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When God Made Goats

When God Made Goats

I have to tell you… I love God.

Seriously.

I cannot even begin to fathom His greatness.  Every day something reminds me of His glory, of His power, and of His awe inspiring imagination.

Just reading Genesis 1 I literally stand amazed at His genius.

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds[g] fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man[h] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

He made this in all of it’s mighty glory:

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He made him.  Every cell, every muscle, every hair He formed.  This mighty and majestic creature was formed by the Creator of the Universe.  Wow.

This wily creature who can scale the flat side of our barn:

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God made Him too.  Every claw, tooth, tissue, and purr He knows.

But when God made goats…

I think he laughed.

And no, I don’t think he just let out a little chuckle.  I think it was a big, all consuming, shoulder’s heaving, belly-aching laugh.

How can this crazy dance not make you want to get up and praise our Creator?

How can these sweet girls learning to walk not make you laugh until you cry?

And how can this video of a baby being born not just leave you in awe? (and laughing a little)  (WARNING GRAPHIC)

When it shakes it’s tiny head … I just died. Y’all God is incredible.

I hope these videos helped you remember to praise our Savior today!  I know I am.

Southern Snowapocalypse

Southern Snowapocalypse

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I know everyone makes fun of Southerners for how we react to snow.  I get it.  These people have snow 1/2 of the year long.  They think it’s ridiculous.  But what I don’t think that they understand is for us snow is like rain in the middle of the Sahara desert. Seriously, it’s like being from the red and orange land of Arizona and seeing the blues and greens of the Mississippi for the first time (or second time).  Real snow – the kind that STICKS and you can PLAY in – is so rare.

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Just for today, I want you to put all of your judging aside 🙂 and see this Snowapocalypse through a Southern point of view.  (Seriously, we got like 8 inches.  That’s kinda a big deal.)

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I’ve never seen snow come down so fast and hard.  My hair literally froze.

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We played well into the night with friends and family.  We had pool floats, plastic sleds, and a John Deere Gator – you can only imagine 🙂

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You must admit – there is something magical about it all.

The next morning we decided to play with the animals – in the snow, of course!

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And by play I mean – we even took the puppies sledding 🙂

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Here is a video of Justin sledding with my sisters Pyrenees, Zeus.  He is from our first litter and 8 months old.

Here are two videos of the puppies sledding 🙂

Kadi tried all by herself:

Maybe we are easily entertained… or maybe we just know how to have fun 🙂

Either way I would say everyone on Maynard’s Farm has enjoyed our Snowapocalypse!

Until next time!

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A Month In Review

A Month In Review

This has been a busy month around Maynard’s Farm.

We had puppies born:

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They have gotten so much bigger now and will be going to their new homes soon:

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We bought female rabbits for our males only to learn we had females originally…luckily we met some new (awesome) friends who gave us a buck(not pictured):

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Some great friends gave us a house for our rabbits aka “The Taj-Mahare”…And we added on to it:

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We are swimming in eggs and it isn’t even spring yet:

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We also took some losses this past month – I told you about Julie & her kids not pulling through in the last blog – well we lost our inside dog, Darlin this past month:

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Things seem to happen in threes so I am hoping our bad luck is over because the end of this week/beginning of next week starts …(drum roll please)… KIDDING SEASON!!!  We are so excited.  I cannot wait to post pictures.

Until next time!

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A Flannel Christmas and a Hoppin’ New Year!

A Flannel Christmas and a Hoppin’ New Year!

The past two Christmases have had a running theme when it comes to presents.  Any guesses what that may be?  I’ll give you a hint: anything farm related.  Ha!  I must say I love it.  This Christmas across the board was farm themed – whether from the hubs, my parents, my aunt, or my in-laws family – everything was farm related.

For instance, my mother went flannel overboard this year for everyone.  I know that sounds like a negative thing but it was awesome.  Everyone has been decked out in flannel since Christmas around here!

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The hubs got me a great pair of coveralls I can thrown on over my clothes at feeding time and stop having to get everything I own muddy and torn all the time!

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My cousins on my husbands side got me cool chicken themed gifts!  And my cousin Katie got me an awesome tote that says “totes ma goats” with 3 goat silhouettes! Sadly, I have no pictures.

And last but certainly not least….drum roll please…my awesome aunt made an egg gathering apron for me.  She is the bomb.  Justin is really going to look good wearing this… 😉

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I realize people can take things overboard but I love that all my gifts were so thought out!  They were practical (to an extent) and all for or about the thing(s) I love…my farm!

