2012 Blog Entries
Monday, December 31, 2012
I wish you could see this slide of snow that froze in place along the eve of the shop. It slid, changed it's mind, and just hangs there - with icicles a couple of feet long curved in towards the building.
I no longer slog my way through the snow on that side of the building to go through the gate in back. It would be my luck for the whole thing to come down as I got half way through it.
The goats are full of cashmere and almost ready to comb. I have two that are already loose with fiber, so will comb them on Wed. Decided to comb all 54 goats this year, instead of shearing. Have moved two stall heaters to the center of the barn so we can stage the stanchions there and at least have some heat while we do it. Katie will help this year, so that will make it go much faster.
I took a look at what it costs for all the heaters to be on in the barn for three weeks after shearing to keep the goats warm while they acclimate to not having their warm winter coats. Between that and the cost of shearing, the savings will more than pay for Katie's help, the goats will be happier and warmer with their guard hair left in place for them, and the combed fleece will require fewer passes through the dehairing machine. Nice to shear and get it done in one day, but even though it takes three combings over a period of three weeks, there are some definite advantages. It also causes less breakage to the fiber and gets the full length of cashmere off the goat.
Actually, once you get set up and start combing, it is almost therapeutic. Seeing the product of all one's efforts for the last year slipping off the goat, feeling the feather light fiber sliding softly through your fingers, placing the promise of beautiful yarn in it's bags, always is a gentle reminder of how interconnected we are with these beautiful animals in a spectacular place.
We are blessed......even if it does feel like Narnia right now:-) LOL
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Smart birds go south for the Winter :-)
Liberty Farm's Sugar Daddy and girlfriends
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Under the old apple tree.
Here Kitty, kitty, kitty
Friday, December 7, 2012
What took it so Long?
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Have had to separate Ghita and Sophie. Ghita is almost 2 1/2 now and has decided to test Sophie for dominance. Terrible fight, resulting in stitches and a pretty mangled ear for Sophie. Am told by other breeders that if the males fight, they get over it and get on with life. If the females fight and one does not submit, fighting will escalate. The females hold grudges. Kind of sounds like people, eh?
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Our dogs are not happy that we fenced in the riparian area, so they can't go swimming or sit in the water to cool off like Gandolph is doing. Fence doesn't stop Mya, though. She just climbs the gate and goes for a swim in Summer.
Not uncommon in the midst of a blizzard to see the dogs burrowed down in the snow, instead of going inside the barn where they could be warm and dry. Their coats must provide plenty of insulation. They love playing in the white stuff.
Arwen looks exactly like Ghita, her mother.
Nemesis on the Premises
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Too close to the house for my comfort, so the neighbors will have to put up with dogs barking tonight. This cat needs a refresher course in why it would not want to be inside our fencelines. Reed and I hauled the carcass off to a more remote area, but figured the cat would probably come back at dusk to find it's kill. We decided to leave guardian, Sophie, in with the goats, and leave the other three dogs loose. I would not want to be that cougar if it decides to revisit the scene. Three dogs, two weighing about 100 lbs each, barreling down the hill like a freight train with mayhem on their mind, should be plenty of discouragement for this cat to come back here anytime in the near future.
100% Cashmere Cloud for Spinners
Friday, October 5, 2012
The Three Amigos
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Ravenwood's Blue Smoke is in the middle of the picture. He is this year's little grey buckling out of Chance, whom we lost this last Spring. His mother, Sadie, is one of my consistently great producing does that always throws great fleece on her babies. He is well covered and growing cashmere of nice staple length and crimp.
Ravenwood's Calypso, one of this year's white bucklings, is by Zephyr and out of Caramel. Caramel is also one of our premier does and Zephyr is out of a doe that I keep breeding, trying to get more of her genes in my herd. She is a very high producer of great yield, crimp and staple length, and remains a consistent 17 microns, even at 7 years of age.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
I want to get cheese made and freeze it, and, and, and.............Folks, there is just not enough time or me to get it all done! Older equals slower:-)
On the other hand, there is no better feeling than being able to take something from it's beginning to it's end product - all on your own. Doesn't really matter whether it is cashmere goats and the yarn they produce, or a garden that provides healthy food for us. Ravenwood is good for my soul:-)
Need to get going on dehairing the rest of the fleece. Learning curve continues. One harvest bag of several white fleece that I dehaired and sent off to be spun was barely long enough to spin. Diana at GTTS called and said that the fine low micron of that batch of fleeces coupled with shortness equals difficulty turning into roving. It went through the carder just fine, but the weak, fine fibers began to break as it was being turned into roving. Since it was half dozen does who have had their fleece spun before, it was probably a problem with the shearer not getting close enough to the skin to catch all the cashmere. So............what to do. If we did not have so many goats, it would be nice to just comb everyone and not worry about that.
