Monday, November 23, 2015

Meet the Bucks

You know, if I recall correctly, I believe I swore up and down that we'd never keep a buck here at Krazo Acres.  For several years we took our girls on dates to other buck-owning farms for their date, a small amount of cash or a couple of homegrown frozen chickens exchanged hands and that was that.

The first buck was pawned off on us by a friend who no longer needed him for breeding purposes.   We kept Pan, the Nigerian Dwarf buck for about two years and used him on all our dairy gals.  He was a total shitface and there were times I had to wrestle his piss-stained and rank tub of muscle and hair down to the ground just to let him know who the boss was.  I may have eventually proven that I, in fact, was the boss....but it was definitely not a "win" for me as rolling on the ground with a buck goat is nothing more than total olfactory torture.  I sold him to the first person who agreed to come get him and give me four bags of corn.  Smell ya later, dickhead!

We were buck-less for a year I think, then I decided that we needed to have goat MEAT on the farm.  So I got Lily and Herman, our first Boer goats.  We kept Herman intact to use for breeding.  He is a prick as well.  Not nearly as much of a jerk as Pan was, but unfortunately there is no way that I would be able to take Herman down.  The first breeding year I was able to get in to the buck pen to bring the does to him, but it's no longer safe to do so.  Now I will bring the does in the pen & Paul will be right behind me brandishing a pitch fork or a long section of metal pipe.  Herman has one last fling here and then I'm putting him on the sale page and shipping his sorry butt outt'a here.

Studly Do Right was purchased as a bottle baby to be Herman's replacement.  He is much nicer, even friendly and I'm assuming that is because he was babied by us.  He wants to be around you and not try to knock your skull in or rear up to you.   Although during breeding season I don't scratch or pet him unless it's with a stick.  The fact that he doesn't have the huge set of horns like Herman is also a major bonus.

Moe-lassas is our newest buckling.  He and Moo-latte were out of a Nubian / Boer doe and Herman so I'm guessing the black heads came from their Nubian lineage.  He isn't the biggest buckling we've had, but I'm really a sucker for the black heads now so I'm going to give him a shot at breeding this year.  If he's shooting blanks or becomes a jerk, he's off to the sale barn as well.

So now I find myself with not one, not two, but THREE stinky piss-faced bucks.

Annette & Pyewacket have already been bred to Herman and Dilly, MamaGoat, Lily and Daisy have been bred to Studly.  We tried giving Moe-lassas a shot with Maypop, but he seemed to be more motivated than functional.  Unfortunately she's no longer in heat so we'll have to give it another go-round in two weeks.  Moe will get one last shot and then Studly will get his chance.

Pickles is still holding out on us.  We tried getting her in with Herman but no connection was made.  She's going to end up as sausage if she doesn't get bred this year.

So it looks like we're going to have a late kidding season next Spring beginning in the middle of March and dragging out into the end of April.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Dating, I mean, Mating Game!

Good evening all, and welcome to the Dating - I mean - Mating Game.

It's been a wonderful Summer here at Krazo Acres and all the goat ladies have been working on their best hay-bellies and practicing their tail flagging flirting with each other, all in anticipation of the fall breeding season.

So let's meet the Does for the 2015 Breeding Season, shall we?

Pickles, the Screaming Goat
Pickles was the first Boer here on our farm so she tends to think she's something special.  She likes to scream, wedge herself under the barn and scratch herself on the chain link fence.  She says she's looking for a gentleman buck; one that will share his grain ration with her before he jumps her.  Let's all give Pickles a warm welcome!

