Some Days are Bad Days...

Very sad farm day today. She wasn't just a loved goat that died today, but the end of all sorts of things. And, when she was finally gone the wash of sadness just overcame me thinking of what it all meant.

Latte was my third goat here. After delilah she has been here the longest.  She came to me after my mentor Riki died. Her husband didn't like the way she milked. Even though i'd had her here the year before to get bred, kid, and teach her to milk she wasn't mine, 'till Sher said take her she is awful to milk. And so I did. What i think happened was she was awful to milk for him. She left here wonderfully polite on the stand.  I think she was spoiled. And so she came back. I always secretly wanted her, she was the tallest goat i'd ever seen.

She was the 2nd goat that was raised and taught and kidded out and milked- only by my hands. She was perfect. I made a promise after all to Riki when I had purchased Oreo, Latte's sister. I would take great care to milk them properly. And Yes get a milk stand!

Latte was never sick a day in her life till last month. She was 'my ugliest' goat here but she was by far the sweetest to people. She was the last of the 'old style' line of genetics. A purely southern line. Sandspur Acres had what they call now oldstyle genetics. They were tall, lanky, bred for meat and milk and they were NOT what the appraisers liked. I loved her. But then every year cringed when the appraiser would ask, 'want to opt her out? '....  She never needed her feet trimmed, was never moody, bred out kids easy. All around easy to keep. And big. Boy did they breed big goats. And the one time I showed her the judge said, 'don't bring her back'. They fell out of favor in the show lines. But, I kept her around for Riki, for her size, her ease.

She gave me two really great girls. Noble just improved everything about Latte.  And consistently. All her kids were eons above in confirmation then her mother. I have 2 still here. They're the healthiest girls here, fat, not the best milkers but, if that was my only goal i'd have switched to another breed long time ago. They are just like their mum. Look like her. Act like her. Milk better then her. But just enough improved I don't cringe when the appraiser comes.

It just saddened me that its the end of a certain time. She was the last Sandspur Acres goat I believe alive from when Riki was around. There were Sandspur acres Maybelline and Loreal --But I lost track of them when a breeder friend sold them. I wanted to purchase them a few years back.

It's an end to a memory of a friend and mentor.  That last tangible thing that connected me to Riki.
And Latte. Her ending. I called the vet early this morning, I couldn't take seeing her about to decline. So I put her down.

Her offspring will live on.

This is farm life. Some days are good. Some days really suck.


Here are some shots of Latte and Riki's legacy.

Click here for more photos

Click her for a post on Riki
and another one here

Latte in foreground. Picture taken in January.


Like mother like daughter. Latte in foreground.


Maybelline hours old.


Riki and Sheridan. Latte's breeders.


Latte standing under Roman.

ROOSTERS

Lets talk ROOSTERS! 
this is papa roo. He is only 2. And I've been making sure he becomes TOP DAWG.

I have a few here.  I love them. I think every farm isn't complete without one. 

Yes, I understand the argument of a rooster crowing in the morning. Some rooster crows are annoying. Mine aren't. Well... not to me. They all have different voices, pitch, tone.  Plus, IF i can barely hear them and my bedroom window is facing the barn yard, how can others say its disrupting their sleep, an acre away.  You get used to it. Or in some cases you're just not a happy person and fixate.  This is ode to the little problem Jupiter Farms had a couple years ago. Rooster crows, neighbor calls zoning, world war lll ensues involves the whole county. Rooster won. 

But let's be clear, to make an egg you don't need a rooster. Hens lay eggs with or without ever coming into contact with a rooster. But the rooster is so much more then that. (and no the eggs do not taste any different, fertilized or not, and the red bloodspots you might see in an egg have nothing to do with a rooster, either). I have come in contact with some who won't eat an egg because it might or might not be fertilized. They taste exactly the same.

Roosters are who the hens look to for guidance. They set the tone of the entire flock and are normally benevolent gentlemen on the farm. A disgruntled, angry, mean, menacing Rooster could be because of the genetics. It's a rarity here. It could be because i love them and respect what they do. I'm also -make no mistake- the top ROO and they know it and nip it in the bud when I might see something starting.