Diana said it was beautiful fiber, made a nice web, but just too fine with the added shortness to spin by itself. I have been wanting to try something lately and this gives me the opportunity. Cashmere/merino blend has already been tried and makes a wonderful yarn, but I have been thinking along the all American route and looking into other fine wool sheep that I could blend with for 3 ply yarn and designing larger projects. I talked to Diana about Targhee - a breed of sheep originating in the United States and developed in Idaho around 1926. It is a fine wool with a nice handle and spring to it.
I'll send her the Targhee top I ordered from Sweetgrass and try a blend of 20-30% of the wool with the cashmere. I am excited to see how that is going to turn out. With the fine wool, it could make a beautiful yarn that could be slightly lower in price because of less cashmere, but at those percentages still retain it's incredible softness and strength.
I am going to call it my EAST MEETS WEST yarn:-)
Basket of cashmere and canned grape juice and salsa.
Where the Sam did Summer Gooooooo?!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Garden, fencing projects, moving stall for horse to come home, new dehairing machine, hours on it (like watching grass grow:-). Then there was the CAE debacle and an Identity theft fiasco that brought a lot of stress. Had to buy a newer car since the one we had had so many rust issues, I was afraid the motor would drop out from under me while driving down the freeway. Hated to buy another car with the economy like it is. Been nice to not have payments for 11 years. BUT, Winter is coming. Need I say more.
Good news: great goat kid crop and a lot of really good cashmere coverage on them. Rainy June contributed to lots of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and now blackberries, peaches and grapes. Raised beds in the garden, filled with compost from our barn cleanings, delivered the best garden produce I have ever raised. Brought my horse, Dakota, home to enjoy for a few months.
Designer, Jen Hagan, is working on new patterns for us - Fair Isle Hat and men's scarf. FUN!!
So many things to be thankful for. Working on the dehairer is slow but it produces a beautiful product. So nice to be independent and to be able to do everything but spin the yarn. Going to the Sun Fiber Mill continues to spin beautiful yarn for us. Grow it, shear it, wash it, dehair it right here on the farm - ultimate quality control:-) Waiting for that first batch of yarn off our machine was so exciting.
Fall is definitely in the air with cooler nights. The last hot, dry month has dried out all the browse and pasture. We are back to supplementing hay.
Moose are after my favorite wild apple tree. I wish I could find someone to graft branches off of this one. It is the perfect eating apple and great cooking apple as well. I wait all year for these apples for a favorite apple cake recipe I make in the Fall.
Wild turkeys are a permanent feature here since they have a water source and Reed's bird feeders. 6 ft. bird feeders do not deter them!!
I need to reseed some places in the pasture and I know the dang things will get most of the seed, but they are part of the mountain world wildlife we enjoy in spite of it.
Had a gal out here the other day helping me linseed the stall that was moved out to the round pen for my horse. She said, "I love coming out here. The animals all look so happy."
Best compliment I could have:-)
The ultimate balancing act.
Fruits of One's Labor
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
It's a bit strange to feel the 'scurry to keep up" attitude drifting into a new paradigm shift. The bottle babies are as big as our herd kids and will soon be integrated into the herd. The vulnerable period following shearing, confinements from bad weather, kidding, bottle babies, newborn/ growing pups is behind us. The vigilance is now relegated to our Maremma livestock guardians, Max and Mya, as far as protecting our livestock and investment of energies and concerns for the rest of the Summer. Sophie has been commissioned to guard the chickens and bottle babies. Ghita is confined another 10 days while she is in season, anxious to be out with the others. Life here is changing to a different rhythm. A relief I must say, along with a weary sigh:-)
Plenty of work to do with the dehairing machine, that adds it's own ticking rhythm here on the farm. Such a slow process, but I am always amazed at the result in the soft, downy cashmere that drifts off the rollers into the bin. The independence it provides is also a worry off our list.
