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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: dairy

I just watched Farmageddon, which explains the disappearance of local farms in America. The reason that I can give it a great endorsement is that it lives in the middle ground.

Meat and More

Meat?

Extremism (in either direction) is not something that I am fond of. Honest, fact-based descriptions of obvious issues are the ones that I can relate to. One showing people that take a look at their opposition calmly is another trait that I admire in a documentary.

I agree with their take on small and organic farming. Natural food eating is discouraged by the rich. Corporations are rich. They influence our government, and then our government imposes regulations that are corporation friendly. These rules are the kind that destroy small operations.

The regulations drive costs up in paperwork, licenses, fees, surcharges, workers, equipment, supplies, taxes and so on. This drives the small farmer out of business. Managing regulations has become a full time job and has become a poison to productivity/efficiency. The corporations win by bullying those who do not have the time, money, resources, personnel or energy to fight back.

Health and safety are top priorities of being human. I understand the concerns regarding both of those in relation to food. But the thing is, there is SO much out there to buy that is over-processed, over-salted, over-sugared, over-fried, pesticide heavy, petroleum rich and full of unnatural chemical mixtures. It is all REALLY BAD for your body.

Sauce with Bonus Ingredients

Sauce?

But somehow, edibles raised/grown on the land are being marketed by the media as dangerous (the corporations pay for what news gets to you via advertising dollars). The cost of organic food is driven high beyond the reach of the average family. The availability is scarce. And so we all eat the junk food.

And then we get sick, and health care is BIG business. That system makes a lot of money. And then they use it to control the population by influencing our financial leaders and politicians. And that negative cycle continues on.

Fresh Eggs!

Fresh Eggs

There is risk involved in EVERYTHING. The truth is that FEAR is taking over our society. It is now normal to be afraid of PEANUT BUTTER.

Venison Jerky-  ready for the oven

Venison Jerky- Ready for the oven

And the thing is, the more that we expose ourselves to organic, fresh, unpasteurized foods, the healthier we will be. Our immune system learns how to work correctly by doing so. Most of the ills that now plague the country like obesity, diabetes, cancer, food allergies, dependence on medicines, etc. are becoming more epidemic as we move away from eating the way we really should – directly from the earth.

Live Sage!

Live Sage

We are human. We are mammals. We will live. We will be sick. We will be injured. We will die. Sitting inside a house, eating fumigated, boiled, bleached, test tube food will not cure all these woes.

Dried Hot Peppers

Dried Hot Peppers

We can go outside, we can roll in the grass, we can breathe in the fresh air, we can suck a Honeysuckle flower or eat those tiny, wild strawberries. It is OK. Is it possible to catch something from doing this? Yes. But, it is so unlikely, that we are more likely to be struck by lightening.

Farm Stand and Trader Joe's - for the Winter.

Farm Stand & Trader Joe’s – for the Winter

Do you want to live your life, as fully as possible?

Dormant Peach

Dormant Peach Tree

I am glad that we have fresh chicken eggs to eat. I am glad that we have venison in the freezer. I am glad that we can flavor our meals with fresh herbs and spices. I am glad that we have a lovely garden – that gets bigger every year. I am glad that we have fruit trees. I am hoping to have goat milk this Spring. And I wish that everyone that wants this could have it all too!

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It is almost one year since my major surgery. We have been able to get a lot done to reorganize the farmette since then. The work has helped me to build up muscles (including the ones supporting my fused neck) and to retrain all the crushed nerves. Things in that medical arena are far from perfect, but my ability to move is vastly improved in comparison to the two years prior.

We built a new pony run-in just in the nick of time before the cold Winter weather really struck:

Old Run-in

New Construction


New Run-in


Decor added September 2012

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To bring the livestock count up to date:

Dogs (Pets, Watch, Retrieving, Service, Herding)
1 Female AKC Golden Retriever, 2 Female ACHC Gollies
(Golden Retriever x Rough Coated Collie)
Ongoing but not currently: One Black DOG project
pulling a pound dog from local shelter to re-home.

