Sunday, June 3, 2012

Big Girl Bells

I think you know by now I love my goat girls.  Way too much, in fact, if there is such a thing.  And yeah, they are a little spoiled because of it.  I spend too much time kissing their goaty faces and skritching their goaty backs and letting them attempt to sit in my lap.  But I can't help it.  In fact, I think they're just great, and I love to spoil them.  One way I do that is by giving them beautiful jewelry.  You know, a tiara here, a bracelet there, a hoof ring, that sort of thing.

Nah, just kidding. 

They have collars.  The couple of times that I brought them to the vet, I did get ribbed.  I was told they were "so fancy" with their collars on.  I guess people don't collar their goats around here.  But I do.  For one, they look snazzy.  For another, they have bells on them, so I can hear where my girls are.  It's a little piece of mind, knowing I can listen for the tinkle of their bells and know they're in their pen and ok.

Up until now, Lilly and Min have been wearing a small bell, meant for little kids.  But now they are officially 4 months old, and not so little, so it was time to switch them over to their big girl bells.  The little bells were starting to look ridiculous, and you know that's never going to fly!

On the left, the little girl bell.  On the right, the mega-bell!
First I had to get them naked.
Hey maaa!  Why you taked my collar??

Maaaa!!!  Lookit!!  I'm naked!!
That was difficult enough, because they don't stay still.  But then I had to get the collars back on, which was something.  Forget trying to take a picture.

"Min!  Stay still!  I want to take your picture with your new collar!"
How about like this maaaa???
 "No, not like that, Min.  Try again."

How about like this maaaa??? 
"Well, I did get your collar, but I didn't get your face.  Try again?"

Here's my face, maaaa.  Good??
 "It's good, Min.  What about a glamour shot?"

Here maaaa.  How's this?  This is such hard work.

Dulcinea has never worn a collar, and anytime I have put one on her, she's fought me.  But she's officially 8 weeks old, and it's time to be broken to it.

Oh, and yes, she's feeling much better.  I waited the week to see if she was really better, but I can (I hope) safely say now that she is better.  Interestingly, since coming back from the vet, she has put on weight and grown quite a bit.  It could just be coincidence, but it seems to coincide with the Bo-Se shot she got.  I'm wondering if a Selenium deficiency had something to do with how slight she always has been.  Her mama was not small or slender, and Dulci always was.  I'm wondering if the shot somehow kicked her metabolism into gear and now she can pack on the weight she should have had.  And I'm wondering if I should give my other girls Bo-Se as well, since I know they never got one.  It's a question I am going to pose to the vet this week, when I give them an update.

"Ok, Dulci, it's time to put on a collar."

No maaa, no.  No wanna collar.
 "Yes Dulci, you're a big girl now, and it's time.  Here you go."

Maaa!!!   Maaa!  I think I'm being ATTACKED!!

There's something on my neck, Maaaa!!!
 "Yes, that would be your collar."

Maaa!!!  I don' like it.  Gettitoff!  
"Nope, that's it.  You have to wear a collar now".
Ugh, she's SUCH a baby!
 "I know, Lil."
Maaaa!  Maaa!  Lookit!  I's ok with it now!

See mee? 

Wan' me to get closer?  See mee now, maaaa???
"I see you, Dulci.  Good girl."

Wait maa, wait!  Lookit!  Glamour shot!  See maa?  See???
"I see you.  Let's go into your house ok?  Let's give a tour."

Ok maaa.  This is my water bucket and my window.

"Your water bucket and your window?"

Ok, everyone's, maaaa.  Sheesh.   And this is the other window.

And this is Lilly and Minerva's hay rack.  They don't let me eat from it.  They're mean!!!

And this is my hayrack.  All mine.  But I have to share with a stupid chicken.  She putses eggs in my hay.  Stupid chicken!
And these is the food bowls.  When we eat, I has to play bowl roulette, because when I find good stuff in my bowl, Lilly butts me out and I have to switch bowls to her bowl.  Then Minerva butts me out and I have to switch again!  It makes me so tireds!
" true."

Yeah, the food thing is not working for us.  There is way too much bowl switcheroo.  If anyone has a solution to this issue, I'm all ears.  I have some ideas, but I'd love to know if anyone has had this problem and tackled it.  It's been a real pain in the neck, as I don't want to stand there the whole time they're eating just to be sure Dulci gets her fair share. 

"On my way out girls, let's get a group shot."
Ok maaa!!!  Cheeeeez!
 "Lilly!  You weren't looking at the camera!  Scootch in!"

How's this maaa?  How's this?  Am I scootched enough???  Am I??
 "Get off of Min's head, please.  Everyone now.  Cheese!"