A family farm is not a place, nor an occupation. It is not a huge, corporate, only for profit, endeavor. It is a life vibrating with the energy of being part of something bigger than the latest electronic gadget to buy, or the prestige of a successful big city career. It is a lot of hard work. But it is also a connection on a deep level to the land and living things one cares for. It is an appreciation for the cycles of life, and a gratitude for the yield living things provide us in return for all our efforts. It is a haven for us, children and grandchildren. It is a place they will learn to appreciate the opportunity to work, that it can be fun and fulfilling, and they have the opportunity to develop a work ethic - something rare nowadays.
When I lay this weary, aging body down at night with all it's aches and complaints I realize one important truth. It's all worth it:-) We are doing exactly what we want to do, exactly where we want to do it, and with exactly who we want to be doing it with. It's a good weary.
That's my story and I'm stickin to it! :-)
Happy vegetables in our compost filled raised beds. Piper, one of our bottle babies.
In Memoriam: Time for a very serious Talk Folks.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
When he was born, thinking he would thrive best if fed goat milk since he is a goat, we searched for someone to buy milk from. A lady my husband knows has raised goats for years. She shows them, ships them, sells them. Being new at goat raising, we did not know much about raising bottle babies, let alone questions to ask. It seemed she would be a good source.
Fast forward 4 years and Chance comes up lame. Vet is called. Blood is drawn. Test comes back CAE positive. My heart sank. In the years that passed since he was born, we have learned about many diseases. How could he possibly have that? Did it come from his mother that we purchased...........or did it come from the milk we purchased? His mother had been sold a long time ago, but her other kids would turn out to be negative.
SInce we had bought the milk, Reed asked the lady about CAE and her herd. Yes, she had CAE in her herd, and she was oh so sorry she had not told us.
The simple solution to the problem would have been to pasteurize the milk. She should have told us. Why someone would not is beyond me.
Fortunately, Chance had never been pastured with the herd. His only partner in his own paddock was another little buck that had been placed in that paddock at three months and never returned to the herd. That lessened the exposure to the herd, except for the 11 does we bred him to last Fall.
CAE (Caprine Arthritis Encepalitis) is not curable
CAE is primarily transmitted through mother's milk and body fluids, making them most contagious during birthing and immediately after.
90% of goats that get CAE never develop symptoms, however, long term exposure to CAE positive goats in a herd can result in 20% of the herd turning positive over the years. They can be contagious and spreading the disease without anyone knowing it is present.
CAE can be transmitted through blood, saliva, droppings, although rarely
CAE can be transmitted through breeding bucks, although very rare.
Kids from CAE positive does must be pulled from their mothers before nursing to prevent them getting CAE through the colostrum/milk.
CAE positive goats must be isolated from the others for their entire lives to prevent exposure.
Pasteurization of milk kills the virus, but the antibodies in the milk of the mother remain in tact. This can result in a positive test result for the kid who received pasteurized milk and inherited the passive antibodies. These will usually clear from the kid's system in 6 - 7 months. Trouble is, testing only detects antibodies and does not discern between passive or infectious antibodies. So, even though these goats are not infectious, they must be isolated from the herd.
We are not set up to keep animals isolated for their entire lives, and cannot tolerate any disease of any kind on the place. We could not in good conscience sell any animal that tests positive for any disease. Chance's fate became alarmingly apparent and I wept.
The entire herd was tested. All this - just as all the does started kidding. Every doe showing any sign of imminent birthing was isolated in a pen so all birthing fluids would be contained and immediately cleaned. They would need to be kept penned until we got results. Talk about stress!
The tests came back. Two others turned up positive. One was the little buck housed with Chance. The other was another pet doe, heavily pregnant with probably twins. Out of all the does bred, she was the unlucky one that picked it up through breeding. It could have been much worse, but this was turning into a nightmare that had to be relived 3 times putting beloved animals down. My husband missed two days work, since I was so distraught over their loss and the implications it might have for our herd. The herd would also need to be retested in 3 months to pick up any that had turned positive in the 60-90 day window of infection.
Chance, Ariel and Moe were all euthanized to eliminate any possibility of exposure to the rest of the herd. I had bought a pasteurizer once I started making soaps, 3 years ago. However, I had one bottle baby that had been fed the pasteurized milk, so she had to be isolated until three months of age.
