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Monday, July 14, 2008

Whatever will be, will be.

Thank you for all the love. We are doing better, timid, but better. Decisions have to be made. My husband is leery on gathering animals once again, but we chose this life style, and are too immersed into it to give it up. Not going to happen. I know that these things happens. It hurts, it is not the most emotionally tormented I have ever been, remember I have lost a son. But this, this ranks up in my top 5.

So I am going to need a little help from you guys. I know I can do all the research, you guys should know that by now, as I do post a lot of info around here. But this type of research needs to be a little more personal. When it comes to animals in my life, emotions are a big part of it.

I will never replace my lovely animals, but we need to move on, and sooner rather then later. I will convince my husband of this, and we will be better for it. We have already made those mistakes, and this time, no more.

What I would like from you my dear friends is to tell me about your goats/sheep. Please include breed and why you like then, and be specific about if they are fiber, meat, dairy, both or all three. This will help me greatly. If you don't have any goats but what to put in your 2 cents, please, tell me about your dream goat and or sheep.

Donkey and Dora are lonely.

19 comments:

MeadowLark said...

If I can't have "Moon Pie" from the Laughing Orca Ranch, then I want a fainting goat.

Only useful to make you smile.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we9_CdNPuJg

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

We have 6 boer goats. All for meat.
We also have 3 suffolk sheep. Again for meat. We just took our first lamb to the butcher last week, and it is umm good. It hard to be patient waiting for them to grow up to kill.We shear once a year around thanksgiving and /or when they need it. We have a friend in our coop that takes the wool if she wants it. I am not going to start milking, I do not have the time commitment. I don't think my hands and forearms could take it. I know that's a piss poor excuse, there are other women on the blogosphere that do...

Jackie said...

We have a pygmy mix (I don't know what she's mixed with. We bought her from a guy who bought her from a sale barn). She's just a pet/weedeater/lawnmower...she does the first thing better then the last two. If I could choose another goat I would want either an alpine (I like their markings) or a nubian (those floppy ears make think of overgrown bunnies)

Shari Thomas said...

We have a small flock of black suffolk sheep. Funny thing is, they were represented as "Merino" and I got all excited about providing fleece for the handspinner's market.

Last year, when it was time to shear we had the "pleasure" of discovering one of our ewes was really part ram. Talk about embarrassing...

This year we had our first successful lambing season. Read about it at "Shari's Gone Country"... http://sharithomas.com

Stephanie said...

Of course I dont have them myself but some ppl I knew back in the day had the dwarf nubians for milking, I think they said they had a higher butterfat content. But they had the best butter around and they were cute as well. Im sorry to hear about your losses but I truly have faith that you guys will find your way through it. I will light some candles for you too hun.

Stephanie said...

So sorry about what happened! I hate to mention it, but I have been told that once a dog gets a taste of sheep blood they will crave it and kill again...not sure the accuracy of that , but it may be something to research....

Well Tim told you what we have so I will just add that my friend who spins says the Suffolk wool isn't the best, but is usable...The meat is wonderful from a lamb anyway!

The goats we mostly got to clear out the woods the meat was a secondary consideration, but we haven't butchered yet so I can't say much about their meat. As Tim mentioned we aren't up for the dairy commitment yet, so meat goats made sense.

Woolysheep said...

I am not sure what I would want. I thought the Icelandic sheep I saw online a while back were beautiful.
You might check out www.albc-usa.org. In case you don't know they are the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. They are working to keep Amercian heritage breeds of livestock and poultry from going extinct at the hands of Corporate Ag. They keep lists of "threatened" and "endangered" breeds.

You might just find something interesting you hadn't thought of before.

Good Luck!

greedyreader said...

I have no sheep and goa recommendations ...
but I can send a huge hug.

~jeanne

Robbyn said...

My cousin and her husband live a bit nearer your region of the country, and they have Jacob sheep, which they find pretty maintenance-free in comparison with other breed they've tried. I think they raise them for lamb, and the sheep do not require shearing, or at least I believe that's correct. I do know the sheep have tended to be a lot hardier than my uncle's (hair sheep) Dorpers and St Croix (he's a bit lower down, in Texas), which got some sort of parasite and he lost a lot of them.

Gina said...

Phelan, I don't know if you are still planning to come to Indiana this summer (with gas prices and cows in milk and all), but if you are will you let me know? I would love to gift you with a ewe lamb. She is a Black welsh mtn sheep (possibly mixed with jacob because her mother threw a bi-horned off spring last year and the butcher told us that was only seen in Jacob, but I have never researched that). I can't breed her because we are keeping her father as our ram. She may be exposed which would mean an early than should be birth, but BWMS seem to handle birthing rather well. In 4 years we have only lost one lamb and that was a twin of a pair born in some really bitter weather. Anyway, if she is exposed, her lamb would be an inbred lamb, but you could still eat it (in fact you could eat this lamb as well if it is not a breed you wanted beyond a meat source. The meat is really good, they also provide very nice wool-which I still need to send you).

Anyway, long introduction if you are not planning your Evansville trip because I probably couldn't find the time to get her down your way and certainly one possibly mix-breed sheep wouldn't be worth the hassle of a trip, but if there is a way she is yours!

