Friday, October 26, 2012

Finally its FALL!

And I'm so glad! It is! It was a long hot summer and I was ready for it!! I'm also getting ready for the fall/winter kid crop!!!!! The first Nigerian Dwarf babies for the fall arrived just a few days ago...they are already sold but there's  more to come!

Below are some boys I added to the herd for the Homestead goat program. The boy on your right has meat genetics and had a dam that produced 2 gallons a day... best of both worlds there! The boy on the left is out of an ennobled Boer  and had a mother (boer/kiko/alpine cross) with a great udder! I can't wait to use these boys in the program this spring!

 Our piggies are growing good! I just moved them from their baby lot to the big wood lot area. We have 4 ... Our boar is a Pure bred American Guinea hog, ... and we bought 2 feeders to raise also... Shake & Bake... since it will be awhile before our sow is old enough to produce piglets for us! I love having the pigs. When we raised one feeder last year I didn't think I'd ever want pigs again... but the pork was just to good... and the docile nature of this breed really makes them nice homestead hogs,,, and their smaller size is perfect! (250 lbs grown)
 The Buckeye chickens and roos are getting huge! I wish they would start laying!!! Some roos are past ready for the freezer though... nothing like home grown chicken! Tastes nothing like store chicken I was amazed when we ate our first farm raised roo a few weeks ago.. I knew after that I'd want more of our own chicken... I didn't even like chicken tell I had ours.
 Below is a very very nice Mille Fleur out of the breeders I raised last year. I like these little chickens but I'm not sure I will continue breeding them. I may just keep them for broodies. They are great at hatching!
 This is my boy! Zeke!!! I love this dog.. smart and beautiful. Like a dobe should be.... just an all around good dog... great bloodlines... his sire a conformation champion and his dam trained in field tracking sport. He is a joy to train... like every other dobe I've ever had.
 My favorite (don't tell the others) baby goat! This is Priscilla... a registered Boer cross for our homestead goat program...
 One of the new baby Nigerian Dwarfs born a few days ago... These are my first kids from NC Promised Land Lebron! He sure produced a looker here!
 Loving my ducks more and more... anxiously awaiting that first big rich duck egg.... I love my chickens but if duck eggs are as good as everyone says they are I may cut back my chicken flock and add more ducks! They are very enjoyable to have around... love seeing them on our pond... but our other pond needs its own flock....
 2 Homestead Goat girls.... Maria and her daughter Nina! Both due this winter... These girls are as hardy as I've ever seen goats! Maria obviously produces meaty offspring! I bought them at the end of her lactation, but she had open orifices and a decent udder for a first freshener. I am looking forward to her freshening this year and hoping her kids will be just as meaty in size!
Well thats the farm this fall.... some of it!  I'm adding more dogs to the farm that will need much training... like the ones I already train! and I have 5 more does due to kid in the next 3 months... a great little fall/winter garden... 8 chickens needing to go to the freezer and thinking seriously about buying some more ducklings to raise for the other pond... still have some canning to do from the garden produce I froze until I could get to it! not to mention my online business selling goat milk skin care and goat milk soaps!
Never a dull moment....
God Bless! and pray our country makes the right decision this year in choosing the NEW president!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Long Summer Days

This year we are getting our homesteading butts kicked! Lots of our tomatos are struggling with early blight, sun scald... My hens hatched out like 21 cockerels and only 6 hens! Some of our baby goats got entrotoximia and I didn't have the antitoxin to save them all... by the time I got it, I was only able to save 2 , lost 4! (always have C&D antitoxin on hand!) Parasites are bad this year... my adults are doing good though! Just doubled up on some herbs. Our large field of corn is slow growing this year... my small experimental corn field of bloody butcher is good but its just small... Provider beans once again.. Provided! lots of fresh eating and lots of quarts canned! Kentucky pole is just starting to produce so we'll see. Pepper plants are rockin'. Summer squash played out early... watching the winter squash now... My ducklings are doing great... but they are super messy! Way messier than chickens! But I love'em!
Welsh duckies!!!!
Lots and lots of Provider beans,,,, they are on the grow list EVERY year!