Too many Roo's and not enough hens to keep them all happy, you likely will have issues. I find (not sure why) an uneven amount of Roo's keeps the balance better. 3, 5,7. But have 4? more issues. There are 5 senior roosters here. Each have their own hens and their own area of the yard. They all roost in different places. 

Every one of them is different. Beautiful. Extraordinary. They do and can fight among themselves but chances are its quick and they fix it between them. It can be caused by one Roo trying to steal another Roo's girl. It could be turf related. If ever there is an unrelenting, rank boy, he's gone. Usually, a bit of mind games (with myself inserted in the mix), a day of quiet time in the time-out box, or just a bit of upside down grab, and it's solved. If a fight breaks out its usually a young stud thinking he wants to de-throne the next in line. Rarely, will a young one go after my top ROO. I've never seen Roo's gang up on another. Their fights, if ever, are few and far between. Everyone is also loose, this might have something to do with it. No one is caged, ever. 

Roosters keep the hawks away. I have seen one rooster who will fly up and meet the hawk in mid-air and fight. They are the first on guard when he takes the girls on a walk-about. HE is the LAST to eat, but the first to point out ' look here, a great morsel, come and get it' and then his girls come running. I've seen him pick up a worm, walk it to a special lady and give it to her.  I've watched them make a certain call, and all chickens in the yard drop and flatten. And then another when the 'all - clear' call comes. I watch daily one  Roo as he helps his lady pick a spot in the garage to lay an egg and he will quietly and patiently sit there with her. When she is done he will be the first to congratulate her. When chicks are little they will act as momma, if none will take it in. If a rooster is mean to his girls? guess what? they move on to another in yard. They won't stand for his bullying and that in itself teaches him to be a kind and gentle boy. There are times when one Roo decides he wants THAT girl. But, she's is with another Roo. Then we could have some negotiating going on. One time, it was so important to this one Roo for him to get THAT girl he gave up a prime roosting spot. 

Roosters truly are amazing... You just have to watch them and see....

These are some of my up and coming Roo's. Some of their colors are just amazing. They are mutt's.  The hens are purebred, My Top Roo (above picture) is a Maran, and he's purebred. But, what he produces when he gets another breed of chicken is quite beautiful. 

Each one of these boys below are mutts. I love how flashy they can be. They are all tame and ready to go to a new home where they too can be Top ROO.




This one is just a doll baby, he follows me around the yard and wants to be picked up.







FRIENDS AND FACEBOOK

NEVER underestimate the power of Friends and Facebook. I surely won't ever again.


Look above at my 2 posts written just on my Delilah's Dairy page.  7.6 thousand views. and over 600 shares of the posts. ( i had two more on my personal jojo page). 

This is what got Thatcher home. EVERY single view. Every Share.

One call received on Sunday said they saw a white dog on 180th and orange blvd. After all the posters i was done putting up, i just felt the need to go look out there. Possibly put up another poster. Just in case. I put it on the stop sign at 180/orange. Seemed ridiculous at the time.

I get a call today from a girl who sees a dog out in the middle of Corbett ( 67,000 acre preserve). She says he is on the main grade- she just left there. And likely he is still there. I asked her how she knew to call. She mentioned the one sign i put up that was a remote location. She saw the poster at 180/orange.

I've always believed in serendipity.  If the first friend hadn't called, who saw my posts, I likely would never have found Thatcher.  A domino effect of events.

Never underestimate the power Facebook has. Or what your friends read. 7,000 people did not respond to my post but they read it. And shared it. It doesn't even account for twitter or this blog, and its power too. 

:) 

Thatcher is home.

love you!

#BringTHATCHERback

HE's GONE!

H E   I S  G O N E

B R I N G  H I M  B A C K !



I'm not sure who i'm yelling at, the universe or a person.
I just want him home.

#bringTHATCHERback

Goodness Gracious More...

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