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Archive for February, 2013

City Girl Turned Country Gal Brings Culture Into the Stable at Gullringstorp Part 6


This was a very cold , windy and snowy morning, here at Gullringstorp. We find ourselves in the midst of yet another winter.

Unfortunately, this not a day for our goats to be out

Unfortunately, this was not a day for our goats to be out in their snowed in enclosure

Gullringstorp deep in snow once again

Gullringstorp deep in snow once again. But, oh so beautiful.

One of our cats, Pip enjoys looking at the snow from his warm window seat

One of our cats, Pip enjoys looking at the snow from his warm window seat

Today my goats enjoyed beautiful music from Sicily, Italy.  We listened to Roberto Alagna’s CD ” Sicilian” with lovely romantic and lively Italian pieces, as fresh hay , water and grain was given. I really enjoy Roberto Alagna and have bee able to enjoy him in opera several times. I am really happy to be able to enjoy his singing no matter where I happen to be, here at Gullringstorp.

Roberto Alagna is a French tenor who has performed the works of many of the world’s greatest composers, in some of the worlds most famous opera houses; Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, Donizetti, Massenet, just to name a few.

Here are just some of his roles in the world of opera: Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Alfredo in La Traviatta, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette, Don Jose in Don Jose, Hoffman in Les Contes d’Hoffman.

I hope you enjoy Roberto Alagna’s Sicilian:


Pansy & Poppy are Bred With Balder


Our goats are West African miniature dairy goats. Both Nigerian Dwarf goats and our Pygmy goats can be bred year round.  This means that our doelings and does come into heat once every month.  Most of the  world’s goats are seasonal breeders,which means they come into heat once a year.  Since ours come into heat every month, we have the wonderful advantage to be able to breed our does when it suits us.

They give us clues when “heats” are on the way. They become very affectionate, much more than usual. Their tails  flick and wag like a dog which is known as “flagging”.  And last but not least, our does have a lot to say when they are in heat. With 17 females, we have a lot of “heat” sounds in our stable. A doe in heat make a very loud cry in addition to other vocalizations when in heat. When we have a quiet day in the stable, it actually sounds strange to us.

Here Pansy lets us know that she is in heat:

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This will be Pansy’s first pregnancy so we decided for her to be bred with a smaller goat. We just try to avoid big babies with first time mothers

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Balder knows what he is doing and is quite gentle and patient with our does

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Pansy played hard to get for a while.

In this next video, Pansy is in what we refer to as a “standing heat”.  This means she is now ready to be bred.

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After much time had passed, Pansy was successfully bred Dec. 1, 2012   She has not come into heat since

 

Poppy, Pansy’s sister was also bred with Balder

Poppy plays hard to get, in the beginning
Poppy plays hard to get, in the beginning

 

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Poppy did not make it easy for Balder

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We knew she was ready , but the breeding process takes time, especially the first time. Even though this is a natural call to breed, our first timers have been a bit scared.

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Poppy did eventually come down and was bred for the first time Dec. 5, 2012. Success! Poppy has not come into heat since

 

Little Man and Baby Boy exchange some “words”.

 


Let’s Check in on Winston & Phillip


As the days and weeks go by, I have tried my very best to “cut the cord”. Hilda had no trouble doing it,  but I have had a really difficult time letting go of my babies. Well I have really bitten the bullet and have let Winston & Phillip integrate into the boy’s box and their club. They are really doing a marvelous job. I have resisted treating them like babies because they are my little men now. They have gone through the cry baby stage as they cried for their mommy Hilda. They have gotten through the “no more grain” stage and are not needing it anymore. They have been through the bullying stage and have  been fully accepted by the other bucks and are now one of their little gang.

I am so happy that the bullying stage is over because that was the hardest for me to watch and hear everyday. Now they know where to eat, and where to run when one of the older bucks gets amorous. It’s a bucky thing they do. They get “in the mood” and the smaller bucklings become targets. No one gets hurt, it’s more of an annoyance, I think.

Here are my little men, Winston & Phillip:

This was what I saw this morning

This was what I saw this morning, so relaxed together

The boys are being supervised by their older brother Little Man, Hilda's first son born at Gullringstorp

The boys are being supervised by their older brother Little Man, Hilda’s first son born at Gullringstorp

Winston & Phillip were still relaxing when the boys attached my hay I had just sat down to fill the hay rack and hay bags.

Winston & Phillip were still relaxing when the boys attached my hay I had just sat down to fill the hay rack and hay bags. Here we have from the left: Baby Boy, Balder, Pip, Toby and Little Man

 

 

 


The Critter Gang at Gullringstorp


You have seen our goats. For those of you who haven’t seen my past posts, there are many other critters living with us here at Gullringstorp.

We have a Brussels Griffon named Max

We have an Iguana who was a rescue living with me on two continents for 16 years named Little Lady

We have 4 cats. 2 are ours, Pip and Tasha, 2 are my daughters who have moved to Sweden to live with us 2 years ago, Pumpkin and Juliet

We also have a neighbor kitty  who loves to be in our stable

Meet the Critter Gang here at Gullringstorp:

Max all warm and cozy in his snow suit and boots

Max all warm and cozy in his snow suit and boots

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Max on the couch in the kitchen watching mommy cook

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Max out on a cold, damp and windy day at Gullringstorp

Max in his Halloween Bumble Bee costume

I know, out of season but here is Max in his Halloween Bumble Bee costume

 

 

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Pip loves my antique rocker

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Pip enjoying the view of snow out the window in my office

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Kitty in my laundry basket

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Hej Pip!