Lily was the second Boer doe on our farm and she's quite the naughty little goat.  She's not afraid to try new or Taboo things in the breeding pen and if truth be know, she and her brother, Herman, shagged up the first season.  And she said she'd do it again in a heartbeat....although she requested more spanking and wanted to be tied to the fence.  Which Buck will be willing to get it on with this little pervert?!
(LOUD applause from the buck pen, and lots of snorting)

Dilly is Pickles first offspring, and although she's already had time in with Studly Do'Right, she wasn't having any of him.  Dilly is a self-proclaimed stubborn prude and says "I ain't gonn'a let just any piss-faced buck from this farm poke me up the wah-hoo".  She says that she is holding out for a more refined and Registered Boer Buck with a good pedigree.
(Booo's and hisses from the Buck Pen.  Little does the prissy bitch know that I'm going to lock her in with the smelliest buck this year.)

Annette is up next.  She's a Dairy mix and normally goes for the Nigerian guys.  But since she's getting on up there in years she said she wants something different to spice up her breeding life.  Some Boer Buck Booty, perhaps?  Annette is not the romancing kind'a gal and isn't looking for a long-term relationship.  A minute & a half stand is perfectly acceptable for her.  Don't be expecting her to leave her number on the nightstand guys; she's already over your sorry ass before she even gets in the breeding pen with you.
Let's give it up for Annette!  (crickets chirping in the distance)

MamaGoat is also a Dairy mix and she will be looking over the three Boer bucks carefully.  She's never been with a Boer before and is feeling a little anxious.  During our interview, she inched closer to me and quietly whispered, "Is it true what they say about Boer's, uhm, you know?"  I said that I had only heard rumors and suggested that she ask Lily.  MamaGoat trotted over to Lily and whispered in her ear.  Lily whispered back.  Then MamaGoat's eyes widened and she ran back to me.  "Yeah!  I'll take a Boer this year.  Maybe two.  Or all three.  Can I do all three???"
(Excited applause.  From MamaGoat)

Clover is Lily's first offspring and is looking to keep the Boer blood line going but not at the price of more inbreeding (so Herman's off the list)  She likes being scratched on the shoulders and having her ears nibbled.  Although she's not as adventurous as her dam (and wants to distance herself from her incestuous conception), Clover is willing to look into a non-traditional colored Buck.  And Moe-lassas just might fit that bill.  How do you like your coffee, Clover?
Black; like my bucks.
(Whoops & frantic applause from one particular section of the buck pen)

Pyewacket is Annette's mixed-Dairy offspring and she seems to share her mother's general disinterest in romancing.  She enjoys spending time by Herman's fence line, but has admitted to me that it is only because the persimmon tree is there.  When I asked her who the lucky bucky is going to be this Fall, she just rolled her eyes at me and said that it's all about the persimmons.  "Which ever dope of a buck gets me the most persimmons can do me.  You gott'a think about yourself these days.  And if some moron of a buck wants to spend all his energy keeping me in a persimmon-eating lifestyle just so he can get some doe action once a year, well, that's just fine with me."
(No applause but lots of commotion claiming rights over the few persimmon trees in the yard)

Let's give all our Doe contestants a big round of applause!

In our next episode we'll interview the Lucky Bucks - Herman, Studly Do'Right and Moe-lassas.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

It's time

Time for me to get off my sloth-butt and write a freaking blog post.

It also just so happens to be the first time I went out this morning and really needed a long sleeved shirt.

So I don my favorite'est cat t-shirt, pull on my flannel (and pants, of course.  Although it wouldn't be the first, nor last time, I exited the house sans pants), grab my cup of vanilla chi tea and wander out to the barnyard so I can revel in the beauty that is Fall in The Ozarks.
Ahhh!  Cup of tea, cool & crisp weather, beautiful
fall colors, the wonderfu....BAAAAAhhha!!  Baaaaa!
Baaahhhaaa.  BAAHHAAaaaaa....
No more than sixteen seconds into my trying-to-relax-and-enjoy-the-moment, I hear the distressing call of a goat.  Forfukssakes.  Can't I just enjoy a freaking cup of hot tea you stupid pecker heads?!?

I run to the goat pen (who am I kidding, I don't run) and look around.  I count goat heads.  I don't see any blood or downed goats or missing goat body parts.  I move around the barn and hear the pathetic cry of a goat again.  I go back around the barn to see who's making the noise and everybody just stares at me....not making noise.

