August 09, 2013

#R.I.P. Queen and The Old Brown Goat

One has to occasionally ponder if an animal lover, who preaches about the treatment of animals, really knows what it means to care for an animal.  Most animal lovers cry over cats and dogs, yet, not many give into consideration of all the other animals and what is put into the care and love one one, especially livestock.  Anyone can become attached to their domesticated cat and/or dog but if they ever had to care for the needs of livestock they may learn a new appreciation.

First off, let me start at the beginning with the story of The Girl Dog.  We never named the girl dog because she is mostly feral, born on the land before either Barry or I was here, she just came with the territory.  Others had tried to get rid of her but since the girl dog is so good at surviving, it has been impossible.  The Girl Dog has had many litter of puppies, the lucky ones were adopted, the unlucky pups, those that nobody could find where The Girl Dog hid them, had to eventually be put down since they became violent and killed livestock.

Last fall The Girl Dog had five pups, one very small one disappeared, probably did not survive, two others, while they were still young, were adopted but the last two that nobody could get near enough had to be shot after killing a pig.  The Girl Dog was shot as well at that time, although the bullet just skimmed her and she survived.  Sometimes because of this we will call her The Ghost Dog, it is not the first time she has bee shot at.  Barry wanted to keep her around since The Girl dog was so good at keeping the coyotes away, this time though she has to be put down.

This past spring The Girl Dog had, what we thought, was three puppies.  At four weeks out we found a home for two of them but before we could get a hold of the third pup, The girl dog hid her.  After not seeing or hearing a sign of the third pup, we assumed that it died in the woods, maybe the pup had gotten snake bit or attacked by a coyote, that is until over the weekend.

Now, let me talk about Buddy, our Great Dane who was by my side at all times from the day we adopted him a few months ago.  Every morning when I went out to do my chores, Buddy was waiting on the porch for me, after playing with Buddy's ears, sing some goofy songs to him while tying my shoes.  Buddy  would then proceed to follow me down to the chicken house and wait while I finished my chores.  Taking Buddy for granted, like the famous phrase goes "all things happen for a reason."  When I was feeling sad Buddy would bound up to me and dance around to try to make me feel better, thinking about that now is one of the reasons I miss him so much now.

About two weeks ago, Barry and I were arguing as to whether it was safe for me to rid the four wheeler or not that was given to us for use of our chores on the farm.  After winning the argument, about an hour later Barry walked in to tell me he had some bad news, the first thought that popped into my head was that the Sheriff said I could not drive the four wheeler, but what Barry actually said was, "Buddy is dead."  Such a shock, just five minutes ago he was on the porch barking at the neighbor, the way he did every night when the neighbor came to feed his cows.  The neighbor had actually, said it was an accident, ran over Buddy when pulling in and Buddy died instantly.   We think the guy did it on purpose because of his dislike for dogs, God forbid that one of our dogs annoys him while protecting us, whenever the neighbor pulls in at night.  Animals have a sense of people, so what did the neighbor really expect...a big sloppy kiss?

R.I.P. The Old Brown Goat
The reason for that brief bit on Buddy was what happened this past week and another reason why we took Buddy for granted.  Sunday morning when I arrived down at the chicken house to bottle feed the baby goats, Barry said, "I have some bad news."  Again, inside my head came a completely different picture.  One of our goats, Queen, was due to kid.  Being older we knew the risks of complications, not long ago one of the goats, Philadelphia, that Barry had for as long as Queen died right after giving birth.  Going into the chicken house and looking for Queen, that is when I noticed the Old Brown Goat laying dead with a big chunk taken out of her backside.  The Old Brown Goat was the oldest of all the other goats, thirteen and still kidding.  Had beautiful babies and such a sweet thing.  I asked Barry what happened, he said when he pulled up to the chicken house there were three dogs sitting outside, one looked just like The Girl Dog's puppy that went missing about two months ago.  Barry said they also attacked another goat, W3, left marks on her ears and face.