Otherwise, we are thinking of switching to a "hair" sheep like katahdin (sp?) or navajo-churro or Barbados (we see a lot of the latter at the animal swaps around here and there is a katadin breeder in my county). I've also considered the Boer goats for a meat source, but now that we found a bull for the dexters I may hold off. Our goats are mini-Nubians and one mini-lamancha (double or triple bred for size). Fair milk producers for small farm, but I think I would have liked to have gotten the standard nubians again (I do love "Princess" the mini-lamancha-very sweet disposition and the best milker). I would like to expand the goats, but time-wise not an option right now (although I expect to have three kids in a few months: two mini-nubians and one mini-nubian/mini-lamancha).

I've thought about the fainting goats too because they are a heritage breed.

Gina said...

I forgot to mention (and I never blogged about it out of 'shame'), but I lost one of the mini-nubian bucks to my dog (the same one that killed Eleanor the BWMS) right after we got them. Talk about not learning my lesson! Of course, the one she killed was my favorite.

lisa said...

Heh, after that Youtube video I think I'd get fainting goats, just for the entertainment value! :)

mommymommyland said...

We have had pygmy goats before, but they were more for pets, and they loved eating the morning glories, other than that I nm not sure they would be good for anything ( milk /meat/fiber) but they are bute! We currently have Jacob sheep. They are a fiber / meat breed. They are sheared once a year and one of the primitive breeds. Because of this they are supposed to have easier birthing ( although we haven't made it to that yet ours are still to young). Not all multi horned sheep are jacobs (nor are all pied sheep). Are you looking more for fiber/milk/or meat? Or just some companions that happen to do those as well? Maybe you could contact your local SPCA and see what they have ( out here we have a barn yard choice) under www.petfinder.com.

Persoanlly I would get something to protect my animals from future incedents first then buy what you want. I know this is the farthest thing from your mind, but have you checked with your insurance to see if the animals were covered?

Gina said...

As I said, I hadn't researched that little tidbit the butcher told us about the lamb we took in last year. Good to know, I guess. BWMS aren't generally bi- (or multi-)horned, but any sheep can have genetic abnormalities, right? The butcher just thought the lambs looked jacob crossed.

Anyway, I remembered the type I really want to investigate Painted Desert Sheep.

Wendy said...

I don't have goats, but they are on my "wish list" for animals to add to my "homestead."

Thing is, I have a very small space, and so I have to be very careful with the kind of goats I would get. After doing a bit of research for myself, I know I need a pygmy or dwarf breed. I've seen several that are good dairy goats - which is the primary reason for getting goats in the first place. But I love the idea of having goats for fiber, as well, so an Angora would be nice (we had an Angora rabbit that was killed by neighborhood dogs).

Anyway, if/when we get goats, I will be looking for pygora.

What I liked about the breed is that they can be dairy goats (yielding about a quart of milk per day, which should be enough for my faimly). They're long-haired and can be sheared for their wool, which would give us a bit of an income (good thing ;), and they are an American breed. I liked that the breed was developed here in the US.

So, for me, it's Pygoras ;).

I can't give any information about sheep, because I won't be getting sheep ;).

Country Girl said...

We have dwarf Nigerian milking goats. I plan to breed the doe this winter so we will see what her milk supply is like...

talkingmute12 said...

I have a tale to tell you of a goat. One named Goat. I call her Lily, and her new foster mother calls her Orea, but to the world she will always be Goat.

The August before I went off to college, I attended a livestock auction with my father- we were looking for calves to raise on the bottle. We got a bottle calf, but I also purchased a little dwarf doe. Black with a white band around the belly, and a row of stitches going from her navel back. We assumed that they were the result of a mismatched breeding. She would be my third attempt at goat-herding.

She and the calf rode home in the cab with my father and I. I secretly came up with "Lily" as her new name, but it never stuck. "Goat" and the alternative, "Stupid Goat" did. She caused trouble from the start. She ALWAYS followed us (especially me) around as we did our chores around the farm, talking to us the entire time. The stories about her abound, but none match her latest big adventure.

Last fall, I purchased a little Billy at the same auction house. He appeared mature and of similar stature to Goat. After giving up on her getting bred, I visited the farm in June to vaccinate the cattle and found her in labor. To make a long story short, she was in labor for almost five fulls days before arriving at the veterinary clinic for some much-needed help.
The vet did a thorough examination and she appeared to be in fairly good (but by no means great) condition, so permission was granted for her to undergo a Caesarian section. For the love of a Goat, no chance could be denied.
Midway through surgery, the veterinarian called to say that Goat was crashing and she would have to be put down- would someone please come to pick up the remains for disposal?
I was crushed. And had little to distract me from my grief. My fiance and I had rushed to prepare for her transportation to her new home (where she could get the post-surgery care she would need) when we suddenly had no reason to go anywhere except back home. So that's what we did. After getting home and finding myself staring into space, I proposed that we run over to the mall to kill time until bed. We'd finished what little we actually had to do there, when I realized that my phone had a new message. I was my father calling- leaving the message, "Your Goat is too stupid to die! She's alive!"
I don't know the full story, but she had stopped breathing on her own. When they started to cover
her body, one of the young ladies observing saw her blink. So my dead Goat was not so dead after all. After being in labor for five days and having the worst uterus the veterinarian has ever seen in his 30 years of practice, she was alive.
She's now in a new home where she has her own homesteading family to look after her, complete with a paramedic to tend to her medicinal needs. And last week she got a new "sister". She's got a funky haircut and keeps testing the security of the new fence, but she's alive. My Zombie Goat. Because of course, she only came back to eat our brains.

Peggy said...

We have Nubian and a few Nigerian dwarf goats. The Nubians have wonderful personalities and are very smart. You are welcome to pop over to my blog and look in my labels for goat stories (there are many).

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