Sunday, July 20, 2008

The goats arrive

Our first "real" livestock arrived this weekend -- a pair of Nubian Dairy goats. Their names were Mary Kate and Ashley (as in the Olson twins), but we're working on new names. Henry wants Mary Kate to be "Periwinkle" which is his favorite color at the moment (blue has always been his favorite color, but now he's refined it to periwinkle blue). I'm thinking maybe Dolly and Pamela (as in Parton and Anderson respectively) would be good names. Or perhaps Jenna and Barbara, as in the Decider's daughters? Vote your choice in the comments below...

Milking a goat is interesting. Imagine taking a cheap little squirt gun, and using it to fill a 2-liter pop bottle twice a day, *every* day. That's a lot of trigger squeezing. Only squeezing a teet isn't quite as easy. Your forearm will get *really* tired. Ashley has smaller teets, which take some special care. Squeeze it the wrong way, and it just sprays all over your hand instead of going into the bucket. Tonight, Mary Kate decided that we weren't good milkers, and let us know this by putting her hoof in the milk pail just was we finished. Suffice to say that our dog Memphis got to drink a lot of milk this evening.

I spent much of today clearing out the black cherry from the fence rows around our barn yard. Apparently, goats love to eat the leaves, which are toxic. While I was cutting these down, I realized that I really need to remove the rusty old fencing, which will be a fun project. Trees have woven themselves through the woven wire in a number of places. And just for fun, there's a little poison ivy hiding in there, ready to keep me itchy for another 3 weeks (that's how long my last itchy session lasted).

The weather has been hot and humid lately. Like living in a bathroom where someone is always taking a hot shower. We had a bunch of rain on Saturday, but I managed to get out and seed in one of our pastures before the rain really hit. I just seeded into mowed weeds, but there seems to be enough bare soil that I think I'll get good germination.

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