Friday, May 22, 2020

Sneaking back in

Please forgive me if this post is all katywampus; it's been a wee bit since I've logged on to the Blogger site.

I've come back to blog for several reasons, but the final push was because Small Farm Girl ( hinted that she was going to start up again and I'm like, "Not without me, you ain't!!"

The world, as many already painfully know, has officially gone to the crapper.  TwentyTwenty is going to go down in history as "That year pretty much sucked".  So I'm not going to discuss virology or economy or political-ology stuff (not yet, anyways) because frankly, I'm sick of the shit.  And I have only myself to blame because I have taken FB on as my main "outlet" and pushed my blog to the back of the closet (along with my size 10 jeans and high heels that I swear I will mash myself into one day).  It's time to start focusing on the GOOD things, and the things that I personally have control over.

I've been working full time since 2015, so things have obviously changed around the homestead.  Oh, the homestead is still here, if only to provide me with moments of rooster-rage or goat-screaming but  I'm just not the one dealing with it full time now.  Paul is now the sucker - I mean -  the Head Human in Charge, with Rhiannon as his Second in Command.

Following your blogs used to be the highlight of my week.  And I hope to bring that spark of joy back to my life.  And honestly, I miss writing here as well.

Oh, the stories I have to tell.  Some good, some bad, some downright so ugly that you will have to wash your eyes out with lye and then squirt salted lemon juice in them to flush it out.  But tell you about it, I will.

See ya soon!

Stay safe.  Stay well. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Dem Bones

We butchered one of our Boer goats last month…..or was it the month before?  “BBQ” the wether was past prime butchering time (i.e. we should have last fall) but he finally went to freezer camp.  After several years of experience butchering goats and deer, we have a pretty standard operating procedure now.  Shoulders and ribs are slow roasted in the oven; hind quarters are either slow-roasted, cut into stew sized pieces or ground up for burgers; loins & tenderloins saved for “special” meals and the neck meat and other scraps saved for burgers. 

The dogs and chickens love butchering day.  Scraps here, scraps there, scraps, scraps EVERYWHERE!  (Imagine me doing that sing-song while I fling small pieces of fat, sinew and flesh across the yard for the chickens to brawl over.) 
Charlie and Kai get the choicest of scraps; liver, heart, kidney, and whatever else they manage to swipe out of the gut bucket when one turns their back for even a millisecond.  Kia snagged the goozle this time.  I have no idea where the word “goozle” originated, but it is the local word used to describe the throat piece that looks like a ribbed, plastic pipe.  Normally that stays IN the gut bucket, but Kai managed to swipe it.  I can’t quite describe the sound that is made when canine teeth chew through the eight inch, cast-aside esophagus of a goat.  Seriously.  I can’t.  All I know was that I was audibly bombarded by such a horrific noise that it made me visibly wince.  (I came back to this post over a month later and I STILL cringe at the memory of that sound).  Anywho.

Once all the meat was cut, cubed and picked from every possible bone, the bones and some other not-quite-good-enough-to-eat, but good-enough-for-broth scraps went right into the pressure cooker.  Bones are usually saved for the dogs, but I was running out of soup stock and thought I’d try my hand at goat bone broth.  I added water, onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves and a few shakes of salt into the pressure cooker and set it at 10 lbs. of pressure for about an hour.  I let it cool down in the pot, strained it, poured it into ½ gallon mason jars and stuck the broth in the fridge.  Normally I like to can broth to have on hand, but I wasn’t going to waste my time if the goat broth wasn’t up to par.   

I personally finished drinking a gallon of goat broth in less than a week.  And I will be making more, much to the dismay of the dogs.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Where, oh where.....

.....has my little blog gone?  Oh where or where can it be? With its posts cut short and the intervals so long.  Oh where or where can it be?

