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Posts Tagged ‘goats’

Oh my aching feet. Lots of fun, kids showing animals, and we are stuffed w french fries and fried Oreos. Goodbye August, it’s been gr8.

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You think it’s easy to be a farmer? It’s not. Our kids are the 3rd generation to grow up on the family farm and have seen it all. Well, a lot anyway.

They took their hand raised chickens to slaughter. They saw how sneaky a fox can be to get in and eat the remaining chickens. They’ve seen a foal birthing and hours later a donkey attacking it and breaking its neck, killing it in front of them. One day, merrily along they went to the barn and found one of the goats dead as a door nail. Suspect it got into the horse feed.

One of the big Boar goats managed to get stuck in a tree. Poor Annabelle broke her leg. Told the girls aliens and a ufo were bringing her back. lol. Vet said put her down. Not on my kids watch, and though she limps they nursed her back. They gave Annabelle’s boyfriend away as it was not only mating with her, but would jump on them with his erect penis! Ewwwwe. Yup, they know where babies come from.

Early one morning we shot a wild turkey to eat. They watched as it was cleaned and took the leg to school for show and tell. They were of course made fun of. City folk! They didn’t care, we fried up the turkey and probably had turkey sandwiches for lunch the next day!

The kids could tell you about each of the 27 kittens born on the farm over the years. They could also tell you how some get eaten, some don’t make it, some wondered away and some are still around. Some get fixed and then some stranger drops off another one. All have access to shelter and food. Lots of meowing in learning life lessons.

They are thoughtful enough to pick an apple from the orchard for animal treats and give carrots to the pet rabbit. They’ve rescued baby frogs and turtles that get stranded. One rescue attempt, led to a bite and a rabies scare. It was a baby beaver stuck in some undergrowth, before we knew it she picked it up to put it back in the water with it’s mom swimming on the other side. Mama beaver showed no signs of illness and neither did our kid. Whew.

We’ve watched the combine till the soil, plant corn or soybeans and watch the field come to life. Deer are around- tho not many bucks this year. Everyone always alert for coyote and skunks. We’ve become good at trapping varmints and getting better at our aim as well. And, yes they shoot. Only targets so far, they let the adults pull the trigger on the edibles. Imagine that will change as deer, rabbit & turkey season approaches.

The children participate in all sorts of extra curricular stuff that much to my dismay, begins almost as school lets out. They are also 4-H members and raise goats to show. Many friends raise animals for slaughter and the money goes toward college or they are awarded scholarships.

Bill Marler notes that today is a “Big Day for Challenge to U.S. Country-of-Origin Labeling Rule”
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/08/u-s-country-of-origin-labeling-should-end-today-meat-industry-tells-court/

“Led by the powerful American Meat Institute, most of North America’s meat industry today will be asking a federal court in Washington, D.C., for a preliminary injunction to stop USDA from enforcing its new County-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law.”

That’s just bullshit. It’s important to know where your food comes from, period. You need to know that your meat and for that matter all animals that we eat are reasonably inspected, killed humanely, treated humanely. And, if at all possible raised in the USA. The rules for raising commercial and show animals are cumbersome but tough crap. You think Japan isn’t selling Kobe beef raised near Fukushima?

We double dog dare you to find a veterinarian who will come to your farm! It isn’t cheap. Easy to take our dog, but you can’t exactly walk a horse or a goat into the vet office.

This week is the big livestock & agricultural fair that the kids have been awaiting all year long. Yea for rides, games, fried foods. It also means that all the veterinary inspections must be complete. Tagged, tattoos, shots, deworming etc. Money well spent. Our animals are healthy and we would expect no less from the others. A state and county approved vet come by every single day to check on every single animal. Last year the pigs were under a police tape because of the swine flu scare. More importantly there are hand sanitizing stations everywhere!

One kid is showing a Nigerian Dwarf Goat Whether. That means she had to watch as a rubber band shrunk his balls till they fell off. Yuck on the farm.

One kid is showing a cute little Pygmy goat. Both goats have been fed, washed, shaved and groomed so we are ready to go and compete for ribbons, not goat dinners.

