ANZ's Farms

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dairy Goat Babies 2014: Sr. Does

The senior does have kidded. So the first goat babies have been born on the new farm. How wonderful to have all the barn space and separate stalls for mom/baby bonding!

Sandy in labor,
keeping warm under a wool blanket
Sandy kidded first, on January 28th (day 140). Although she came early and on a snowy afternoon, her twins are doing great. (PS -- notice the cot in the background. I spent 3 consecutive nights in the barn. Can't recommend this cot highly enough -- a Coleman SmartComfort. Slept well, no sore back! Lightweight and easy to carry. And the pad is covered in plastic, a must-have feature for the barn.)

Sandy's doeling and buckling.
Both are SOLD.

Here are Sandy's twins, just minutes old. A doeling and buckling. Had the white kid been the doeling, her name would be Snow White. However, he is a buckling so his name is Prince Charming. Her doeling is a brown buckskin with white splashes. Due to the white on her tail, I have named her Tipper. This is the only good picture of the doeling that I have been able to get. She is a spitfire ... always springing around and loving life, never posing for a picture. They are eligible for registration. Prince Charming is $125 as a bottle baby. Tipper is $200 as a bottle baby.

Prince Charming

AnnaBelle delivered 4 bucklings just before dawn
without a human attendant (me!).

AnnaBelle was the next to kid on February 1st. She surprised me and kidded when I was not there, even though I had checked on her at midnight and she showed no signs of delivering soon. This is the first time I have not been there to catch every kid born on the farm. However, she did a great job and had them just about cleaned up by the time I arrived for morning chores. Her 4 bucklings are of good bloodlines, but not eligible for registration. $75 each as bottle babies.
AnnaBelle's buckling Texas -- SOLD
AnnaBelle's buckling Fric (SOLD).
His twin Frac looks just like him.
Tiny Tim, born 2.5 lbs at birth, half the size of his brothers -- SOLD

Mamma Goat delivered a single buckling on February 2nd, Ground Hog day.
Mamma, who holds the record of 6 healthy kids in a single
birthing, had one big boy this year.
Mamma's buckling -- SOLD.
His new owners named him O G Darkness

Bella, our herd queen, was the last of the senior does to kid. She had twins on February 3rd, a doeling and a buckling. Her kids are of good bloodlines, but not eligible for registration. Doeling $150, buckling $75 as bottle babies.
She was so big and uncomfortable prior to kidding.
Bella's doeling and bucking look just alike too.
Her buckling is pending sale.

Our first junior doe due to kid looks like she might deliver by the end of this week. Her kids have dropped and she is beginning to bag up. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Big Move ... more than Name Only

A view of the doe pasture from the barn at
ANZ's Farm

We have moved. The changes are more than location. We aren't an urban farm anymore -- we live in the country on 45 beautiful acres. We aren't primarily a dairy farm anymore -- we have added meat goats and herd guards. So with these changes comes a name change as well. Introducing ANZ's Farm.

The Move. This picture shows Betsy, piled high with the first of many loads.We looked like the Clampets, just without Granny in her rocking chair on the top of the pile. Our neighbors even took pictures. We aren't completely settled yet, but have made tremendous progress and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We downsized from a 2800-sq ft house to 1100 sq ft, a welcome exercise in being less materialistic. We have learned that the key is to use every inch of space wisely and modify space that does not fit our needs. Scott tore out a wall to turn a small, narrow closet into additional pantry space for all my canning, cheese making and kitchen necessities. The 3rd bedroom has become our home office, resulting in the loss of my "blue room" bedroom. And now I only have one bathroom to keep clean ... that's a plus!

Our Nigerian Dwarf goats enjoying their new home
The Dairy Goats. Our Nigerian Dwarf goats seem so small in the 5-acre pasture they now call home. But they love it. Room to graze and browse. Fence lines with tasty weeds. Sunny spots for chewing their cuds on cool days and the shade of huge oak and black walnut trees when it's hot. Because of extenuating circumstances at their adoptive homes, we got back six of our spring kids, so all the extra room is nice.

Our intact buckling Dynamite resides across the back fence from the does, with his companion The Mixter (named for our favorite previous next door neighbor) and herd guard Donkey. He is the happy sire to our adult does, due late January/early February 2014.

The Meat Goats. We have expanded into meat goats. We have a 100% Kiko doe (front left in the picture) with twin Kiko/Savannah kids who are 4 months old. We have a Kiko/Savannah "teenager" (the beautiful girl in the center of the picture), the doe's kid from 2012. We are in search of a herd sire, preferable a Boer mix. Also pictured with them is their guard, Wilbur, my daughter-in-law Jess's donkey. What a sweetie he is!

