Goat Frolic

Farm Club members came yesterday to help with lamb vaccination. We weighed and vaccinated and evaluated all 75 lambs but I didn’t take any photos while we were working.

The next chore was to work with the goat kids and Amaryllis. Amaryllis is off the pasture and in a smaller pen to keep her away from the green grass to prevent another bout of laminitis. She also needs to lose weight and she should get some exercise every day. The goats need to practice manners and leading when asked.

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FarmDay-04-28-4                  Goat paparazzi.FarmDay-04-28-6

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FarmDay-04-28-11                I’m not sure that I’d call this mannerly but everyone had fun.

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Thanks Farm Club!

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Meet the Sheep

Meet the Sheep is our spring event when we invite the public to see sheep and watch fiber activities. I haven’t kept track of how long we have been doing this but I have pictures from 2009 and I think we’ve been at it longer than that. Meet the Sheep comes off smoothly now with Farm Club members handling all of the outside activities. I spend most of the time in the shop but I get out occasionally to take some photos.

IMG_6237             Farm Cub members are invited to be vendors. This is Jackie with Sheep to Shop.DSC_9492                       These are some of her handspun, handknit pillows.IMG_6241                   Colleen has Fiber Confections.DSC_9488                      She usually sells at the Davis Farmers’ Market.IMG_6242                   Gynna makes socks.DSC_9479                       Here are some of her socks knit from my Anderson Ranch yarn and Timm/Jacob yarn.DSC_9471                 Joy sells dye plants…DSC_9454          …ready to use for dyeing and ready to grow. Her butterfly is made from a Zoom Loom square.

Farm Club members also demonstrated fiber activities. Alison and Doris were processing fiber, Laura was weaving on the inkle loom, and Lisa wove a tapestry on the Lilli loom.

DSC_9397                Of course, it’s all about the animals, especially the lambs.IMG_6230          Betsy, Mary, Sue, and Marina helped children pet lambs.DSC_9520              My little goats were an added attraction this year since Julie, who usually brings goats and bunnies, couldn’t be here.  DSC_9405                 This fence helped keep the kids in one place. Moms could relax temporarily.DSC_9417                  I saved the small field behind the shop so that the sheep would be enticed to come to fresh pasture for the weekend.

An new activity was Running Through Puddles. This activity is not offered every year, but the children enjoyed it this time.

Goats

Amaryllis is our donkey and has chronic laminitis (see this story). Because of that she can’t go out on the pasture or even in the back corral while the grass is green back there. She is in her own pen with a wether as a buddy. That is a poor substitute for another equine  and the sheep isn’t too thrilled with the plan either. I thought long and hard about getting Amaryllis a friend. It doesn’t make sense for us to have another donkey or a mini-horse or any other equine–from the standpoint of space and cost of upkeep. When Stephany was still alive she was Amaryllis’ best friend. Stephany was a goat.DSCN3466-1             The last time there were goats here they were Chris’ Toggenburgs that he raised for his FFA project. Stephany was the last goat from that era.

1997-11 K & Chenille                                                         Before that I had owned one goat. This is an Angora goat named Chenille in a photo from 1997. Katie was 9 then.

I contacted someone I knew who might have goats for sale and went to her place when she had some ready to go.IMG_5778                 These are two of a set of quads. One was the smallest of the batch and the other was having some trouble drinking from the LambBar bucket with all the others.IMG_5781                  I am not planning to show goats and I am bottle-feeding so those points didn’t matter…IMG_5782                    …and I brought these babies home.IMG_5798                      Oops. A third goat came along–mainly because my friend didn’t plan to raise him and I figured that I could find a home for him eventually.IMG_5803                   Te goats are popular with Farm Club friends.IMG_5807

IMG_5907                                                That’s Ellie on the left and Amelia on the right.IMG_E5940-2                 Their temporary buddy, Kevin, is in the middle. He’s going to a new home tomorrow. Thank goodness. IMG_E5948                      It’s sure easier to feed two than three.

IMG_6028                       I have been keeping the kids in the barn  but the weather has turned nice and I wanted to introduce them to Amaryllis. She was definitely interested.IMG_6029                   I hope that they will become her new BFFs. Here is Rusty’s version of getting goats.

More from the State Fair

The State Fair seem so long ago now, but it was only last weekend. I wrote a post about our sheep exhibit and our wins. But I also wanted to share some of my other favorites before I move on to my next adventure (coming up this week!!).

