The Season Begins...

Before the season begins... Before I can sell milk... This has to happen. (see video). Newborns need to be tended to. In my instance, I pull them at birth. Mostly, because my dams lost the momma gene. They give birth, look at them, see me, and then lick me. Not the newborns. Mom's don't care.  Kids disappear into the house and the momma's could care less. 

Pulling them at birth is a standard procedure for many farms. While not for my particular reason, they do it for biosecurity. CAE is a serious disease and its passed thru milk and other fluids (discussion on what fluids is always on going i.e.. amniotic, mucus etc.). Milk is the key in transference. I don't want, and other breeders don't want, to allow them to milk off of mama.  

This is called CAE prevention management. I have colostrum and milk waiting that is guaranteed CAE free. I thaw and feed. Over the years, I've tested. and tested. But the only guaranteed way to suppress this from continuation is not to feed the dams colostrum or milk to the kids as raw milk. Testing is only as good as the day you tested. There is so much complication to this that pulling kids for this reason alone is enough.

Another reason is weaning. If you keep the kids on mom, 3 months from now, they will need to be weaned. And that experience isn't always pleasant. If you pull now, and you have dams to be milked they really never experience the weaning process, it at the outset you milk them. The dams bond to me. I'm not going anywhere. The kids bond to me, and i'm well versed in weaning easily and without drama.  It's a win- win. I have tried both over the years. The constant screaming from both sides can be awful. When you pull at birth none of that happens. EVER.

If people want to purchase a kid still on milk, they're already on the bottle. Try putting a kid on the bottle that have been dam raised. Not always a fun experience. or healthy because transferring over to either milk replacer or cow milk is not seamless. One bout of scours can kill a small kid. Selling to a new owner and now the kid is being fed in a new way, with a new ingredient, disasters happen. 

The other reason I like to bottle feed is when they get sick. As they age, they look to me as the herd leader. As the momma. This is without fault. When I need to do something - Tube feed. Shots. Control or restrain. Guess how they behave?  Dam raised kids turned adults are not the easiest patients. Sometimes, not able to be caught, as they don't trust you like they would if you bottle fed them, and they think of you as momma...

Whether you farm for fun or for business, the last thing you need is a goat that won't come to you when needed. The added stress chasing them around to try and dose them is not productive. 

Overall, the 3 months of extra work, I believe makes for an easier farm life over the long haul. But, not until these cuties come along. :) 


Agriculture should be promoted and living in the RSA

One of the things that upsets me to no end is our county touts being the largest Agriculture county in the state. But with that said, in our unincorporated areas of Eastern Palm Beach County they are doing everything in their power to quash any Ag related endeavors on smaller acreages. They do this by denying AG exemptions, citing codes not meant for a lean-to, harassing homeowners by fear, and overall trying to white wash the area into compliance. Unless, you have a bonafide AG classification, code just keeps coming after the smaller homesteads.

When you head West on 80 towards Lake O, you see thousands upon thousands of acres of crop, sugar cane, etc. We do have the largest areas still in the county for these mega corporations. But to tout this as a positive thing, while backhandedly, trying to stop it in other areas is disingenuous at best.

We have some very unique rural areas of the county, (where I live) in that every home is ZONED - AR. Zoning and code are two different things, but, go hand in hand. We are zoned 'Agriculture Residential'. It is also in our Palm Beach County Comprehensive Plan 'guaranteeing' our right to livestock.

If you didn't know, you (I) live in the Exurban Tier, in the RURAL SERVICE AREA (RSA) Rural Residential (RR-2.5) in the UnIncorporated area of Palm Beach County. (Exurban includes The Acreage area).  The county commissioners and their staff must follow the rules set forth in our Comprehensive Plan. Written by the county and staff. You can do a google search for the whole pdf file. Its quite long. Look for the 'Future Land Use Element'. (FLUE).

The county can not surreptitiously change something in our FLUE ( Comp Plan), without much consideration from the people that live in the area, the staff, and the Commissioners tasked with making sure this Plan is abided. Changes go thru months of discussion, and changes. And then the BCC must vote on them.