Chmmmmmmffzzz!  Slurp slurp chomp!
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  1. Hi Jocelyn! First, let me (try to) reassure you that I'm not some crazy stalker person... all evidence to the contrary.

    I just found your blog yesterday.... and spent *WAY* too long reading about chickens, goats, etc. I'm loving following your journey. It gives me hope! I'm a country girl at heart who lives in St Louis, MO... and my friends all think I'm NUTS that I do vegetable ferments, make kombucha, kefir, render lard, drive for miles and miles to pick up raw milk... etc. I really need to be out homesteading where these kind of pursuits aren't met with as much eye rolling and outright skepticism.

    We are working toward a little "hobby farm" in the overall 5-year plan... but some days it seems so freakin' far away... you know? (Patience is OBVIOUSLY one of my many virtues... cant'cha tell??)

    Anyway... at the moment I'm living vicariously through you... and let me tell ya... just from my little glimpse of life through your eyes, I can TELL we'd totally be BFF's if we had the chance. I was laughing at something you had written... and my husband was curious, so I read him a few paragraphs... he laughed too, rolled his eyes, and said "Oh no! There's another YOU out there somewhere!" :)

    Anyway... thanks for living my dream, and making it so darn entertaining while you do so! Hopefully 5 years from now I'll be peppering you with questions and asking for advice for my own little place. Keep the posts coming in the meantime... I just love them!

    (Um... no... still not the stalkerish-type-person... PROMISE! :) )

  2. Some advice: we tether when we feed. Our girls have necklaces like yours. We attached a little loop of webbing on the wall of the stall. We are using our old rock climbing gear so each girl is hooked up with a quick-draw, this is basically a piece of webbing with a caribiner on each end. You can buy webbing and flimsy 'biners at Lowes in the chain section.

    Each girl (and the boys too) have a station. At feeding time they actually go to their station and wait to be hooked up, then they get their grain. We made the decision to tether based on Fias Co Farms advice. We also use the tether to administer meds and trim hoofs. We can easily see who is off their food and we can monitor the amount too.

    My mom has had to come over a couple of times and feed at night and she is very impressed with the way the girl march right in and take their spots. It only takes about three days for them to figure out their place.

    This has really worked for us (esp. for the hoof trimming).

  3. Cute goats. Glad they have adapted to their new big girl bells. We had a bell on our cow when we first got her, but not anymore.
    We have a hen that likes to lay eggs in the shavings pile sometimes. Usually it gets broken. Yuck.

  4. Hi Jocelyn,

    I really like ragamuffin yogini's advice on tethering - that sounds fantastic! I was thinking maybe build a collapsible/swinging gate to section it off, but the tethering makes so much more sense.

    Aims - I've been living vicariously through a few bloggers, and I found this blog a few months ago while I was daydreaming about owning a farm. I felt like hubby and I had been paying off debt and saving up for YEARS (and, in my defense, it was two years) and I was ready to have my own place with land and animals and gardens and all that jazz. I wanted to be surrounded by folks who didn't think I'm a chicken snob (I'm dying to get some chanteclers) and can share my excitement about a huge hay loft and whitewashed fencerails. Last month, after we had scraped together about half a down payment, we decided to go get pre-approved for a mortgage, mostly out of curiousity to see what we'd get. We got excited, and after looking at 4 dumpy places on tiny, hilly, uncleared land, we put an offer on a place this past Sunday (40 acres, log house, big barn and shop, chicken coops...... it's perfect). We got the haggling done before the end of the day, and signed all the official paperwork yesterday. So I just want to say - DON'T GIVE UP!!! It will happen! Keep dreaming, keep planning, and who cares if your city friends think you're a little strange?


    1. That's AWESOME!!!! Congratulations! Maybe you should blog your experience for posterity's sake and I'll come stalk you as well! ;) I'll get there someday! How exciting!

  5. Mandi: Congrats!! I am a bit jealous. That sounds wonderful and I am glad that your waiting paid off.

    Aims: Welcome, welcome! I don't think you're a stalker--quite the contrary, it's nice to meet you! The truth is anyone can do this anywhere. We couldn't afford a huge farm anywhere near where my husband could get to work, so we homestead in what most people call a residential area. Luckily it's really quiet and there are very few neighbors. They're still there, though. I wish you luck on your journey! Don't be a stranger!

    Sweetland: Broken eggs are icky. So far, we've avoided that fate, but it's only a matter of time, I know.

    Yogini: Tethering it is. I was going to set up separate feeding stations, but I can see how they'd still play switcheroo, so I'll do both. I won't be surprised if they figure it out really quickly. They are very smart animals. Thank you for the advice!


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