Maybe it was because The Old Brown goat was so old, also, it could have been because I did not see the incident and by the time Barry and I had arrived to the chicken house, The Old Brown Goat was already deceased, it made my heart ache watching her daughter say her goodbyes as we loaded the Old Brown Goat into the back of the truck to dispose of her body.  The Old Brown Goat's daughter did not cry for her for a feeding like the time The Old Brown Goat wandered off for a night.  Maybe The Old Brown Goat's daughter she knew her mother was not far off that time but this time she knew since she did see her mother killed.
R.I.P. Queen

It's strange how the thought of Queen that Sunday came into my head because of the next real heartbreak.  Barry and I were trying to figure out how we could get rid of the wild dogs, especially since earlier that morning running outside after hearing a commotion coming from Peggy Sue, our little squirrel dog only to discover, not three but four four month old puppies trying to get to the chickens inside the chicken coop outside our house.  This meant that the girl dog did not have just three pups in the last litter, she actually had SIX!  The four that were left were feral and very dangerous.  Deciding that mixing rat poison in with some food, later that evening, after dinner, I locked Gus, our boxer as well as the father to the pups, and Peggy Sue in the dog pen, Peggy Sue got out since she is so small so deciding it would be best to lock her up in one of the other rooms elsewhere.

Less than an hour later, a thunderstorm came in and The Neighbor called to tell Barry that those dogs were in the chicken house with the goats.  Barry ran down there and as he was pulling out I heard three gunshots.  Knowing that there were four pups, the three gunshots meant that not all of the pups had been shot.  Being correct, only two of the puppies had gotten shot while drinking water from the surge bucket.  Right after the neighbor got the puppies off of a goat, the puppies were thirsty from their activity and went to drink some water, that is when the neighbor was able to shoot two, the other two took off.


Barry came back to tell me that the puppies attacked Queen, that she was bleeding from the throat and wanted to know if there any way that I could stop it.  Telling Barry that it might be too late, I grabbed some cloth, thread and needle.  When we got down to the chicken house, Queen was laying on the ground making a kind of gurgling scream, the blood was going into her throat, the puppies had bitten through her jugular vein, Queen was slowly suffocating and bleeding to death.  It did not look like her, those seven stages of grief went through me so quickly:

- Shock or Disbelief - This is not happening to Queen, she is a fighter, it doesn't even look like her
- Denial - Maybe she will make it
- Anger -  I wanted to run into the woods, find those other two pups and hurt them right at that moment
- Bargaining - Please God, don't let it be as bad as it looks
- Guilt -  When the rain started we should have just sat and watched to see if those puppies would come back
- Depression - We cried
- Acceptance and Hope - Maybe she will make it if I just put this cloth around her neck to stop the bleeding, Queen may have to breath through a hole in her throat but she will be okay.

There was nothing we could do but sit by her, hug her and say our goodbyes.

Goats are, in a way, are very much like a faithful cat or dog, only difference, they are not violent towards people, each other, but generally not people.  As we sat there Queen kept screaming and putting her head against my chest than in my lap.  I wanted to stay with her until the end but Barry couldn't stand to watch, said we had to let her just go on her own, he did not have the heart to cut her throat even though I begged him to let her stop suffering.  At one point I thought maybe if I put pressure where the dogs cut her jugular vein, it would stop the bleeding, it only made Queen unable to breath even more so.  Those puppies had also injured another goat that night, we haven't named her, leaving a large gash on the side of her face and shredding her ear.  This goat is going to have a scar on her face and a shredded looking ear for the rest of her life.

