Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

things I love about my daughter #3

#3
She loves Dirt! (as any ranch girl should)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

We're surrounded and my scale must be broke

I walked out the door to go milk this morning, put my hand on the gate of the garden where the goats are kept and discovered that I was surrounded. At first I thought they were the eagles I've been trying to get pics of for months, but when I grabbed my camera and zoomed in I realized they were nothing so nice...



I snapped this picture of these guys (facing north) and turned and there were more! (facing west)



Then I looked up and North


And upward and south


So I decided to stave off any attacks and make an offering of my unfortunate gosling that had died, I went to get the shovel out of the chicken coop. I opened the door to the coop, my mind fully on the vultures and the shovel, and AAHHHHH There's moving things in here! Geez! How dare the chickens jump out at me like that! It's not like you'd expect the chickens to be hanging around in the chicken coop!

In other news, when I finally got around to milking Ellie I discovered that my scale mus be broken. It read that I received five lbs of milk! Hmm. That can't be right...I stressed her out yesterday by taking her kids for walks on leashes (them bellering the entire time) the dogs went too and ran and jumped around the kids, forgot to give her hay until well after feeding time, brushed her on the stand in the evening (which she hates), and also made her be tethered out to eat grass (also something she hates). All this stress and a late milking equals more milk???! Something funny going on here....
Could it be the extra serving of grain to keep her still while she was brushed? Maybe the alfalfa pellets the girls both got as a treat last night for putting up with my tormenting? Could she have been too busy watching me to feed her kids this morning?? Or maybe it was that her kids are so nervous around me now after their lesson yesterday that they bellered the entire time she was being milked??
I took the milk to the house and ran it through the filter...Oh my! It really is five pounds! Over half a gallon this morning! I wonder what the kids are going to have for breakfast?? Hay??



Memo to me: Next year we are bottle feeding and having nice calm babies that don't freak out when learning to lead because they aren't attached to mommy's hip.

Things I love about my Daughter #1

Well as some of you (Claire) may know from facebook I had a heck of a day with Lilly yesterday, the result being that we both went to bed frustrated with each other, unhappy, and exhausted. Therefore, I decided to do a series of posts to help remind me why I adore my daughter so...

Here's #1
She loves Peppermint sticks

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cookies' gone and buck search

I have been trying for quite awhile now to find Cookie a new home. She left on friday. After purchasing Cookie from a lady here in town I got to know her and decided that the little goats just weren't for me. I prefer the larger breeds and decided that cookie would find a new home again. I posted her first for $75 (she's a 7 month old Nigerian doeling) No takers.

Reposted two weeks later for $60, got one request to send pics but no takers.

Was taking to the lady I bought her from about two weeks later and she said she would buy her back for what I paid for her ($40) but then she wouldn't be able to purchase Marvel from me (my buckling). Hmmm Cookie or Marvel....I kept Marvel and Cookie went home.

Marvel is back on the sale block looking for a new home. We need the money right now so I am hoping that someone will purchase him. If not we will be eating goats meat in about 9 months :( Sad but necessary.

I will also be castrating, tatooing, deworming, and vaccinating them this week. So he will become a wether instead of a buck. No point in keeping a stinky buck around. ;)
In other news: I am desperately searching for two bucks to breed my girls to this fall. I am hoping Ellie can be bred to Mega-Milkers Hocus Pocus in Cheyenne (the one I'm getting my doelings from) He throws some very dairy looking (tall and angular) Nubians with lots of color.
I was planning on breeding Sue to her Saanen buck as well but then realized that Sue's grandfather is her buck. :( So I'm on the search for a Saanen Buck for Sue and a Nubian Buck for the two doelings. Hopefully in Wyoming, Northern Colorado, or western Neb. Close enough to drive them to.

They're having an AI clinic here that I had signed up for. They decided on June 19-20th as the date. Unfortunatly I don't believe I'm going to be doing it now. I don't have the money for the AI equipment so was going to borrow the tank, etc. there. So early in the year though would put none of my does ready. They have some pills to insert in them that will bring the does into heat for the clinic. The problem is that my two doelings were just born and won't be ready until end of November or in December. Ellie will have just barely weaned her babies and I feel that June is way too soon to breed her again. Sue the Saanen is the only possibility for the clinic and we are required to have two does for it. Also, Saanens are seasonal breeders what are the chances even with the pill of having her "take" at that time of the year?? I've been debating about wether to try it or not with just Sue or wether to wait until next year and hope I've got more does available. I'd like to breed Ellie and Sue in Sept or Oct so that they are fresh Feb/Mar and then the two doelings in Nov/Dec. That will give me two sets of kids each birthing time and will ensure that the older does go first and I have a milk supply if something happens with the younger. If Sue was bred in June that would put the kids born in Nov! WAAAAyyyy too cold! *sigh* Probably no AI till next year at least, back to the buck search.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Random pics....