So I just stand there.  And they all just stand there, staring at me, probably wondering if they are going to get a treat, get kicked or get yelled at.  Then I finally hear the pathetic noise again.

It's Annette.  Who is in heat.  There is absolutely no questioning Annette's cycle.  She signals her willingness to be accosted by a smellier-than-all-hell buck goat by tail flagging and vocalizing her wanting by a horribly pathetic and lamenting kind of goat moaning.  And although I will readily complain about the pitiful sounds of Annette looking for some goat booty, it does make it a practically 100% sure sign that she is ready to breed.  There's no need to take temperatures, look at goat behinds for days on end or analyse the consistency of goat "goo".  She just grunts and moans.  All.  Day.  Sometimes for two days straight.
Yes.  We all hear you.
Shut UP already.
I will soon be removing my cute kitty shirt and favorite flannel, dig some "barn chore" clothes out of the dirty clothes hamper, and convince Paul that he has to be PimpDaddy with me later this morning.  I'm still not entirely sure which buck I'll have her bred to, although I've already made up my mind that it's going to be one of the Boers.  So who's the lucky guy?

Studly, Herman or Moe-lasses, the little black-headed buckling?  I was thinking that it would be neat to get more black heads in the herd, but Annette's mixed-lineage probably wouldn't guarantee anything anyhow.  Not to mention that we'd have to rig up some cinder blocks for Moe-lasses because of his shorter-than-required stature.  So it's either Studly or Herman.

Annette's been pacing the fence line by Herman, so I may just let her choose.  Because if you're going to get violated by a crusty-piss-faced beast with a pecker that looks like a garter snake that got run over by a lawnmower, you might as well get to choose which one.....right?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I haven't a legitimate excuse

Other than that I'm a sloth.

I teased you all with a soap giveaway, then fell off the face of the blogosphere.

I've been spending too much time arguing over stupid political memes on the time-sucking horror that is Facebook and neglected the one computer related project that I actually enjoy....this blog!  But because of my apathy, a few more people got in the proverbial hat for the giveaway, so I guess that wasn't all that bad.

So without further ado, here is the winning name for a homemade bar of soap:

Just kidding.

It's Denise!


Mike Yukon!

Figured I'd have to pick an additional winner to make up for my pathetic excuses for being so tardy.

Send me your mailing address and your choice of scent (Orange Spice, Sandalwood, Almond or Lilac) to CarolynRenee at centurytel dot net and I'll get your soap to you in a hopefully-more-timely manner than I did the drawing.

Just don't hold your breath.


Because you'd die before you got the soap.  Actually you'd be dead before I even put the soap in the mail.  So just go on with your life and hope that you get some soap in the mail before Spring.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Movin' and Cleanin'

The Creepy Meats and Barred Rocks are two weeks and three days old today.  And the Meats are far surpassing the Barred Rocks in size and stature:

Time to move them to separate pens, not only because the Meaties are taking up a lot of the space, but because they tend to crowd out the other chicks at the feeders.  Rhiannon helped me transfer the Meaties out from the little pen into the larger pen and they'll stay in there for another two weeks or until I get the chicken tractor up to snuff again.  Then I'll give the larger pen a good cleaning and put the Barred Rock pullets in there until they're ready to join the rest of the flock.

In theory, once the Barred Rocks start laying, the Rhode Island Reds, which I am none too fond of lately, will be crated up and put on the sale page.

The Creepy Meats are supposed to be ready in as little as eight weeks, but since we accidentally got males and females I tend to think we'll be keeping on the females for another two weeks or more.  And if we get to the eight week point and the males aren't huge, we'll keep feeding them as well.  Last season I was so fixated on getting the birds in the freezer at exactly eight weeks that we butchered them before they were our ideal size.  A few of them even weighed under four pounds.  That's not going to fly with a family that absolutely love-love-loves roast chicken supper with leftovers for chicken salad sandwiches the next day.

