Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Magical Farm evening

Started like this. . .

Unjust, you say?

Do not ever say: "Why will no one do anything about this," When you see something unjust.

When you see wrong, YOU do everything you can (be it large or small) to make a difference. Do Everything YOU can do to see change. It may not even create a ripple, but nonetheless, never be the one to be outraged and motionless, waiting for someone else to take a step.

A Goat Farmer

I'm Only A Goat Farmer

- author unknown - 

I'm only a goat farmer.
I know the sun better than anyone, the soil, pastures, and fields, and the wind, and the rain and the cold.
I am the person who works with them, who loves them, and sometimes fears them.

I'm only a goat farmer.
I am the sower of seeds, the tender of stock, the reaper of the harvest.
I am sweat, and tears, and pride.

I'm only a goat farmer.
I am the person who feeds the young, and the old, and the weak, and the strong.
I am the black earth of Spring, the green pastures of Summer, the harvest gold of Autumn,
And the cold white stillness of Winter.

I'm only a goat farmer.
I am warm memories of the past, the steely reality of the present, and a hopeful dream of the future.
I am a optimist, a thinker, a watcher, And a doer.

I'm only a goat farmer.
I live in a complex world, made of simple things, and they are my source of joy, and hope, and comfort.
I have walked the morning fogs, I have paused for the summer song of the meadowlark,

enjoyed the beauty of the wild prairie flowers in the north pasture, And

I have savored the smell of freshly cut alfalfa hay carried by the warm summer breeze.
I have paused, remembering, by the creek I knew as a boy. I have felt the power of a thousand Kansas storms
And rejoiced in the fresh world left in their wake.

I'm only a goat farmer.
I am an accountant, a chemist, and a doctor.
I am a midwife, and a mechanic. I am a seller, a trader, and buyer. I am husband, helper, and partner to my wife.
I am a father, comforter, and teacher to my children and grandchildren.

I'm only a goat farmer.
Not a person of riches, but a person of great wealth. I have learned to treasure life and all things living.
To respect their maker, and my own.
I am humbled by the earth's bounty and awed by endless rebirth at kidding time.
I am fascinated by the marvelous minutiae of my world and enriched by their beauty.

I'm only a goat farmer.
If a person can be truly free, then I truly am. The day, the week, the month.
They have been entrusted to me. They are mine to spend. They are mine to invest. They are mine to use wisely.
It is a solitary occupation that I have chosen or, perhaps, that I have been chosen for.
An occupation where there are no certainties. Where no guarantees are granted,
No promises given, no excuses taken.
I have but one person to answer to, one person to depend on, one person to confide in.
And in the quiet of the years, I have come to know that person well.

I'm only a goat farmer.

I am a good custodian to those precious little animals that God has entrusted to my care.

I am the good shepherd, I know my own and they know me.

I'm only a goat farmer.
I am perseverance, and creativity, and courage.

I'm only a goat farmer.
I am confidence, and ingenuity, and intelligence, and integrity.

I'm only a goat farmer.
A seeker of excellence, and I shall prevail.

Useful Goat Hay Feeders!

Some daily goat info. . .

Considering your options for dairy goat breeds? Wanting to compare your herd production to the Elite PRODUCERS of their breed?

From ADGA's TOP TEN 2012 Breed list. . .

The highest producing does by breed for 305 day lactations:

Nubian: 3,710lbs total - An Average of 12.1lbs daily
Saanen: 5,490lbs total - An Average of 18lbs daily
Alpine: 5280lbs total - An Average of 17.3 lbs daily
Toggenburg - 4,060lbs total - An Average of 13.3lbs daily
Lamancha - 4,030lbs total - An Average of 13.2lbs daily
Nigerian - 1,630lbs total - An Average of 5.3 lbs daily
Oberhasli - 3,870lbs total - An Average o 12.6 lbs daily

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sustainable dairy cows?

There was a point where we kept hearing how non-sustainable dairy cows were. 

Sure, they can be. . .like everything and anything. . . if mismanaged, misbred, misused.

This came from non-dairy animal folks, to be sure, but I still assume that misinformation might circulate out there among those that do not know better.

Our dairy cow is 100% Jersey: 25% full size / 75% Miniature. She is about 45'' tall. Not very small, at all. . .but a great homestead, traditional Jersey size. Smaller than what folks generally see now, yes.

She hasn't needed wormed since we've owned her. Needs nothing but air, sunshine and grass. . .by and large

. . .and she gives us 12 lbs of milk on once a day milking like clock work. . .no fuss, no muss. Check out that amazing body condition, too. . .FOR A DAIRY COW.