 Myotonic meat goat mix Edith turned dairy goat??? Yep! More on that another time... She is part of our Homestead Goat project.
 Coco's baby doeling , Ester, one week old here. Coco had a very hard birth, we lost her buckling :(
But little Ester is doing great!! Bigger everyday! Polled like her momma.

Have a Blessed weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

KID UPDATE! Brie had buck & doe this morning!!

Just look at this baby girl Starbucks and Brie have made!!!! She is incredible! One of the flashiest kids I think I've ever seen.... beautiful baby girl... and yes, she is retained! and even looks to have blue eyes... and her chances of being a good milker is very high! With Starbucks lines and Brie freshening with a huge udder!
 I think I took like 50 pictures of her.... now I don't breed for 'color' I breed for milk and health... with Nigerians the color just comes...

 Brie's baby boy is very very long... nice buckling! Not as flashy as his sister but super nice... esp. since Brie has freshened with a great balanced udder, open orifices and its huge, I can't wait to milk her to see how much is in there! I probably won't keep the boy since I have 4 bucks already... which is more than enough for my small herd... but I'd like to keep him...

Retained doelings so far this year.....

NC Promisedland Butter(NC Promisedland Tempest & CV Sharpie) and Gods Blessing Charmed(LTE Cleome & Woodhaven Luzifer Blue)
Gods Blessing Cami (LTE Melody & Rosasharn Chewbacca)
My little Gods Blessing Farm dairy goat herd is growing.... which means eventually I'll have to make some cuts since I refuse to crowd my goats.... they are no where near being crowded now ... and I plan to keep it that way... crowding goats stresses them out and makes it impossible to control worms! Plus it ensures they have browse to eat... which cuts way back on my feed bill....
and thank goodness Nigerians don't take up to much room!  :-) 

Have an awesome week!
God Bless!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Chicken & Guinea keet Explosion

                                 So many chickens, if I told you how many you'd call me the crazy chicken lady instead of the crazy goat lady!!! and I can't forget 24 Guinea keets this year! My chicken breeding program is well under way this year! I have my Buckeyes... I looked and looked for these chickens... most were sold out or you could only order 3! I finally found a hatchery that let me order 10! Then I lucked up and found a local breeder right in Athens, TN . So I have my 2 blood lines for breeding them next year! Buckeyes are a rare heritage breed duel purpose chicken that I had been reading on for sometime..... I like to have a large duel purpose breed... a small breed and a breed or two for fun...

Buckeye chicks
Now below... these are Appenzeller Spitzhaubens. Rare breed... and they are my 'fun' breed! I was able to buy 6 of them. They are rare here but more common in Europe... decent layers of small white eggs. Beautiful unusual looking chickens!
Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicks

Mille Fleur d'Uccle (This is Polka Spot, she's a good momma!)
And my small breed...Belgian d'Uccle Bantams... seriously broody! will hatch out anything! Mine have hatched out over twenty chicks so far.. with more sitting and another girl gone broody just a few days ago. I love this breed. They are nice layers for bantams! Lay all summer , even when it gets super hot.. they do take a break in the winter.. which is fine since I have plenty of big winter hearty chickens that lay in the winter. My favorite breeds of chickens... I couldn't imagine my farm without them. They come in lots of color patterns too... I have 2 bloodlines and would like a third... also have Blue, Black and the traditional Mille Fleur color... just added some Lavenders too!  Sweet birds!

Black d'Uccle (Mini Me is her name, sitting her nest!)

Along with all the new babies and gardens being planted I still try to find time to make up things for my online store....Love the markets bags... they carry so much... good beach/lake bags... grocery, flea market.. so many uses for something most people throw away!
Market Bags for sale in my Crazy Goat Lady store
Thats all for now... gotta go check on those chicks!
God Bless!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fast Forward to... APRIL!

