Country Living & Penny Pinching

Getting back to "Little House on the Prairie" living

Month: January 2016

Caring for a Preemie Goat

P.O.F. What does it stand for????? Prison of Farming!!!!!!!!!

That is kind of, sort of, maybe, exactly how I felt this last week and a half. With having Bucky born two weeks early he is as slow as they get for goats. Normal kids (goat babies) start standing within hours of delivery, and can nurse off of their mom. This little dude couldn’t put any weight on his back feet for a solid 24 hours. We were holding him up to his mom to try to nurse and his mouth just wasn’t strong enough. So now we were bottle feeding him. Since the goal is to have Dam raised babies, before every bottle feeding I was trying to get him to nurse and then I’d finish him off with a bottle.

Mama kept knocking him down

Mama kept knocking him down

By day two he was standing all on his own and trying to take steps. But he was not fast enough to keep up with mom so here I was chasing the mom with her baby trying to give him a chance to latch on. Yes I could have tied her up but every time I tied her up the cats got curious and would come to see her and the baby. Which meant one mad head butting mama and that is not an ideal situation for nursing either. So chasing her around was what I did.

this was followed by me getting a whole body shock because I reached down to push him off the fence

this was followed by me getting a whole body shock because I reached down to push him off the fence

Day three he could walk!!!! But he was still not very smart. Instead of running away from the electric fence he would run into the fence and that made me even more of a prison to the farm. Any time I heard him squeak we would have to run outside to make sure he was OK. If we had to leave the property I had to lock him in a kennel to make sure that he wouldn’t get electrocuted to death. Which means he couldn’t eat and I had only a couple of hours before needing to come home.

so stinkin' cute

so stinkin’ cute

Day Four-seven he was trying to jump and scratch his ears 🙂 Oh I was one proud mama!!! Everything was starting to get better. He was just too cute.  He was also getting a better chance at nursing but getting the teat in his mouth was still a bit difficult.

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a Rubbermaid tote with a blanket draped over it and he calls it home

Day Eight he is running!!!!!! He is eating all by himself 🙂 I am no longer such a prisoner of farming!!!! 😛 Bucky is also getting better and respects the electric netting now, no more worrying every time I hear him touch it. He will go back to his little cave when he is tired and his mama and the other almost mama will lay next to him and they all cuddle.

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storing, filtering and warming the milk

Since this was not a normal delivery for Incantation her body did not get a chance to produce the milk supply we were hoping for. In order to try to increase her supply I am milking her every three to four hours. So far I do not feel like her supply has increased at all 🙁 Only time will tell and hopefully Bucky and I can get her to start producing way more milk.

Little wanted so badly to be with Bucky haha kept giving kisses and hugs

Little wanted so badly to be with Bucky haha kept giving kisses and hugs

Now I chose this life, I really did. I knew that this bottle feeding was not going to last forever (well at least I hoped haha) Honestly I am becoming such a home body up here on the mountain that I really didn’t mind not going anywhere. Also I now know that if I ever want people to come visit me, I just need to get baby goats! I had so many visitors within the first three days of his life that I felt like I was hosting an open house. Unfortunately my house wasn’t clean and I constantly smelled like milk and goat and I didn’t have any good appetizers haha but it was all fun. It’s like having a human baby 😛

The next babies are due at the end of February so mid February I will become another prisoner of farming until those babies get here and are up and healthy!

Ta-ta for now 🙂 Have a great day and have you ever become a prisoner of something?

 

First Dairy Goat Kidding (birth)

Seriously! Last Saturday, January 17th, as I was going to write a post on what a birthing kit should have in it for a dairy goat I discovered quite a few things. ***remember this was going to be my first ever goat delivery***

  1. I felt seriously unprepared for everything that could go wrong 95% of births go uneventful, 5% need assistance, I just knew we would fall into the 5% category.
  2. I have good friends who walk me through everything and assure me that everything will be OK 😀
  3. Inca (our dairy goat who is due first) had a mix up on her due date. Initially it was supposed to be February 8th. Now it was January 31st! A whole week earlier! My timeline of getting ready for these babies had just been thrown for a loop.
  4. I can do this! or at least I can continue to tell myself that ;P

****This is the most helpful series I found on goats but this section deals with what belongs in a birthing kit****

So I went to bed ready for the next day of church, a birthday party, and buying the stuff for my birthing kit. Well those plans NEVER happened! Inca was acting weird when I woke up and let her out, she head butted the dog, peed a weird consistency, didn’t really want to eat. (I was going to add the video of her peeing amniotic fluid but I figured maybe you don’t want to see that haha) So immediately I rushed to my phone took videos and pictures and sent at least a hundred messages asking my go to goat lady what was wrong. She came back with “call the previous owner and see if she knows exactly what it is.”

