Leah, you are the best. So funny. How bad is it that I can practically picture you (at least, "inside my mind"-you) stuck to some small animal via super-glue surgery gone awry?
Chevaux, I adore that one too! I just wish it were clearer...but I guess you can't win them all! I know what you mean about Hazel! In that pictures she really reminds me of the "Neverending Story" dog memes:
Aww Cas, you're too sweet. Hahahaha that story is great!
Lacey is definitely the queen of farts. I always tell my lesson kids that whenever she farts, she's agreeing with whatever I just said. A few years ago when we were at camp, we would lead trail rides and Miss L would just be farting along (maybe she's fart-powered?) so I would tell the kids behind us to count her farts -to distract them from screaming about how "gross" Lacey is- and they counted over 40 individual farts in under 30 minutes. Bonus: I could fart loudly whenever I wanted to while riding her because I could believably pass it off on her. Hahahahaha
Right? Atti is getting HUGE! These are the first goats I've ever actually been around as well -aside from a few petting zoo pgymy goats- and dang! Haha In the last month he's literally shot up 4 inches and gained 30lbs, it's insane. Who needs another horse? I can just ride Atticus in a couple of years!
I hope you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well! :)
Hahahaha YES! Hazel TOTALLY makes that face. I had not made the connection between her and the actual dragon but now that you point it out!!
Also, in relation to our earlier "Animal Girl" discussion, apparently we have a "real" name! Faunist: a person who studies or writes on animal life; a naturalist.
So now we can just say we're faunists and sound REALLY pretentious.
In other news, the world decided to start raining in ridiculous amounts and today when I got home, I found everyone standing in 4+ inches of water, IN THE SHED. Lacey's blanket was totally soaked through (thank the Lord I am always over prepared and had switched out her previous damp blanket last night so it was dry today and it's the "good" one), she was freaked out - jumping at every little thing, blowing through her nose that way horses do, and it was all around sad. Thankfully once I got her into a dry blanket and fed her some dinner, she calmed down. Still a little nervous but more relaxed than she had been.
So yeah. That's cool. I managed to created "islands" for everyone so they each have a "them-sized" dry spot to lay/stand but yay. Bye-bye $30 of bedding! Adios amigo.
Whoever thought of putting a shed+stalls at the bottom of a steep hill is officially my enemy.
Plus side: since I moved those rubber mats outside the stalls, mud is not a problem at all. So I guess, at least, it's just water! It could be water hiding mud!
Anyhoo, if you feel so inclined, think some dry suggly thoughts for my kiddos. I suppose it isn't any worse than if they just had a tree to hang out under for shelter but still, I feel bad.
I went out to the farm today to get Mac so he could be shod. It was raining and raining, only to get worse as the day wore on. We were able to use the cover of the neighbor's barn for the shoeing, so that was nice.
Mac was also really jumpy. There was an absolute river running throught their paddock , eating away at the foundation of the shed. It was running from one side of the property to the other and the area around Mac's feeding shed is knee deep mud. Nasty. All the horses were wet as otters. I could do nothing about htat. They have NO dry place to lay down, unless they find a place dry enough under a big fir tree, but with this rain, nothing is dry. All I could do is throw out some extra hay (and do it surruptitiously because we aren't supposed to ever give extra hay and they get snotty about it.).
I came home sopped to the skin and cold, and am sitting by the heater, still.
It often rains a lot right around Thanksgiving, so this is nothing unusual. But it is so grim and gray and dark when it does this. Nothing to do but grit out mossy teeth and go on.
Hah, our mossy teeth! So true. I love it. I'm "glad" you're dealing with this too. Not glad exactly but...companionable? I don't know - basically, just glad I'm not the only one! :)
It's basically still Rainoclypse here. Super lame. It did "dry" up a bit in the middle of the week (aka each footstep did not create a splash noise) so that was nice. Yesterday it was "really" cold (40*) but not rainy so everybody got to go out without blankets...they loved it.
In the last few years, Miss L has basically been blanketed constantly because I didn't want to have to deal with a mud covered horse when I wanted to ride. THIS YEAR, the lucky girl gets to go "naked" on not rainy days because who's riding her? Not me! Our Friday lesson kid adores brushing her and the Sunday one...hates brushing but it's not hard to make sure L has a blanket on on Sunday.
I still blanket her at night, rain or shine, but Lacey's a huge fan of this new management strategy.
Yesterday most of my family came over for Thanksgiving and, of course, my mom is like "Everyone wants to go see the horse and the goats, RIGHT??!" so we went on a field trip.
Lacey was SUCH a ham. She greeted each person, forced my uncle to pet her (hilarious - he would stroke her face and stop, she'd toss her head, he'd stroke her again and stop, she'd toss her head, etc etc..this went on for a good 10 minutes while the rest of my family was being charmed by Atticus), and then she threw her tail over her back and went cantering around like "Look at me, guys! I'm so COOL!" She's super funny. They all thought she was gorgeous - she approved. Eventually she trotted off and when I came to catch her, she immediately turned towards me with this look on her face that can only be described as jovial. She was having as much fun as we were watching her.