Well, planting the garden is in full swing here! Planting all Heirloom & open pollinated Vegetables this year! Some even sprouted in my very own green house....(yay me!)
And I've got goat kids, Myotonics and Nigerians everywhere! With 3 more Nigerians left to kid! And one goofy Nubian left to kid...which as soon as she has her kids weaned she's outta here!! And must downsize a few more kids too... :(
 I have 4 broody hens setting a nice bunch of D'Uccle eggs!!! Hoping for a few self blues and maybe a black or 2!!! Along with some Millies of course! Our Heritage American Blue rabbits had more kits! more rabbit on the table yum!

Edith, My favorite Fainting goat doe, her 2 kids, Kat, another Fainting doe (don't tell her Edith is my fav!) and ofcourse Buffy, the guard donkey that I absolutely LOVE!
 My first kid of the season was Cami in Jan.... A LTE Melody & Rosasharn Chewbacca baby girl,,, can't believe how she's grown... so long and pretty!!!
 Gotta throw a little pic of my girl Melody's udder, Cami's mom... crazy open orifices to milk, butter soft! Milks out so fast! Really hoping Chewbacca and Melody give me a superstar milker with Cami... If so... Chewbacca and Melody might have to hook up again!
So much to do.... filling lots of orders for my business lately! AND I'm in 2 retail stores now! Ofcourse one is my moms quilt shop The Cotton Patch in Athens... maybe that doesn't count....
But the other definitely counts... Its a store in Maryville called The Rabbit Hole... I'll add a link when they get a website up... I'm super excited and hope the products go well there.

Well thats it for now... gotta go close up the chickens and say good nite to the goats and Buffy :)
God Bless and have a lovely evening!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring... Almost here... Kidding season... is HERE!

I'm always shocked when I notice how long its been in between blog posts... because in Knoxville I blogged every week!
I did have ALOT more time on my hands though...

Yep, kidding season has arrived at Gods Blessing Farm! Finally! So far my girls have given birth to 3 doelings... all beautiful ofcourse! And I've added a few kids too from other farms. Below is NC Promised Land Tempest with her new babies.. Sweet Hannah and Sweet Butter! Their sire is Caesars Villa Sharpie. She just had them yesterday! First born on the farm... Little Camembert Uno ... Cami for short... dam is LTE Melody , sire is Rosasharn Chewbacca... beautiful long legged doeling! She was huge! I just knew Melody had 2 growing... but nope.. just one huge doeling! :)

On top of kidding, we finally got out bacon back from Benton's. Our hog yielded 27 lbs of it...

and its amazing! I've not had bacon like this since I was a little kid. We are not raising another hog this year though.So its gotta last!.. this year is to concentrate on goats and poultry... and always gardening! But next year we will have to make time to raise another one... as I will not be able to eat the tasteless pork from the store again.

My green house!! This was a Christmas present from the Bald Man and now I'm getting to use it.

One of my goals is to be a great gardener... a seed sprouting, organically raising, 4 season gardener... I have a long way to go.. but I could not do it with out the green house! I love it!

Every week,,,, I have to make Goat Milk soap, lotion or some other goat milk skin care product for my business..

and I love it.. not only does it put my Esthetics education to use when I have to formulate products...but helps me save money for more goats!! :)

Another Christmas present from Bald Man that I'm just now able to use! A cream Separator!!! This thing is awesome! We now have our own half and half.. ice cream... and so many other great things that you can only get with cream... I can't wait to make butter! Once I have a few more girls in milk it shouldn't be a problem with this!

And able to make hard cheeses again! Which is great because the cheese cave was bare! Not anymore. Last year I made several hard cheeses... some turned out great ... some.. not so much!