Afterwards, using an entire can of cat food, some chicken bones and rat poison was mixed together, we than locked up Peggy Sue and Gus and left the mixture at the edge of the woods.  There is a twinge of guilt at how the puppies had to be killed but what else is there to do.  In this area there is no animal control, even if there was they are not going to sit in the woods, risk getting attacked by a coyote or some other wild animal to try and trap a couple of wild dogs that will be put to sleep, anyways, animal control would have probably told us to take care of it ourselves.  Even though there is love for the domesticated dogs, even when Gus is helping with getting a pig back in a pen he can also be violent.  Just yesterday while chasing a pig out of where the goats are, Gus grabbed it's ear and did not let go until he bit it off.  Always wondering what he did with a pigs tail or ear whenever Gus bit it off, I than saw him proceed to eat it.  For the rest of the day there was a bit of disgust towards Gus.

May 11, 2013

#MotherHen with her baby chicks - Full video


Yesterday it cleared up, so while out grocery shopping I was able to pull up the tarp and record the mother hen with her baby chickens.  Barry was afraid that she would not get off of her nest to feed them, said we may have to remove the chicks, something told me otherwise.  Deciding to put the dish in the nest, if you watch the end of the second video, you will see something neat that she does with the dish.




Two days before the chicks hatched Barry had me go and take a few eggs out and we opened them to see if they were fertile.  The first two were not but the third was, two days later, every one of the last six eggs hatched.  After replacing the rest of the eggs that we did not open, she pulled the eggs under her using her beak and wings.  This hen is one of those perfect hens, she cleaned up the nest so no ants got in and killed them, and as you can see in the beginning of the video, the hen will bite if you put your hand in the nest.


In the first video watch how she listens as we leave before calling her chicks out, it is so adorable, this happens four minutes into the video.  Next in the second video, towards the end, watch what the hen does with the feed dish.


Watch at four minutes how she calls her baby chicks out


Here towards the end you have to see what she does with the feed dish

May 10, 2013

#BabyChicken.Video - Mother Hen with her new babies

Three weeks ago Barry and I had to remove this hen from the big chicken house and place her in a coop by herself.  She is one of those hens that has sitting in her blood, which is no good with other chickens that you want for laying eggs for consumption only.  The reason for this is because, one: it makes the yolks bloody when a chicken sits on an egg, two: one sitting hen will cause all the other surrounding hens to also sit.


Wanting to record the chickens while doing my morning chores was not an option today since it's raining.  Also, I placed a tarp over the coop for the day to make sure they stay dry, so hopefully tomorrow if it is clear enough, although, it is suppose to still be raining all day tomorrow, the plan is to record them on the next clearest day to see how the activity is doing.


Here is a short twenty second clip of them yesterday immediately upon hatching.  The mother is not to happy with me going in there and messing with the chicks.  Earlier this morning while seeing if they where okay and holding the hen at the same time, she pooped on me...ewww!  At least she got to have a bowl movement in the meantime anyways.


May 07, 2013

#Goat.video - Goats on the Farm

A video of a few of the goats on the farm, just a handful of the fifty plus that are here. The brown goat we sometimes call ET because, well, she kind of looks like ET. Mostly we call her the old brown goat, she is quite old and is blind in one eye. ET was not eating with the other goats, upon realization that she was getting to skinny I began feeding her separately. Now ET is my best friend, she loves me to death as you will see in the video, ET beats up any other goats that try to come near me out of envy. The white goat with the sleepy eyes is queen, she if very lovable but also is somewhat of a bitch when it comes to her feed. Than the little goat is one we bottle fed, his mama died shortly after giving birth. He is people friendly because of the bottle feeding. I might name him Mr. Billy, not sure though if anybody has a better name than that, please comment. Mr. Billy is always trying to eat my clothes, probably because they smell like chicken and goat feed all the time. The little pygmy is Aggy, she hates being brought to the milk stand but once there, eating her feed she is no problem to milk. Than there is trouble, she was named because she is always getting into something. Trouble follows Barry all over the place, one day I'll record Trouble following Barry around when he is cutting the grass.

Anyways, here is the video:

May 06, 2013

Mama sow giving birth to piglets on farm

Mother Sow Giving Birth to Piglets
Today, finally, the opportunity to watch and record one of the sows giving birth arose.  Although Barry and I were busy trying to get a pen ready for the new mother, I was unable to record this last piglet being born from the beginning.