AND PICTURES. I took some, just for you guys.
On my way home from school...
The city on one side of Lacey's pasture:
Look at her. What a cutie. Look at that lil swayback and that belly.
Can you believe the muscle loss though? Like WHAT? I guess that's what they say that older horses lose muscle faster but geez.
Good thing she's still stinking adorable!
And always, mid buck.
Mr. Atticus! He finally has leading down...I think. Hahaha
This, my friends, is Lake Chumbawamba. In honor of their song "Tub-Thumping" which includes the line "I get knocked down, I get up again". That would be the story of this lake's life.
I want to permanently knock Lake Chumbawamba down.
Ahhh, this last week has been insane. Next week is finals (SO EXCITED - I'll be home by about 3 EVERYDAY and I'm done with my last final on Wednesday, then I have an entire month off to actually work with the "kiddos" and sew and bake and oh my word. So excited!) so this week was full of final projects and studying. Bleck!
On the animal front, things are going reasonably well!
I had been struggling to get Miss L to eat all her "grain" (hay pellets+supplements) but I think I got that fixed, for now. She does this thing where there's a certain ratio of water:pellet:supplment that she will eat, but it's very precise. Too much water - she won't eat it. Too many pellets - same deal, etc. Basically she'll eat about half, then leave a bunch of glop in the bottom of her bucket. And since her supplements are what keep her eyes under control...
Anyhoo, I figured out that the current magic combination seeems to be putting her feed bucket in the corner feeder in her stall (I think maybe she loses it when it's on the ground? Too much work having to narrow down where it is after putting her head up...?...maybe she gives up??) and doing a 1:1 alfalfa to rice bran pellet ratio. So far she's been cleaning her bucket out completely AND I'm only having to feed her about 1/4th of a pound of each per feeding (2/day) instead of the full pound of pellets I was feeding twice a day!
And, luckily, she is always less of an easy keeper in the winter so I'm not too worried about feeding her rice bran right now. We'll have to figure something else out for the spring/summer but for now = yay!
She's also becoming so humorous. She keeps coming up with the silliest things to do to me. For instance, the other day I left the tack room door open while I was cleaning her stall, left to the stall for a second to dump my bucket, I come back to find Lacey IN the tack room, eating hay like she does that everyday. It was hilarious.
She also has nearly figured out how to get the tack room door open with her mouth (when it's already unlatched) so that's basically her favorite to do while I'm getting her grain prepared. Hahaha
I took a video of it today but there was a poop pile (hadn't cleaned her stall yet!) in front of the door so it couldn't open very much. :( Next time!
But here's that video:
On the goat front, Atticus is still being a pain in the neck and Hazel is still being super cute. Haha Actually thought, Atti is getting a bit better so I have hope. He's, I think, almost 8 months (March baby!) so he's still right in that teenager phase.
And really, for what it's worth, my cat was more annoying in this phase than Atticus has been...just Atticus is a whole lot bigger! Haha
Hazel is still skinny but, upon the advice of Lockwood, I've started feeding her rice bran pellets (actually why I bought them in the first place) and she LOVES them. She's been eating them for a few days with no real change yet but I'm sure by next weekend she'll be, hopefully, looking chunkier.
I also got her a new blanket! I decided to take the plunge and get her a Tough-1 dog blanket that was actually her size so I could do some layering once it got colder. I had wanted to make her a blanket myself but I was struggling with how to make it long enough, waterproof enough, etc so this way is probably good. Now I don't have to worry about either of those things, just fitting her and being warm. It has 100g of fill which will be nice when it gets really cold since her other blanket has 200g - layering, we could go up to 300g! It's also much longer on her than the other one...almost a little tooo long but as long as she likes it!
I also found this hoof stuff (recommended by Lockwood, of course) for Miss H's hoof issues so hopefully that will clear them up finally. That poor old lady goat, she has had such a hard time of it. I just don't understand how she's still so darn NICE! If I were her age and in constant pain...oh boy...I don't think I would be very nice.
And also, I got lotsa pictures!
"Hot Lava monster!!"
(who knew that a plank of plywood and a pallet would make the funnest toy ever? Also = the solution of Lake Chumbawamba!)
Hazel and her terrifying yawns. I can't even get over them. How can she be so cute...and so scary??
Winter Break! Woohoo!
Hopefully now I will have time to keep you guys more updated! I've been being SO effective with my time lately...I guess not having any time to spare will do that! Haha
I got the stall fences all put back together this morning (everyone seems to have spent the last 3 months trying to take them down so they were jury-rigged back together...UNTIL NOW!) and they look SO GOOD. Almost better than when I first built it. They will look better when I get my final finishing touches done (getting Lacey's gate made of mesh fencing vs polytape) but for now almost is good enough!
