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“A Goat Update: Kids, Milk, & Cheese”

We are now 2 weeks from Ruma’s traumatic birthing experience and she is doing wonderfully.  At no point did she threaten me with uterine infection or complications.  PHEW!  She’s stayin’ plump and lookin’ beautiful as ever.  Never did I envision myself someday following a female goat around, carefully sniffing her vulva and noting how it smelled each day…   We have each doe down to 1 kid each and are milking the ladies twice a…

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“Baby Goats Have Arrived!”

BABY GOATS!  After 5 months of eager anticipation (the last 2 months of which were even more eager once we stopped milking in late  January and instantly began missing fresh cheese), we have beautiful baby goaters! Tisl birthed first, 48 hours later than her technical due date.  She was stealth-preggers, barely showing any baby bulge right up to birthing.  I expected only 1 kid out of her.  But she produced 2 beautiful kids.  I had…

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“Mr. Icecream, A.K.A ‘Scarface'”

Icecream was a purebred California rabbit. A breeding buck. He was a neat rabbit, big and incredibly laid back. When I first brought him home, I already had a breeding buck, Hazel. So Icecream lived
in a large open-air pen that shared a side with the rabbit pen in which Hazel and the ladies lived. The fence that contained Icecream was nothing special; 2×4 inch welded wire fencing about 6 feet tall, with 1 inch chicken…

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“The Goat Poisoned Himself”

Aster and Isöl made a jail break, as goats are prone to doing.  They escaped their fenced area and indulged in some free-ranging around the mountainside.  I didn’t think much of it; I know they’re not going very far and I don’t mind them browsing new area.  A few hours later, however, something seemed amiss.  I couldn’t hear the bells on their collars jingling.  They were either very far away or holding very still.  Goats…

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“Xena the Warrior Princess”

This is the tale of how we met  Xena, the Warrior Princess. One day I visited a friend’s farm.  As evening approached, it began pouring rain, so I helped her wrap up farm chores by going out to the back of the property to look for chicken and duck eggs.  Mili the Dog was with me, as usual.  I’m rushing through a literal forest of yellow dock taller than I am, pulling back massive basal…

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“The Boar Has What? WHERE?!”

Ol’ Spotty Wattles the Kune Kune boar was starting to move a bit stiff.  He didn’t want to move around much, and when he did, he did this funny little dance with his back legs.  I thought at first maybe he strained a muscle in a back leg somehow.  A week passed and he didn’t seem to be improving.  He ate and drank well enough, but something was off about him. One day we’re feeding…

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“The Goat Ripped Her Teat Open”

I put Ruma on the stanchion one morning, as per usual, and knelt down to milk. “Wait- blood? Fresh blood? Where is it- oh wow… Ew.” She had somehow snagged her teat on something and tore it clean open, nearly 2 inches long. A very unsettling mixture of blood and milk was weeping out of the gash. Gross. Super gross. So I milked out her good side, trying not to look at the wound too…

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“Aspen’s Story: Broken Turkey Legs”

Aspen was a black Spanish turkey I purchased.  She was an adult and had grown up semi-wild.  She had very little trust in me. As turkey hens do, Aspen went broody in her first spring with me.  She chose a large wooden cupboard for her nest.  And as turkey toms do, Pip the tom started to get restless after all of the hens disappeared to sit nests.  To my dismay, he found Aspen in her…

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“Stitches the Chicken”

Before moving to an area with frigidly cold winters and an extended cold season, I kept turkens.  Turkens are a breed of chicken that lack feathering on their head and necks.  I love turkens, they’re fantastic, and I wish I could raise them here on the mountain but that would be cruel to the half-naked birds. So one day I head out into my bird yard to put the birds up for the night and…

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“When Pigs Fly”

  Andy: “Jen, Bill’s stuck.” Me: “What?” Him: “I went to see why ravens were gathering in the pasture.  I thought he was dead, but he’s just stuck.” Me: “How is he… stuck?” Him: “Come check it out.” We go investigate Bill the boar.  Bill the 1,000lb Hampshire boar.  Indeed, Bill was accustomed to sleeping on the steep dusty hillside.  He normally laid down with his feet facing downhill, making it easy to roll over…

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