Our vet kindly took her to keep for a while. She came back home at 2 months of age and had to be penned in a 6x8 pen for another month until the next testing.
Fortunately, every remaining animal in the herd tested negative after 3 months. Vet at WSU said that with such minimal exposure because of the two bucks never being with the herd, and only one doe who was 4 months post breeding and euthanized before birthing, we could be comfortable that we caught this before it got into the herd.
Unfortunately, over $3,500 in vet bills.
Loss of 3 of our best animals, and the twins our doe was probably carrying.
Destruction of our only two bucks.
Anxious wait to have the retesting.
Close confinement of the little doeling who sorely needed companionship and play to grow and develop socially and physically.
Yesterday, I ran Ariel's fleece that was sheared last Feb. through the dehairer. It was all I could do not to cry all over again, feeling her wonderful down cashmere flowing through my fingers. I can still feel her leaning her head against my thigh in hopes of being petted.
Folks, especially breeders, please take note.
80% of the herds tested in the U.S. have positive goats in their herd. And, no, it is not just dairy herds.
No one can claim their herd is CAE negative unless they have had all their animals tested.
Every goat owner has the ethical responsibility to inform purchasers about the presence of any disease in their herd. Not telling people puts their entire herds at risk, results in the destruction of valuable animals and takes a huge emotional and financial toll. Please, please, please do the right thing. The fix for the purchaser of milk is simple. They just need to pasteurize their milk. Tell them - please.
I have found that the disease is so prevalent, and so few animals actually develop any symptoms, that people are rather fatalistic about it and just assume they will lose a few animals over time. I find that attitude completely irresponsible if one ever considers selling animals. It is not fair to the animals or the purchaser and unethical to do so. No one likes to make the hard decisions, but if we ever want to get rid of this, those decisions must be made.
In retrospect, Chance's illness and loss could be considered a blessing. It let us know the disease was present. It resulted in us catching the disease before it got into the herd. However, it was entirely preventable, with an easy solution.
The second set of twins out of Chance were a doe and buckling out of one of my best does. It was like Chance was saying "I'm baaaaack". There before me lay a perfect little silver grey buckling, who has made the cut in evaluations of 3 month old kids. He will grow to be another beautiful animal and I cannot wait to see his fleece. I'll look out in the pasture and see the silvery flow of long bluish grey hair of "Ravenwood's Blue Smoke" swaying in the wind against emerald green grass. I'll think of Chance and silently thank him for leaving me another beautiful buck of promise - just like him:-)
Miss you bud:-(
I LOVE this machine!
Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Morning After the Storm
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Tree frogs also love to chime in during a storm, for whatever reason. It was quite the concert with all the goings on, the flashing of light and nary a break in between thunder and lightning. For a while I felt like I was living beneath a bowling alley with all the noise rolling in wave after wave.
It all made me smile in remembrance, though. Grandma used to tell me the noise was nothing to worry about - it was the devil beating his wife. Mom used to tell me it was God moving his furniture. To a small child, neither of those scenarios brought much comfort, but you've got to love the Irish craft of making a story out of anything. Such was my family.
It was nice to see the sun come out, and a faint rainbow adding the artist's touch to a grand canvas. Love it here:-)
Before and After
Saturday, June 9, 2012
First Day Dehairing
Friday, June 8, 2012
Scared to have the manufacturer leave tomorrow, after he makes a few more modifications. Like he says, he tries to teach us to understand what is going on and the basics of it's physics, experience will teach us the rest and he will always only be a phone call away. I believe him. Keith Wild of MK Machine (known as Tex Tek Technologies) out of Ontario, Canada is the manufacturer and it has been a great two days with him as he has set the machine up and patiently walked us through all the steps running fleece through and explaining why adjustments were needed.
A new adventure and more independence. YEAH!!
Washed fleece going in. Dehaired cashmere coming out:-)!
Happy Dance! Happy Dance!
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Trouble with pictures
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
That time of year
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Newest addition to the garden are 3x12 raised beds. Took the contents of all four of my 4x4x4 ft. compost bins to fill them, but I am happy with how they turned out. I can weed easily from either side of the beds and the soil will remain loose. The plants will be happy.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Being on top of the mt. here, we are in the watershed to Newman Lake and need to protect the water source from nutrients left behind by our goats in their droppings while grazing. Now that the goats can get into this area, it is more important than ever. I learned of a financial assistance program for such projects through a County Extension workshop so we decided to take on the work. Everything is ready for the fencing crew now, and it will be nice to have this area and the pond protected.
