Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sad Morning for the Quail

We woke up this morning to the little quail passed away in his box. It was a sad morning. I hope that his life was happy with us while it lasted. We took care of him the best we could.

We'll bury him in the garden under the grapes this morning.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Baby Bird-update

The baby bird made it through the night. Prion (daughter #3) looked at it and said, "I wonder if it is a quail?"

Sure enough, we looked through some pictures on the internet and it is a quail!

We didn't have a lid on the box last night so this morning it was nowhere to be found. Vet2Be did end up finding it downstairs by the furnace. It was a bit chilled but as soon as he put it in the box under the light it perked up and is now doing fine.

I put a screen over the top of the box to keep it inside the box where it is a bit safer!

You can see the screen over the top and the clips that are holding it onto the box. It should be safe like this.

We don't have anymore turkey starter, so Vet2Be brought in some turkey grower. It has more protein in it than the poultry grower. The turkey grower is pelleted so he ground it up into a course powder for the quail to eat. I put in a 2-liter soda bottle lid for the water. I couldn't think of anything else to use that was low enough for it to drink out of without jumping into it.

I also took out the shredded paper so we could put the feed on the bottom of the box. I was concerned that the little quail might not be able to see the feed through the paper.

You can see the scratch (feed) on the bottom of the box and the bottle cap that it is using for a water dish. I think the shoe box will be roomy for quite some time!

It is a loud little thing! And it is fast! Prion held it for a moment, but then decided to put it back since it is so quick!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Baby Bird

Our neighbor just called. They weren't sure who to call, but Vet2Be's name came to mind first, so that is who they decided to call!

They found a baby bird in their window well. We don't do much with wild birds, but this one looks so much like a Banty Ameraucauna that we decided to try to help it through the night. If you look at the photo to the right (in the sidebar) you will see some real Ameraucauna chicks. These neighbors are some of the nicest people we know. We would probably help anyone, but it is especially nice to help folks like them.

See how small it is? It is so cute!

It looks like it hatched out today by the way it moves and acts.

I dipped it's beak in water and it drank a bit. It was chirping an 'alive' chirp, too. When we have tried to save other poultry like the turkey poults or chicks, they have a dry kind of forced chirp. I'll put a lamp on it to keep it warm through the night. We'll see how it does.

Most of the time we will leave baby birds for their parents to take care of. Often they are fledglings (you can tell because they can sit on your finger) and they are just starting their first flights.

Once in a while they are hatchlings like this and they don't make it. We don't know the specific nutritional needs of each breed of wild birds, so it is almost impossible to give them the diet they need to survive.

If it is a hatchling, and for some odd reason a banty chicken, then it may make it. It will do fine for a while without food since it's yolk sack was just absorbed. At this point it needs water and heat--if it is a chick!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Spinning Wheels

I've been teaching a neighbor and her cousin how to spin the last two weeks. Originally the neighbor's mom asked how much I would charge to teach someone to spin. Ummm.... I don't charge! There are some things that I do just because I enjoy them. I won't charge to teach them because I don't want to turn a fun hobby into a business. I just want to enjoy it and I want the other person to ejoy it, too.

I started with the drop spindle because that is the way I learned. I think it is much easier to draft and let the twist travel up while you are holding the spindle still. Then spin the drop spindle a bit to twist the yarn, hold it still, and let the twist travel up the draft. Once you get the hang of how the drafting feels when using a drop spindle, it is much easier to move to the spinning wheel.

My drop spindles are all home-made, not hand crafted. You can see the dowel going through a circular wooden stand I bought at Wal*Mart. Hubby drilled a hole in the center of the stand and I sharpened the bottom of the dowel with a knife.

At the top of the dowel I drilled a small pilot hole and then screwed in a small cup hook. I sanded everything smooth, but I did not do a fantastic job of it. I just got most of the rough edges off. Since I used these drop spindles when I teach in elementary schools, I also penciled an arrow (not in the picture) to show which direction to spin the spindle.

Since I haven't taught spinning in a long time, I had to review the beginning techniques for spinning. I found this great YouTube video. Spinning 101 on Knitting Daily TV Episode 213. She goes through the basics in the video and even uses an Ashford Saxony wheel.

The hardest thing to get used to on the spinning wheel is keeping the wheel going at a smooth, steady pace and drafting the fiber at the same time. It takes a bit of coordination until you get the hang of it.