Cute and Fluffy bunnies

More cute and fluffy's

Goslings and little ducklings

Full Bathtub (it was clean water when they started)

Hard work

Eggbert

Size comparison (
blue swedish ducks vs. new babies)

Wyoming wind (it's pretty bad when the wind blows so hard that it lifts the back end of the wagon as it shoves the snow under)

Woooppeeee!

It's a seesaw!

Water?

What's this stuff?

Swarming with babies!

This place is a mad house. We now have a grand total of: the two goat kids Wonder and Marvel, their mom Ellie, "Aunt" Sue, 3 red sex-linked pullet chicks, 5 mystery chicks, 3 Blue swedish ducks (one named Zipper, the rest are still unnamed), one white peking duckling Eggbert, 4 Khaki Campbell ducklings, 1 Caluyga duckling Beetle (I like variety), 3 brown turkeys, 6 guinea chicks for my garden, 8 baby bunnies, Mopsy and Peter (their parents), Sarah and Kady (the two dogs), Romeow and Boots (the two outdoor kitties), Olivia (the indoor kitty), and two tolouse goslings (hopefully one of each sex).

Eggberts story: Eggbert was found on freecycle under the title "Free male duck to good home" I called the number. This guy answers and I ask "what kind of duck is he?" His reply, "uhhhhummmm, a mallard?" So I ask him to email me a pic. The picture that comes isn't a full grown duck as expected. It's a cute fuzzy yellow duckling. I call him back. This is what I get told, "I bought him at the feed store here about three weeks ago for a pet in my apartment *pause* He ISN'T a good pet!" At this point I'm trying not to bust a gut laughing as I tell the guy I'll come to get him. (If it even is a "him")

We also have two more goat kids on the way, I have to go pick them up at the end of the month. Ellie is a fair quality animal but the buck she was bred to this year I'm not sure of the heritage (I've never heard any of the names on his pedigree) so I won't be keeping Wonder. I am getting a doeling from a breeder in Cheyenne. She wins the state fair here every year with hers and lots of them are nice looking animals. I also picked a doeling, Fantine(select the "kids" button to see her), out of a mom (Cozette) with a good background and a 5 star milker :) . We should have a great first freshning doe by next year.
The second doeling we are getting is coming from the same breeder and will be my mom's doeling (in my care) but I'm not quite sure which doeling we will be getting for her yet.
Next year I will have to buy more 3rd cutting hay (alfalfa) I am down to the first cutting (mostly grass) and the kids arn't weaned yet. I put the goats out on a stake today to eat the green grass that's coming up. Hopefully that will help.

In the mean time I am trying to finish an outside pen for the chickens before they grow up enough to need one. Right now they live inside the chicken coop in bad weather and go out in my outdoor guinea pig run during the day, but it's small for all of them and the turkey's. The ducks may also get their own building. I was planning on putting them with the chickens as well but I also wasn't planning on so many (although Im sure more than I want will be male and dinner) The guineas will also have their own ark so that they can live in the garden.

3 of the 8 bunnies have homes since I don't need that many for meat and sell some. I'm still looking for homes for the 5 males (I know I'll still have some that don't find homes) The only one I would have kept was the first to go. She's the pretty little soft caramel colored one.

My "to do" list on here glitched and I lost my list :( so until I find another one that works better i may just add things on my posts. I need to build my herb garden, flower gardens, the ark for the guineas, and a sandbox for a certain someone ;)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Seasonal: the low-down on Wyoming weather.

Sorry for the long delay in posts. Lilly is doing okay. She is still throwing up evven though we have located a couple of legume allergies and are avoiding those. We are still struggling to keep food down and keep her hydration level up and weight up. She is doing better however and the vomiting is less frequent.

I had a request to tell about the climate here in Wyoming. Specifically Converse, Carbon, Albany, and Natrona counties. I'm going to list facts first then will give personal experiences and opinions.