In the FLUE, I've highlighted in yellow pertinent paragraphs. The most important of them is #4.


The other item of importance is the keeping of RURAL character of the area.

Keep in mind that what the county says, and what they do, can be two different things. And they have in the past, change the Comp Plan to suit their needs. (ie. Minto and Westlake prior to them incorporating).

It's upsetting and unnerving for them to use ULDC or state statutes and back door slap homeowners wrists that want to live their lives with livestock. My previous post depicts CE usurping the code to their interpretation, citing a homeowner to get rid of temporary housing, metal structures that are movable,  and cross fences on her property. She is just one of many... Why is that? Because code likes things simple, and in line. This is easily managed in urban areas, where all homes are the same. All homes are zero lot line. All homes essentially have no land. But, there is nothing easy about our area. The homes sit on different areas of the land. Some have ponds. Some have wetlands. Cyprus trees that can't be cut. Or they have septic and water in various locations that make it difficult for the CEO to state - ' this must be here' and you can't 'do this here' ... When it comes to livestock, bottom line you do what you need to do to keep them!

The Acreage, Jupiter Farms, Loxahatchee, and all the other surrounding rural developments are truly the last areas in our county to allow for this unique style of living. Anything EAST of 441, sadly, has succumbed to being in the URBAN SERVICE AREA and those rules are different. Even if you live on 2 acres...

Remember you (WE) live in the RURAL SERVICE AREA. And this is a designation we don't ever want to lose. It separates us based on our lack of amenities. Want more amenities and you might find yourself one day not able to keep livestock any longer.

As for the AG classification - this is something you must get from the property appraiser. This office is not a part of the county staff, or fall under their management. The property appraiser office is state maintained and managed. Getting an AG classification is different then our zoning of AR. I have another blog post about that.


You can easily find your AR designation on the property appraiser site.


White washing Loxahatchee And Palm Beach County Code

It's getting worse -

Years ago, they tried to take away our right to farm, by limiting our property rights. We are Agriculture Residential zoned, and in our Comprehensive plan says 'guaranteed by right'... to have livestock and equines in the Acreage and Loxahatchee areas.

Slowly, and without ado, or any public discussion, our rights keep getting chipped away.

Last year, I stumbled upon two sentences (that is all it was) in the ULDC, that had been strickened from the code, no one picked up on it, and no one in County staff said a word to anyone - deleted. GONE....  One sentence changed with a few words, and decades of property rights gone... slashed. We've been arguing to get it back for over one year -- County and zoning/code departments just giving us the run around....

It had to do with owning vehicles, sport vehicles, RV's, horse trailer's, Swamp buggies, Air boat's, on your land. (This will be another post.)

More recently, this is happening... again....

Another recent attempt at whitewashing is code hitting up small farm homesteads with tiny coops, and claiming they need to be torn down... OR permitted... OR get an engineering survey done for the FEMA flood plain management requirements. Needless, these requirements are based on large barns, larger then a simple dog house 'type' lean to - housing small goats. They are also exempted in the FEMA manual based on size. (the county fails to acknowledge this part)

The homeowners get nervous, code officers threaten fines, liens, and hearings, needing of attorneys. The average owner is going to worry, and pull it all down to fall into compliance.

That is exactly what the county wants to happen. They are wrong...  and... someone needs to put this to the test! Sadly, young families with busy lives, doing this as a hobby... they crumble and comply.

... And we lose just one more homesteading family to the urban whitewashing machine.

There is no rule that pre-empts your RIGHT TO FARM- locally, statewide or nationally...

Anyone that has a small structure (like the one pictured below) should not be THREATENED, or put in fear that they will be fined exorbitant amounts of money to farm goats, or any livestock.

It is our guaranteed RIGHT in our state statutes, and in our Palm Beach County Comprehensive Plan in the Exurban/Rural Tiers of the RSA (Rural Service Area) in Rural Residential parts of Unincorporated Palm Beach County. 

It is quite clear none of these ''buildings'' are permanent... NONE OF THEM. What they are - not pretty to the urban viewer. They house goats, chickens, and rabbits. Farming animals can be unsightly.