My wheel is an Ashford Traveler and I love it. It has the double drive assembly, but I usually use the scotch tension because it is easier to adjust. Maybe one day I will upgrade to a double treadle spinning wheel (maybe a Schacht). I haven't had any problems with mine so I'm not ready to 'fix what ain't broke". My Traveler is about 17 or 18 years old and has spun lots of yarn without any trouble.

This is my wheel, an Ashford Traveller.

The flyer assembly. Many years ago the original string broke. I replaced it with Lily Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn. Works like a charm! Someone told me I should rub the yarn with beeswax so it would have more grip. I haven't, but I suppose that if it slipped alot I would give that a try.

Usually the spring and summer time is filled with outdoor activities like weeding and gardening. But this spring has blessed us with so much rain that I've been back indoors enjoying knitting, spinning, reading, and playing guitar.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I made another batch of yogurt using the same starter. I read that if I added powdered milk that the yogurt would turn out thicker and more like store-bought yogurt.

It did! I added 1 1/2 cups powdered milk to 1/2 gallon of milk as the milk was heating. Then I added the starter. It didn't turn out as thick as I would like it to, so the next time I try it I will add 2 cups of powdered milk (about 1 cup powdered milk for each quart of goat milk).

Mmmm..... it is delicious!

The next thing I'll try when I make yogurt is to add some Morning Moos instead of powdered milk. We have lots of cans of Morning Moos in storage since it tastes much better than powdered milk. Now that we have goats we probably won't need it and it would be a good idea to use some of it up

Friday, June 12, 2009

More Blessings!

Not only is Glacier doing better, Buddy is too. Last night he was up and eating again. Vet2Be used to put a pile of hay in front of him so he could eat without going anywhere. Clover, Buddy's mom, would come over and nurse him, too. Yes, he would just lie there and eat. He would move during the day, we could go out in the middle of the day and find him lying somewhere else, and another place at night. But we didn't see him standing much, and hardly ever saw him stand to eat.

Last night a doe came near by Buddy, he lost his balance and fell over. But he got right back up. That happened a number of times last night while we were doing chores. This morning it was the same. He was up and moving again!

Buddy and Glacier have caused lots of concern and worry this year, but they seem to both be on the mend. An answer to prayer as well as lots of hard work.

Pray like it all depends on God, then when you are done,
go work like it all depends on you. ~
Martin Luther

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I hope it isn't premature, but Glacier, the doe with mastitis, seems to be much better this evening! We've been praying, we've been treating her with medications (Today was the last medication we used), and we've been milking her twice a day to get the 'gunk' out.

Tonight when I milked her there were only a few spots of blood and one clump of milk! Her milk was tinted only the faintest pink. That is a big improvement over last night and the last week.

Her milk is all going to the ducks and chickens because we can't drink it right now. It seems to be doing wonderful things for all the poultry. Even the 9 year old Ameraucana has been laying 3 extra-large eggs every week. The other day I dropped one of the chicken eggs onto the ground, it didn't even crack. I guess they are getting enough calcium and protein from the 1.5 gallons of milk they are drinking every day.

This is Glacier. She is an American Saanen. When she was a kid she suffered from frostbite on her ears, so they are short. She is a good goat, giving about 6 pounds (3/4 gallon) of milk at each milking—even with mastitis!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Canoe Trip

Vet2Be went on a canoe trip with the Boy Scouts last week. He had a good time. He loves his especially loves his leaders. Any adult who is willing to leave home to spend 5 days canoeing down a river with 6 boys has my appreciation, too!

The canoes they traveled down the Green River in.

Vet2Be wearing Dad's hat for the trip. He didn't come home with it. It was lost on the rapids! That was the only thing that was lost on the whole trip!

The boys that went on the trip. Vet2Be is the oldest of the group.

One of the Rock Paintings they saw. That is one thing I would love to go see! It is on my 'bucket' list!

One of the views they had of the Green River.
The scenery was impressive!

Nothing about farming today, but I thought I would post some pictures of the trip last week. I hope you enjoy them!

Monday, June 8, 2009


I tried to make 30 Minute Mozzarella today. It didn't turn out. It is more like cottage cheese so I'll use it in Lasagna tomorrow. The milk I used was from the Saanens, which means it has less butterfat in it than the Nubian milk. Mozzarella needs more butterfat in it to make it stretch well. Goat milk is harder to get good Mozzarella from anyway, it generally needs more Citric Acid in it. When I use the 30 Minute recipe, I always add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid for each gallon of milk.

Oh well! Lasagna is good, too!