Christmas should never be about the gifts but it’s so nice to know that friends and family pay attention to the things you want and need.

While our Christmas was filled with flannel we will be hoppin’ into the New Year.

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(See what I did there?)

This big boy is Goliath.  We just picked his girlfriend, Sheba, up last night.

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And this is Thumper.  We picked up his girlfriend last night too.  Her name is Flower.

We are going to start raising meat rabbits.  We have been wanting a pig for some time but they just take up so much room and make SUCH a mess.  Rabbits are much smaller, much less mess, and procreate quickly.  I cannot wait to make dumplings.

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I hate to end on bad news but the past week has been a rough one around here.  On Wednesday Julie, one of our Obers, went into labor a week and a half early.  Both kids were stillborn.  (Goats cannot survive that early)  Julie was doing great and then we got off work Thursday and she was down.  After a lot of tireless hours filled with antibiotic shots, syringing water, and finally a trip to the vets….Julie died.  At this time we do not know why.  All of our animals are disease tested before coming to the farm and then tested yearly here.  We are sending off tissue samples of the babies and a blood sample for Julie to rule out any disease we may have missed.  Hopefully it was just from natural causes/infection and is not something that can spread to our other does.

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It’s times like these when I am reminded of the Ram truck commercial about when God made the farmer.  I try to mainly focus on the fun, wacky things that happen to us but farming is also filled with losses.  And this past week we lost a lot.

I hope to have pictures of our new does Sheba and Flower up for y’all to see soon!

Until next time!

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Wyoming, Idaho, and Nebraska

Wyoming, Idaho, and Nebraska

So let me start with a few differences in the south and out west.
1. It’s windy. Really really windy. What was that? I can’t hear you for all this wind! The only way this is a plus is if you’re in to extreme kite flying. Sheldon Cooper maybe?
2. The left lane is for passing only. Weird. Justin liked this and thinks it makes traffic move faster. My thing is… If no one is on the road… What does it matter what side I’m on?!
3. There aren’t many billboards. Scratch that – we saw none. There were large signs that told about the states and agriculture but no big billboards. And no advertisements till you came up on an exit. I liked that.
4. Past Colorado there was no sweet tea. No me gusta.
5. There is a LOT of wasted land. I like that there aren’t a lot of people and it’s all “wide open spaces” (cue Dixie chicks) BUT when you drive for 500 miles and see 500 miles of fenced in land with no houses and no animals it’s a little annoying. Hey! Pick me Wyoming!! I’ll take that land and farm/ raise livestock.

With #5 brings Wyoming.

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Sorry for the awful glare but I was not a fan of Wyoming. We thought we would never get out. But I have to laugh. God never ceases to amaze me. On our way back home we went back through the same section of southern WY and God said “I’ll show you”. He sprinkled everything with a light dusting of snow and I was amazed. Everything He made has a beauty to it.

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Now, let me back up. After Wyoming we got to Idaho. Beautiful, beautiful Idaho. Rolling hills, MOUNTAINS (the real kind… Not like we have in the south). It was beautiful. Truly gorgeous.

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When we got to our destination of Blackfoot, ID from Estes Park we crashed in true Maynard style. Can you tell we like to eat and sleep? 🙂

But the next morning we were up and ready to go. Before we went to the farm to see our babies we stopped by the local museum…

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Yep, you read that right! The potato museum! Hello, Idaho potato! It was actually really neat and we liked it a lot.

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Who doesn’t want to see the worlds largest Pringles?

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The best part? You get FREE potatoes. Yep, free food. Free.

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You get to put your souvenirs in a potato sack!

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Now on to the part you are all interested in… Our babies!! We arrived at God’s Graces Thursday morning and let me tell you … We were in for a treat.

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The Groneman’s were more than just hospitable. We are SO blessed to have met these amazing folks. We spent ALL day (literally) learning everything we could. One thing we have encountered in the goat world is that everyone acts like what they do is a big secret. Presidential secret passing big. Area 51 big. They’re goats. We just want them to stay alive, folks. If we happen to luck out and have a national champion it won’t be because you showed us how to properly trim hooves. Which, they did. Seriously, they took the time to not only show us, but let Justin do one himself. I wish they lived closer. They are a fountain of knowledge and we are crazy dehydrated. But for one day we drank until our stomachs were about to burst and the Groneman’s kept giving :). We are forever grateful.

Now here is what you have all been waiting for… Our girls!

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When we left Friday morning we talked names, stopped, bottle fed, and talked names some more.