Although, this video is pretty cool, you can see the navel cord still attached in the video.  Hopefully the next video will be of one in the act of giving birth to her piglets.  Watch the video here:


April 25, 2013

Transfer Truck Spills Corn - Hallaluah it's raining corn!

At about 10:00pm last night, while transferring five tons of corn a truck tipped over about 5 tons of loose corn while turning a corner, in Pickens County Alabama. The truck did not actually tip over, just the trailer tipped over and the corn spilled out into the road. At a few minutes before 11:00pm a Deputy from the Pickens County Sheriff's Department called Barry to let him know and that if he were able to make it, he better get out there and get what he could. Barry and another gentleman went to load as much corn as they could into their, trucks, barrels and trailers. This morning they went back to rack up whatever was left, it is like money falling from an airplane, people from all over Pickens County were out there shoveling as much corn into their trucks as they could before it was cleaned up. When the State finally came, whatever was left lying in the road, the State loaded into the trucks, the rest was shipped off to where ever they ship items like that after an accident.

This does sound pretty hysterical, but a ton of corn is worth quite a bit of money, I think Barry said about $300 a ton. Barry said one man was shoveling corn in the back of his SUV, oh where is my camera when things like this happen so that it could be posted to my blog. Something like this is a God send, since the corn will now supply the pigs for quite some time now.

Anyways since there is no video, pictures or news items on last nights incidents, here is a video of a few of the dogs on our farm. Gus, a boxer, Peggy sue the little squirrel dog and Buddy, a new addition to the family a lovable great Dane. Although, one problem with Buddy is that he is to aggressive towards the other animals whenever he gets jealous. Gus is afraid of him. If anybody has any suggestions on what we can do to stop Buddy from charging the Goats and Pigs or beating up Gus, please let us know. Buddy has been transfered around to much, is a great people dog, loves me like crazy and we do not want to tote him off like so many others have. Here is the video I took last week of there funny faces:

March 27, 2013

#VIDEO Live Guniea Fowl

Guinea Fowl
It seemed cool to video tape these fowl that are now running loose around the farm.  For about a year they were penned up, there were about eight of them, Barry let four loose, only to have mysteriously disappeared.  The last four Barry waited almost a year before letting them out, they were afraid to come out.  He left the opened the door but they just stayed in the coop, next he propped the coop door open with a stick, it took two days before the Gunieas came out. Now the Guineas, most of the time, stay near the area of the coop area.  Unless you try to record them, than they will run off a little ways.

As the warm weather progresses, these ugly birds are probably going to reproduce to the point that we will have to shoot them.  I'm not sure what they are for, except to look at.  One idea I had was to eat them, since they eat the same things chickens eat, grass, bugs and feed.

Anyways, here is my home video of them, wish it could have been a closer shot but they would not let me get to near as you can see.

March 24, 2013

#HomeAtLast

Home, at last, Barry and I returned this past Thursday evening. Now that Internet is setup and I am settled in, once again blogging is an option.  Once everything is settled and my computer is up to par my plans are to get back into working on the Digital Business Cards.  Figuring the low price of purchasing a domain for $10 a year and using Google Apps for $5.00 a month is worth the effort in getting back into the Digital Business Card business.


Friday morning Excede came to install my Satellite Internet connection, expensive.  The install date was originally on Wednesday but when the technician came and said it was going to be $120, it had to be canceled.  That was quite upsetting, all the while in an agitated state, so I contacted Excede after the technician left to cancel the service.  Because they did not want to lose me as a customer they asked if a $49.99 credit was satisfactory, it was.  Friday when the technician returned, he told us that it would cost only $70.00.

Exede Satellite Internet Service via DishNetworkAfter he setup the Internet he asked me if they mentioned the 10 gig cap, which they did not.  Saying though that from 12:00pm to 5:00pm was free time, that calmed me down a little, it's not showing that any data has been downloaded as of yet, so maybe the cap really means, do not be greedy and stupid. 

Basically, living way out in the middle of nowhere, until more companies are able to provide more cost efficient Internet and television services, the satellite companies are going to suck everything out of the consumers in those boondocks areas.  $60.00 a month for 10gb of data is quite steep, so for you X-box users that are living way out, this is not the way to go, unless you are one of those night time gamers.

February 21, 2013

#MakingCheese #GoatsHavingBabies



homemade chevre cheesecake


Recently, I've learned to make cheese, using goats milk.  So far, chevre, mozzarella and ricotta cheese is what I have made.  From the Chevre cheese came my cheese cake, the picture is my third cake, a classic cherry cheese cake. This cake, was the best by far, was so delicious. Pressing the graham crackers on the bottom of the pan and cherries on top.  Unknowingly, using the suggestion of one recipe, see below, the cake never fell the way cheese cakes do. Also, every chevre cheese cake recipe on the internet, that I came across, called for six eggs seperated, geeze. Thinking, why can't the recipe be made like the simple classic cheese cake?

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

  • 1package graham crackers crumbled 
  • ½ cup butter melted (1 stick)
  •  6 tsp sugar 
Blend ingrediants, press on bottom of springform pan and bake for 10 minutes.
FILLING 
  • 16 oz of  chevre cheese 
  •  1 tsp sea salt or cheese salt if using you own chevre cheese
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •  3 eggs


Beat cheese until creamy, add sugar and vanilla, beat together, add one egg at a time.

Bake cake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, turn oven down to 250 degrees for 35-40 minutes.


Since coming to Alabama, unable to find frozen ravoli in the freezer section at the supermarkets, not even Walmart, I decided to use the fresh ricotta cheese created with the whey left over from making mozerrella and chevre cheese. They are awfully pretty aren't they?  Tonight will be the taste test, using my goat milk mozzarella cheese to cover the top.

Since my previous post, back in September, there has been so many changes.  Learning and helping to raise chickens, goats and hogs has been interesting.  The simple, quite farm life has been refreshing, although my life did take a turn in events quite quickly, which I'll mention shortly.


mama goat giving birth


Around the week of Thanksgiving, the female goats starting having babies.  The weekend following Thanksgiving, all at once, one goat was cleaning off her newborn baby, another one was in labor, while a third had a baby hanging from her vaginal opening.  Being the first time seeing a mother goat cleaning up the after birth, blood and sack from the baby made me gag (they eat it).


mama goat cleaning her baby


mama goat cleaning her baby
A few weeks later, the Sheriff asked me to come over to his bed ridden mother's house, she needed to be washed and sheets changed twice a week.  It didn't seem so bad, easy enough, although the Sheriff's mother is overweight.  Not long after, the Sheriff called us one Saturday night at eleven, they needed somebody to sit with his mother while his father was being examined for chest pains, Barry and I have been here for three months now.

The Sheriff's mother needed round the clock care, having, life long, mental issues made the task more trying.  After two weeks Barry woke me, I swas moaning in my sleep constantly.  One night, as clear as day, I thought the Sheriff's mother called me.  Getting up to see what she needed, she just said, "you must have been dreaming dear".

The Sheriff's father needed open heart surgery, because of his mother's condition.  The Sheriff"s family tried keeping his father in the hospital, money ran out so they were able to keep his father until he was able to at least walk around a bit.  After being home for a few weeks, the Sheriff's mother became to difficult, she is now in a nursing home getting the appropriate care.

Over the following weeks, two goats had babies, one mama goat is sick, she had these three. The second won't nurse, although she did clean the baby after giving birth. The mama in the picture above adopted the baby that was neglected, just after her water broke. Something like this is a rarity. Most mama goats will have nothing to do with a baby that isn't her own.

Barry has been bottle feeding the four as you can see below.


negleted by his mother
Barry bottle feeding baby ( no it's not soda)

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