The Donkeys. As our area of the country has coyotes, bobcats, black bear and other large predators, we chose to get donkeys instead of dogs. We have been on a huge learning curve about donkeys, to say the least! Without going into all the details, I will report that we have gone from not being able to get near them to not being able to get far enough away from them to take a good picture :)! Donkey, a young jack who still has his puppy fur (pictured right), guards the bucks. Wilbur, pictured above, guards the meat goats. And Sweetheart, pictured below, lives with her mom Elsa in the doe pasture.
This young jenny was anything but a sweetheart when we first got her. Scott named her that, hoping the spoken word would be prophetic. For example, in her frenzy from being separated from her mom, she got her hoof wedged in the stall door. Fortunately, before she broke her leg, we were able to free it, but not before she bit me. But Scott was right and she is living up to her name.
I am blessed that all I have are bruises to show for taming our feral donkeys. For anyone in a similar situation, our secret weapons were patience, carrots and a curry comb!

One of the barns on the property and our first harvest of hay
Barns and Hay. Nothing says farm more than barns and hay. There are 4 old tobacco barns on the property and a newer, 6-stall livestock barn. The only unfenced part of the property is a 10-acre hay field, located in some bottom land between the pond and the creek. A neighbor baled it for us the first week, since we haven't invested in a baler yet. (A side note: this same neighbor lived less that a couple miles from our first home in Raleigh. We got composted horse manure from him for our garden on Weaver Drive. Small world!) We got 17 4x5 round bales. Scott borrowed this same neighbor's spear to move the bales to storage at one of the barns. It feels good to have the barn full of food for the animals going into the winter months.

The Pond. We looked for just the right farm for over 3 years. My wish list included either a pond or stream ... some type of water. God, in His infinite goodness, allowed us to have both. The southern border of the property is a flowing, year-round creek. There is also a pond, which we are told is stocked with fish. Other issues are more pressing, so we haven't verified that yet, but one day we hope to relax by the pond with poles in hand.

The Chickens. Bless their hearts, they are still in Raleigh being cared for by our wonderful neighbor Wilma. Scott will bring the 2 young roosters and the 1-year old hens to the farm this week. The rest will be dinner for one of Wilma's workers. We have 6 chicks here that I have been caring for under the heat lamp. They are now feathered out and ready to go into the coop, which was transported from home and placed at the former owners hitching post area.  I cringed a little when we cut down her aromatic cedar posts to make way for the coop. However, I don't ever see us getting into horses, so we modified the space to accommodate our needs. There is a spigot there for the automatic waterer, so it was really a no-brainer.

Everything Else. I was belated getting my fall garden planted. Pictured here are its meager beginnings. This little plot by the carport is fenced, so hopefully it will keep deer and other nibblers away. I have transplanted 5 blueberry bushes from our urban farm as well as a fig tree. I have planted lettuces and spinach in the area where the cold frames will eventually be built, Lord willing. I have a spot in mind for the grapevine, but that's as far as I have gotten with that. We will begin again and plant fruit trees in February, so I still have time to decide where they will go.

Monday, March 4, 2013

2013 Goat Babies for Sale

It's kidding season! That wonderful time of year with new life, frolicking kids with springs on their hooves and high-pitched baaaas. And time to make the hard decisions about which goats/kids to keep and which to sell. Below are the ones up for sale (all are purebred Nigerian Dwarf):

Daisy x Diego
Daisy is Mamma x Katmandu 2012 doe. I am selling Daisy -- a one-year old, first freshener in milk -- together with her buckling, born February 27th. I am in the process of getting her registered with ADGA. The sire of the bucklings is registered, so they will be eligible for registration as well. She is a good mother and good with people/human kids. $350 for Daisy alone; $150 for her buckling alone; $450 for both.
Daisy and her two bucklings -- SOLD

Daisy's Buckling #1 - SOLD

Daisy's Buckling #2 -- SOLD
Mamma x Katmandu
I am selling Mamma's kids born February 27th, 2 doelings, 2 bucklings. All but one of the kids I have retained in the past are Mamma's, because she is such a fabulous goat. But I need to diversify my bloodlines so I am selling all her kids this year. I am working on getting Mamma registered by ADGA. The sire is registered, so her kids will be able to be registered as well. Doelings $250, bucklings $150