Since I was cleaning out the chicken pens I figured I may as well work on the other areas of the barn.  Lots of dust, chicken feathers, spider webs, spilt grain, mouse turds and mud wasps.  There was flying dirt & empty feed sacks being hurled out the doors.  Goats crowding around the doors in hopes that something GOOD would come flying out.  They did manage to get a few nibbles of leftover grain in the not-quite-empty feed sacks and quite the ruckus was made when a new one was tossed out.
Clover looks on and laughs.
Chop Suey isn't the brightest goat in the pen.
The chicken coop side of the barn still needs cleaning as does the goat loafing area.  There's lots of accumulated wasted hay and goat turds that need to be shoveled out of there and put into the garden beds but it's just so dusty that I'm kind of waiting for a rain to make it not so horrible on my asthma.  Even a dust mask can only do so much.  I'm thinking that it would be a wise move to invest in a  respirator so I put one on my Amazon "to buy" list.

Don't forget; if you haven't already done so, click on this post if you want a chance to win some homemade lard soap :)  You have until Sunday night!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fragrant Fall

I love the clean, crisp scent of fresh pine shavings.  We put the shavings in the pen for the Creepy Meat chicks and their substantially smaller Barred Rock brood-mates.  They are only a week and four days old today so it still smells like the shavings and not chicken poop.  I suspect in just a few weeks that I will be unable to smell the pine over the chicken poop.

If I recall correctly, last year I was cleaning out the pen every other day....and it probably could have used a cleaning EVERY day.  I don't plan on keeping them in the pen as long as I did last time, mainly because of the amount of labor involved in keeping the bedding relatively chicken-crap-free.

Once they're feathered out, I plan on putting the Creepy Meats out in the chain link kennel and then moving them into the fenced garden to pick at any greenery left after all the tomatoes and peppers are finished producing.  The drawback to putting them out in the kennel & garden is the fact that they will be vulnerable to raccoon and opossum attacks.  We've been lucky so far as in Charlie seems to be keeping most of the night time chicken murderers away from the hen house, but something has taken two older hens and three youngsters that refused to go into the coop at night.  I'm not sure if it is worth the risk putting them outside or not.  Nothing is worse than going out in the morning to a pen full of dead chickens.

There's another scent that has taken hold in the back section of the goat yard.  The gawd awful scent of a buck goat.  Herman is STANK-y.  Studly smells, but not nearly as bad.  Apparently he hasn't quite got his goat-mojo on, although Herman does have a few more years experience under his belt.

After being around the buck pen, it was enough to make me break the promise I made to myself not to indulge in ANYthing Pumpkin Spice'ish until the actual Autumnal Equinox.  I caved in and took a shower and used the fancy Pumpkin Spice bar of soap my Mom bought me a few weeks ago in order to erase all olfactory memories of the stanky-ass male goats.

Speaking of smelly stuff, I have some GOOD smelly stuff for my blogging buddies.  That is, if I still have any bloggers following me.  I've been a bad blogger as of late and haven't been reading yours or keeping up with mine.  So in an attempt to buy your loyalty back, I'm going to do a giveaway for some of the soaps Paul and I made a while back.

These soaps were made from all that pork fat we finally processed into lard a few months ago.  Normally I make our soaps using vegetable oils, but since we have lard coming out of our ears, I thought it would be a good idea to try using lard for the soap.  Well, and because I'm cheap.  The lard was "free"; the vegetable oils I'd have to buy.  We made the soap the first week of July, so they are ready to use.  We've been using them for weeks now and haven't burned our faces off, so don't worry, they're plenty cured!  I will say that the all-lard soap turned out much harder than the vegetable based soaps and they do not lather nearly as much.  I think I'll add some coconut oil in the next batch.

Anyways, these lard-based soaps are scented with sandalwood, lilac, orange and almond fragrance oils (as opposed to essential oils), so they're not ALL natural, but hey, it's free soap, right?!