Our son, Ryan, is a master slash burner and tackled the piles with a can do attitude. We had Will helping as well. There was a lot of tangled brush and trees in the way that kept us chainsawing and adding to the burning piles all day. Kaylee and Brenna helped out and spent a lot of time looking for salamanders along the little creek. We roasted hot dogs on the coals for lunch. By the end of the day, piles were gone, everything in the surrounding area was cleaned out, and the area looks really nice. Thanks for the help, everyone!
Roasting hot dogs with grandpa.
Last Girl gone to a Great Home
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Male pup will be picked up Saturday and I'll be missing the sights and sounds of the pups in the barn and among the stock. I already do. Guardian Mya, who has adopted the role of 'auntie' to the pups will be missing them as well. She has enjoyed helping watch over them and playing with them. Sometimes she would just lay there and let them maul her. So gentle with the next generation.
"Arwen" at her new home in Idaho
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Picture by Heather Huston O'Rourke.
Best experiences on the Farm
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Grandma can we hold the new babies? Of course they know the answer to that:-)
Stand Your Ground
Saturday, March 31, 2012
First patrol of the corral fenceline
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Aftermath of late night rescue of pups.
Babies, Babies everywhere
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Pups took trip to the vet yesterday to get their Parvo shot and worming med, nails trimmed again and weighed. Male weighed 14.3 lbs at 5 1/2 weeks. Females are ranging 11-13lbs. I am running out of carriers to fit them all in for the trip to the vet.
Let me out there....I'm big....I'm bad.....and oh so handsomel!
Suddenly I heard a tapping, as if someone was gently rapping, rapping, tapping, rapping, tapping.........................
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Hear it again. Run for the downstairs door - no one there. Hear it again. It's coming from Reed's office. Wild Tom turkey sees his reflection in the office window and is picking a fight with it, pecking at the window! Some people say Poe was on drugs when he wrote his poems. Now I think he just had wild turkeys in the neighborhood:-)
Come on out and fight.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
We do socialize our pups since we have grandchildren that often visit, people that work on the property, and lots of visitors - and very importantly, to make it easier for trips to the vet. This week, they were getting used to our 'little people' during their trip up the mountain to see the new pups.
Grand daughters Brenna and Kaylee.
3 Weeks old
Monday, March 5, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
When the vet arrived Sat. to examine a lame buck, it was a full blown blizzard. He was glad to be on his way back down the hill as it was piling up fast. I think January and February switched schedules. Knew that mild January was just too good to be true.
On the upside, chickadees are calling, woods are filling with bird sounds again, wild turkeys are beginning to strut, and I even see some swelling of buds on the wild pussywillows. Think Spring. Think Spring. Think Spring :-)
11 days old
Thursday, February 23, 2012
male on right in picture, female on left in picture.
Oh, how fast we grow! 5 days old
Friday, February 17, 2012
Ghita's pups taking a nap after their lunch.
Off to a good start!
Monday, February 13, 2012
The Girls Have it ----- All six of them - and one boy
Sunday, February 12, 2012
After five, she got up to eat and drink. So, thinking she was done, I took her outside to relieve herself. I put her back with her pups, and went in to get my husband to show him the new additions to the farm. I had changed her blanket to a clean one, and came back to find she had another pup. Last one is still damp in the picture, so off color
Folks, I will have to update these pictures since Ghita was not finished and delivered her boy after I took these. I guess I should quit counting until morning!
First of 7
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Stressful time of year, but so much fun once everyone falls into the rhythm of doing their job. This was Katie's first year and we've got to say she was a trooper:-)
Whew. Now if Ghita will just have her pups all safely this weekend I can give a sigh of relief.
Some default blurb text.
More colors in dye experiment
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I am dyeing sets of all the natural colors: cream, grey, brown to see how they take the dye differently. These are samples of the dyed cream.
Five colors down, 4 to go.
Ravens and Mya
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I was baking today when I heard an occasional annoyed yip from Mya. I looked out the window to see her sitting in the trees, alone along the fenceline below the house. I saw a raven playing on the wind above the pasture, issuing a cluck, cluck sound that I have often heard but not been able to attach to any given communication. Soon, though, it's mate appeared. Together they played for quite a while on the windy currents above the pasture. Mya came out of the trees and walked up the fenceline towards the barn.