I have no excuse.  I have either lost my muse, lost my mind, or a little bit (or a lot) of both.  The last post I wrote was about the bucks in the beginning of January.  Since then the productivity of those bucks has been confirmed and we added another twelve kids to the herd; six females and six males.   And three months after that, we subtracted seven goats from our herd, having sold the wethers / bucklings / buck to other people who wanted to have a goat for supper, a pet, a lawnmower, or for gawdonlyknows why.  The wethers from last year’s FFA project are gone as well.  Don (the one that got sick & stunted) was handed a winning lottery ticket and went to another family to be a pet, while his brother wasn’t so lucky and ended up on our supper plates. 
I guess I should probably log it in this blog who birthed who and when, but alas, I didn’t even write all of those dates down.  I guess I should just be happy that nobody has died unexpectedly (yet).
So here’s the 2016 Kidding Totals (or at least what I can recall):
Annette had two doelings (Amber & Angie)
Lily had two bucklings
Dilly had one buckling and one doeling (Pickililly)
MamaGoat had a single buckling
Pyewacket had two bucklings
Pickles had a single doeling (Sweet Pickles).
Clover had a single doeling (Blossom).
Maypop had a single doeling (Buttercup)
Lily didn’t have a very difficult birthing, but she ran a temperature, was passing bright red blood (not “regular” blood from kidding) when she pee’d and was really out of it for a few days.  I’m not sure if she tore her urethra and that’s what the infection / fever was from or what.  But I gave her a round of antibiotics, Vitamin E & B and all the other good stuff and she perked up to normal in a week days.
MamaGoat had a horrible kidding.  She had a single buckling who was not presented correctly and was large to boot.  One of his front legs was bent backwards so I had to push him back in and grab the leg.  She’s a smaller goat than the others and it was difficult to get my hand up in her, let alone try to hook a finger around the leg to pull it forward.  She was tore up pretty good, but has since mended up quite nicely and is back to normal.
I think that the rest of the kiddings went without a hitch.  In fact, I think that Maypop had her kid without any of us there at the time.  Paul went out to the barn and came back in saying she had a kid on the ground.  Bonus for me not having to have my hand up the backside of a goat.
Out of nine breedings, all but Daisy had taken.  I SHOULD know if she were pregnant because if I HAD kept good breeding records last year I would have known if her kidding date was past due, but because of my lack of goat-keeping-ness, I did NOT write everyone’s breeding date down.  At least not where I could retrieve that information.  Probably on a soda-stained, crumpled up, yellow sticky note just barely adhered to the bottom of one of my slippers crammed into the corner of my bedroom closet and hidden from sight underneath a bag of clothing that was supposed to go to the Salvation Army.  Hmmm……I think that last sentence pretty much sums up the last twelve months or so of my life here.
Pickles has been saved (at least for now) because her breeding DID take.  I would have bet money that she wasn’t pregnant; she didn’t bag up until a few days before she popped and she wasn’t big at all.  If she didn’t have a kid this year I was going to grind her up into sausage.....with a smile on my face.  As it turns out, she had a very stout, very healthy doeling that she is still doting upon.  She has absolutely no idea how lucky she is.  Now if I can just find some way to shut her howling screamer.  Her yelling is maddening. 
Dilly (Pickles first daughter) is a total asshat.  She pretty much rejected one of her kids last year (and the other one eventually died) and this year she just barely tolerated her two new offspring.  The doeling is still with us, but is basically ignored by her mother and she weaned her & her sibling short of six weeks.  I have her in the sale paper & if I ever get my butt going, I’ll send her to the sale barn.
Pyewacket’s two bucklings were sold a few weeks ago and I’ve been on again / off again milking her.  Mamagoat’s buckling is growing like a weed and I want to keep him drinking all that good milk to fatten him up for the freezer.  Once I pull him off her (to put him on our supper plates), I'll milk Mamagoat as well.  We only kept two males for the freezer; Mamagoat and Lily’s bucklings.  I was thinking about keeping Lily’s buckling as a breeder, but we already have two bucks.  We DID have three, but I sold the year old, black-headed buck, Moe-Lassas to a couple who wanted a pet & lawnmower. 
At first I was reluctant to sell Moe-Lassas to these people, but desperation and the need for some cash INcome won me over.  They knew he was a buck.  I even reinforced that fact several times, going so far as to remind them that he’ll be stinkier than all holy hell during breeding season, would try to breed anything not moving (or moving slower than he can) and that “buck” meant “intact male”.  Although if they didn’t realize that by the overly-large, fuzzy sack of testosterone and DNA material swinging from his backside meant that he was a buck, I don’t know what would have convinced them.  They never had goats before, but they knew what they wanted, and claimed that they knew what they were getting into.  I have my doubts, but who am I to question someone’s intentions and / or preparedness for having a goat?  Oh, and they said they have Pomeranians.  Not sure how owning a couple of fluffy, bug-eyed yapping dogs qualifies you to keep goats, but what the hell; I guess it shouldn’t DIS-qualify you from owning goats, right? 
So I convince Paul to go into the buck pen to get a lead onto Moe-Lassas’ collar when suddenly the husband buyer whips his shirt off and joins him in the pen.  Not exactly sure why the man felt the need to remove half of his clothing, but I will not be able to un-see the living “shirt” of curly, overgrown graying chest and back hair from my mind.  I would have packed sea salt in my eyelids just to burn that image out of my retinas.  So the sweaty, hairy, and according to Paul, quite intoxicated man is running Moe-Lassas around the pen.  Anybody with half a functioning brain cell knows that if you want to catch an animal you do NOT go running right towards it.  Well, everybody except drunken, hairy, Pomeranian-owning men, apparently.  l tell the man with a BAC of 1-point-something to just stay put and Moe-Lassas is picked up and put in the back of their SUV.  No cage.  No leash (WHY does NO ONE. EVER. Bring a leash or crate or cage?!?)  Just a blue tarp in the back of the vehicle.  Money exchanged hands, I wished everyone good luck, the wife (thankfully) hopped in the driver’s seat, and they drove Moe-Lassas away into the sunset.  I wonder how long it took Moe-Lassas to jump into the front seat, piss all over the leather seats, send goat turds rolling all over the floor boards and try to hump hairy Pomerian-guy in the ear. 
Goats may be a pain in the rear, but it sure does provide for some interesting blog fodder.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

If looks could kill.....

