Sunday, July 30, 2017

Welcome goat girls!

I  vacillate wildly over the idea of stocking this land, there are so many variables to consider. One moment I am all "alpacas and donkeys and ponies", the next I am "chooks and beef only". I am trying to consider the amount of work required by an animal and my ability to cope with their needs. 

Our land has some gorse, not huge amounts but you know the way gorse works, one moment you think it is under control, next moment you own a gorse farm. I can't spray for health reasons and we only use sprays as a last resort, so it became evident that we would have to spray or get goats. As usual I researched the crap out of different breeds before settling on Boer goats as we are not interested in milking goats and would like something that is less of an escapologist than your usual caprine. 

Boer goats are bred for meat, they are short and stocky and seem to cope with life pretty well. We don't really want them for meat, more as lawnmowers.

Having decided that this was the breed for us and out land we then set about finding some. Luckily we found a small herd for sale 1.5 hrs drive from us, and travelled there on a beautiful sunny morning towing a covered cage trailer. 

The farm where the goats were bred had suffered a drenching in the latest round of floods and everyone was a bit miserable. They handled the trip well and we turfed them out into our cattle yard so they could settle down without having to cope with the paddock just yet. 

The small ones (doe kids - 6 months of age) jumped and frolicked, the older one has scald on a back leg from the flooding and was suffering a bit, after a couple of hours we moved them into the smaller pen next door with lots of food and water and a big shelter full of straw, the bedded down and settled in really well.

This morning I let them out into the first paddock, the little ones were full of joy, kicking up and running. I gave the older one a wash down as she had scoured, then washed and dried her feet and applied copper sulphate. I drenched her with apple cider vinegar, garlic and molasses to give her a bit of energy and try to settle her tummy. Over the next few hours she perked up a lot, and I washed her feet down with iodine. They are on dry ground here, so hopefully with daily treatment it should settle down.

This afternoon they were in full exploration mode and have been enjoying the browse in the paddock, particularly the gorse - which is great to see, thats why they are here after all!

I was very apprehensive on the way up, and on the way home, but as soon as they were unloaded the apprehension lifted and I felt so happy seeing them wandering around getting to know their new home. 

Gigi (doe kid) in the foreground

Ava (4 year old doe) looking a bit better after some TLC

Zsa Zsa (doe kid) having a bad hair day

Gorgeous Gigi

Zsa Zsa still isn't sure of me!

Ava showing us "this is how a goat eats gorse...very carefully)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Really? Its been 3 months?

So, we moved in...Flash moved in first, he was already down here for work and had driven my car loaded to the gunwales.

I started at 4.30 on the saturday morning, drugged the cat, packed my remaining possessions and drove to the airport, which was hectic and thanks to some "charming" documentary filmmakers Frasier and I only just managed to board our flight. I didn't even manage to have a coffee.

Arriving was easy, cat came out, luggage came out, Baby Girl picked us up and drove us to the farm where the movers had already unpacked half the container and were in full flight. Baby Girl and I both swooned at the gorgeousness of the place (remember it had been almost 5 long months since we had last seen it) and Flash was in his element.

Frasier settled into his crate happily sleeping off his medication, and we slowly unpacked our old life into our new home.

Fast forward 3 months and it has been a dream. We have learnt so much, worked hard and lost weight! The farm has been named (more to come) and we now have "stock" (ok, ok we have 5 chooks - 2 laying and 3 freeloading) and 3 weeks ago I lost my head and brought a rescue pup home.

We have been snowed in, watched floods decimate half the district, witnessed sunrises that will make you cry, auroras had us spellbound and sunsets that bathe the house in gold. We have met the neighbours and walked the perimeters countless times. We have learnt how to keep a fire burning for days, what to do if the gas doesn't automatically switch over and have proceeded with the changes we want to make "now" instead of waiting as we have always done.

Thats how the 3 months disappeared!