After a couple of minutes on the phone with her she hears the noises Inca was making and tells me that she is in labor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What?!?!?!?!??!!?!? Labor……….I was not ready for this! This was two weeks early, I had no birthing kit (remember I was planning it out the night before), no milking stand (that was the next weeks goal), no idea what to do with a preemie goat but guess what, help was on the way 😀 Both of my goat ladies were rushing over, one left church and the other got out of chores 😛 They came to my rescue and brought everything I needed except towels (I had those).

The only down side was they were over an hour away and Inca started laying down and getting up which meant she was going to start pushing. Once I knew Inca was in LABOR I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I mean seriously, the Hubby told me that I was acting like he was when we were in labor with our first baby 🙂 Thankfully the Hubby took complete control over the Littles and everything else on the farm! All I had to worry about was making sure Inca had a happy ending.

Within twenty minutes of my goat ladies arriving we discovered that this labor was brought on prematurely by a kid that had died inside and was starting to decompose 🙁 After the dead one was removed and put away we turned our focus to the lone survivor, or so we hoped. The kid needed some major assistance coming out. It was sideways and backwards not wanting to come out on its own.  Thankfully the goat ladies knew what they were doing and were able to turn it and bring it out breech.

wonderful mom cleaning off her kid

wonderful mom cleaning off her kid

Upon it entering this world we discovered the little buck (boy) was still alive! Now it was our job to make sure he survived.

I am in love <3

I am in love <3

Stay tuned for more on how we have been caring for this newbie kid (goat baby) and how I have become a P.O.F.

Any guesses as to what that stands for? 😛

2016 Homestead Management Printables

***This is a review for the 2016 Homestead Management Printables that Quinn over at Reformation Acres put together. I was not paid for this review and all of the thoughts are my own. If you just want the meat of the review scroll down until you see stars.***

For those that have been following from the beginning you know that the beginning wasn’t that long ago. October 2015 (the end to be honest) was when our blog started. Before that we only had chickens for a couple of months and a somewhat of a sad garden and now we have dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, goats, better plans for a garden and the pigs will get here in a couple of months.
With the chickens there was not much record keeping to do. They were little, had no eggs and I knew about how much feed I would need a month and I just budgeted accordingly. Now there is production flowing out our ears. Baby goats due in a month which means milk coming in, almost every chicken is laying, half the ducks are sitting on eggs, and it seems that I have been really bad about record keeping.

Now in my defense I really was trying but using a pen and lined paper was just not cutting it. I felt like things were missing, everything was getting put together when it should be separate, there was no direction to my unorganized chaos and there needed to be. That is when I stumbled upon a heaven-sent printable package over at Reformation Acres Quinn has made a full scope homesteading printables package. When I first saw it I thought it would have the basics, chickens, goats, pigs and cows. Then upon further investigation it also has gardening printables and my FAVORITE PART……..

a seed sowing calendar!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last years garden was so sad even though I tried to plan well for it. I believe that if I had these printable and sowing calendars then things would have gone a lot smoother. Knowing the exact dates of when to soak seeds and start them indoors and harden off and transplant them is such a load off of my mind that I don’t have to figure it all out I feel really confident that this year we will be a much happier garden and gardener. If you want to know about our garden adventures click over here to read about that.  Otherwise I will keep going.

****the meat of the review****

There are pages for all of the animals we have, so we are able to document expenses and production with no hassles and there are even pages that make the Hubby not too happy….there are ones for meat chickens… cows…. rabbits…. and bees….Oh those pages are just calling to me “Please start raising us so you can write down all the expenses and production” haha yes I know I am a bit crazy and I am trying really hard to just stick with what we have now and get good at it then expand but these printables are so cute and fun and I really love beef and honey…I’ve only had rabbit once out on the trail but I want to start them anyways!