Don't be fooled.  That is a glare of total and utter hate.
.....I would be dead.  If an autopsy were to be preformed from whatever remotely recognizable heap of torn flesh that the state medical examiner could scrape off the ground, it would have to be put into one of those triple-walled heavy-duty trash bags and the fat, muscle, grizzle and tissue that was once my body would be littered with the hay, grain and goat shit from whence I met my demise.

But lucky for me, I was able to convince Pau to help prevent the above gruesome scenario.

So what could have transpired that something so horrible could have happened, you ask?

Herman's head gear fell off....and had to be put BACK on.

Herman is the Alpha Boer buck goat.  With horns.  And the goat fence is constructed from cattle panels. We chose cattle panels because they are very sturdy, movable, re-usable....and, well, we had them.  The only downside to using the panels is that if one has a horned goat, that goat will stick it's head through those panels and not be able to un-stick it, therefore requiring assistance from the goatkeeper (that wasn't supposed to have any horned goats on the property in the first place) in order to release his head.

To remedy this situation, one attaches a pvc pipe across Herman's head with copious amounts of duct tape thusly ensuring that he can not get his noggin through the squares in the panels.  This worked like a charm and I was delighted to NOT have to go out there fifteen times a day to get him out.  Unfortunately the duct tape eventually gets rubbed off and we're back to square one with him sticking his head through the panels. I think he rubbed his last pvc & duct-tape noggin contraption off almost two months ago.  So every day since then, several times a day, we've been having to get the dickhead's skull out from the cattle panels.  One would think that a goat, even a stupid goat, would eventually figure out that if he shoves his head through something and gets stuck EVERY SINGLE TIME, that maybe, just maybe, the urge to shove your head through the fence would subside.  But no.  I believe Herman's sole purpose on this earthly plane is to test my resolve and to teach me to contain the disturbingly violent urges which swim like slippery, needle-toothed eels through the murky waters of my subconscious.

Every subsequent time that Herman's headgear needs re-attaching, it becomes more and more difficult. The time before last we took turns straddling Herman and holding his horns while the other wrapped (and wrapped, and wrapped) the duct tape over the pvc pipe and horns.  The last time neither or us were able to get on Herman and by brute strength and luck alone we were somehow able to manage the task.  Each time Herman is stronger.  And meaner.  And hating us more and more.  And he is on to us.  Paul was almost castrated by Herman's swinging horns the last time we were in there.   A pissed off buck goat with pointy horns at groin level is something every man should rightfully fear.

So this time we had a plan.  Actually, Plan A was to sucker a friend or three into coming by and helping, but nobody was that stupid.  So plan B was for us to wait (the whole fifteen seconds) for Herman to get his head stuck (again) into the fence, incapacitate him, THEN put the headgear on.

Plan B actually worked.  And no one was disemboweled or gored.  My jacket and barn chore pants however, reek like, well, a buck goat in all his sticky-piss glory.  Once Herman was stuck, Paul went into the pen and tied Herman's front and back legs and we yanked his head out of the fence.

Let me tell you that I had to use every last ounce of willpower to not give Herman a few good swift kicks to the backside while he was down.  Oh, how I wanted to lay into him.  I'm telling you, if OhioFarmGirl lived anywhere near me I would have invited her over for tea and biscuits and we would have had ringside seats when she released The Dog Horde on Herman's tied-up ass and I would have been grinning from ear to ear as the flesh was torn from his body in a blur of bright white gnashing and crushing canine teeth.  I'd be standing up and cheering on her Fighting Uruk-Hai as the blood from my most hated goat spattered across my face.  I'd wipe the still warm and sticky blood from my cheek and taste the iron-rich victory on my tongue.

Wow.  Got a little carried away there.  Uh hugh.  Anyways........where was I?

Oh.  Paul had Herman tied up and on his side.  I sat on top of the asshole (the goat, not Paul) and grabbed his beard (the goat's, not Paul's) to keep his head still while he wrapped the pipe over his horns.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't purposely put all my weight on Herman (maybe even bouncing once or twice for the full "Ooomph" effect coming out of dickheadgoat's lungs).  I'd also be lying if I said that I didn't feel sorry for Herman.  For an eighth of a second.  Because as soon as I did feel a pang of pity for the peckerhead, he started whipping his head around to BITE us.  Yes.  He was trying to bite us now.  Eventually we ran out of duct tape on the roll and had to make our way out of the pen.  Paul untied Herman's feet while I was still on top of him (which, now that I think about it, probably wasn't the best of ideas) and on the count of  "Three!" I jumped off and ran for the gate, leaving Paul behind to fend for himself (serves him right, why exactly, was it ME on top of the goat in the first place???)

Once we were out and Herman was up, he immediately started rearing and taking his frustrations out on the nearest tree.  He also started trying to rub the headgear off so gawd only knows if it's still on him now.  I hope so, because I am not looking forward to doing this again anytime soon.

I will, however, enjoy NOT having to get his stupid head out of the fence in the middle of the freezing night.

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?