If that isn't sustainable, call me Fred 

I'd call her About the most useful creature on earth.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Babies, Pregnancy and the Farm Life

"Babies, Pregnancy and the Farm Life"
Revised from the 2014 edition
I have a confession.
It may make you folks think less of me. It may make some give me a high five.
I am a mother to three sons. I love them, wouldn't
be without them for anything and am quite the attachment
type parent.
They were all breastfed, in slings, co-slept with and never left to
cry it out. . .They never stayed with a sitter and went every where with me as babies and toddlers.
I homeschool.
I'm the type you'd imagine, from hearing all of that, would have 6, 8, 10 little chitlens all over this farm, right?
I will never have more. I would never consider it. I am so glad, and have been for years, they are past the baby stage, the toddler stage, even the "little kid" stage.
I don't sincerely "Oh" or "Ah" over babies others have, and when someone announces they are pregnant, the only thing I think is, " Shew, Better you than me."
My babies, as they always will, started to become kids. . .
They began to get their own drinks, not yell for help whilst on the toilet or in the shower, I exchanged diaper bags for a purse and fancy shoe collection (finally). No need to collect slings, anymore! After years and years, I could sleep at night, though extra bodies always end up in the bed.
- wait, realize, that was a sigh of Relief. . .not regret.
There was that point where we saw a crossroads.
The farming fellow and I, had to decide. . .at age 30. . .
Do we try for more of these little creatures or call it a day and let the ship sail.
We opted for the latter, running, skipping and squealing with glee, and we have never, ever looked back.
I actually think I stood on the dock, blew kisses and screamed: "Good Bye, Good Bye" while waving frantically from Joy.
Be that whatever it is. . .refreshing, honest or horrible.
Those boys I'm telling you about are now 15, 8 and almost 7 (they were only 12, 5 and 4 when I first wrote this).
Hardly grown, but the baby stage for each seems like it took place 10 million light years ago.
My kids were not easy babies, and they were terror type toddlers and still high energy to the extreme.
But man, we have fun and talk about such weird, quirky things. I can't imagine wanting back to the stage where all they did was drain the life out of me.
Milking goats, walking to the bathroom, animal emergencies, horse rescue, basic needs shopping, any sleeping. . .well, They made those things impossible to do well.
Maybe it could be called a hazy nightmare I still, in someway, will always remember fondly but with a solid shudder.
It seemed perfectly normal at the time. I never had help, never asked for it and weathered it with a lovely sense of humor. I never spent a night away from them or even an evening. They were mine, and I meant to give them all of me back then.
Now I think back to trying to keep them alive in a barn full of horses and goats and cows while we had to milk in arctic temps and wonder how I made it through. How did they? We? All of us?
Well, I'm here. I survived. I may not win mom of the year, though.
If you're a farmer with little kids and never a break from farming or child rearing, you will too.
And really, it is a weird place to be only 34 years old and have done all of your "baby raising" and be so many years past it all when so many are still working in building families.
But here at this farm, the baby ship has sailed around the world so far away, we are starting to forget it all.
Going down the road or just to milk at the barn and, in good faith, have reason to believe, the kids will thrive and survive. . . It is something I appreciate each day. . .
And I Sigh when I squish the cheeks of some new mom's infant. . .
A sigh of relief mostly. . .

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A war. . .over milk?

The Government has published a "Dangers of Raw Milk" type of report written by some propaganda spewing kook. They are also handing it out in bulk, It sounds like to public health workers and to others.

Why this war on a wholesome, ancient food source? Don't you wonder?

We don't have a war on selling uncooked produce or meats or eggs?

Just why are they attacking dairy so hard? Dairy, whether raw or pasteurized, if one of the safer foods a person can consume. That is what is really established.

The government peon writing the article states: "Pasteurization is the only way to ensure that fluid milk products do not contain harmful bacteria. "

Funny he says that since Pasteurized milk and products have been liked to more than a few cases  serious illness and death  - from the government's OWN DATA:

"1945—1,492 cases for the year in the US
1945—1 outbreak, 300 cases in Phoenix, Arizona.
1945—Several outbreaks, 468 cases of gastroenteritis, 9 deaths, in Great Bend, Kansas
1976—Outbreak of Yersinia enterocolitica in 36 children, 16 of whom had appendectomies, due to pasteurized chocolate milk
1978—1 outbreak, 68 cases in Arizona
1982—over 17,000 cases of Yersinia enterocolitica in Memphis, TN
1982—172 cases, with over 100 hospitalized from a three-Southern-state area.
1983—1 outbreak, 49 cases of Listeriosis in Massachusetts
1984—August, 1 outbreak S. typhimurium, approximately 200 cases, at one plant in Melrose Park, IL
1984—November, 1 outbreak S. typhimurium, at same plant in Melrose Park, IL
1985—March, 1 outbreak, 16,284 confirmed cases, at same plant in Melrose Park, IL
1985—197,000 cases of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella infections from one dairy in California
1985—1,500+ cases, Salmonella culture confirmed, in Northern Illinois
1987—Massive outbreak of over 16,000 culture-confirmed cases of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella typhimurium traced to pasteurized milk in Georgia
1993—2 outbreaks statewide, 28 cases Salmonella infection
1994—3 outbreaks, 105 cases, E. Coli & Listeria in California
1993-1994—outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis in over 200 due to pasteurized ice cream in Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin
1995—1 outbreak, 3 cases in California
1995—outbreak of Yersinia enterocolitica in 10 children, 3 hospitalized due to post-pasteurization contamination
1996—2 outbreaks Campylobactor and Salmonella, 48 cases in California
1997—2 outbreaks, 28 cases Salmonella in California"
WAPF referenced from the CDC's data


Tell me again, Government yahoo, how raw milk is what isn't safe?

Further, the data they have on raw milk, which has been proven to be "cherry picked" in depth, claims states that allow raw milk sales have double the raw milk illness, though the milk being legal in the state has NOTHING, as we know, to do with the raw milk consumption number as people go EN MASSE across state lines and buy the milk and buy it, disregarding the laws in their state, all of the time.

RAW Milk West Virginia Dairy Farm WV SB30 RAW MILK BILL Herd Share



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