Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Married A Bossy Chef: HACCP (Reposted from Becky Goldsmith)

This blog was written by my good friend Becky Goldsmith. I am re-posting on my blog because it truly is important to get the word out. I know people sometimes worry about the goat milk products at the MGL, but we follow all the same safety and sanitation practices of the larger dairies. Here's Becky:

I Married A Bossy Chef: HACCP:   The Bossy Chef has been nagging me to write a post about food safety and food born illness, more commonly known as food poisoning. Not...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Rooster Love at Mountain Goat Lodge

I love roosters. Anyone who visits Mountain Goat Lodge can see one of my most prized possessions - Mr. Rooster  - who I had taxidermied. (not a true word, but you get it). Here is Mr. Rooster - preserved forever:
Mr. Rooster - a Wellsummer - preserved forever
 Many times chickens die and don't look so good - not the case with Mr. Rooster. Poor guy was so sweet and some kids were chasing him - he had a seizure and died right in front of me. I couldn't bear to just dispose of him, so my son suggested that I have him stuffed. That's what I did - and he has turned into a beautiful work of art.

Anyway, my point of this blog is to talk about "Stubbs". A sweet little guy who came to my farm a couple of months ago along with his brother. Unfortunately, being new on the block, they didn't feel comfortable roosting with the rest of the flock, and stayed down on the floor of the coop during the winter cold. Frostbite ensued, and, Stubbs lost the ends of his toes.
Missing the ends of his toes due to frostbite
Stubb's brother did not fare so well, as he ended up losing his entire feet. We tried to keep them together, but after a few weeks, we decided it best to put the brother down - as he would never be able to survive without feet. Stubbs showed real promise, however, with the loving care in which he showed his footless brother.
I put Stubbs in with the flock, were he tried his best to protect all the hens. We already had another rooster for this job, so he was literally ignored by the flock. I felt so bad.

Meanwhile one of my hens had gone broody, sitting on top of about 20 eggs. I hoped they would hatch, but alas not one of them hatched. I believe the hen just was a bit long on her breaks and the eggs must have gotten too cold. Well I decided to try and fool her and went to Murdock's to buy some day old chicks. I bought eight little pullets and put them underneath the brooder - thought maybe she would believe them to be hers and then she would raise them....well - a few hours later I went out to check on them, and 3 were already murdered by Ms. Broody. OK, I sighed - now I have 5 chicks that I have to raise....bummer.
But wait! I know who will help me - Stubbs!
So, I put the little chicks in the barn (away from the rest of the flock) and put Mr. Stubbs in as guardian. My prayers were answered and Stubbs has become the most wonderful dad for his 5 little charges. He won't let anything near them!!
Here is a photos of the chicks now that they are about a month old:
5 little pullets - about one month old - various breeds
And so, Stubbs has a place in the barn - protecting his little flock - and he couldnt be happier. Here he is roosting at night, while the chicks rest under the heat lamp:

Stubbs- a Wellsummer Rooster
And his little flock

Saturday, March 16, 2013

One of the RISKIEST things you can do with your Goats

I'll admit to putting dog-collars on my goats now and again - most of us have for the convenience of moving them around easily.  But how many of us realize what risks we are taking with our goats by doing this.
We have found it is much better to use BREAKAWAY collars like these:

Especially with mischievous horned goats like we have. (And what goats are not mischievous?)
As they get to playing, they can get those horns inside a collar and twist.
With the breakaway collar - it breaks and you find it laying on the ground - and your goat is alive and well!
You can buy these plastic chains and connectors at your nearby feed store on online at JEFFERS.COM or and they are inexpensive. Tip: buy extra connectors as they seem to get out of shape and break before the chains do. You can buy tags and write their names on them if you like. A special ink pen that doesn't wear off is available to write on the tags. Since they come in all colors, you can use them to identify moms and their kids - or any number of categories.

By the way - the same goes for your dogs - esp. if you let them run free on your property. They can get caught and twist till they choke. This happened to my brother's dog years ago - he ran over to a neighbor's property and got hung up on a fire pit grill and while trying to free himself - well, you guessed it - he lost his life as he choked.
I am not against collars if you are right there with your pets - your situation may be much different than mine. Until then happy goating!