Converse County(Douglas):

Average Max. Temperature (F)











60.3
Average Min. Temperature (F)











32.0
Average Total Precipitation (in.)











14.18
Average Total SnowFall (in.)











51.9
Average Snow Depth (in.)











0

Albany county (Laramie) :
Average Max. Temperature (F)











53.9
Average Min. Temperature (F)











30.4
Average Total Precipitation (in.)











11.53
Average Total SnowFall (in.)











49.8
Average Snow Depth (in.)











0

Natrona County (Casper):
Average Max. Temperature (F)











58.9
Average Min. Temperature (F)











32.1
Average Total Precipitation (in.)











11.89
Average Total SnowFall (in.)











77.5
Average Snow Depth (in.)











0

Carbon County (Rawlins):
Average Max. Temperature (F)











55.2
Average Min. Temperature (F)











30.3
Average Total Precipitation (in.)











9.05
Average Total SnowFall (in.)











51.9
Average Snow Depth (in.)











1

I couldn't find any information on how many days of sun we have per year. Days of wind however was easy...364 (yes that's a joke). We do have at least some wind almost every day though. It's a very rare day when you walk outside and absolutely everything is still and quiet. You end up just standing there in awe, listening.

What they don't tell you about the snow depth is that the snow will be non existent in some areas and eight feet high in others because of the wind.

Michael, you asked about well depths...it really varies here. Ours is 100 feet deep and has two water tables draining into it since they hit water at 30 feet but kept going. Behind our pasture on the other side of the bluff (2 miles away) there's a property that has been for sale for years. Someone will buy it, try to dig a well, and put it back on the market. They've gone down as far as 1000 feet I believe and still have no water on that place.

Bugs - hmmm good question....grasshoppers, beetles, some caterpillars (tomato eating kind), lots of flies. We aren't overrun with bugs at all but it's still enough of a problem with my garden that I bought some guineas this week to raise in my garden. By the time they're big enough to be out from under the heat lamp I should have an ark built for them on one end of the garden. They'll be free range since the garden fence wont be able to hold them, but I'm hoping that with them being fed and watered in the garden, having a house there, and having lots of bugs and weeds to eat that they will stay close to it.

Snakes- shudder....we have mostly bull snakes and rattlers here. I never see the bull snakes except on the roads occasionally. We live in a high rattler area though since we have tons of rocks and a nice high hill covered in boulder and rocks, lots of mice, etc. Still, we only saw two rattlers by our house last year. (several more on the road) We are hoping that this year (our second at this location) will be better.

Finally, gardening...fairly easy: don't plant before the end of May outside, hope it doesn't snow and get cold enough to bother them during summer. plan for a short growing season. Occasionally the frosts will hold off until end of October but don't plan on it. Have the garden ready well in advance and plant as early as possible. Lots of people around here use hot caps or plastic milk jugs over the plants for quite awhile. I just got a book called Gardening in Wyoming. I'm hoping to learn a lot from it. There's an awful lot of things that just dont grow here. I even searched craigslist and found a glass shower door, I have plans to turn that into a miniature greenhouse and grow my peppers and possibly tomatos under it. Our soil doesn't help either. Past about a foot down most of wyoming has nothing but sand or clay. Therefore, it either tends to drain away too quickly or not at all. I ended up losing half my potatoes that I planted last year because they were too close to the surface so that they wouldn't grow mold and rot in the clay and I got sun spots instead. I'm fixing that this year by planting them in old tractor tires in dirt I haul in. We're planning on making a lot of compost, getting cow manure from my father-in-law, using our goats manure, and spreading the topsoil that came from where the house is in the garden. Hopefully soon we can get that done and have some nice soil to plant in. This year it will be a rush to get anything done and I may not have a full garden or a good garden this year. I'm hoping to at least get some flower gardens started as well as an herb garden and some vegetables. I ordered a whole lot that Im not sure how well will do in the unimproved soil here.

I think I've rambled enough...any questions I missed or anything else you want to know let me know.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lilly's problem

First of all sorry for the absence and I'm sure there are some blogs I'll never catch up on so you'll have to forgive me if I missed something.
This is my daughter's story (at least part of it) :
When she was three months old she got sick with what was diagnosed as RSV. She eventually got better but has possessed a cough ever since. It's a dry hacking cough and doesn't seem to have any correlation to where she is or what she is doing. We asked our Dr. about it and he just shrugs and says oh it's nothing, it's just allergies or something.
Skipping ahead several months we took Lilly in for her year check up on the 20th of Feb. He was concerned that she didn't weigh enough. We had been giving her our food, soft stuff. Peas, cooked carrots, potato, noodles, and even some small pieces of meat (although these we normally ended up having her spit back out since she never swallowed them). He decided that the reason she wasn't gaining weight is that she couldn't chew well (she only has 4 teeth) and was quitting before she was full. He suggested that we puree everything we're eating and give her that. I don't have time for that so we bought her organic baby food. He wanted to see her in a month again (the 20th of March) for a weight check.