She sat down midway and then I saw one of the ravens dip and dart down towards Mya. I was a bit alarmed since I like seeing these ravens and the dip was dangerously close to little Mya who is extremely athletic. She watched the bird launch a second deftly executed dip at her and simply stepped back a few paces in the snow. Then, the raven landed on the other side of the fence in an area we have fenced off to spray for the weed called 'hounds tongue' in the Spring. It is one weed with little pinwheel burrs that the goats will not eat. It is toxic to them. The burrs get stuck in the fiber on the goats and are a pain to have to pick out.
Anyway, the raven started picking into 2 ft. of snow and throwing the snow sideways digging deeper and deeper. That was a bit more than Mya could handle. She interpreted that as a tease, so up the fenceline, through the corral and then over the gate she went. They seem to have not noticed she is adept at climbing gates. She plowed through the snow as fast as she could toward the raven. The raven relinquished whatever the prize was, and flew halfway across the pasture with Mya in pursuit. Finally it flew over the fence and went back to playing on the wind currents.
Mya ran to the area the raven had been working, sniffed, dug and retrieved something she began tossing around. I got the telescope and focused it on her to find she was playing with a rubber toy she had had as a pup. Evidently, the raven had seen it from it's high vantage point, even though it was buried in the snow, and decided to investigate. Last I looked, Mya was still playing with it, tossing it in the air and chasing it down the hill 20 minutes later.
I am easy to entertain, aren't I? :-)
Ghita is pregnant
Monday, January 16, 2012
Max has OFA certification on his hips. This was an unplanned pregnancy, so Ghita has not had x-rays for hip certification yet. She will have that done when she turns 2 later this Summer.
Ghita on left, Max on right, Sophie on ground in middle.
First Dyeing job:-)
Sunday, January 15, 2012
I am very pleased with the first batch results. I am going to try all nine dyes on three separate colors of the blended yarn, so I will have some control samples of the results. The first experiment was in purple and the picture is a sad representation of the result. The bottom skein was cream, the middle was grey and the top one was brown yarn. The cream came out much lighter than the other two, the grey really is a rich purple, and the brown is more muted. Fun!!
Witnessed it again
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I never got to see the predator, but whatever it was had the dogs worked into a frenzy. All four dogs were in the corral behind the barn barking and on full alert.
Sophie stayed in that area to keep up the front. Mya, Max and Ghita tore out of the corral, through the barnyard and down the fenceline in an attempt to get closer to the threat, only to find the gate closed. They bulleted back up the slope to rejoin Sophie.
In the meanwhile, all the goats had run in from the pasture to gather in the corral in front of the barn, closer to the dogs. This is always their response when all dogs are on alert whether in the field or near the barn. They know they are safer with the dogs.
As the dogs ran through the herd to join Sophie, I saw Mya turn on the goats and with feigned bites at their legs and rears, drove them back out of that corral back into the pasture. Evidently thinking they were too close to the threat, she herded them into a cluster in the open where she could keep an eye on things in every direction, then walked straight into the middle of them, sat down, no barking but remained on a highly vigilant status.
Every goat stayed with her. Not a single one broke for the barn and the other dogs. They knew they were safe with her and remained with her until the other dogs quit barking and dissembled.
No single dog is wired to do the same thing every time. How in the world they know who is to go where and what to do is beyond me, but I see it time and time again with them. Fascinating.
Six New Soaps added to the inventory!
Monday, January 9, 2012
Happy New Year - won't be long to harvest time:-)
Monday, January 2, 2012
Wish I could enlarge this picture more, so you could see all the beautiful blooming cashmere on these girls!
I am really pleased with the crop this year. We plan on combing all the kids, since we had so many so late in the season (see why and about the adventure of the little wether that turned out not to be a wether in former posts!) Anyway, some are still smaller than I'd like to be put under stall heaters as a source of heat after shearing, so we plan on combing all of them. The adults were going to be sheared mid February, but some are already casting fiber and will need to be combed. I will comb a few this week.
This Winter has been extremely mild so far, and although it makes one wonder about drought problems, I absolutely do not miss the heavy snows we get on this mountain.
Here is to a prosperous, healthy, happy New Year for all my friends out there!
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