Friday, June 5, 2009

More Treatments

This morning I decided to treat Glacier with "Today", an intra-mammary infusion to kill mastitis-causing organisms. Since she didn't get better with the Penicillin or the Albon, we need to try a different drug. Last night there were so many clumps in her milk that I could hardly believe it. It is odd because the teat that is infected is giving the most milk, almost twice as much as the other teat. Her milk production hasn't decreased, either. She is still giving 5.5-6 lbs at each milking (about 3/4 gallon). She has no fever, is eating well and doesn't seem to be affected by it. Her milk all gets fed to the chickens and the ducks since we can't drink it.

The chickens and the ducks are doing very well on the milk. I dropped a chicken egg the other day and it didn't even crack on the hard ground. The 9 year old Ameraucana is also laying again.

I found a clutch of duck eggs this morning, too. I think there are at least a dozen in the nest. One of the ducks is sitting on them. I'll leave everything alone and see if she can hatch some out. I'm sure we can find homes for them without trouble. People seem to love the ducks.

I gave one of our neighbors (with 7 children) 2 dozen duck eggs a few days ago. The are a wonderful family and the children are so much fun to be around. They stopped by yesterday and told me that, "Duck eggs are 5000 times better than chicken eggs!" They are so happy that they bought ducklings this year and can't wait until they start laying in a few months.

Since Glacier still has mastitis, Buddy is still not moving much, and Clover is acting 'weird' I decided to give worm those three with Ivomec Plus at 1 cc/ 100 pounds. I gave Clover and Glacier 2 cc each and Buddy got .5 cc, all SQ. In ten days I'll do it all again. I found a paper written by Jim Miller at Louisianna State University on parasites and treatment. Vet2Be'assignment will be to read the paper when he comes home from his canoe trip. It has extra-label dosages and milk withdrawl times for a number of different wormers as well as other information on worming and identifying worms.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Benefits of milking :o)

One of the benefits of milking 4 goats by hand morning and night is that my fingers and hands are getting much stronger! That may not be impressive for most people, but since my first choice in hobbies is playing and teaching guitar, it has been wonderful! I was practicing a piece by Fernando Sor last night and the notes were much stronger than the last time I played! To me, that is a wonderful benefit!

No stall cleaning today, instead I weeded the onions and the garlic. We didn't add any manure to the garden last winter. Vet2Be and I put it all in the dry lot area in front of the barn hoping that we could improve the soil enough to plant pasture grass. The soil around here has alot of clay in it. The garden seems to have the most clay on the whole property! This winter all the manure and straw from the stalls will be in the garden again, it really needs it. We've been adding to the garden for most of the 14 years we have lived here and it has made a big difference in the quality of the soil, t's just time to add more.

The garden is growing well. The peas haven't died in the heat... yet. Hopefully we will get a few before the days reach 90+ degrees.

There is so much cheat grass growing right now. We haven't been able to keep it under control. Hubby is going to mow it tomorrow with a bagger on and put all the seeds into the garbage. The lambs have seeds stuck in their fleece and some seeds have worked their way down near their skin. I'm sure it isn't very comfortable.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Long day

What a long day! Vet2Be left on a canoe trip with the scouts in our local troop. They will be gone until Friday. That left me with all the chores this morning!

After milking, cleaning up after ducklings, chicks, and turkey poults, feeding and watering all the animals, I cleaned one of the three stalls. That took until about lunch time. In the afternoon I homeschooled 2 neighbor children whose mom is away for a few weeks. They are nice boys. We learned about Gutenburg and how he developed the printing press. After that we studied about the weapons and armor of the Middle Ages. They are doing math and music at home before they get here.

Meredith and her daughter came to pick up Ginger's two doelings. They were very happy with the way they looked and how sweet they are. They loaded them into the back of the truck and headed back home. They paid $75 each for the doelings. That helped a bit with the vet bills from this spring.

Then I headed north to pick up some "Service Memos" for the buckling we sold last week. My good friend (who is a great guide when it comes to goat paperwork!) helped me fill out the Service Memos as well as the registration papers for the bucklings. Then she signed the paperwork for the buck over to Vet2Be. She gave him the buck we have been leasing for his birthday. That will be a nice surprise when he comes home.

Then I came home and milked. Hubby helped take care of the other animals which was wonderful! We had high hopes for Glacier's mastitis getting cleared up with the Albon. Unfortunately there were clumps in her milk again tonight. Needless to say, I am at a loss. I don't know what to do next.