Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rodeo Memories

I finally filled the memory card on my camera. I'm finally being forced to delete things off of there. Which means a few days of organizing pictures on the computer and making sure all files are there before I delete them off the memory card. (Yes, I realize I should probably do this every time I download...)

In organizing i realized I never posted about some of my favorite Events this year.

SEE- sometimes procrastination pays off, you find things you forgot in the process. Right???!?!?!?


Nathan was in 2 rodeos this year. Mutton Bustin'

The first was a Bull-a-rama event in April.

He did pretty good, although they held him on the sheep the whole time.

The second was more of a real rodeo, outdoors with all events. And this time they put the kids on the sheep and let them run. It was fun to watch. Although I'm not sure I'll be able to convince him to do it again. He fell off at the end "on his head" according to him.

 Making sure he was on, and got a good grip before releasing the sheep.

This pic is my fav. With the clown racing full out to keep up

Look at him hang on right to the end. It was the sheep coming to an abrupt stop that finally caused him to fall

And the tears about falling off after. Needed hugs from both Mom and Grandpa.

I love being in the country where these kind of events are more accessible, I really can't wait till the boys are at an age for 4-H. I'm going to talk them into to going so I can tag along, and figure out some more things too. Maybe they should offer 4-H classes for adults with no clue about farming? I'd join.

More Goat issues

Right now were having more goat problems.
BIG goat problems.
But I'm really upset about it, I can't figure out what were doing wrong, or how to correct it. So until I have some more answers, I'm not sure I can say a lot about it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Larry Stinks

Okay so we had goats since August, and to be honest They smell like animals to me. Maybe I've adjusted my nose, but really I couldn't figure out why everyone complains about goat smell.
But this new goat
After being in the auction yard he's covered in poop from who knows what, but he's got stinky goat smell underneath.
Really truly stinks.
The worst part it's way to cold to scrub him down, so we get to put up with stink goat till spring? Not happy.

Oh and his name has become Larry by default.

Nathan immediately wanted to name him Linus.
That seemed like bad karma.
So I through Larry in the ring, along with a few other suggestions.
I also posted this picture on facebook
Announcing the arrival of our new goat.
And how much my van stunk after his ride home- *Note* to self- only buy goats in warm weather from now on, so we can use the truck instead of the van to transport them.****
Mentioning, that Nathan wanted to name him Linus and I was thinking Larry.
Suddenly everyone had a goat name...
Mr. Tumnus
And my favorite Zye as in Zygote.
I think Zye is hilarious and immediately tried to use it.
The only problem is once Nathan and Chris find a name they cling to it.
(the cat that suppose to be named Chevy, but hasn't been called that in over a year???)
So Larry had already stuck.
It might be just as well, I have no plans to breed Larry in, so he probably won't be here very long, I'd rather keep the name Zye for our next Buck.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Because Santa doesn't deliver goats

As I mentioned in the previous post, we hit up the Sheep and Goat auction yesterday

ME + Auction = B-A-D

I could have come home with a hundred critters, without batting an eye.

I already said how tempting the lots of 7-12 wethers were. Especially one, that had 7 or 8 cuties. All with shiny well brushed coats. They were full of life and energy, and only averaging at 35 pounds. They were just babies. The only reason they escaped coming home with me was, I could just imagine the look on Chris' face when I told him to cram 8 of them in the back of the minivan.

Then there was the Sheep. I was smart enough to sit on my hands every time the auctioneer called out something was a cull. But one little sheep stole my heart completely. It was a good thing all the boys were fussing or it would have been in the van too!
It was the sweetest little brown and white lamb. In a lot with two little white ones. Every time they were prodded in one direction, this little brown and white cutie would take a flying leap trying to hurdle the other two and be in front. If sheep had true elbows it would have been a sheep mosh pit. I loved his antics and truly thought about ignoring the sheep ban for this little one.

About 3/4 of the way through the sheep (which was 2 and half hours of just waiting for us), a hutterite came in with a crate full of puppies. I was up pacing the floor trying to give a cranky Greg a new view. One glance at those puppies I knew they were at least a good part Pyrenees and I made a bee line back to my seat. There was 4 of them. 2 girls and 2 boys apparently. They were still releasing and catching the pups as the bidding started. The bidding went up and up fast for first selection. Bidders choice was at $110 before all the pups were sexed. Which determined there was in fact only one female, who was of course snatched up by the bidder with first rights. Left with 3 males Chris was giving me the evil eye not to bid. I wasn't going to, until the auctioneer dropped the price back to 25...then 15. I was busy giving the puppy dog eyes to Chris (all puns intended) when the numbers rocketed again 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 42...47. I think it ended up at 57 a pup, all I know is the bidder took them all. So not 3rd or 4th tries. I'm sure Chris was saying a prayer of thanks under his breath.

We sat in the very front row at the auction. And although it tugged at my heart strings to meet half of these darlings eye to eye. Especially when they came to the bars to cry out their protests and frustrations of their situation. It was also quite the education. A massive amount of sheep were there from a herd dispersal. The auctioneer said the owner was headed in for surgery and selling everything. These turned out to be great bench mark sheep. Watching those sheep come in, some with obviously pregnant bellies hanging low. I started to watch the way they all moved and was able to access the differences from a healthier flock to the culls. Of course many of the culls were blindly obvious. A pair came in missing a massive amount of wool from their back ends and sided. I just had this flash of "How would you keep these guys from getting frostbite?"
There were others too. One came in with only half a back leg. A full grown Ewe, but from the knee down there was nothing.
Another mixed lot of about 15 came in, and some of them looked like they had clubs instead of a hind leg. The leg was swollen and thick, with no bending where a knee should be. The herder that worked for the auction house announced they all had foot rot. So I got a "ring side view" of what that looks like.
I've seen illustrations of how you DON'T want a sheep's hind legs to look

Once when a flock came in together, half of them were tripping over each other, and most of them fell. That's when illustrations like these started to make sense. As soon as the animals were standing still you could see almost everyone of them had deformities like this, or even more pronounced in their hind legs.