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We debated Shakespeare names.

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Then we debated really southern names like Dixie, Magnolia, lemon, and Daisy.

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No, the diapers did not stay on. 🙁

We debated names until we were delirious and suggesting things like “Idy” and “ho” and “tator” and “spud”.

Then Justin came up with their names! Meet Gypsy and Journey!

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Now, for the story you have all been waiting for… Nebraska!

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We drove and drove and drove until we could drive no more. We reached a town right outside Lincoln, Nebraska around 10 pm. We found a motel (outside rooms were important) and Justin went inside. We parked around back, I gathered bottles, and Justin put a baby goat under each arm…. Then we ran. Smuggling babies in a room for the night was a success. We then fed them in the hopes that full belly’s would mean sleepy babies. Wrong! They were nuts! They didn’t holler but they jumped on the toilet seat, on the walls, on us… Everywhere! They ran in circles, they head butted, and they used me for a jungle gym. For hours! I sent Justin to bed and I laid on a pillow in the bathroom. Someone had to drive in the morning and I’m better at sleeping in the car. Finally, around 2 am they drank a TON of milk, and settled down. I wish I had pictures. They curled up in the floor with me and gypsy even laid her head on mine. Sweet babies. I sure do love them. We are currently 6 hours from home and all is well (for now!).

If you haven’t seen the video click here and enjoy a laugh. Until next time!

Ginormous Gravid Goats

Ginormous Gravid Goats

Notice an unfamiliar word? Gravid. It means pregnant. You learn something new every day, huh? Well, let me tell you… While gravid isn’t a “goat word” in the “goat world” I am CONSTANTLY learning (and failing! Ha!). Since we began this adventure Justin, my dad, my 4 year old nephew, and I have learned about (almost) every breed of goat you can imagine. We also have begun to notice every other goat owner we see driving to and from AL. It is quite embarrassing to ride with us because we will then commence with what breeds these different owners have and begin to recite everything we have learned about them. We are officially goat nerds.

Remember how I said over and over at the beginning that this was MY endeavor and I was going to do everything by myself. Ha. My husband soon became just as addicted. Hook, line, and sinker. I love it! He and dad, after researching breeds, decided on a dairy goat breed they really really wanted. La Mancha’s. These goats are easily identifiable because they look as if they have no ears! Funny, huh? Well, dad talked to a guy, who knew a guy, who’s brother was a good friend of dad’s… Who had La Mancha’s! So, on Dec 29th off dad and I went!

Let me tell you… It was love at first nuzzle! These two (huge!) La Mancha’s came up, one behind me and one in front of me, and rubbed their heads up and down my blue jeans. Hilarious and adorable! See:

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How could you not take them home? Oh, they were mine instantly. Ahhh, sweet love. And better yet… They are pregnant! Due in feb! Babies!!! So, we loaded these two gorgeous ladies up… But guess who decided he wanted another goat also, Dad.

Random side note: Remember I told you dad bought two HUGE African geese? So huge they couldn’t fly? Two days later… They flew away! Hahahahahahahaha! Sorry dad, I’m still laughing about it a month later!

Now, back to my story. Dad bought a beautiful spotted Nubian and her gorgeous baby. I am so glad he did! She still had milk and we have been experimenting with goat cheese so we know what to do before we are up to our EARS in milk come feb. Remember, Greta is due then AND the two La Mancha’s.

Are you ready to meet the gorgeous ladies?
Meet Gretchen the gravid La Mancha.

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Meet Giselle the gravid La Mancha aka “the bearded lady”.

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And last but not least…. Drum roll please…. Georgia the milk goat Nubian and her baby Genie the Houdini Nubian!

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Genie, when we got her, was only about a month old and had not been handled much. Due to this she was quite skittish. She was honestly like a little Houdini! Catching her to hold her (so we could get her use to us)was almost impossible! However, she is much better now! She also, has the cutest hind legs. The fur is crazy and it almost looks like she’s wearing pants! So funny.

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Love these new ladies! And Giselle, aka “the bearded lady”, quickly became the new queen. She is huge, forget Gertrude’s horns, Giselle is a monster! But a sweet one :). However, I think Gertrude would use a much different word to describe the new herd Queen. Ha. Hope you have enjoyed the post! I’ll leave you with a few goat facts!