Goats (Brush clearing, Lawn mowing,
Milk – hopefully this Spring, Kid sales)
1 ADGA Young Nubian Buck, 1 ADGA Nubian Nanny,
1 Pygmy Nanny, 1 Pygmy Doe, 1 Pygmy “It” (female-ish)

Ponies (Transport pull cart/ride, Pasture ornaments)
1 (14 Hands) Blind, Quarter Pony Stallion /
1 (10 Hands) Grumpy 21 yo Shetland Gelding

Poultry (Eggs!!!, Insect control, Chick sales)
1 Chinese, Female Goose /
1 Shy, Free Range, Ameraucana/Wyandotte, Standard Sized Roo /
1 Angry, B&W, Polish, Top Hat, Bantam Roo / 1 Blue, Sizzle, Bantam Roo /
2  (Red, Birchen) Cochin, Bantam Roos / 1 Mille Fleur, Cochin, Bantam Hen /
1 Pair B&W, Ugly, Project Bantams / 1 Silkie x Cochin, Bantam Hen.
17 Young, Bantam Chickens for grow out (new breeders needed,
heat wave drove raccoons out of woods for giant raid on our main coop).

Inside
1 Parakeet that throws seed as far as outer space.
No particular use. But, he is very cute.
1 (55 gallon) fish tank w about a dozen fish.
Calming living room centerpiece.

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New coops are being built or re-built. The truly scrappy ones made from reclaimed everything were burned along with their hornets/wasps nests. Making solid, super sheltered, predator-proofed pens for our poultry was long past due.

One of the new coops:
1) Frame, 2) Digital Plans, 3) Final in use


We barter/traded our one man auger for a working nuc box of bees
(we lost our queen last year in our top bar hive and inevitably
lost that colony).


– The back pasture needs fencing, but has been cleared of coops.
– We need to move the two fruit trees to the front and plant the third
(still in pot from purchase months back).
– The farmette needs to buy a few pure bred hens for laying and
Spring chick sales.
– More coops will be necessary. Bobwhite quail, diamond doves and/or call ducks may be in the mix soon.
– A tree-house style goat house or two (with easy cleaning bases) need to be built, so that we can leave the well shed for storage alone.
– The pony run-in will have additions as time goes on.

The projects never end. Thank goodness we enjoy them!

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This boy was finally caught on his evening roost. I managed to get a few good pics of him this am. Aside from his battle wounds (still healing from his territorial fight), he is a very good looking bird.

The nice thing about Cochins is their mild mannered nature. This guy never tries to skewer (with his spurs) or bite people. Once you catch him, he is a cooperative model.

Bantam Birchen Cochin Roo:

His imitation of a Bald Eagle.

SG Silkie x Bantam Polish Cockerel
(just plain missed getting his pic yesterday)

This young roo has not been plucked nor is he molting. He is actually part of our ugly breeding project.

Chick Magnet!

This growing adolescent is actually quite full of himself. Our lady’s man proclaims to be quite a stud.

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More 2012 Breeders (& Upcoming Stock)

Bantam Ameraucana (Blue Egg) Breeders:

Splash Ameraucana Roo

Splash Ameraucana Pullet:

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FARMETTE 1769 – JUNE 2012
Chicken Pic Parade

Our Bantam Cochin Breeders:

Red Cochin Cockerel:

White Cochin Hen:

Blue Laced Cochin Pullet:

Mille Fleur Cochin Hens:

Birchen Cochin Roo – Who would not be caught for a good pic, so please excuse my photography. Also, this roo is recovering from a run-in with another too. He lost!:

Our Silkie Breeders:

SQ Blue Splash Silkie Roo:

SQ Blue Splash Silkie Hen:

Black Silkie/Polish “Ugly” Hen:

SG Blue Frizzle Silkie Roo:

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Abbigail, daughter of Olivia, fathered by black and white pygmy – name unknown, is about to have kids of her own. Pygmies don’t commonly come with papers, being non-dairy type mini goats. They can have pedigrees and do produce milk, but are not really bred for any of that.

I am impatiently waiting for the birth. With my health off kilter leading to surgery this past Fall 2011, keeping track of breeding for our goats and chickens just got completely off track. So, I can only guess as to her due date.