 

So long story short 2016 is going to be an organized year thanks to these fun and clear printables that Quinn put together. Now I know that I am all about penny-pinching and spending money is not something I like to do but when it comes to something that will truly help the homestead out and is very reasonably priced I just can’t say no. For the time and effort that Quinn at Reformation Acres put into these printables I gladly paid the high price (just kidding) of $5.99. I would pay that price just for the seed sowing calendar that is included.

Now I know that not everyone has all the crazy amount of animals that I do, or the amount that Quinn has, but even if you are starting out with a garden or a few chickens these printables can work for you and maybe even encourage you to start adding more ways to help you get back to the basics of living.

Rain on the Homestead

It’s raining……..do I write the clothesline post………it’s raining………write about the rain instead haha

That was my mentality while writing this post. Here in sunny Southern California we have RAIN. Not a sprinkle but it is puddling and flooding all over the property :/

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I parked…stepped into the puddle…pulled my car forward more and then got the Littles out

Now the most rain I remember getting while growing up was back in high school. It rained for a week straight and all of the walkway drains got backed up and there were huge puddles across the paths and single file lines next to the buildings to try to pass in the few feet that were not inches deep with water. You always knew someone was going to be in big trouble if they got to class late because they went straight through the puddle that was at least mid calf high.

OK, I know, enough down memory lane! All of that is written to express how much I am not used to rain where we live. If and when it does rain, it is normally during May/June and its one good down pour then it sprinkles. Since we moved out to the country last year we have been introduced to hail, snow about twenty minutes away, thunder storms, rain in the summer (yes I let the Littles play in it), and now down pour after down pour. It is said (by who I am not really sure but everyone keeps saying that, I’m just kidding haha some weather person must have said it but I do not really follow the weather channel, I know what the weather is like by looking out the window haha anyways…) this year will be a crazy el nino year. Oh My Gosh! I am not ready for this much rain!

the chickens aren't ready for this much rain either. Hiding under our back covering.

the chickens aren’t ready for this much rain either. Hiding under our back covering.

Don’t get me wrong I love chai tea and sitting on the couch to read a book with a blanket and cuddling with my furry babies and husband and listening to the rain with the window open a tiny bit all the way.

haha totally staged :P look at the rain drops on my sweater.

haha totally staged look at the rain drops on my sweater, but there really was tea and this is my favorite book

But that does not happen here on the homestead! I mean seriously that is in fantasy land. With three Littles under five, a puppy, chickens, and now pregnant goats this mama is not getting to sit on the couch any time soon. I know it sounds like it but really I am not complaining, I love having all these animals and I love my psycho kids but those days of relaxing  and listening to the rain are about fifteen years away, (5475 days), haha not like I am counting.

don't mind the shopping cart the littlest Little loves to leave out his toys

don’t mind the shopping cart the littlest Little loves to leave out his toys

OK OK back to the homestead. So our goat shed/chicken coop thinks that when it rains it needs to absorb all of the water and keep it in this massive puddle under all of the bedding! Seriously! Just look at the water!

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inside the shed/coop

So while I was checking on all the animals I decided while wearing my flip flops I should jump over a massive puddle……what was I thinking? It was only by the grace of God that I did not fall backwards and land in the said ginormous puddle. Stepping stones just might be in my future, and if you read along with the blog then they will be in your future too!

the water is up to my toes

the water is up to my toes

Now, one should never complain (again not complaining just sharing my thoughts on the topic) unless one has a way to fix it. I was relieved to see this article that someone posted on a Facebook group stating where to find free sand bags. Just google free sand bags in your area. Turns out during crazy weather fire stations will provide sand and bags and all you need to do is show up (preferably with a buddy) and a shovel and make your own, do call ahead to make sure. Fill the bag about half way with sand and instead of tying them just fold over the top and place it flap side down. This way they are nice and flat and will fit nicely together.

she knows how to keep dry :)

she knows how to keep dry 🙂

Since it is raining right now and I have all the Littles by myself, I am not getting my sand bags today haha but hopefully once it all dries out I will go fill quite a few sand bags to place around the shed/coop and be more prepared for the next rain. Also rain gutters or a roof extension will most likely be in the shed/coops future. So stay tuned.

Staying cozy together

Staying cozy together

All of the above was mentioned for fun. The main point of this post is to let you know that rain is a battle that we must conquer. For me it is fighting to keep home base dry for the animals with sand bags and a longer roof. Duel accepted! Rain you are going down. (haha I crack myself up!)

What does your rain battle look like? 🙂