May 3rd, 2009

Dr. Horrible: Hammer Tingling

Weekend Woes...

Not a whole lot, actually. Woes, I mean - it has rained (and poured) for most of the time. We've been busy, too - but not around here. :lol:

Friday evening, we mowed, did laundry, basically the stuff we would'a done Saturday.

Yesterday, we spent most of it running around - we went to visit my friend with sheep AND goats. She used to MILK them, in fact! We got there around 11:30...and left at 2:45. :blink: I think we've found our 3 does, too - if she can bear to part with them. :lol: (I know how that is - you're attached to them (Finn), you don't really *need* them (Finn), just can't imagine selling them. (Finn)

Anyway, we solidified our barn plans after seeing their setup, we figured out our fencing (we CAN use what we have, we just need to add some hot wire to be safe), we figured out feeding, figured out the whole "need a buck for milk" thing (I'll keep one of the buck kids and use him to rebreed - since we're NOT getting into breeding for more goats, it'll be OK. I'll alternate which doe's son I keep each year, just because, but....yeah, there will b e some inbreeding going on) The kids will be bottle raised to 20 or 30 pounds, then sent to the butcher. After the buckling gets His job done, he'll go off, too. Or, that's the plan.)

We're looking at 3 does - the ones she might be able to bring herself to sell are young Nubians, never been bred. From good milking stock, though....and the buck she'll breed 'em to? Cashmere. :gulp: Freezer......or garage? (Cashmere is DIVINE to spin. Hers? 17 microns. Full coverage. LOVELY stuff!) (No, they'll go to the freezer. I do NOT need more than 3 goats. Don't have time. Do NOT need! :lol:)

They won't be in heat until August, so we won't have them before then (she's in the federal Scrapie program, so the goats can't come back once they've left her property. I gotta breed 'em, we wait until they're preggers to pick 'em up.), which gives us time to get the barn built and fences up. And the few extra things I think I'll need (a stainless milk pail to mix all the milk in once it's weighed - you milk out a doe, weigh it (a gallon is about 8 pounds), then dump it in the big pail. Ditto #2 and 3. While my milker is set up for 1 gallon....and I'm NOT expecting to get a full gallon each COULD happen. I want to be sure I have something in place so I don't have to haul the bucket to the house and come back to the barn. Some of the mamas of the doelings we looked at were 5 pound milkers EACH TIME. x3......yeah, I might need a "holding tank".

So...that's where we are right now. We priced tin and posts at Home Despot last night, and I think we can build what we want for under $2K. Sounds like a lot, but we're building a barn with a large "stall" for the girls, a separate stall for the kids (they'll be bottle babies), a "feed alley" where we dish out food (the feeders are on the outside of the stalls, with nose openings in the stall. Don't have to open doors to feed - that's convienent!), a separate milking area (to keep the dust down) and a separate feed storage area.

Gotta go feed animals - more later!
Disney: L&S Caffeine

Two in One Day - aren't you lucky? :grin:

:whew: I quit for the day. Too much stuff to do - and done! Let's see.....

We built the remaining 3 horse feeders; re-set some t-posts on the girl's fence; repaired said fence; attached the automatic waterer to the girls' trough (but not the hose, yet - need to cut it and put the new ends on.); cleaned up the soon-to-be goat area; laid out the dairy barn; gave the chickens and horses some of the grass clippings; moved 1 weeks worth of food over from the deep freezer to the side-by-side (I keep not closing the deep freezer, so I have to lock it. I'm tired of the stinking alarm going off). Also did 2 loads of laundry and 2 loads of dishes. :sigh:

We laid out the barn...and we might be changing the size. We decreased the does' living area - it was 15'8" x 15'...we cut it down to 12' x 15'. The plans we are using are for 20 goats and kids...we're not planning on having more than 12 at a time (IF all 3 does give us triplets...and we are NOT keeping the kids.) - the majority of the time we'll have the 3 does only. The milking parlor looks a bit small to me (5' x 8'), so we might enlarge it and the feed room (10' x 8') We'll see. We have until August, so...:lol:

We're going to build a large coop, too, to replace the 2 smaller ones we have. The "new" coop will become the "hospital" coop, the original one....I don't know yet. I like it, but it's too hard to clean. The New new one will be human-sized, with a rubber mat on the ground for the floor (with shredded paper/shavings on top). Easy to go in and clean. Not sure if the nesting boxes will have outside access or not - I *like* that, but.....we'll see. Goat barn First.

I also got some pictures today - of the pullets and Boots. I'll try to upload them tomorrow, but no promises.

I have a Dreamwidth account now - same name. Not sure how I'll use it, but I wanted to snag my name while I had the chance (I didn't on Ravelry, and I'm upset over it. I like having the Same Presence everywhere. :lol:)

Need to get dinner on the table...