Sunday, May 29, 2011

Milking Mania!!!

After all of this time, we actually now have four full sizes
does in milk on our hands, the kids are sold and milking
twice a day is a reality.

It is crazy.

We've milked a lot prior to this, but we've never
had this many full sized dairy does in milk at
once without their kids.

Milking four would not be a big deal. It can be
serene and a de-stressing time; however, milking
 with does that do not want to come up the stairs
to the milk stands, with does that stands and then
 try to get up on the stand with their pals while they
are being milked with two screaming babies climbing
all over the stand, under the goats and sitting
in the feed trays. . .

Well, that is a whole other scenario.

 It is anything but serene.

However, I suppose this shows me just how dedicated
I feel we are to having our dairy needs met from here
on our farm by our livestock because through
all of that twice a day, I just think

"Well, this will sure be a nice pass time once the kids are
4 and 5 and the does know the drill." And that is about
the extent of it.

We did move the milk stands from the back porch, which
 was too small to contain all of that chaos. We put them on
the front porch, though I'm sure the UPS man will  find it all
very odd. It made sense to us. Much larger area, though I hate
that it is much further from the kitchen.

We took note as we moved them that we would ONLY
 recommend the metal stand. The wooden stands aren't a
good choice for many reasons.The only reason I can think
 of that commends them is you can build them cheap
or buy them used cheap.

You cannot sanitize the wooden ones and moving them
is a huge pain!

That person selling you a cheap one on craiglist either
realizes he didn't have what it takes to deal with a dairy herd
or he bought a metal stand!



Speaking of goats, I made a long trip to pick up a
Little Tots Estates Nigerian doe that is bred, an open
Little Tots Estates lined doe and doeling and brought
back 5 more on top of that. Two bucklings were for
locals buys, a doe and doeling for a friend of mine, and
then the lady gifted me a nice little Mini Nubian that
was 24 hours old because she doesn't have enough does
 in milk to bottle raise  her and for all my trouble
 (which wasn't much, honestly) hauling
her buyers' goats back to WV.

I have sold the Mini Nubian to one of the buyer of a
buckling from the trip, but she'll be here for 3 more weeks
to be sure she grows well since she came to us so young.


After another long milking session this morning, we had a
full day of work ahead.

Our stallion, who has gives us headache after headache,
needed a shelter built inside the arena he has to now be
kept in because stalls will no longer contain him.

He is coming 5, and he has realized his full potential
as a stallion, we see. The riding arena is actually a
great space for him. There are about 50 corral
panels up and it makes for a large, solid area, but there
was no shelter in it.

The Floridian Farmer and I aren't much for construction,
but boy, can I ever rig! So we bought two cattle panels
and used the, to create, with a heavy duty tarp, a solid
shelter over top the corral corner.
Photos will come eventually. It turned out very well.

You can honestly make anything with a cattle
panel and twin!

We then added some nesting areas to the new
chicken coop, and we added straw to the coops.

A benefit to all the milk we have right now is we can
feed the extra to the chickens. Raw milk is great for them,
they love it and right now, it is supposed to be a hot new
thing in eggs. I imagine they taste the same with the milk
 in the diet of the hens, but we'll soon know for sure.

After that, we plants the garden we've been working
on for months, slowly.

We have a late start. Our inside seeds never sprouted.
We ended up buying started plants.

We planted:
Squash
Cucumbers
Lettuce
Sweet Peas
String beans
Tomatoes
shallots
green onions
corn
broccoli and cauliflower



I did not want to plant more than we can actually use
 and give to family members, so we will see how well
this works out for now.

I am not a green thumb, by any means, so if anything lives,
I will thank the Lord for his Mercy on the garden.

Lastly, I was fortunate to have, through many, many
 mishaps  (once again), 20 of my 30 Orpington eggs
 hatch last Sunday and
Monday!



These will be the last chicks we set until fall or maybe next
spring. I need my kitchen back in working order and without
incubators everywhere and chicks smelling up the house.

I am still so happy to have gotten a lot of very, very rare
Lavender chicks in this hatch!

Before I go, I'll include some photos of the future
farm mousers recently in needs of homes and adopted by us!


Can't recall her name, but she is a sweety - take note, she is on the porch -
Darn it! Not at the barn catching one of the millions of
mice taking it over up there.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Life isn't Conducive to a Blog


The title says it all.

Life isn't really conducive to a blog,
neither is farming, gardening, parenting,
equine rescue or homesteading in general. .  .

And yet,

In this age, it seems very important.

I cannot count the emails I receive that read
this blog and find it helpful, humorous or even inspiring.

So, that is why I am so disheartened that I have
taken so very long to write a new blog.

I finished up my Bachelor's Degree from
Marshall University this month, and it
was seven years in the making, so between
many horse rescues, farm disasters,
motherhood and life, I had not a second of
blog time to find.

So, here we are now. . .

Let the blogging begin anew. . .

Two weeks ago, we lost my Arabian mare, KD Lady Ann.
 She was a breathtakingly beautiful mare, and she was the
epitome of what I'd set out to purchase.

When my three siblings died in 2007, I decided to buy the
horse of my dreams in remembrance of them - something amazing
and alive that they would have understood as a symbol of life
and them.

She is now gone.

On the same day, before we knew anything about this tragedy,
and following on the heels of another event where we set up a booth,
took goats out and had a farm table at the 2011 Huntington, WV
Dogwood Festival,


We attended the Tractor Supply Company's Out There with Your Animals event.

We had a table, brought farm and rescue information, and we had a great day!

We talked to so many people, and we were so glad so many people
already knew who we were from visiting this blog or the website.


We have been very busy with rescue work, and a few days
after I lost my lovely mare, we went to Bruceton Mills to help
a woman who was going through a bitter divorce and very
afraid for the welfare of her well bred Arabian filly and mares.

I knew I had to help, and we made the very long drive up and
brought 3 of the 4 horses back down. One stayed behind with a friend
of mine in a foster situation.

As soon as I saw M.S. Dior, I was like, "WOW!" She was so much
like Lady Ann. Larger, of course, as the photos show, but she
looks so much like her. I was shocked. Here I'd come to do a good
deed, and I felt like it was I that was being helped.
I was able to save the life of a mare closely related to the mare I had just lost.


We then rescued three that had been seriously abused
and starved. This is a large breeder within the state of
WV.

A farm locally in Milton fostered and paid the
cost to save two of these lovely Arabs, Mia and Orian.

The other mare was in the poorest condition, and she is
also close to foaling.

Once all the babies leave on Monday, we will be milking full time our 4 does, twice a
day and wishing West Virginia did not think she had the right to tell
locals they cannot purchase milk from us or even buy
a share in our herd
to have access to local, kindly produced MILK!

It is always something here on the homestead.


Stay tuned! I will do my best to better stay on top of this and
make subjects more cohesive and more to the point!

Pray the life here on the homestead allows for this!



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LUCAS FARM

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27




"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington