

“Unless you want to dig out the balance beam of course….”

Moving Day!


The snow melted yesterday and it gave us just enough time to get the Goat shed ready to be moved into. We finished stringing the chicken wire along the cattle panels to prevent any unwanted escapes, the rest of the painting will have to wait. Here is Becca (who finally arrived yesterday) posing on a rock behind the shed.


Chip and Addison enjoying a snack in the pasture area that is on the other side of the garden from the shed. A run allows the goats to access this area.

Addison, Chip, and Becca exiting their goat door and running to see if I have any treats for them.