We get home and the first week and a half go okay(although she is sick with a fever and cough during this time) . She doesn't like the texture of the food but is eating it. Then she starts coughing again. Bad. Typical mealtime: We put her in her highchair, put the bib on her, put the tray on, and start feeding her spoonfuls, about halfway into a small jar she starts coughing, hard, she throws up.
This goes on for several days until we figure out that if she gets grabbed really quickly when she starts coughing and pulled out of the highchair and set on the floor we have about a 50% chance of saving lunch. We start doing this. Liquids she keeps down fine.
The 20th comes: She's a pound lighter (big surprise) he sends her to the lab for bloodwork and wants us to see a dietician. He also puts her on an expensive antacid to see if that helps the vommitting. He's thinking acid reflux. He also wants to see us the following week on Friday (27th).

Interjet mothers opinion : Yes she's little, but her dad can eat a cow and not gain a pound (high metabolism) and is skinny as a rail. He's 6'2" and weighs only 165 lbs. I don't think the weight problem is a problem since she only dropped to the 3rd percentile from the 30th and only dropped when she started crawling and moving. To me the real issue is her throwing up and not keeping the food down. Acid reflux?? In a 13 month old?? Let's go back to the allergy theory Doc.

So we go in and talk to the dietician, who, other than suggesting a different vitamin, says we're doing great. We give her the baby food, as much as we can keep down then feed her our stuff after. She sees no problems with what we're feeding her. On Friday she has gained her pound back (we fed her all day everyday that week, the kid never stopped eating and drinking, the tiny meals were all we could keep down her). The Dr. is concerned about her bloodwork, her white blood cell count is high (she was sick the beginning of the month, of course it is) and her protein is low (she's throwing up everything we're giving her). She's still throwing up and has a slight fever. We ask about the cough, is there something we can give her for allergies?? He ho hums for awhile, and finally gives us some Singular.

I gave her that friday afternoon, she promptly lost it. From Friday afternoon all the way through Sunday we couldn't keep anything down at all (liquids included). This was always preceeded by her cough. She ran a fever and spent the entire time in our arms moaning. (why is she sick again, she was already sick just a month ago??) On Sunday we stopped getting diapers. We would change them at the times we would normally have to and it was like we were pulling dry ones off as well as putting dry ones on. Monday morning I was concerned that she was probably dehydrated and I called the Dr. We took her in. She was admitted to the hospital and started on IV fluids. She was also placed on Oxygen since her O2 level was only 88%. She tested negative for RSV and Infuenza. We had a chest xray done (which the Dr. didn't bother to let us view) and he decided that she has the beginning of a viral pneumoniua. (Okay that explains the low O2 but not the coughing and vommitting for her entire life!) Tuesday morning they took her off of O2 and let the IV bag finish. She had 1000 ml in 24 hours. She was well hydrated again. We were sent home Tuesday night. I asked the Dr. about the vomitting, he looked at me like he didn't have a clue and reasked us every question he's asked us already. When does she vomit? (Everytime she eats, she starts coughing and then throws up) Does it have anything to do with what food she's eating? (no) Does she do anything right before she vomits? (yes, she coughs) So she coughs before she throws up? (YES!)
Frustration takes over, hasn't he listened to anything we've been saying for the past 9 months??
We get sent home with a list of Bring her back if she starts coughing, bring her back if she throws up, bring her back if she cant breath, bring her back if.....
SHE DOES THOSE ON A REGULAR BASIS NOW! ISNT ANYONE LISTENING!

Since Tuesday we've been doing itty bitty meals constantly, praying very hard, and managing to keep lots of fluids but not much food down her. We've decided to seek a second opinion and to have her allergy tested. The problem is that the nearest town that has a pediatrician is 45 miles away and most of them aren't accepting new clients. We got told by one clinic that they "don't do second opinions", got told by another that "we only take newborns as new clients", a third "we'll give you a second opinion but we wont take you on as a client". I'm at my last nerve, ready to bawl. I want my little girl back!
We did manage to get an appointment with the only allergy clinic in Casper (we have no idea if they're a good clinic or not) and she's going to be allergy tested. They said it would be $300-$500 dollars. Tim is still laid off. We're praying that her insurance will cover it since we cant afford it but we have to do something...we can't just sit around and watch her fail while her Dr. doesn't have a clue....
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