Saturday, March 5, 2011


I've been toying with the idea of a new Nigerian Dwarf buckling for awhile. I'm not sure why. Most likely the reason is just to have another goat. Shelly really doesn't do anything to stop my addictive behavior, especially if the outcome is a cute baby!

About a month ago I ran across an ad on Craigslist (I'm addicted to CL too!) for Nigerian Dwarf kids. I inquired and soon I was sucked into buying an adorable blue eyed buckling to add to my tribe. In my mind, I justified the purchase. I said, "I owe it to the little girls to get some new blood in the tribe. I have several girls that carry the blue eyed gene but don't have a blue eyed buck. Prince Charming would appreciate another stinky boy around when breeding season is over." All NON-viable arguments. I really did nothing to talk myself out of him.
When Jolene and I arrived at Sunflower Valley Dairy we were awestruck by all the wonderful little critters running around. Nicole had Nigerians, La Manchas and Nubians, that I saw. She also had a plethora of birds; chickens, geese and guineas. It was much like the paradise that I have here at Rolling Thunder. What I didn't see was annoying Chihuahua, growling around my feet. Lucky Nicole of Sunflower Valley!
So after oooohing and ahhhhing at all the beautiful creatures, we loaded up our handsome little buckling and jetted to town. Jolene and I discussed names for about 7.2 minutes before I decided on Gaston. All our our Nigerians have some Disney reference in their name except for Ruby. Ruby was born in frigid temperatures and was a bit of a surprise to me, even though it shouldn't have been. Ruby was named after her grandmother another Nigerian. Since our tribe sire, Charming has the princeliest of all Disney names I needed to dig deep. I've always loved the part of "Beauty and the Beast" where Gaston sings in the pub so I decided on Gaston. Jolene wanted to name him Aladdin but I just didn't see it. We will probably breed him first to Jasmine but I didn't let that change my mind.Little Gaston seems to be fitting in nicely. Despite my objections, he's sleeping in a crate in our bedroom and is hanging out with Jasmine and the bummer lambs during the day. He spent the morning rushing around the house, chasing cats, and bouncing on Dillweed Hound. He had a bottle of warm goat's milk and gnawed on an animal cracker for a few seconds before it was stolen away by a Virus Dog. He's out now enjoying the sunshine and jumping around and on Jasmine. Jasmine complained, saying that she was not a baby sitter and that she had done her duty, raised her kids and she expected her banana with the peels on a silver platter. She's gotten quite uppity since those babies have left!

We are going to enjoy him fully because soon he will have that lovely, "Eau De Goat Buck Musk" smell springing from his pores!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Okay! Enough already, I'm busy!

Bummer Lamb on the inside.

Holy Cow! I guess I have more people follow my printed regurgitation than I thought! I keep getting comments, complaints really about not updating the blog lately. I've been busy!

There have been lots of new developments on the Ole Rancho. Babies have been popping out everywhere, the kid has switched schools, I'm trying to build a website, we've been vaccinating everything, and Shelly is creeping ever so steadily toward that pre-menopausal state!

So where to begin? The Dorper ewes are almost done lambing. I lost count a long time ago and babies no longer excite me like they use to. I don't even take pictures anymore. Not of the Dorpers anyway, if you seen one lamb you seen too many! We had one ewe drop her lambs on a negative 40 degree morning and walk off. One of the lambs didn't care that he had a crummy mom and managed to get up and follow mom into the barn. The other little guy just stayed where he landed. Shelly found him during her morning checks and brought him to the house. The poor guy had frozen rear legs and a frostbitten ears. We gave him colostrum and let him warm up by the fire. My hopes for not having bummer lambs in the house this season were flushed! He's been in the house ever since. He's diaper clad, clickity clacking hooves on the floor, jumping on furniture, BAAAA-ing at 2a.m., and just generally killing my hopes of getting any work done for the real life job. A couple weeks after he joined us Nadia, a Mini-Cheviot had a bum breach lamb and was so pooped from the extended labor that she didn't want the woolly prize. So the little ewe lamb joined our happy clan. The two of them are now sleeping outside in the heated shed and roam around Dillweed's yard during the day. Dillweed is not too upset by having to spend time in the house with the humans. He was placed into Isadora and Hamlet's yard one day but escaped and had his way with the trash while the Bean and I were in town. So he's back to being a lap dog, a slobbering lap dog.

BC chicken has finally decided to come out of her molt period and has been laying big, green eggs again. She has been enjoying some toasted pumpkin seeds and dried bananas. I would appreciate it if she could develop a sixth sense to the flies in her room and eat them too. I guess blind chickens aren't blessed with heightened senses.
Beautiful Blind Chicken, a.k.a. BC.

Nadia got up close and personal with Dr. Hill's ultrasound machine after having the bum breach lamb. She ended up with a little nerve sensitivity that will dissipate with time. The lamb is doing well as is Nadia. I hate having lambs in the house but the little Cheviot lambs are soooo cute that I was willing to allow her inside for a few days. Banshee did most of the mothering. If she had thumbs she probably could have changed the diapers too.

We, or rather the Boss Lady and Shelly purchased a small flock of bred Suffolk ewes and what they thought was a flock of open yearling Suffolk ewes. Turns out the open ewes are in fact Hampshire and not Suffolk. Which is fine by me, Hampshire are larger sheep and generally sell for a higher price. The ewes are in with our Suffolk ram in hopes that we can still get them in the mood and bred this season. Since they are new to our ranch, they are quarantined for a time, dewormed and vaccinated. Shelly, put simply, got her butt kicked! These are big sheep and not exactly what she is use to. She limped around for several days afterward complaining about how she was getting old.

We also butchered our winter broilers on Valentine's day! What a way to spend a greeting card holiday. After all the fluctuating in temperature we ended up butchering around 45. I hate winter birds! The Boss Lady had eaten through her summer stash of poultry and had requested a few more for the winter! Never again! The first group of broilers for this year will arrive at the ranch next week! At least w e had a house guest for the last plucking party. Colyn, my friend Gerri's kiddo was helping out with chores and was the honorable neck slicer again!
Colyn, taking a break from slicing.

Jolene also got some practice as rehab for the fire department in the last month. Last Saturday we rolled out of bed with in intent of staying in our nightclothes until at least noon. We had big plans of watching old movies, eating too much junk, and snuggling with a dog or two. So much for plans. The pager blared at 8a m-ish. Dogs were scooted to yards outside and bottle lambs were fed in a rush. Jolene chatted with the Rehab crew and talked me into lunch in Cripple Creek. I was bummed that my plans for a Saturday morning were ruined but I'm certainly glad that I was not the owner of the shed that burned.
Jolene has switched schools too. Busy, I tell ya! After an emotional overload with the Daddio, she asked to move to the ranch and attend school here. She started at the Guffey Community Charter School on Monday. So far she seems to be fitting in just fine. I'm thrilled to have her home more. She attended a field trip to the Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park and the Florissant Fossil Beds in Florissant this past week. She's as goofy as ever and continues to amaze me more everyday.

We have lots and lots and lots of plans for the summer, none of which I am prepared for. Life is extraordinary however and I just can't wait for the next adventure. I'm just hoping it doesn't involve lambs!