However, guys, the most dramatic change currently is that it's looking more and more like instead of having one Falkor...Ima' about to have more than one because Miss Haze seems to have some children inside her that I did not know about. Sneaky Haze, sneaky.
And yes, I plan on working Falkor into at least one name of a new addition.
Girl=Falkora, Boy=Falkor, my other two name options are Scribonia (girl) and Theophilus (boy).
And don't worry, I have a list of "good names", I didn't just freak out and name all the possible babies randomly..Actually not sure that it's so much better than I have a previously decided names list... hahaha
Somebody definitely kicked my hand this morning and this afternoon. <3
The very latest they could be due is late January but I'm thinking late December is more likely. Correction: I'm PRAYING late December since I go back to school on January 7th and I'll be on the same "no time, ever" schedule. And, well, that just stinks for babies. Technically it all stinks for babies but it would be good if they were earlier vs later.
Anyhoo, that's the real excitement.
Lacey's doing great and she's perfectly on track for being "healthy" in May to give riding another try.
She's now 100% sound and as sassy as ever. Boy, does that girl make trouble when she's not in work! She's into EVERYTHING! Haha Love her!
And of course, pictures and a video!!!!
In the video, Miss Lacey had just come galloping up the hill...ut of course I miss the whole thing. But her just being herself is pretty cute too so whatere'. ;)
"Look guys! My Galvayne's Groove is gone! I could be over 30 for all anyone knows! Muhahahaha! Too bad I'll be 'only' 28 in a few months!"
This goat. He spends about as much time in the air as he does on the ground. Silly dude! [He REALLY wanted my coat but knew that he would get in trouble if he pulled it down - this was his solution: play NEAR the coat]
"Yo, dawgs. I heard that I'm going to be a grandma? I sure hope I don't have to do anything but spoil these kiddos!"
I hope they inherit her facial expressions... She has the best ones. She and Lacey are the best pair that way!!
Ah yes, probably should clarify that little bit of the story.
So I was under the impression that she was not pregnant and had no chance of being pregnant because the woman I got her from told me that she was trying to place Hazel in a pet home so she could stop having babies (does can continue to have babies for quite some time - I've read about a 12 year old doe giving birth! - but it starts getting dangerous and by 10+, fatal complications are more likely, etc). However, because I'm a huge sucker, I never specifically asked if she had been with a buck.
She's been impossible to keep weight on and she started really dropping weight a few weeks ago so I started doing some research and I kept reading over and over that Angora does need upwards of 16% protein in their diets to hold weight in the later stages of pregnancy...so that made me start wondering.
I contacted her previous owner to make sure she hadn't been around a buck and was informed that she had, in fact, been housed with a young buck (5 months old - young, but old enough to get "things" done), up until the day I picked her and Atti up. Apparently the owner thought that his age and apparent health issues (her words: "failure to thrive" - the worms my guys came home with could be enough to cause that though!) would cause him to be infertile/not mature enough.
HAH. I'm such a sucker, guys. I will believe anything. Oh dear.
Anyway, those facts, combined with how her lady-parts appear (like a mare, closer to giving birth, things start doing interesting stuff back there), how she hasn't seemed to go into heat in the 90 days she's been here - Angoras breed Aug-Dec, and then the fluttering/kicking movements right where a baby/babies would be kicking (left side of a goat is the rumen which makes weird movements but the right side on a doe is the uterus+where baby movements can be felt low down on the side)...and combined with how her attitude is changing - her life suddenly revolves around ME, being near me, being petted, etc where she formerly was standoffish but quietly sweet...
I really don't want to believe it but at the same time, too many signs for me to ignore. :/
No vet certification yet. It seems that with goats, you do a blood test if you want to be fancy (draw the blood yourself - yikes!) or you just wait and see.
My thinking is that unless something shows itself to be wrong, I'm going to treat her like she's preggo (do all the "special" things you gotta do), get a vet lined up in case, but not worry too much about it. From what I'm reading, it looks like she has about a month left and if that's the case, I thiiink (if what I've read is right) it should become even more obvious in a couple of weeks.
That sounds absolutely terrible written out but apparently that's what you "do" with goats.
As far as her age, from what I've been reading, it sounds like she's right on the cusp of safe birth vs not safe, but probably on the safer side since she had twin kids in the spring safely (poor thing! Pumping them out!!) and she's not over 10. I'm going to try my hardest to be there in case she needs me but she's experienced enough that she probably knows better than I do at all! Haha
On the plus side, these maybe babies are going to be registrable purebred Angoras. The plan is that I will probably keep one and if she has more than one, my Friday lesson kid will be taking at least one. They already have goats and her mom adores Hazel. Amusingly, they came out and told me a month or so ago that if Hazel EVER had babies, they would take at least one. Funny how that works! Haha
Hopefully that answers the questions? Sorry for being so abrupt earlier!