Thursday, October 06, 2011

Brooks and Natalie are together

Natalie and Brooks are pets -- not just goats. They're together because Natalie has been sold and her new owner wants her bred before she moves to her new home. Normally I wouldn't do this but Natalie's new family is well versed in goats and knowledgeable with goat birthing. I'm comfortable that Natalie will be well cared for during her delivery and in the future.

I don't sell goats; I place them in good homes.

Here are a few photos of the twosome:

Brooks hasn't been with a lady before. It looks like he's asking what to do.

As any good mom would say, follow your instincts.

He and Natalie are getting acquainted.

Yup, getting acquainted.
He's getting the idea.

THAT's my boy.

Isn't he wonderful. Natalie likes him, too. She isn't running away. THAT's my girl.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cody Struck a Pose

Here is another black and white doe for sale. I say black and white but her coat has a golden tint to it. This little darlin' is about 18 months old and ready to breed. Her exact birthday is on her papers but I'm guessing here.

Black and White Goats For Sale

For this go-round I was able to capture pictures of two goats: Emily and Loretta. I have others but these two cooperated.

Emily is in the green collar whereas Loretta is in the purple collar.

Emily in green collar.

Emily in green collar.

Emily in center.

Emily in green collar.

Emily in green collar.

Loretta in purple collar.

Loretta in purple collar.

Loretta in purple collar.

Loretta in purple collar.
I have others but they would have nothing to do with me that afternoon. They stayed in the crowd. As soon as I can isolate them a bit more I'll upload photos of them.

I appreciate your interest in my goats.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How I Feed My Goats

Folks who have bought goats from us quite often ask how I've cared for then so they can continue the regime. The answer is somewhat detailed and lengthy so I decided to put it here for everyone to read. Besides, this way I can update my notes from time to time.

First and foremost, I care for my goats depending on what the individual goat needs at the time. Whenever possible I separate the herd by feeding needs -- ah, except for the boys and girls separation, that is.

For the over all herd:
  • Shelter at all times because goats don't do rain and need shelter from strong winds
  • Clean water at all times 
  • In the summer we have fans in all the barns so they'll have moving air. 
  • In the winter we have heat lamps for them. They can choose to get under it or not. But it's there.
 Everyone is are free fed the following:
  • Sweetlix Minerals; goats need copper
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Backing Soda
  • Kosher Salt (without iodine)

For lactating does and babies:
In addition to the above, they are fed a sweet feed with 14 to 16 percent protein.

For the babies:
When the babies are about two-weeks-old I set up the baby feeding area with a creep gate. This magnificent gate keeps the larger goats out and away from the food so the babies will have a chance to eat without being mobbed. These little babies are figuring out what solid food is and don't need the competition.

When the babies are weaned at about 12 weeks, I can either continue milking the does or gradually dry them up.
  • If I continue milking, the does receive 14 or 16 percent protein so they'll have plenty of energy. I feed this percentage until their milk begins to diminish then will gradually reduce the percent protein until they are back to 10 percent protein.
  • If I dry them off, I gradually reduce their protein to 10 percent over a period of time described below: 
    • To start, I milk every day for about a week;
    • then milk every other day for a about a week;
    • then milk every second day for about a week;
    • then milk every three days for about a week, and so on until the doe isn't producing much milk. Then I let her dry up on her on.
    • I do this because I don't want her udder to get too heavy. Besides, it's painful with they're not milked regularily.
  • The ultimate goal is to have the doe back to 10 percent protein without upsetting her system.

The herd overall:
IF the pastures are plentiful then I will probably feed only hay (our pastures are relatively small) but without feed. However, I do supplement feed when the pastures are really thin. They are fed hay daily based on 3 percent of their body weight.

I did one detailed weight analysis to get an idea of how much hay would be needed. I weighed every goat then did the math to find out how much hay to feed. This was nice to know and gave me an idea of what to expect.

Now I guesstimate based on how quickly the goats eat the hay. If it's gone in 3 hours, then I didn't feed them enough. But, if it lasts over 5 hours and they're off lounging and they're chewing their cud, then I've probably fed about right. However, if hay remains in their feeder the next day, then I've way overfed and need to cut back.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Follow this link for photos of my herd

Most of the goats are grown now. I just haven't had time to update the pictures.

I appreciate your inquiring about my goats.

Pat Allen

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our 2011 babies have started arriving

This little lady arrived this morning around 9:30. Being born in the daytime is soooo much easier on the care giving humans. Thank you for this one.

We name our babies after country western singers. I'm open for suggestions.

Her mama's name is Pearl. She was the last baby born AND the only girl born to us in 2008. She's definitely my little pearl. An excellent mama, Pearl is all over this baby.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

More Gardening with Goats

Research has taught me which foods are cancer-friendly so the family will be eating those foods more frequently. We're a busy family so everyone needs to eat the same thing as everyone else. Or else fix it yourself. :)  I"ll also be using Dr. Andrew Weil's cookbook The Healthy Kitchen. His philosophy fits within my thinking.