Then there are the shoes and boots. Yes shoes- Muddy ones, snow ones, water boots, shit covered ones. And the nerve of those kids to grow! Oh and don’t forget about the clothes for all seasons and the mandatory outfits to show with your animal. Got news for you, it’s cold in winter taking care of animals that jump, play, and give unconditional love.

Lastly there is school. The children will be marked absent while learning more outside of the classroom than inside it. Common core suck btw, and so do Michelle Obama’s lunch of less than 1000 calories of Cisco processed food.

We are proud to be farmers and teach our children and the distant neighbors who aren’t farmers that live on a postage stamp where food comes from and the effort it takes. It’s heartwarming and often heartbreaking. We are not Duck Dynasty, but like them, thank God for our blessings.

No, it’s not easy being a farmer. It’s a great privilege to teach our children how to become a farmer- that is, if they choose not to be astronauts.

August 27, 2013

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A week ago it was snowing and now it’s been raining cats and dogs w/ mild temperatures in the 70’s. Its also been mighty foggy! At least we still have electricity.

We need the rain in the farm belt, the fog we could do without. Gives ya a creepy feeling when ya hear critters moving about and can’t see them. Firearms handy in case of a rare coyote. It’s also spring turkey season! We can hear them but haven’t seen them either.

We’re keeping an eye on the gun rights battle and politicians who don’t embrace The Constitution they were sworn to uphold. Used to be no big deal to see shotguns on a rack in the back of pickup trucks. No more. When one assumes everyone has a firearm you certainly tread softly and knock loudly!

A few brave neighbors have begun to till their farm land. Based on the number of earthworms as an old wives tale indicator, the soil is balanced and indicates an early planting season. No one is planting just yet tho as we all know there is always a frost risk through the end of May. Even w a frost, we hope to open the swimming pool mid May, in time for the Memorial Day events.

We await the weaning of two Nigerian Dwarf Pygmy goats and hope they get along w the rest of the brood. Our mini horse is pretty feisty so we will have to keep a special eye out. Oh, and we have another litter of kittens! Don’t get us wrong, they are cute but the burden of city people just dropping of cats in the country is rude. We have also added a pet rabbit for the children. None of our parents never saw fit to raise animals that you weren’t going to eat or ride. We are so making up for that!

The ponds are near full from Winter so if we have a drought or the zombie apocalypse occurs, we’re good. The blue pond colorant has been added to help w algae and mosquito control. There are fish jumping and our nemesis the great blue Heron has returned. Bastards eat 10 pounds of fish a day. As a protected species it’s off to jail if you kill them so our solution is, of all things – a cap gun. Noise scares them to another farmers lake.

Farming is a lot of work and Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate, but it’s worth it!

Have a great day. One day it will be your last so make it count.

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April 11, 2012 via iPhone
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Last week one of our Pygmy goats died. The goat’s twin sister actually cried as we removed her carcass. Sad. And sad we invested so much love, time, feed and vet costs.

Finding a replacement goat for 4H is not easy. Most goats are born by April 1 and promised to pending buyers.

So the search begins. Then we find this report out of a goat being arrested after a theft. What the…

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Dead animals. Ugh. Woke up to find one of our Pygmy goats dead and one of the many barn cats injured.

Kids are crushed having raised, taken care of & showed her at the county fair.

As parents and being on a farm, teaching the cycle of life and death to children is a challenge. The rabbit escaped, we ate the chickens we raised, and have unintentionally killed numerous pet fish over the years. Hamsters are now dead. Turtle set free in the lake. Dog is fine at almost 7 year old- thank God.

The kids get that most animals are put on this earth to serve and eat. They hunt (unsuccessfully so far) They’ve watched us gut and clean deer, turkey, ducks, etc. They help cook the kill and we believe you only kill to eat.

When it’s a pet that dies for 4H show, it is double sad and a double lesson on how surprising love, life and death sneaks up on you. Rip little goat.

Live life with love and kindness to all God’s creatures- especially each other.

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Hard to believe 65 degrees in November. That is quickly coming to an end. Thought we’d share the last of the warm day on the farm with you all via a few photos.

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