Overall, we came home with just one male goat; which is what we went for. Although he's a billy instead of a wether like I'd hoped. He is however a decent size at 60 pounds he should be fine around Romeo. (Who seems to be in constant Rut) I hope it all works out as planned.
It was a fast lesson in sheep too. If your paying attention you can learn a lot sitting that close to the action. Although I still can't always be sure how much something is going for. Is there an Auctioneer to English dictionary you can get somewhere?

Monday, December 20, 2010

restocking the barn.

 It was the last Goat and Sheep auction of the year. Since we're desperate to move Romeo back out of the girls barn (where he's been living for heat since Linus' departure). We made it a priority to get there today.
OH Man, did it take forever!
I swear they ran through hundreds, and I mean HUNDREDS of sheep. Were estimating it was probably close to 800 head. All I know is it took over 2 and 1/2 hours before they even started the goats.

I was originally hoping to come home with a whether, but I came home with another little Billy instead. All of the whether's were being sold in groups of 7 to 12. I couldn't quite justify bring home that many goats at once.
 They said he weighs in at approx. 60 pounds. Which I figured was a fair size to be around our other goats.

I wanted to isolate him for a week or 2. but Chris, has thrown him straight in with Romeo, more worried about him being to cold in the barn alone.
So the plan is to shoot all the goats with black leg and de-wormer tomorrow, and I guess just pray he isn't carrying anything.

See, if I'd bought 7 or more whethers they could have kept each other warm and stayed in isolation.

Nathan wants to call this guy Linus, but that seems like bad karma.

I've been trying all afternoon to convince him the goats name is Larry. Well see if it sticks.

Other than one ear that looks a little chewed on, and he seems a little on the skinny side. He's alert and very vocal. So fingers crossed I can pick relatively healthy goats now.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our Water

Our water test came out pretty good. The Well guy didn't do a potable drinking water test on site. but the quick analysis that he did do noted that it was clear, with no sediment, a slight chlorine smell (but noted we had shocked the well yesterday) and some gas bubbles.
Yeah gas bubbles.
The gas, that they are probably looking to drill is already in our water. Enough of it, that Well guy was actually able to light our water on fire.

Maybe not quite to the extent of this video, but I had to check it out and see what it actually looks like to light water on fire.

Nice huh?
 I wonder if our water will still be deemed potable/drinkable when the actual lab tests come back.
We already don't drink it because it tastes too salty, but the animals all do!

Well Water and Big Oil

This afternoon I'm waiting for the well guy.
We were approached by an oil and gas company in September. They want to do 3 test seismic blasts on the far end of our land. Part of the conditions are they will check our well water before and after the blasting tests.
The well guy is coming today to do the initial check, so I guess their going ahead with their test blasts soon.

It left us kind of scrabbling when Well guy called yesterday. Chris has been meaning to shock the well for months and hasn't gotten around to it. But he wasn't going to let them test our drinking water without trying to make it as clean as possible before hand. So about 8 liters of bleach went down the well last night. The cistern got a flush and a clean out. I spent a good part of the morning running water to flush the cistern a second time. Although I'm sure the water will still show a high concentration of bleach, I'm hoping it will at least test better than it would have.

I'm not totally thrilled about having the seismic tests done on our land. But it was very obvious that the company would simply test 10 feet from our fence on the neighbors land if we didn't agree. I thought it was better to allow them to do it here, so we have a paperwork trail if something goes wrong. Like they collapse our well or poison it. Not that I'm expecting them to do that with the initial blasts, but if they find enough gas under our marsh and probably the Ducks Unlimited area across the street, then they'll go ahead with a full drilling rig. Which is what I'm even more upset abut. There is a very high likely hood that they will directionally drill from an adjacent piece of land. Since the marsh area would be to unstable and most of our land surround the marsh is covered in trees. This means we will get absolutely N-O-T-H-I-N-G if they choose to drill. Nothing. because we only own surface rights. They can take whatever they want from underneath our land, create all sorts of problems and disturbances, and take it from whatever "direction" is most convenient for them.

It kind of goes without saying that I hope their seismic tests come out badly. I hope they don't find enough gas to make it worth their time. Because I'm not particularly looking forward to the extra traffic, the noise, probably blinding lights etc. from a drilling rig right across the field. Okay probably across the field and over a fence. It irritates me, since if they came and took the gas and screwed anything like the water supply up, or if the house shifted, or any sort of damage. We would end up in a court battle to get them to acknowledge it. A court battle we would be paying for out of pocket until/unless we won. So it make me pretty hot that they can just come in and take whatever they want, and not have to pay for anything but a minuscule amount for access and space on whomever's "surface" they choose to use. While they "rape" underneath anyone's and everyone's land they choose too. Without the landowners being able to have a say ,or pretty much do anything about it. Even if we had not signed off on these initial tests, they could have done the test from the neighboring land, gotten a good idea of what the whole area would yield and choose to drill right underneath us without ever really getting or needing our permission.

And Now,
Now I understand why so many people bitch and complain about big oil and gas companies.