I am amazed! We put our 2 wethers (Dos & Basil) and our new buck (Warrior) in the new pen we built out on the hillside. This pen was built out of recycled materials, fence we salvaged from old dog kennels that confined German Shepherds. We may have spent a few dollars in screws and wire. The rest was what we had on hand. I had heard of goat rental services to clear brush, and now see why someone would rent a bunch of goats to clear a hillside. Wow, these boys have seriously impressed me with their skills.
And this is what it looked like the day before we put them in there.
So yeah, they are very good at their job and we really want to give them more of the hillside to nibble on. We are welcoming any fence donations to expand their forage area. We would love woven wire for cattle, at least 4′ tall, with this tougher fencing we could even run the pig out in these paddocks from time to time. If you have some fencing you’d like to get rid of and are local to Versailles, we could come take it down and haul it away if you have unwanted fencing. Also we have a paypal you can donate to if you want to help, but don’t have any unwanted fencing, payable to firstname.lastname@example.org, Thanks!
Grabbed the camera and went for a walk around my beautiful gardens and snapped pictures of what grabbed my eye. I just love how our place is creatively evolving ❤
This was planted from a mixed Asian greens seed packet, but i’m guessing that it’s Pak Choi… Oh joy!!! ❤
Our cold frame full of baby plants: heirloom tomatoes, green ice lettuce & black seeded simpson lettuce, green sprouting broccoli, garnet amaranth, and kentucky wonder & burgandy bush beans. Outside the coldframe you see our strawberries beginning to get ripening berries and runners!
Another greens patch- this has many kinds of Asian Greens Mix, and Lolla Rossa Red Lettuce and Green Ice Lettuce. Also returning from last year we have New Zealand Spinach (yum!) and this other leafy plant that I am not so sure of it’s identity yet. I thought Viola, but am not so sure. Also, the coldframe behind it, is being prepared to plant into for a summer harvest of maters, lettuce, basil, onions, & carrots.
Our carrot bed.
Another greens bedded in a small cold frame
Coldframe Cluster Spring 2016
After we planted a couple hierloom maters (solar flair & pink berkely tie-dye maters to be exact)
Hardy Kiwi maddness
Blueberry bush, behind it is my wormwood, and on the other side of the path you see our main strawberry bed.
Looking in the trailhead to the orchard. You see the kid’s pool and the Orchard Colony.
Wormwood maddness! Behind the wormwood you see one of our peach trees.
We call this the V-colony, nestled into the hillside in our front yard.
Horseradish madness! Behind it you see my catnip plant. The cats roll around in the catnip and chew the leaves, so cute.
My hill-billy goats enjoying their hillside full of browse.
Basil munching on the elm sapplings.
Marlee saying praises to our domestication of our wild blackberry bush! YES!
We used one of the sidewall rings left over from when we used the tire as a garden bed.
Grapevine, this is the Reliance vine
A pic from the other side of the orchard, looking at the Orchard Colony.
I ❤ our orchard 🙂
Yard Long Asian Green beans, Zuccini, and sweet corn
Our corn cluster- lined with marigolds, sweet peas and nasturtiums
The same corn bed from up the hill a lil bit
The Marshmallow I have growing just above the raspberry canes and grapevines.
The Heritage Red Raspberries
Elder, just above (North) of our tire terrace.
Shiro Plum tree with a crazy happy comfrey growing at the base.
Marlee with our new cucumber beds, planted also with bush beans and marigolds.
Marlee in front of the grapes.
Marlee behind one of my heirloom Mt Barnes Yellow tomato plant.
Armenian cucumbers, radishes, sunflower & peas
Hard Shell Tomatoes
My billygoats, doing a good job
Down the hill from the V-colony, we can see the growout pen of phase-1.
Our main strawberry patch
The catnip bush
Citrouille De Touraine Winter Squash
Growout cage, mama and her babies, getting ready to be weaned.
growout pen of phase-2
Planted our keyhole beds with tomato seedlings, pepper seedlings and direct sowed basil.
The back of the original rabbitry. We finally got Virginia Creeper to climb the wall of our rabbitry, this will help keep them cooler in the summer, and be beautiful. Just behind the wall, you see our Red Maple we planted the first year we got here. It was a tiny 2 ft long twig… now look at it!
The ducks (Dinky) testing out our little seedling protector cages.
holding up! The day after we planted the peppers and maters, some of them were squashed flat. The ducks like to walk around and eat bugs out of the beds. So instead of sticking plastic forks pokey side up in my garden beds, we made these mini-cages to protect the plants so the ducks can keep on free ranging.
Tomato seedling protector – made from scrap wire fencing.