Animals, this week, a young girl is showing at our South Florida Fair.  we tout the farmer on one hand, lambast and embarrass, on the other.

Read below.  It's quite clear by the compliance deadline verbiage it is  meant to scare the homeowner into compliance. $1000 fine a day is nothing to sneeze at. C'mon people... really? Stop being fearful of this.... I know this is easier said then done. So, do they.... and it's why they write it. But you do need to be found 'guilty' and you have the right to be heard via magistrate. After that, you have the right to go to court and fight any fines ...before they can start slapping these fines on you.

This is a single mother, raising a daughter, alone. She is keeping her child busy, and honest, trying to bring her up in the most wholesome of ways -- Farming, breeding goats, homesteading, husbandry, with chickens and rabbits. I think its working. I've met a smart, cordial, helpful, and well rounded 15 year old when visiting.

This whole situation is just unconscionable to think about. This is our RIGHT to keep farm animals, (unincorporated loxahatchee and The Acreage areas). And its OUR RIGHT to house them as we see fit, with economical forethought. The whole point of these endeavors is to save money, not spend it to make the county happy.

YET, it becomes insurmountable, if one needs to constantly, pull permits, every time an addition is made to the fencing, the lean to's, temporary shelters, or pole barns. People should not have to get expensive engineering surveys done for a lean-to.

This is how farming is... and isn't .... Put up shelters, take them down. Move them around. And none of it should need to be 'permitted'... by the county. They do this to limit our endeavors and it needs to stop!

My last photo is the PPM written by the county zoning director about 8 years ago, when this was first addressed, when they were trying to limit our right to animals.... we thought it was final. It specifically states small sheds/lean to's and such did not need to be permitted if housing livestock..Nor did any cross fencing to keep them contained. As it happened, they lost the push to limit our right to animals. But instead seem to be coming at us from a different angle. Make it so difficult to build a small enclosure, or fence, or lean-to for them...

This mom works 2 full time jobs to keep above water... and raise her daughter out here...

We can do better Palm Beach County.

ps... I keep editing this page. As I remember items,  I've written about in the past. Below,  is one link to the Florida Building code that EXEMPTS farm buildings. While it has changed over the years, becoming more complicated, one thing still comes up... the word "OR" and that is where the interpretation comes into play. Read the bill. Past and Present. Another item to note is the ADDITION to Flood Plain Management to the statute. When researching this,  FEMA's manual is explicit in that a barn, within smaller sizes, CAN BE exempt from these requirements. Its our county that is ignoring this....



The Spanish Goat photo stealing

I can't tell you how frustrating it is when I see photos taken without credit. Illustrations taken without credit. Or stolen and used without compensation. Especially, if the photo or illustration is used for a company to make money from. It's illegal, un-ethical. And I can't believe people still could claim they just don't know... BS>.....

I don't have many photos stolen...  But these 2 are the cream of the crop.


I wrote that blog post in 2009. I took those photos at a friends farm. 

I have sent out cease and desist letters ad nauseoum to many company's that have tried to use it in the past. One company used it as their logo. Nope. Stop. Especially when trying to profit from my photos.

Today, searching online for one kind of long hair goat, guess what shows up again. yup.... I don't mind so much if its for educational purposes, only.  Though if its a membership oriented website, then why aren't they paying for the photos usurped from the internet? Minimally, credit should be given. I took the photo. It's mine. And here it is... Again....

Here is the original link to the blogpost for the Spanish Goat.

My blog does come up when you type in Spanish Goat, so it's not a far stretch to email me, ask to use the photo, and / or just GIVE CREDIT to the original photographer. -->  ME <-- p="">

And here are a few websites using MY photos without credit or compensation. Essentially, stealing!

Love this one. How to make a profit on goats, using my photo! 


I'm Back

I'm Baaack! 
So Excited. 
After a nice break 
(too long in my opinion) 
the goats are in milk.

I might even have things 
to post about again. 

See you soon!

Goodness Gracious More...

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