It’s Show Time

So here it is June 20th and we are getting ready to load up the show gang and head down to the Great Frederick Fairgrounds in Maryland for the – group formally known as V.A.G.M.A. – E.A.G.M.A. ( Eastern Angora Goat and Mohair Association ) Annual Angora Goat Show and Sale. The Show is next Saturday and Sunday June 26th and 27th. White goats will show Saturday. The Colored Angora Goat Breeders Association NATIONAL Show will be held on Sunday. We show AAGBA registered white goats.
One thing that is really nice for us about the EAGMA Show is that we are NOT retail vendors. No product to haul. Just pack the goats and go…… right ! Just that easy.
We’ll be looking forward to seeing all the goats and their people and spending the weekend catching up with all the latest in “goat”. Thirteen of the Buckwheat flock will be showing. Hopefully that’ll be a “lucky” 13.
We did a dry run to the vet’s and back with all 13 on board for a health check and interstate transport papers. Came home, cleaned the trailer ( power-washer, yeah !) and loaded some clean bedding. All that remains is to round up the feed and water buckets, sort through the travel medicinals, and wait until Friday to head south. I hear the forecast is for a hot and sticky week in Maryland. With any luck that’ll clear out for the show. We’ll post how the goats placed when we return. Maybe we’ll see you there as well ?

Three on a Match

And the first kids of the year are triplets !
Hey it’s a boy, and then another boy and then another boy.
1 in 8 odds of that happening.
The “new kids” arrived on Thursday the 18th.

26 days ’til spring.

Any Day Now

Well, the nannies have been shared for about a week now and the first of our kids is due anytime. Today is a snowy day but not too cold. Nannies seem quite comfortable in the barn.
It’s Mardi Gras in NOLA, it’s one day to kidding and 34 days ’til spring.

What Time Is It ?

It’s Kidding Time ( almost ) !

The first of this year’s kid crop is due to start arriving on Feb. 17th. We’ve spent the past 2 months processing fiber – lots of fiber. Now that we are just about finished with the 2009 clip of mohair and wool, we’ll be shearing the nannies next week and we’ll start right in with 2010.
It seems that there really isn’t a time when there isn’t some fiber to process.
But what we’re really doing now is getting ready for baby goats and a bit later lambs ( due April 1st ). Here’s what we do to get ready :

-Clean the barn and kidding stalls
-Partition the barn into living areas – we house like sized nannies together to avoid un-sportsman like conduct ( translation – slamming ).
-Check and make sure we have enough buckets for each pen ( food and water )
-Test the heat lamps – our heat lamps are held up by chains and have bulb guards.
-Make sure we have plenty of towels for drying
-Blow dryer ( just like the ones used for drying hair ) – for drying kids fast
-Selenium shots – BoSe – each kid gets 1/4cc – we’re in a low selenium area.
-CDT – each kid gets 1cc
-Nutri-drench – each kid gets a couple of squirts
-Ear notch tool – we notch instead of tag kids – tags sometimes rip ears or fall out. We prefer to notch. To see a sample ear notch diagram visit the AAGBA website.
-Feeding tube – in case of chilled kids and a container for the milk from the nanny.
-Prichard Teats – in case we need to supplement nursing kids or for bottle babies
-A couple of plastic soda bottles for the teats ( but no Coca Cola bottles as the threads on the bottle’s neck have been changed and no longer accommodate the Pritchard Teats. )
-Worming paste for the nannies – after the stress of kidding we generally evaluate nannies and worm if needed. Stress can cause a decreased resistance to parasites.
-Something on hand for scours – we use a pepto-bismol like liquid.
-Shear the nannies – keeps the fleece clean and gives the kids a nice mohair-free udder to latch onto. After shearing the nannies stay in the barn until mid-March.
-Put the radio in the barn and tune to WAMC – our local Public Radio Station ( this is a plug for the station. Their fund drive starts in a few days. )
-Wait for the kidding to begin.

18 days ’til baby goats
51 days ’til spring

Meanwhile Back at the Ranchero

This Spring has been extremely hectic for us. We’ve been to a bunch of Fiber Shows — Maryland, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Seen a bunch of folks and talked a lot about goats. This is a photo taken about a month ago of our very own “Three Amigos”. The only bottle kids this year, who, thankfully are now weaned, grazing and happy.

This is also a picture from a while ago of a group of kids. All different sizes and colors and all much bigger now than that photo shows them to be.

And finally, a kid, well…… just being a kid.

The garden is almost planted – we have a few more rows to go. And soon we will start cutting hay – weather cooperating.

30 or so lambs have been born and are out grazing with the ewes.

We’ll take some more up to date photos and hopefully be more faithful to getting some posted here.

Spring Has Come

Farm life has been busy these past few days. The goats are just about done kidding. The sheep should start lambing any day now. We’ve spent the last 10 days shearing sheep and goats – 21 Ewes remain to be sheared and about the same number of Bucks. 120 ton of lime has been spread on the pastures and hay fields. A lot of time has been being spent on cleaning up our fence lines which were littered with debris from winter storms – tree limbs down, fence posts heaved and broken, wire needing tensioning. We’re also trying to get fiber prepared for our Spring Fiber Show Schedule. We’ve taken a bunch of new pictures but have not been able to get them posted yet. Maybe this weekend ?