A pepper all safe
My lettuce bed again, I love greens 🙂
Pole beans, beginning to shoot out their climbers
baby green ice lettuce plant, protected from slugs with egg shells
Got the poles up for the trellis on our keyhole beds
This is what I get to enjoy everyday now, they are the CUTEST! All are eating well, and growing fast. I was so nervous in the days before we brought them home, hoping the transition would go smoothly, hoping that changing from the milk and milk-replacer they were getting at their original home to the milk I was going to give them would be an easy switch and wouldn’t cause health issues. Luckily the breeder I bought them from was kind enough to give us 3 quarts of her goat milk to make the transition easier. So thankful, as I feel that helped greatly smooth the transition from her milk-replacer to the milk-replacer I got.
For the first days feeding, the youngest goat (Dos) I fed strait goat milk, 1/2 the milk I got from my breeder, and 1/2 of the goat milk I bought from our grocery store, then I switched him to what the other two were getting. The other two (Basil & Milkyway) got 1/2 replacer, 1/4 breeder goat milk, 1/4 store bought goat milk. I would also add in a generous splash of milk kefir. I gave kefir to add in some healthy probiotics to help their guts be colonized by good bacteria.
For the first few days they all had a soft poo, which indicated slight diarrhea, and I didn’t want to see this get worse so I went to my herbs. I made an infusion of dry Echinacea (I foraged last summer) and dry catnip (harvested from my herb garden last summer)- Put a good size handful of each dry herb in a 2 quart jar, and then filled the jar with just boiling water. Then I let it sit out on my counter overnight. I poured off the herbs and the resulting tea is what I used to mix the replacer with instead of plain water.
Echinacea makes a wonderful immunity boost, and my go-to herb for darn near everything.
Echinacea in the Ozarks
Catnip is a wonderful herb for diarrhea and cramps and I felt would work well here.
I would have used Blackberry leaves or even Raspberry leaves but didn’t have enough in stores, so I’m glad I had so much Catnip on hand.
So after a few days on this they are doing super fantastic! They are poo’ing perfect healthy little goat berries, and are growing well. I’m so happy they are thriving! So far so good 🙂
So, being that we live on steeply sloping land, we are big on putting darn near everything on stilts in order to make level floors for our structures, and the goat house is no exception! Our Nigerian Dwarves will only get around 23″ tall at most, and so we built this “2-story” goat house with that in mind. Above will be the slumber loft, where it stays nice and cozy warm, with pallet platforms leading up to the entrance, so even going to bed involves their favorite activity… JUMPING! lol! Below the loft is the “barn” area, we will enclose 3 sides (North, South & West) to keep drafts minimal, and here we will put their feeders, water and minerals so they stay dry underneath. Then we plan to use 2″x4″ welded wire fencing to enclose a large area for them to frolic and play. This is where we are so far…
Progress on the pallet goat house
Marlee testing out the fun factor of the goat house
this is how far we have gotten on the goat house as of 3/10
Here is a shot showing how the goat house is right next to the (human) kids play house
This is where we stopped working on it on 3/10
Pictures taken 2015/03/11 on our progress for what I am lovingly calling the Goat Hut. Coming right along, this whole structure was built using free pallets, recycled lumber, & timber from our property. The only thing we had to buy for the hut is the screws and nails. Now we just have to put some tar paper on the roof, then some sheet metal, build a set of steps so the goats can climb in and fence it. We also got some super huge tractor tires today from our neighbor to put in the goat pen as fun objects for them to jump on. Without further adoo, here are today’s pictures of our progress on the Goat Hut.
finished putting up the pallets on the sides, struck a line and cut with a skillsaw, and a little help from the chainsaw
Starting on the beams, rafters and roof
Here is a shot of me screwing down little pallet panels for the roof
Getting tools put away
Here it is as we left it today
The boys wishing that this was their playhouse
So proud of our progress today
2015/03/12 Update – Today we built steps for the goats to hop up into their new hut, rolled huge boulders & tires into their area, put in the gate and start putting up the fence. The rocks were tough to move, but we managed it… but we are surely feeling it tonight, oy veh.
Put tar paper on the roof, built pallet steps….
put in the gate
Started the fence
Put in the toys, I’ll take a picture of the play area in better light tomorrow
2015/03/16 – We did it! For the most part the goat hut is finished, aside from being painted and the metal roof being put on. We’ll get to that asap. As for now the goats are now living in their new habitat! We got the fence and gate up, and last night they spent their first night outside! They did great, I went and checked on them and did a perimeter check around midnight and again around 4am.
From the road
From the NorthWest corner
Here is a shot looking at the pen from that North
From the front step of the goat hut
From the kid’s playhouse
Here is a shot of their food station under the goat house
We are so blessed to be starting our very own dairy goat herd this spring just as we have been wishing too! Thanks to the incredible generosity of my sister and brother in law, Chriss & Mitch Dunham for donating the money we needed to buy a pedigreed doeling, plus two playmates for her to get us started off right in our dream of having our own sustainable farm fresh raw dairy! So far the plan is that we’ll get to bring them home by this coming weekend! Holy Smokes! Also a big thanks to the Mathiot’s, for being so kind and generous in sharing their time and experience showing me the ropes of goat care, and even taught me how to milk a goat! So I’ll be ready when MilkyWay is 🙂