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I didn’t venture far from the barn this year because it was so busy. However I always like to see The Farm. Here was one unique flower display.

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This sign explains what many people who live in other parts of the country don’t realize about most of California.

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Here is a further illustration of why much of California would be considered a desert if it were not for irrigation water.

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Back in the barn, the longhorns are always a favorite.

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As my friends know I’m not a big fan of llamas or other camelids (at least not up close), but they do make good subjects for photography.

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Our neighbors to the back were some lustrous, fluffy Karakuls.

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Julie, (our favorite bunny lady from our spring Open House and sheep and goat breeder) had a display down the aisle from us. This is one aspect of her display that shows fleece from a variety of breeds. Julie won several well-deserved awards this year for her display.

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We had new neighbors across the aisle. Being Angora goat (mohair) exhibitors they were new to the Marketing Award competition, but they did a superb marketing display and won first in that category this year. We enjoyed getting to know them and teaching one of their members to spin (see the last post about the fair).

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I watched from my sheep pens while they took their goats to the show ring on Saturday morning. The method was to open the gates and hope they all followed the leaders, which mostly worked.

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Bringing a stubborn kid to the ring.

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I wish that we could show rams beyond yearlings. This aged buck was impressive.

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These photos almost make me think…

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…about having an Angora goat again…

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…but then I’d have to deal with a GOAT.

Sheep in the Sun

During the winter the sheep are mostly in the barn and corral area. The pasture doesn’t drain well and I don’t want it to be a trampled mess. I’m also waiting for there to be more growth there. It’s been dry enough the last few weeks that I opened the gate to the small paddocks near the barn. The sheep were thrilled to get out to that grass.

DSC_7922 This is Summer (the sheep, not the season). DSC_7925 This is Spring (also, not the season).DSC_7927 Here is Eliza. They are all looking a little heavy, but that is because they are due to lamb in about a month. DSC_7929 Stephanie, the old goat, is so stiff in the cold weather we’ve been having. I walked her out here to enjoy the grass.  Most of the sheep kept their heads down eating. But Kyra just wanted to play. DSC_7932 DSC_7937 DSC_7939  Happy sheep! DSC_7938I still have the new lens on the camera. It is a 40 mm lens and I wasn’t that close to the action. I’m surprised that I was able to crop the photos to this degree and still have them relatively sharp.DSC_7948

Farm Club Shenanigans

We had an unscheduled Farm Day yesterday.First order of business was chores.

Stephanie greets the Farm Club. She seems to enjoy pestering Kathy. I think she must smell Kathy’s goats. Everyone had a chance to milk a little.

We’re only milking one side because the kid is nursing from the other. This is Tina milking.

Here is Shelby. I haven’t been putting Stephanie on the stand because she is easy to milk and I’m only milking one side once per day.

We were going to start trimming feet, but got side-tracked when Rusty decided to roll in the leftovers from yesterday’s butchering. The guys that butcher clean up well, but there is always something smelly left. I think he found the rumen contents.  I had just made Rusty an appointment at the vet to remove a foxtail that he’d picked up that morning. I didn’t think that my husband or the vet would be too crazy about holding a really stinky dog. So dog-washing was in order.

We don’t get too fancy with this. A hose and some soap.

Usually I wear my rubber boots or flip-flops. We were trying to keep our feet dry but get all the soap off of Rusty.

Tina and Kathy are trying to get the dogs to pose. Rusty is back from the vet already (foxtail in right ear) and Mobi (Jackie’s dog) wants to play.

We moved on to trimming feet, putting my squeeze chute/flip table into service again.

To get more work done we also tied some of the sheep to trim feet. This is a lamb that needs to be halter broke anyway because she is one I’ve chosen to keep.

The dogs keep watch. Note the trimmed feet. I have trimmed his feet three times this year to avoid foxtails in the toes.

“Well, if you’re not going to let me work, I’ll just lie here.”

We quit trimming about noon. I forgot to take photos of the chute being used for sheep with varying horn types. I think I need some modifications to use it more effectively. Shelby offered to be a sheep. I’m not sure these are the photos I need to work on the modifications, but laughter is always a good thing.

Somehow the Farm Club is starting to remind me of the YaYa Sisterhood. We’re accepting more members!