So if you're still reading my blog and wanting some homemade lard soap, just leave a comment here.

And here's the "Fine Print" for the contest:

Contest open to U.S. Residents only.

One entry per person, UNLESS you say something nice about cats.  Then you get two.  Entries.  Not cats.

Winning name(s) will be chosen by a scientifically credible procedure to ensure a purely random winner or winners (i.e. I put all your names on little scraps of paper, throw them in a kitchen bowl and have Rhiannon close her eyes and pick one out).

Contest ends on 9/27/15 at Midnight, or sometime around then.  Because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want.
Cat(s) not included.
Good luck & smell ya later!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Zombie Fish

Last year - or was it the year before - we finally put in a stock tank for the ever-increasing number of goats we have to provide water for.  It stayed relatively clean for a while and when the water level got low, I scrubbed it out & refilled it.  But the Sub-Tropical weather we had recently had been making the chore of cleaning it out more difficult.  Not to mention the fact that there have been mosquito larva and some sort of other weird swimmy bugs frequenting the tank.  Instead of trying to scoop out the larva / swimmy bugs / algae or dump the entire contents of the tank out, I thought I'd try something I've heard from other livestock owners that wouldn't cause me quite so much trouble.

Rhiannon has a fish tank in her bedroom.  We bought it, along with five tiny feeder goldfish about 2 1/2 years ago.  And since then the tank-to-fish ratio has shrunk.  The fish have grown into something one might actually consider filleting and frying up in a pan.  After consulting with Rhiannon about her feelings for the goldfish, we decided that we'd put two of the larger fish into the stock tank.

I topped off the tank with some fresh water and we unceremoniously dumped the fish into the tank and watched them swim around in their new home.  The goats came up to see what we were doing, not so much interested in the bright orange creatures now inhabiting their watering hole, but fixated on the simple fact that we were carrying a bucket.  Because in the mind of a goat, buckets can mean only one thing; grain.  They were disappointed.  

Come actual goat feeding time later in the day, we checked on the status of the fish.  I'd say "fishes" but as you all know, "fish" is the plural of "fish".  Except there was no "plural" to speak of.  It was just "fish" in ONE fish.  How the hell did I lose a fish in just two hours?  Of course, the different scenarios flooded my brain.

Did a heron find our newly-stocked buffet so quickly?  Would a raccoon be out at this time of the day?  Could our bird-brained chickens actually figure out how to catch one?  Did the goats slurp one up???  I looked around to see if there was a dead goat on the ground, asphyxiated by a pet fish stuck in her esophagus.  I was trying to think of anything else that could have caused a fish to be missing, but the bawling from the all-still-living herd of "We're STARVING to death" goats did not allow for much more quiet contemplation.  So Rhiannon and I clipped and fed everyone and then that's when I heard Rhiannon say "I found Bulgie!" (he has a bulging eye, hence the name).  Apparently he was in the grass about three feet from the stock tank and managed to get out of the tank - either by his own volition or "assisted" by some other animal....we'll never know.

Rhiannon put him back in the tank....where he dropped to the a dead fish.  We waited a minute, then I told her to scoop him back out and throw him to the chickens.  Which were totally uninterested in.  So we went back to goat feeding chores and when everyone was unclipped, I went back to fish carcass to throw it into the compost heap.  I picked it up and was about to fling it over into the garden when it's gills moved.  Shit!  This thing had been out of the water twice now, the first time for nobody knows how long and the second time for about five minutes.  So I shove it back in the water & "swim" it back & forth to get some oxygen through it's gills.  It didn't seem like there was much progress, but it was progress.  So for about ten minutes I swam that stupid goldfish in the stock tank and it eventually flipped it's fins & tail a little, then eventually swam out of my hand under it's own power.  

It's been four days since the Resurrection of Bulgie and I'm happy to say that he's still alive and clearing the tank of algae and bugs.