My favorite last year was the Saffron Infused Chevre Cheddar... it was so delicious and only had to age a month to be yummy! I plan to concentrate on more unique artisan cheeses this year.. last year I mainly made the basics... cheddar, monteray jack, Parmesan. Ofcourse I make the usual soft goat cheese and chevre.. mozzarella, ricotta.. but they are so easy it doesn't 'feel' like I'm really making cheese... The hard cheeses are what I love to make.. they look so neat! Taste so good... and seem special or something. I guess I feel that way because I know all the work I put into a wheel of the hard stuff.

Well, thats a quick review of whats going on at the farm! And I mean it!!!! I have got to start blogging regular! I loved in Knoxville how blogging let me go back and look at all I had done in the year. It would be nice to be able to do that with my farm blog too...

Have a very blessed week!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Farm Days....

17 goats now.... but selling all the Alpines so I can concentrate on the Nigerian dairy herd.

Little Brie... the cutest baby goat... not such a baby anymore! She's protesting having her picture made here... I didn't give her enough time to 'pose' for the camera which she usually does so well! Melody is due in like 2 weeks!!!!! She got a trim yesterday to get ready for the babies, this pic was obviously taken before a trim!!!!! Her udder is starting to fill up. She is bred to Rosasharn Chewbacca! I can't wait! But I'm so nervous and hope all goes well... she's supposed to be an 'easy kidder' but each time is different... just saying a little prayer this time is no different!

Brie and Goldie were sweetly eating together at the hay feeder I made them ... then they saw me and thought for sure I would have a treat! which ofcourse is better than hay....

A new items added to my "Farm Girl Couture" made from feed bags accessory line.. Wristlets!

Below is a Goat Wristlet...
Each one has a key chain clip and wrist band to wear as a bracelet... perfect for quick trips to town or anywhere you might need a little money or credit cards and don't need a large purse with all your 'stuff'! Very easy carry item.

The inside of each wristlet has a place for credit cards and a zipper pocket for money.

This Puppy Chow wristlet has doggie paw print lining and band! Its so cute!

A chicken wristlet! Made from a Layena bag and fancied up a bit with a pearl embellished key ring I recycled.

Goat Milk Shampoo Bars! These are just so good, all natural. Great for your hair. I'm getting ready to set up at the Knoxville Boat show.. so building inventory has been a major focus this month. ....I'm hoping to relieve bored women who are there with their husbands with some retail therapy while he looks at the same bass boat for the hundredth time! :)

I've added several new soap scents... like this one made with Tomato extract (to help improve skin texture) my Goat Milk Vitamin C Fruit Punch bar... smells so refreshing, just like fruit punch.. makes me want summer to get here!

Dry skin a problem for so many people... and Goat Milk products certainly help with that! But I've added some products not only formulated with goat milk but also with herbs, special oils and special additives that fight inflammation on the skin. Like this lotion ... Anti Inflammatory Eczema Relief Goat Milk Lotion... I have a Anti-Inflammatory soap curing to go with it.

I've also added these Body Butter Bars... for dry heels, elbows and knees.. or just for extra, extra dry skin! I've made them using my most popular scents. They are made with extremely moisturizing butters and oils... grape seed oil, cocoa butter, babassu oil (amazing stuff!) and beeswax ( draws moisture to the skin)

And added many more Goat Milk Body Lotions.. and added larger bottles! Available in the ever popular Peaches & Cream, Raspberry Truffle, Ginger Spice and the new Coconut & Avocado... and my new exclusive scent blend 'Island Hottie'! Also available in body mists! And yes! all this can be ordered on my Online store from the website! yay! Free shipping on orders over $35 and free gift with every order! or if your in the area come to the boat show in Knoxville!! Check out the new boats for 2012.. and shop :)

All this and have all my spring seeds for the garden ordered! Trying some new stuff this year.. like ground cherries! Everything we are growing this year is open pollinated and lots of heirlooms! Meanwhile to goats, chicken and rabbits are making all the fertilizer I'll ever need!

Have a great week! God Bless!