1. Goat meat is called Chevon or Cabrito. It is lower in cholesterol and fat than beef, pork, and chicken.
2. A group of goats can be called a herd, trip, or tribe.
3. Supposedly, goats are good swimmers. I want to see that!
4. Goats do not eat tin cans. They are actually pretty picky eaters. Although, they did eat my calendar 🙁 not the whole thing but enough that I had to throw it away.
5. Mohair comes from the angora goat and cashmere from the cashmere goat!

Mother of twins: Day 2

Mother of twins: Day 2

Day two as a momma with twin kids started out like any other around here. I checked on the babies that morning and then headed to town with a friend. About 1:00 Justin called and said I needed to go by the CO-OP and hurry home if I wanted these babies to live. So off to the CO-OP I went. I bought supplement milk, nipples for bottles, and some amazing stuff called nutri-drench for goats. Our amazing vet and my just as amazing Aunt Pam came over and between all of us we began tube feeding these babies. My house quickly turned into a goat hospital.

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The bottom picture shows the plastic tube we would put in the babies mouths, then run the orange tube down their throats, and then we would attach the syringe (with milk in it) to the end of the orange tube and the milk would go into their little tummies.
Wow, this was a lot for me to take in. I’m not good with stuff like this but I put on my big girl panties, rolled up my sleeves, and learned VERY quickly. Let me give a huge shout out to my sister, Samantha, if you think I’m not good with stuff like this, she practically faints but she was quite the trooper. Since these babies needed to be fed every 2 hours and needed to keep their body heat up… They became inside goats (at least for the night).

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Seriously, does it get any more adorable? I love these guys! Well, the name game quickly started. I had already picked out Gunner and Gunther. Dad wanted the red one (who was the runt) to be named Tiny Tim. And Samantha wanted them to have Christmas names. Due to this they became known as Red and Whitey. Real original, right? Ha! But they are at least red and white!

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That night feeding these babies every two hours was a TASK. I know I’ve already stressed how I do not want children. I LOVE MY SLEEP. Wow, I was a character that night. By the time we had fed both babies, let them pee, and put them back to bed an HOUR had passed and we were only an hour away from waking up again! But, despite my crankiness Samantha was a trooper and my husband never complained. Wow. Longggg night. After those first two days Whitey got the hang of being a goat. We thought Red did too. However, after about a week Red took a turn for the worse. We spent the next few weeks bottle feeding him and keeping him inside a lot. 2 days before he turned 1 month old sweet Red died in the arms of his Aunt Ty. If I can say anything it was that he was loved and cared for. With that being said, instead of ending with goat facts today I am going to end with facts about Red.
1. Red was a trooper. He fought so hard!
2. Red loved his brother. They were so precious.

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3. Red was very attached to Justin. If he heard his voice Red would come running. If Justin bent down he would jump in his lap like a puppy.

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4. When we let Red inside if he wasn’t in our arms he was in front of the heater. He would whine every time it turned off. Hilarious.

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Red was very loved but I’m thankful we still have Whitey!

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Grumpy Gertie & Goat Fraud

Grumpy Gertie & Goat Fraud

Life with Greta was amazing that first week! I came in every morning, gave her some bulk feed, brushed her a little, then took her outside on a leash to let her graze. Then at night I took her back to the barn, gave her another cup of feed, and locked her up for the night. Ahhhh! Oh, it was the life. However, it was more than obvious that Greta was lonely. Like I mentioned in my previous post, goats are herd animals which means they don’t like to be alone. When I would let Greta out to graze she would cry and cry until I came back. She wouldn’t eat AND she tried to climb the fence.

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She did not, however, do this with my dad or Justin. So several days they had to let her out and I had to sneak in and out of the house without her seeing me! Thus began the search for a friend. Dad called a guy, who called a guy, who gave a number to a guy, who dad called that told him to go to the goat auction about 20 minutes away. (Due to our experience there I will leave the city and name out.) Oh boy, my first livestock auction!

Thursday morning, December 6th, I rode up there by myself. Dad had a dentist appt and was going to meet me before the auction started. I pulled in, called mom because I had NO idea what building to go in, walked to the front desk, and proceeded to tell them that I needed to know what to do to be able to bid. They were VERY nice, I think they thought I was a bit ditzy (huge pet peeve of mine), they told me to fill out my name, address, how I would be paying and they needed a copy of my drivers license. I then went out back to see if they had any la mancha’s (a dairy breed). I saw they only had one, he was a buck, I then went back inside and waited for dad.

