Monday, June 29, 2009

More Cashmere Goats

Ryan and I drove to the North Carolina coast on Friday to pick up 9 cashmere goats. We weren't planning to expand our herd, but these goats became available and the price was right.

We wanted to leave around 5 PM on Saturday for the 9 hour drive home. We didn't want to travel during the hottest part of the day. Travelling is stressful for goats even without them roasting to death in a trailer.

One of the 3 pregnant does had another idea. She had a kid about 4 PM so we delayed our departure until 9 PM to give her time to rest and bond with her kid before we moved them. We arrived home at 6 AM Sunday morning. Ryan promptly went to bed but I ate breakfast and unloaded the goats. Then I took a 4 hour nap.

This afternoon one of the other does surprised us with twin girls. We thought that all the does were due in July or August. Moms and kids are doing fine. I'm ready for another nap!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Look What We Found

The goats that are temporarily residing in our yard ruined our well cover. That’s not a big deal since it was an eye-sore anyhow. The previous homeowner put an old dog house over the well and filled it with insulation. We are going to replace it with a fake rock.

As we were cleaning it up, we found a bees' nest in the insulation. I’d call them bumble bees, but I’m not a bee expert. All I know is that they were big! I’ve never seen a bees' nest like this before so I thought it was blog-worthy.

In the foreground of the photo, the nest is undisturbed. The top of the nest it is broken open so you can see the larvae. Lying to the left of the nest is an adult bee. It looks completely black but I think it had a bit of yellow that is hidden at this camera angle.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Farm Truck

I've been busy this week trying to find a farm truck. I was hoping to find one for about $2000 but realized early on that it would be nearly impossible to find one at that price that was also dependable.

Thank God for the Internet. I found a 1997 Dodge Ram I really liked at a local dealer and it seemed like a good deal. I looked it up on the Internet and discovered that that particular model is plagued with transmission problems. Suddenly that $3700 truck was not looking so great. A new transmission and other minor repairs would total about $3000.

Bummer! The search continues...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goats Do NOT Eat Everything!

Goats like to eat leaves, weeds, shrubs, tree bark, and garden vegetables. They do NOT eat everything. In fact, they don't even prefer grass, but they will eat it if there is nothing better. Sheep make much better lawn mowers.

I just returned from a 4-day Goat Browsing Academy. It was an intensive seminar about raising goats, focusing on what goats eat and renting goats out for land enhancement projects.

My first land enhancement project started today in my own yard. It is filled with clover. Goats like clover when it goes to seed. Therefore, I put my 2 bucks in the yard to feast on the clover seed heads. Hopefully, we will have a lot less clover sprouting up in our yard next year. That is, if I get the goats out of there before they poop the seeds out...

Many seeds will pass through a goat's digestive system unharmed in about 3 days. Therefore, you can "transplant" vegetation by letting goats eat the seed heads and then move them to another location. I will move my goats back to their pasture in 3 days so that the clover is replanted there for next year. Seed and fertilizer in one convenient portable package! Gotta love it!