At the end of January, Abbey began to “bag up”, meaning that her milk had started to come in. I was not even sure she was bred until this happened. This process can start about a month ahead of the birth, but it is now February 24th and nothing has happened. 

We can feel the baby(ies) kicking. Our guess is that she will have twins. Goats can have 1 to 4 kids, averaging 2 and rarely 5. Last year was a bust as our only available nanny goat Olivia, delivered about a month early to one little buck kid that never took a breath. He looked like a little rubber goat with no hair but little hooves and horn buds and all. It was sad. He is buried in the flower garden.

This is Abbey on the 21st. Her kid(s) have been hanging low, so I thought maybe they’d be here by now. No luck…

Abbey modeling her big belly.

Cute Abbey, our little pregnant doe. She looks so much like a dairy cow that we almost named her Bessy.

So, I am extra excited about Abbey’s upcoming kidding since it has been so long since we had little goats here. They are extremely cute! If there is a girl, we will keep one. The boys must go since Jeffrey is now our herd sire.

We added a dairy goat to the mix recently. She is a Nubian goat, bigger than our dogs. Her papers name her as Katie Jeanne, but we call her Beatrice or BB for short. You could not have a more cooperative, friendly goat. Apparently this comes with the breed, but she is especially awesome. BB will walk on a leash, do what you ask of her and stay right at your side if you are out in the fenced area.

Beatrice and her new pink collar

I wish that BB had horns. She was disbudded as a kid . Our pygmies did not have this done and therefore pick on her. She holds her own since she is big, but it is certainly a disadvantage. I like to keep the horns on so that they can protect themselves. We have two watch dogs outside and an electric fence, but I still worry a little about the coyotes. They wander in to scoop up poultry if they can get away with it.

She is bred to a moon-spotted buck named Picasso. Nubian goats come in lots of colors and you never know what you’ll get, although with the spots in the mix, the probability of spotted is higher. Depending on what we get from her, there may be selling or trading involved. We’ll need a Nubian sire for her. A good way to get one may be to trade a buckling for an unrelated buckling.

The big deal with BB will be the milk, which we can make into cheese, yogurt, butter and soap. She is not “freshened” right now. That means that she has given birth and is therefore producing milk. Beatrice is so easy to handle. It seems as if she will make a great milking goat. That is good since I have no idea what I am doing. I’ll figure it out. 

As with everything on the farmette, practice makes perfect, or at least manageable…

P.S. You’ll be sure to get an update when Abbey’s baby(ies) arrive!

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Goats have quite a lot of horsepower for their size. We have four pygmy goats. Ours are 35-50 pounds each. One of them can make a formidable opponent in tug-of-war. When you need to move an unwilling goat on a lead, that is the game you play.

They have several jobs on the farmette, one of which is being a playful, cute pet. Goats are also foragers, and so clear brush like no weed-eater you’ve ever seen. They produce milk, which can be a great source of dairy foods for your household. Hopefully, this year will be the one that we actually try milking our goats. We have two very tame girls that should not be too much trouble to train to the milking stand.

Our little billy goat boy, Jeffrey, has turned out just as planned. He is very small, but gets his job done with his harem.

Jeffrey - Our Herd Sire

A nanny has to give birth in order to produce milk. A lot of people take the kids away and bottle feed. This way, the nanny will think of you as her kid when you are milking. Then you can share the milk with her real kids. The following pic is of Luna, who is 1/2 Nigerian dwarf and 1/2 pygmy. She should make a great milker since she is tame and friendly. Also, the Nigerian blood will make for better milk production.

Luna - Nanny #2

I had to give Luna extra attention when she was born since she was a super-runt, being half the size of her two brothers (her mother had triplets). She is my favorite due to the puppy dog-like personality that developed from the extra care.

We sell off the boys (you only need one). The sales goes into our farmette’s feed and grain money jar. Goats are a great livestock animals since they serve so many purposes. And again, they are very endearing too.

Special Goat Tip; Double up on the collar and connection when you leave them out on a lead. They are very agile, mischievous animals and it helps to have back-up security on tie-outs.

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