The auction as a whole was pretty straight forward. They brought out an animal, beginning with the goats, and you raised your hand to bid. 3/4 of the way through the auction a gorgeous pregnant alpine (dairy breed) came out. When the bid got to $200 we stopped bidding (not knowing that was a steal!). Next, her “kid” came out, she was a doeling (1-2 yrs, we know she was 2) and she is pregnant, due in Feb. same as Greta. We begin bidding on her and win. Yay! She was a beautiful red. As we are leaving dad sees the guy we bought Greta from. After talking he tells dad he goes right by our house and he’ll bring her by so we don’t have to haul her in the back of his little truck. Right before we leave dad and I see the man who brought the alpines. After talking for a good 20-30 mins we learn he is an Ag teacher from north Alabama, he has 2 more alpines he was willing to sell us, his father (who was with him) owns a paint horse farm, so we exchange information and we head home.

Here comes the fun… When we get home this is the goat waiting for us:

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Notice anything? One. She is not red. Two. She is not alpine. Three. She is boer. (Meat goat) Four. She has HORNS!

Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about upset. And to top it all off she is bucking and jerking me around like I’m a play toy. And did I mention she has HORNS?! Dad gets her tied to a post long enough to go call the auction house and …. She starts standing on her hind legs kicking the air! I thought I was going to die. DIE. The guy who dropped her off said that’s the goat that matched our number and that he was sorry (not his fault at all) before he left he lifted her tail and said she had miscarried. That was the last straw. I was pretty much in tears. This was a total disaster. She has HORNS!

Well after several back and forth calls to the auction house they apologized profusely (at first) but the man who took my alpine was already gone. Dad eventually found out he had sold her within the first 30 mins of buying her. Given he paid a LOT less for a high dollar goat it doesn’t surprise me. When the auction house figured out there was nothing the could do they told dad he didn’t know what he was doing and bid on the wrong goat. WRONG thing to say to a former cattle farmer who use to buy 100 head of cattle at a time at these auctions. We are 98% sure the “tags” (stickers with numbers on them) got switched and we got cheated out of a great goat. Who knew goat fraud existed?! And to make matters worse my phone deleted the note with the alpine sellers name and number and we’ve called EVERYONE in north Alabama and no one knows this guy.

Whew, so what do you name a pain-in-the-booty goat with HORNS? Gertrude of course. So that is how Gertrude’s story with us began. Not too good, and while Gertrude is still a grump, this tale does not end badly…but that will be my next post!

Greta the Goat

Greta the Goat

I am weird, quirky whatever you want to call it and I have lots of random obsessions. I get this from my daddy. So when I decided I wanted a goat (no reasoning really… I just pulled the thought out of thin air) my crazy daddy went right along. The rest of my family thought I was losing it. Why? Was their biggest question. I wasn’t really sure. I for some reason wanted a milk goat to learn to make goat cheese. Sounds fun, right? After about a month of consistent begging my husband, he and dad called me on Friday, November 30th, to say we were going to look at a goat!
The guy selling the goat lived in LaFayette (so not far) and after pulling up I could see he had about every farm animal imaginable. As we walked through the gate we were met by miniature pigs, chickens, geese, goats, ducks, and 3 beautiful Great Pyrenees. I wanted to take those dogs home! Gorgeous. As soon as I walked in this adorable, pregnant,black and white Nubian laid her head on me. It was love at first sight.
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Seriously, could she be any cuter?! We loaded her up in the truck with two African geese for dad (told you we have weird obsessions) and went home. Man oh man I had no idea what I was getting in to. I am OBSESSED Greta is the sweetest, most docile animal I have ever owned. 20121223-184916.jpg
The first few days we had her our gate wasn’t finished so I had to lead her on a leash to let her graze. She walks better on a leash than my dogs. No, I am not joking. Even my sister, who is afraid of any and all animals, heck she’s almost anti-animals, not only LOVES her but walks her on a leash too. (She is pictured below)
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There was only one problem. Goats are herd animals ( duh!) but this means they do not like to be alone. Greta was fine as long as I was around, however when I left her sight she cried and cried. At one point I had her out in the field grazing, as I walked back up to the house she started crying and tried to climb the fence! She wouldn’t eat till I came back out to watch her. Here’s a picture:
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I knew after this we HAD to find her a friend. However, that is a story for another post. So here are a few random facts I will leave you with:
1. Greta is due in February.
2. A milk goat, after she has been kidded, can be milked up to 10 months before they must be kidded again.
3. There is quite the market for goat meat. No joke!
So here is the beginning of the “Goat Girl Gazette”. I’ll post Gertrude’s story soon and then keep you updated as I begin this crazy goat adventure!