Jan 2, 2011

Happy New Year & a 2010 Overview!!

All I can say is "WOW"!  It's been a year of excitement, hard work, blistered hands and most of all...a BIG learning curve for us!  We've been through pretty interesting things on our farm!  Here are a couple of very interesting and long stories from 2010 and earlier!
{Wild Morning}
One morning, me and my sister were out milking...as usual.  We had been having trouble with these 3 "wild" dogs getting on our property and snooping around down by the barn and goat pen.  They looked like great danes or some sort of tall breed of dog.

So, we carried on with milking our does, as usual in the mornings.  Then we heard a loud scream, it almost sounded like a dying calf (we have a huge cow pasture at the back of our property).  We looked through the woods and saw the 3 dogs around something.  Me and my sister ran as fast as we could toward the pile growling and screaming animals.  We both climbed the barb wire and scared the dogs off, to reveal...an adult dear (doe).  All four of her legs were totally broken and all that was holding her legs on was skin.  She sounded like a little baby crying.  That was very sad!  I took my coat off and put it over her eyes to calm her down so she wouldn't try to crawl away.

So here we are, in the middle of the field with this little doe in serious pain I'm sure.  Keep in mind that nobody else on the farm knows what's going on.  So I left Arael (my sister) to sit with the doe while I ran back to get help.  I don't know if I've ever run that fast in my life, but I was covering a lot of ground FAST!  My dad got the gun and we ran back out to where my sister was sitting with the deer.  We just had to put her out of her misery (we didn't know that we were supposed to call the game warden first).  We shot her and put her out fast.

A couple of minutes after we shot the deer, we found out that it was Bow season, you're supposed to let the Oklahoma Game Warden know first before you shoot, and that you're not supposed to use anything but a Bow in this season.  We called the Game Warden and he told us not to waist the dear and use it for human consumption.  And that was our whole entire day!
Butchering dear Sunday :)
{Cocoa's Loose!}
One humid, rainy, Summer morning, I went out to the goat barn to check on Cocoa, who was in the stall.  (we had just purchased her the day before and I was planning on slowly introducing her to the herd).  So, I opened the main barn gate and mistakenly left it open!  I walked over to where she was staying in her stall and she was quietly lying down (that was unusual for you since she's very flighty!).  I opened her stall door and bent down to pet her.  Surprisingly, she jumped up like lightening and bolted out the barn door (her collar just slipped out of my hand).  At that time, we did not have any goat fencing up in the back of our property, so all there was separating our property from the other was barbed wire, which a goat can VERY easily slip through.  My heart dropped as she headed for the fence-line and all I had was flip-flops on!!  I was the only one outside and the rest of my family was down at the house.  So, torn between running after her in the mud, thorns and brush in sandals and capris or running to the house to get help, I chose #2.  I'm sure everyone thought I was a nut for acting like a crazy woman.  Just picture this, I was out of breath, with my muddy legs and feet, my hair knotted and everywhere, stuttering and stammering, trying find my boots, and all at the same yelling out to my family to GET THEIR SHOES ON!!  All 6 of us ran like maniacs out to where I last saw her, but she was gone.

So we sucked it up and decided to go out after her into the 360 acre pasture of wet thorns, tall weeds and dense forest.  All I could think about was that she was in milk, skinny, deprived of water and didn't know her way home.  As we were all traveling down into a big forested gully, I decided to head up the hill and see if I could spot her.  I think my vision was 3x better than it usually was at that moment :)  My eyes probably scanned that same spot of field 5 times and then....I saw her dart across the field!  In my mind, I knew I could not possibly run and catch her, but...I just had to.  With my eyes completely fixed on that goat, I ran speedily across to her, and was so close but yet, so far away because I knew that this doe was like a deer!  She darted out of my sight and I just prayed, held my tears back and pressed on to go catch her.

My main thought was to not panic and stay calm, be positive, pray, and be thankful for the situation at hand.  If you have those 4 things, it's much easier to handle the problem set before you, although when you see $150 of your hard-earned money, running away from you out into a 360 acre pasture, it's pretty hard to do that!

Two or three hours into our trek (right before we called the search off), we saw this boy coming toward us out of the forest in the middle of nowhere, yelling "did you loose your goat?".  We have never met or seen this boy before, but it didn't matter really!  I thought, YAY, maybe he found our goat!  We answered "Yes, did you find her?".  He said that they (his family) had seen a goat a couple of minutes before, walking on the main road.  He had us describe her and confirmed that it was ours.  Now I call that PROGRESS!  So, this boy led us to a fence-line, where we met this girl with her LaMancha wether on a leash.  After all the meet and greet stuff, we walked down to where the road started and from there, walked to the boy's house.  Him, his parents and the girl with the goat, got a little search party together and rode on horseback all through the woods while we searched on foot.  No sight of her for the rest of the day.

The next day (Saturday), we had to go somewhere at lunch time, and had a very short time to look for her.  So we started posting up signs, just like you would do if you lost a dog, all over our part of the countryside.  We decided to drive down the main road to some people's houses and find out if they had spotted her.  At the last moment, we said "let's just drive down to this last house and let them know about the goat".  About the time we pulled into their driveway, they pulled up (they were just moving in).  We told them, gave them the paper of her description and left.  The search was called off for the rest of the day.

Then the next day came, and at this point, I pretty much had given up.  Then, we got a call from those people (the last house we went to), and they said that our goat was in their shed hiding in the corner!  We were EXTREMELY excited!  So, off we went down the road.  As we pulled in, the tension in the van was high and everyone was so loud and abuzz!  With the leash in hand, I took off toward the shed, rounded the corner and saw the most beautiful site that day!!  She was still alive and acting as flighty as ever :)  We finally had her in our hands safely and on our way back to the farm.

As far as farm stories and events go, this was the most interesting and thrilling!  God made her run away and God brought her back safely!  This reminded me of   (Job 1:21)
"The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;  Blessed be the name of the LORD."
{Stormy's Birth}
It was back in April of this year, that Stormy was ready to kid.  That morning, I let all of my goats out to graze in the pasture.  Stormy was moving really far away from the herd, toward the forest.  I thought that looked a little strange and went over to where she was to check her out.  She was very quie, her tail head was loose and she just stood there, by herself.

So I decided to take her back to the barn and put her in the stall.  Sure enough, about an hour or two later, she was in full blown labor.  Everything was going smoothly with very strong contractions and then...the bubble!  The front feet of the kid were out, and all that had to happen was the rest of the body should follow...right?  NO!  Keep in mind that Stormy was a first freshener, so she was a tad bit tight down there.  I had my hands on the hooves of the kid and was thinking of how to pull the kid out carefully, when my sister pushed me away crying and pulled that kid out!  That was pretty funny :)

Anyway, Stormy had triplets and 2 looked almost identical to her.  Here is a pic of them!

So, that was all of the stories I could think of for now.  Maybe I'll think of more later on!

Happy New Year's everyone!