All Growed up....

Every year the kids at St. Andrews School (Boca Raton) hatch (or try to hatch) out eggs we give them in their embryology classes. I've written about them before, HERE. This year they hatched out all 12 of them. As promised, I keep a log of them as they grow. Here they are: 

Above is the photo card they sent me as a thank you! 
Can you see which chick became which pullet? 

I have two roosters here: One is a mutt. The other is a Black Copper Maran. You can see the influence each create. The maran gave me some beautiful dark colors. 

The colorings of these pullets are just extraordinary. 
I love it. 


Growing Up Kids...

I don't normally pay so much attention to how quickly they grow. 
This year I decided to keep all the girls. 5 of them. 
(so far...)
Usually, I pick one or two, sell the rest.

 I can see so much...
I can see how two sisters who came out together grow differently. 

The first two shots are at 5 days old. 2nd two shots of them now at 7 weeks.
At 5 days old could barely get them out of the stall. 
7 weeks I can't get them back in.  

I see how the two wombats are inches above the Nubians. 
But only 4 days older. 

I see that Sable's daughter is whiney, and capricious, 
and all about her even at this age. Just like her dam.

I can see the runt is almost half the size of her sister. 
And see why her sister is twice the size of her. She is a fighter. 
And she likes stealing from the others. 

But, if her sister calls from far away she is the first to come to her aid.
I see the runt take advantage of it, too.

The runt,  I might add is just wonderfully sweet... and getting so much 
attention only wants to hang with humans. 
She bides her time and puts up with the others, till I go out again.

I see them play all day. I see them roam further on their own then I like.
I see the leader of the pack stick up for them when Gimpy comes to menace.

I see the dams sniff them but, meh, not interested in them. 
But then give a side glance.

I see all the conformational stuff, too. 

But, this is more fun.

desi #1 triplet.

Fern #1 and #2 and both are cute as can be. Sweet just like their dam.

Runt always last to know which way they go.

Potential herd queen in the making. Queen of the kids. She is the bold one.

left to right Desi#1. Fern #2. Sable #1. Fern#1. Runt (Desi #3)


This is how it started...

There are just certain days in your life you never forget. The day I picked up Samson and Delilah were one of them. Raining. Lost. Dark. Crying babies. Bottle feeding.  Thinking what the heck did i just get myself into. 

Little did I know then the impact she would have on my life. The trajectory was all her. If she hadn't had a precocious udder, would I have even started milking? 

For years this is how we milked. Even when I started to have small groups come to the farm to learn. And she loved it. She was the center of attention. And she always stayed that way. Every goat that came on this property (till recently) knew it, and never tried to take it away.  She was the first to eat. First on the milk stand. And first to get her morning hugs. She was the Herd QUEEN.

When I finally got a milk stand she didn't want to have anything to do with it. She would run out and stand by the gate where we would normally milk. Finally, we agreed it was easier on the stand. Then she realized she wanted to be milked last because the last goat on the stand can hang out with me while i clean up. 

Her best pal was Oliver. Who kept them safe. I'm going to miss him too. He was just put down last month and they are both buried next to each other.

She was the goat I learned to do everything to. A bucket of food and she would let you do practically anything to her. Here we were shaving her for Linear appraisal by the ADGA.

For a very long time it was just her, Samson, and Oreo. I had a job off the farm. I worked in Stuart. And didn't even have any chickens. Just one lone rooster. How boring I was. 

She above all the others lived a charmed life. She only had to whisper a bleat and I would come running. They had the whole property to roam. They never left each others side. Or mine. For years after Samson was gone she lived in the house.  And we would take long goat walks. Her teaching the next generation how things worked. If you were talking to me, she would be the goat that was standing by my side, as if she was in the conversation too.

This is her first day here. She lived in the garage and slept in the kennel. 10 days old.  I was too afraid to leave them outside. Alone. Now when the kids are born I toss them out almost immediately! My my.... how things have changed.

She was without a doubt the prettiest kid I've had. She has milked 8 years of her 11. Thousands of pounds of milk. She became a Superior Genetic goat a few years back. Which isn't an easy feat. Sadly, I only have 3 offspring of hers. Every year I would sell her kids because I knew what she could do and could produce.  If anything, I regret not keeping more of her offspring. 

When she died I laid her head on her stomach the way she normally enjoyed sleeping and that is how i buried her. And though i've had death here before with the full size goats,  she is the only one I've buried here.  

Thanks to Delilah every time I sell milk, eggs, cheese, honey or soap it's all because of this little girl and what she inspired me to do. 

She will be missed. 

Here are some links to other stories about her and growing up.


My Office is My Life Line

I love looking at other peoples studios. This is mine. A mess. Muck boots, Bee frames. Parrot. Couch to watch a movie.

Your computer, cell phone, ipad is your life line. 

Ever wonder about where you sit day in and day out? The importance it has in your daily life? The positive and negative effects of it? If anything, like me you’re in office 12-15 hours a day, sometimes. Its the most used room in this house. It really should be the largest room. Every hour of every day, I walk thru it if I’m not in it - to grab something, eat something. Look up stuff on the internet....

Everything flows thru here. Even the goats at milking time. I raise baby goats in here. Wayward kittens.... I feed the dogs in here. The parrot has now taken up residence. It’s where I talk to my customers all day, schedule my day, pay bills, manage the herd, design work, and so on.... In the morning its the first room I walk in, turn on the computer, and see what emails have come in during the night. It’s literally the lifeblood of this homestead.

It begs the questions of how simple is it?  I swore a life of simplicity.... Goats milk, making cheese, soaps. etc. But this is one technology, I just can’t do without. 

Before computers, internet, Facebook, would I even have a customer base? How would I have found them. How would you have found me? Think on that. How? Word of mouth can only go so far. It has taken us to places we’d never dream of. And for that in this stage of life - grateful for it.

The internet has made life so much easier in so many ways, yet in that same thought, complicated it beyond control. You chat with people you wouldn’t in person. You interact with people normally never in your circle of consciousness. Without it though, I would never get to see how those in Peru or Zimbabwe milk goats, how they make cheese. Learn about their cultures and become better for it. It has opened things up for me and everyone, beyond any measure.  

The internet has become so very important to everyone, everyday, that I wonder why are some still so ignorant on so many levels. Shouldn’t everyone become smarter? Where else can you ask a question, and in milliseconds have answers? Where research is at your fingertips. I remember the hours and days in a library to research. Does this generation and future ones,  even know what the word Microfiche means?

I fear for the youth that I stumble across on this internet, and wonder what the future for them will be when the internet gives them that access to think they know it all. But not have to experience it. Those of us that are older understand the difference. Life isn’t the internet. But to them it is. Nor what you experience on it makes it real. But what about the children on there that think life is your next selfie. That what you read takes the place of the experience you lack? 

I have an alarm clock now sitting on my phone that rings at certain parts of the day. To snap me out of office mode,  to go do something outside. If not for that, I would literally get so involved in a project, reading, researching, chatting, 10 hours can pass and not realize it. I can get so caught up on this (ipad, phone, computer)  that sometimes I think it's an extension of me. It's not.  The difference lies though in knowing this. Having 30 or so years of life learning and experience without it helps me appreciate it.  But the next generations? 

I walk the goats thru here to milk them. The parrot thinks its funny. 

Goodness Gracious More...

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