Mamma's doeling #1 "Patches" - SOLD
Mamma's doeling #2 - SOLD

Mamma's buckling #1
Mamma's buckling #2 -- Pending Sale

Bella x Katmandu
Bella had 3 doelings, 1 buckling born March 2nd. Bella is Mamma's daughter by an unregistered, but purebred sire. Doelings $150, bucklings $75. Bella's #3 doeling "Peanut" SOLD. Surprise Koral! :)

Bella's doeling #1 -- Pending sale
Bella's buckling - SOLD

Bella's doeling #2 - SOLD
Sandy x Diego
Sandy is a 2012 doe of Mamma x Katmandu. She delivered a buckling and doeling on February 25th. Her buckling will be eligible for registration. $150
Sandy's buckling - SOLD
This doeling (pictured with her dam Sandy) may be retained.
Sandy's doeling - RETAINED
AnnaBelle x Katmandu
AnnaBelle delivered 3 doelings March 8th. More pics soon. These will be unregistered, $150 each.
AnnaBelle and her 3 doelings - SOLD
call/text 919-418-4109 or email Thanks 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Wild Bunnies

4 more baby bunnies growing in my garden!
I just had to post this picture. I found this nest of bunnies (a burrow?) when weeding a row in the garden between the potatoes and tomatoes. Oh my, we are going to be overrun with bunnies. But they are so cute!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chick Lessons

Mother Hen teaching the chicks to perch
Homestead life is full of joy and serendipity. Each week brings a new Mother Hen story that surprises me about nature and animal instinct. As if she has a curriculum to follow, Mother Hen is teaching her chicks the ropes ... how to return to the nest each evening, how to scratch for food, how to hide from predators, how to flap your wings while running to get there faster. Today's lesson was how to perch. Less than 3 weeks old, these chicks are perching. (It took my chicks, bought from the hatchery without a mom to show them, over 2 months to perch.) When I went out this morning, there the chicks were -- one on the lower rung of the rocker and the other on the arm of the rocker, under foot of her watchful mom. That started my day with a smile.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Onions and Garlic

My onion harvest
My garlic harvest
You might say there has been a learning curve to my gardening ... a big one! Before starting to homestead, my notion of growing food was limited to what I saw as a child -- plant in April/May after the danger of frost was over. Then tend, water, harvest and eat throughout the summer. Once September rolled around, the work was done until the next spring.

So the idea of planting in the fall for a spring harvest was definitely thinking outside the box for me. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but I had faith that if the garden centers were selling onion sets in October, it must be the way to do it. So I planted 3 rows of onions and 2 rows of garlic last fall. The green tops stayed healty during the winter. Go figure. And then the question arose -- what next? Here is a photo guide of what I learned:
Harvest onions when they start to show and the tops fall over

Harvest garlic when the leaves begin to yellow and the bulb is a good size

Support the bottom of the plant as you pull it out
Garlic roots are deeper and stronger than onion roots

Dust off the dirt and dry in the sun before storing in a cool, dark place

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Berries by the Month

Raspberries in May
Yummy raspberries! Our two bushes are producing an abundant supply for sprinkling on breakfast cereal or stirring into homemade goats' milk yogurt, and just plain eating. It has become my daily ritual to go back out after milking and harvest a bowl full of this delicious, juicy fruit. It's important to wait until the berry turns from red to crimson before plucking. The picture shows the difference in color between ripened perfection and not quite ready. Another way to tell: a ripe berry will fall into your hand when gently pulled. If it continues to hold to the stem, give it another day.

Raspberries are very perishable and only keep a day or two in the refrigerator. They can be stored for up to a year frozen. (Place unwashed, dry berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once hard, place in an airtight container and return to the freezer.) Here is a copycat recipe from for Cheesecake Factory Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake. I substitute my goat cheese for the cream cheese -- ounce for ounce. Can't wait to try this recipe.

I am surprised the birds have left us so many berries. It seems robins spend their day either on the ground next to the bushes or on the wire strung for support. Maybe they are leaving the raspberries because they are too full from eating my blackberries. I did get to pop one blackberry drupelet into my mouth yesterday ... it was delicious!

Our little homestead is providing a different fresh berry each month. Reminds me of those catalogs where you can purchase the fruit of the month to be sent to you fresh. Only this is way better! I've already blogged about strawberries. We enjoyed them in April this year. (Due to the warm winter and early spring, everything is early.)

Next up are the blueberries. They have tiny, unripe berries.
Blueberries in June

After that, the elderberries should be ready. They are in full bloom right now.
Elderberries in July