I might drink a bit of wine ever once in a while. But no more several glasses of wine a night. (Darn, I enjoy my wine.) I can live with out it. (This is no longer a pun). Although I do miss my wine; giving up coffee was easy. My stay in the hospital was long enough for me to lose my taste for it. Guess more good things came from that hospital visit. Husband Bob poked fun at my coffee by calling it 'Chester coffee.' It might have been strong but it had flavor. Sigh ... .

Our son, Don, and I put up the garden fence today. It's taken several, several months to get the garden going again. I'm pretty strong but some things require more muscle than I can muster. Don's being here is a gift. Thank you.

Next we need to remove all the weeds, finish building the raised beds, then fill them with quality soil. The basic layout of the raised garden beds was set up last year but summer came before I finished it. It just got too hot to work outside. I'm all for working outdoors but not in July, August, or September. You could easily call me a fair-weather gardener. With this trait in mind, it will be interesting to see how long the gardening lasts. I digress ... .But then again, I've never had cancer before nor needed/required the freshest and healthiest produce available. Not that I've considered grocery store produce unhealthy but this time I know which chemicals, or not, have been applied by our food.

With over a year's growth of weeds, this is a job for the professionals: our goats. Two of my boys were put in the garden area this afternoon but all they wanted to do was get back with their buddies. Tomorrow I'll put two ladies in there. The pregnant does will be hungrier than the boys. But who ever goes in the garden must be an easier catcher ... just in case the fence doesn't hold. It isn't electrified yet.

While the fence seems secure, one of us needs to observe them at all times. Goats have no defense against predictors so if a stray dog wonders on our property, we'd lose the goats. Not pretty. Not happy. And NO, they will not be sleeping in the garden area at night. They're be secure in their barn..

I took a few pictures of the garden area, complete with fence and goats. Be on the lookout for the pictures. I'm excited about gardening with my goats. This will be fun.

With all these goats and one horse, we'll have plenty of microbial material to fertilize the beds. I can hardly wait to get the beds finished.

More later ... .

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Goats Trimming Willow Tree

This willow tree was planted long before the fences were built. Naturally, it's in the wrong place but we really don't want to cut it down.

Unfortunately, it gets too willowy for us to use the gate so we need to trim it often. This year I decided to let our goats do the work for us. Why should I do all the work then toss the limbs over the fence to them.

My son, Don, and I made a temporary fence around the willow to the goats could come and go at their pleasure. This time we let the ladies do the work. Since we have about 25 of them, they made short work of the willow then napped for the rest of the afternoon.

Here are a few photos of their efforts:

They made the tree trimming so EZ for us. I'm thinking of how to get them in the new garden. It's full of weeds.

Goat Milk Bath and Beauty's photostream


Goats are terrific gardeners

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Getting back into the swing of things

I moved a few goats around yesterday. Two particular doelings are too thin so I put them in the back barn so I can watch them more closely. Besides (our horse), there are fewer goats back there so they'll not be pushed back from the hay stack.

The two transferees, Natalie and Ginger,  haven't met Bentley yet so they'll be uncomfortable around him for a couple of days. He's super gentle with the goats so I'm not concerned about him stepping on them.

The farrier comes tomorrow to care for his hooves. I haven't been able to pick up his feet to clean them out; guess they're full of mud because he's been stomping his feet. But then again, the flies have arrived and naturally they get on his legs. Poor baby.

I made the time to brush him today. I'm not sure which one of us enjoys it the most. Being solid black, he get's hot in the sun. I can see why he enjoys rolling in the mud so much. It probably cools him off. 

More later, pat

Monday, March 07, 2011

I'll be taking medical leave from March 7th through March 30th

I'll be happy to respond to your comments upon my return to the office.

If you are inquiring about purchasing goats, please call 704-699-3531.

I'd appreciate your prayers.
Pat Allen

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Migrating Sleeping Dog Ranch Nubian website to this blog

As with my Gran' Nanny's Goat Milk Soaps website, I'm migrating my goat information to this blog. It's easier, faster, and offers affordable stats.

All I have to do is work within their design constraints and that appears to be relatively easy. Easy is good because that means FAST, too.

I'm working on managing my time better so everyone receives more attention and I spend less time on this silly computer.

 This computer has owned enough of me. I have other things to do. Join me as I reacquaint myself with life away from the computer.

See you later ... . Pat

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We're all making tracks in the ice

This snow/ice storm is taxing on everyone, including me and Bob.  Sigh ... just like everyone else in this storm. We're thankful that our families are warm, safe, and comfortable.

But the babies will be warmer in the back barn. It has smaller stalls for critters that need more attention. THEY may not want the attention but they're going to get it anyway. Most everyone gets a Red Cell/Power Punch cocktail everyday along with free feed hay and feed laced with Deccox for coccidia. It pains me to lose because of these parasites.

But earlier that day before we moved a few of the ladies to the back, they were faced with a dilemma. No one had a path to their hay feeders. All the pastures were iced over. The little boys were slipping and sliding across the ice, not being heavy enough to break through. The larger boys, on the other hand, were are to break through the ice and make a few tracks to the hay. Those little guys were all over what to do then. I love watching them learn from each other. Goats are quick studies.

