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Things I learned this weekend....

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Previous Entry Things I learned this weekend.... Mar. 14th, 2010 @ 06:47 pm Next Entry
This was a very productive weekend! I learned a lot of things - not the least of which is that a picture is worth a thousand words. So.....

I learned that woodstoves have to be cured before they can be used "for real". To do this, you must build a small fire and let it burn completely out. It should be large enough to make the top of the stove warm - NOT HOT. The next day, build a larger fire - large enough to make the top too hot to touch - and let it burn completely out. The 3rd night, you can build a normal fire. This is the case for *all* new woodstoves - the firebricks need to be cured, even if the stove is cast iron/stainless/enameled. (And...I learned that woodstoves have firebricks. I didn't know that!)



This is a Pacific Energy Spectrum Classic. It's NOT the stove I ordered - it's close, but..I ordered legs, not a pedestal (although *I* wanted the pedestal, it was more expensive and Sweet Geek wanted legs. Oops! We weren't charged for the change), and I wanted the "radiant" door (with fancy ironwork.) Sweet Geek wanted a plain door....so, he got his door, I got my pedestal. It's in Coffee Brown, to "match" the room (but...paint is cheap. I was willing to go with flat black...at least this wasn't a custom color. No price increase!) It has a trivet so you can cook on it, which is a good thing.

It took 2 guys almost 8 hours for it to be installed. They did a FANTASTIC job - even the hole in my roof is neatly covered. I'm glad we didn't attempt it ourselves - it wouldn't look near as nice. The hearth is a bit darker than I anticipated, but I like it - it goes with the stove. They need to come back and put a support on the outside chimney - we get straight-line winds constantly; they're about 10 mph all the time - but it looks great, and it'll heat the whole house. (Most people buy either too much stove - which can cause chimney fires - or too little stove - which will NOT heat the house, and could *also* cause fires when they overfill them. This one is *just* right - it'll heat everything *except* the bedrooms, and those will be warm-ish.)

I learned that newborn goats are *tiny* - even dairy goats!



This is our new "herd sire", Calvin. Miss Mocha, our 2nd Nubian, freshened about 2 AM Saturday morning with twins - a doe and a buck. However, she "lost" them......if a doe gets separated from her kids for about an hour, she'll reject them. So....we have a bottle baby. You can see how tiny he is - he was about 18 hours old there. That's a standard Coleman Dual-Fuel lantern. Yeah, he's little. :grin:



This is Calvin and his twin sister. She was found under the water bucket, he was found near the feed room. Both had been licked clean, but we don't know if either one nursed before getting lost. He's doing *really* well - he's adapted to living in our bathroom (in the dog crate), since it's too cold for him to be by himself outside (with a bunch of kids, or with his mama, he'd be fine. He's all by himself here, though - we can't put him in with the does, because they'd knock him over and possibly kill him. Fun stuff...)

I learned how to milk a goat.



This is Annie Rose.



This is Miss Mocha.

Annie Rose is Calvin's mother. She's a sweet thing...both are small for Nubians. The breeder didn't feed them enough (by accident!) when they were growing, and it stunted their growth. We have no problem with that - it made them affordable for us.

At this morning's milking, we got a little under 37 oz. At this evening's milking, things went *much* better - we got a little over 40 oz. It doesn't sound like much, but it calculates out to about a half-gallon each time, for 2 goats. None of us really know what we're doing - both does are first-fresheners, and we...well, yesterday was the first time ANY of us had ever had our hands on a goat's udder. (Tip - don't PULL. Just squeeze - thumb and first finger, then next/next/next. Works a treat!) The Maggidan milker works - but it sometimes loses suction. We need to figure that out - it's a LOT faster than hand-milking, and it's easier on my hands....but the does aren't used to it. (This morning, it was a FIASCO. Neither one of the does were happy with us, we had spilled milk EVERYWHERE...this evening? It worked. We still need to practise getting them up on the stands (they'd been milked on the ground), but they LOVED the alfalfa cubes (the sweet feed? They HATED. Until later, when they saw the other girls going to town on them. Silly goats!) and it helped get them up there.

I learned that a floor in the milkroom is priceless.




Crushed concrete, with a moisture barrier underneath. Needs to be packed in a bit, but it was SO nice to have a "real" floor in there! We currently have 2 stands in there, and 2 stools. (The stools are too tall, but we can cut them down. $15 folding bar stools from Wally-world - we could have built them, and were going to, but the sudden arrival of 2 does in milk kinda nixed that. :sigh:) There's room for the feed barrel and another stand in there, too.....which is what we wanted.

I learned how to bottle-feed a goat (no pictures, sorry - my hands were full of goat and bottle!). We're feeding him goat's milk - some people feed cow's milk (from the store), but we decided that hey - we don't really NEED the milk right now, and he needs it more than we do. We got enough this AM for his 3 8oz bottles, plus a 16 0z jar for Himself; this evening we got 2 20oz jars. As long as we get enough for Calvin and Himself, it's good - we'll just keep buying milk for the rest of us.

Today was also B3 - the "Boys Birthday Bash". Fun, especially with a baby goat who just discovered his legs around. :lol:

I'm off to light another small fire in the woodstove...and to feed Calvin again (and yes - the first Cashmere buck will become our Cashmere sire, and will be named "Hobbes". The kids decided that......:grin:)
Current Location: command center
Current Mood: tiredtired
spin a yarn
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From:apis_mellifera
Date:March 15th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
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BABY GOATS! So cute!
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From:hugh_mannity
Date:March 15th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
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Congratulations! The stove looks wonderful and the goats are soooo cute!
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From:hugh_mannity
Date:March 15th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
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p.s. Tell the (human) kids they chose the right names.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 15th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
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So what happened to the little doe baby? Or did I miss something..LOL. Calvin is just adorable and very tiny!
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From:fiberaddict
Date:March 15th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC)
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The doe babies got to stay with the breeder - that was our agreement. I don't mind - I'm in this for the milk, not babies (this year, anyway!)
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From:ghislainedel
Date:March 16th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC)
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Cute!

Did you know that you can get a Calvin and Hobbes font for your computer. I'd gotten it for my husband to print out one of our wedding invitations with. *grins* You could have fun making labels around the barn!
(spin a yarn)
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