Husband Bob went to Bucky's pen to help out those goats by making tracks to their hay.when he noticed that the little girl goats in the next pen were watching him. Once they 'got it' that they had to break through the ice, they marched right over to their hay in their own path. These goats are so much fun.

But later that afternoon we noticed that the cold was getting to a few of them. Those are the goats that are now in the back barn. Everyone is looking better after only one night. We're thankful that we have enough shelter, hay, feed, water, and minerals for everyone.

We're lALL ooking forward to melting ice, and the mud. Oh, yes, the mud. goodie ...

Monday, January 10, 2011

More snow! Mother Nature WHAT are you thinking

Is this snow/freezing weather gonna kill pasture bugs? If yes, then OK, I'll 'happily' deal with it. BUT if not, then I'm not gonna be happy. I know you don't care, and you're gonna do what you want anyway. But I'd like to think there's a good reason for this snow/freezing weather.

We have put heat lamps in the goat barns and have just given them plenty of fresh hay and water. So they're secure. That silly horse still goes outside at times. We just brushed the dried mud off him yesterday. Hopefully, he won't roll in the snow. Stupid he's not but a horse he is.

We love living with this guy. The Husband and I have wanted horses since 1994 so we have tons of catching up to do.

When we first got him, he stayed outside for the longest time. His previous home didn't have a barn for him, so I'm thinking he was used to being outside. But when he did get comfortable inside, he stayed inside -- especially during the summer. We have 4 foot fans blowing into the common area. Silly horse, he'd put his face in the strongest wind then stand there for the longest time. He's a hoot.

OK, I've thawed out now. I'm feeling better. Should I mention, Mother Nature, that it's still snowing. Sigh ... . Thank you for the fresh, clean snow. I'll shovel that into the goat water buckets so they'll have clean drinking water. Their buckets are heated so it doesn't take too long for it to melt.

Thinking of you fondly,
GaNann of goats (aka Pat Allen)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Now that you have poop in your hand, what's next?

Somewhere in Internet land is a comment about falling in muddy pasture dirt in the chicken area. Lost it. Can't find those comments anywhere. In lieu of starting over, I'll just move on.

Last year we had several paths of rock strewn around the barn. No more falling in the chicken yard for me. I still cringe at the thought of what I had fallen into. ughhhhhhhhh. No, those clothes did NOT go into the washing machine as is. They were hosed down in the barn first. Then put in the washing machine a few days later; after I made sure no 'clumps' had dried on them. One of these days we're gonna get a heater for the barn. It's cooolllllddddd.

At the time, I didn't think about the micropisic critters in the barn mud that were crawling all over me. But my poor goats live with them 24/7. I had briefly mentioned parasites, in particular coccidia and how it had killed several goats. (I'll always be sad about this. But each goat death has lead to a process change, barn enhancement, or new/different/upgraded something.) This past snow storm has ignited the need to flatten my learning curve on fecal testing. OK. I'm on it. Fecal testing is my game. Come to find out, it wasn't as difficult as I had thought.

Now all I gotta do is conduct enough tests that I'll be an expert in identifying the parasites. Husband Bob is famous for his researching skills. He has collected the best equipment along with the most in-dept text books on parasitology. These tools should allow me to better care for my goats.

That's how I know coccidia are in the pastures. After identifying the parasites, then I had to figure out which deworming chemical to use. There's more than one for each little critter. I tested the herd not individual goats, this time. As I learn more, I'll be able to more quickly go through the herd and identify a goat's individual needs.

I'd used Corid for years and had given my poor doomed goats Corid drench, albeit it too late. Only recently have I become aware of its side effects. In searching for more information I turned to Fias Co Farms. Here's their link I also researched the Merck Veterinary Manual, and several deworming suppliers. Now I have several options for coccidia instead of only Corid, which I will not be using any more. And I have confidence in my research. I know which chemical to use and how much to use. Since most goat meds are 'off label' dosage can be tricky. But I always check with my vet before using a new anything.

After weighing several options, I've decided to feed my goats food medicated with Decoquinate through the winter months. Corid didn't work for us, maybe the parasites had built a resistance -- which happens. Now I have options for coccidia and will be more aware of which animals have the most parasites.

Now that the coccidia are being handled I get to focus on the stomach worms I found. While my goats have fewer stomach worms than they did coccidia, those little critters still need to be addressed. I'll address them, all right. My little goats will be dewormed then in 10 days I'll be conducting fecal tests again to make sure the meds are working. I'll no longer rely on watching for diarrhea or of wishing I could find out which parasites were taking over my little goats so I'd know what to do next. Checking their eyes is critical. The FAMACHA methodology helps me there. It works.

I'm still of the frame of mind that I want to care the best for my goats and not let the weak ones die out. I want to give them the best chance possible, even if that means picking up poop every day then putting in under a microscope. After all, look what Mike Rowe has done with a career of picking up poop.