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Pip balancing on a plant stand

Pip in my office

Pip would read, if he could

Pip our turtle kitty

Pip our turtle kitty

Pip all warm in bed

Pip all warm in bed

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Pip loves to sit like this

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Silly kitty

Pumpkin sitting where she should not be sitting, on the table

Pumpkin sitting where she should not be sitting, on the table

 

 

 

 

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Pumpkin

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Sleepy Pumpkin

Juliet has just rememberedthat she actually knows Pumpkin

Juliet has just remembered that she actually knows Pumpkin after they moved to Sweden together 2 years ago

Juliet in  the hall upstairs

Juliet in the hall upstairs

On our bed

Juliet on our bed

Sleepy kitty

What a cute little nose

Juliet in the window

Juliet in the window

Juliet

Juliet

Tasha

Hej Tasha

Sleepy Tasha

Sleepy Tasha

Our part-time stable kitty

Our part-time stable kitty

Sun spots are like gold at Gullringstorp

Sun spots are like gold at Gullringstorp

Here we have several members of the Gullringstorp critters enjoying the sun spot: Pumpkin, Juliet, Little Lady and Max

Here we have several members of the Gullringstorp critters enjoying the sun spot: Pumpkin, Juliet, Little Lady and Max

 

These are just some our Critter gang here at Gullringstorp.  We also have 4 fish tanks and one tank with African Albino frogs.

It’s never ending fun and excitement, indoors and out, here at Gullringstorp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Iris Bred With Balder


We are about to start Maternity Watch again at Gullringstorp. We did breeding the last days in November  and first of December 2012. As we move into Maternity Watch, we have stopped milking Nanna, Keriana and now we  milk Alika only evenings. They will all dry off soon. To dry off means to slow down the milking so that the doe will not continue to produce milk.  They will not be bred for at least another year.

This is Iris’s story. Our round little Pygmy doe was the first to be bred, twice Nov. 252 & 26, 2012. She will give birth for the first time in April.

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Balder is the perfect buck for our little Pygmy does

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He is gentle and kind to his ladies.

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Iris “stands” for Balder which lets him know she is ready for him

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Balder’s tongue is out as her makes bucky sounds in pursuit of his doe

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My handsome Balder has a worn face from his challenges with the other bucks. He even has a bit of a urine scald on his cute nose. All this very typical of buck appearance

Iris lets us know when she is done

Iris lets us know when she is done

Meanwhile the boys in the next box start challenging each other

Meanwhile the boys in the next box start challenging each other

Welcome back for Iris’ Maternity Watch, coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


City Girl Turned Country Gal Brings Culture Into the Stable at Gullringstorp Part 5


On this chilly, frosty morning, my goats were offered an operatic selection. I enjoy opera and am able to watch the Metropolitan Opera HD deliveries from New York in a town not far from Gullringstorp. I love to listen to several of my favorites while tending the goats and the stable chores. It was a wonderful background as I cleaned boxes, filled both hay and grain. The water buckets were all cleaned and refilled. Lots can be done quickly while the goats are outdoors.

This morning my ladies and gentlemen heard La Bohème , an opera in 4 acts composed by Giacomo Puccini. The world premiere performance was in 1896. Since then it has been performed all over the world in the greatest opera houses by the greatest voices in the opera world. Just to name a few: Placido Domingo & Montserrat Cabellè, Luciano Pavarotti & Mirella Freni, Jussi Björling & Victoria de Los Ángeles, Anna Netrebko & Rolando Villazón.

Synopsis

ACT I. Paris, Christmas Eve, c. 1830. In their Latin Quarter garret, the painter Marcello and poet Rodolfo try to keep warm by burning pages from Rodolfo’s latest drama. They are joined by their comrades — Colline, a young philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician who has landed a job and brings food, fuel and funds. But while they celebrate their unexpected fortune, the landlord, Benoit, arrives to collect the rent. Plying the older man with wine, they urge him to tell of his flirtations, then throw him out in mock indignation. As the friends depart for a celebration at the nearby Café Momus, Rodolfo promises to join them soon, staying behind to finish writing an article. There is another knock: a neighbor, Mimì, says her candle has gone out on the drafty stairs. Offering her wine when she feels faint, Rodolfo relights her candle and helps her to the door. Mimì realizes she has dropped her key, and as the two search for it, both candles are blown out. In the moonlight the poet takes the girl’s shivering hand, telling her his dreams. She then recounts her solitary life, embroidering flowers and waiting for spring. Drawn to each other, Mimì and Rodolfo leave for the café.

ACT II. Amid shouts of street hawkers, Rodolfo buys Mimì a bonnet near the Café Momus before introducing her to his friends. They all sit down and order supper. A toy vendor, Parpignol, passes by, besieged by children. Marcello’s former lover, Musetta, enters ostentatiously on the arm of the elderly, wealthy Alcindoro. Trying to regain the painter’s attention, she sings a waltz about her popularity. Complaining that her shoe pinches, Musetta sends Alcindoro to fetch a new pair, then falls into Marcello’s arms. Joining a group of marching soldiers, the Bohemians leave Alcindoro to face the bill when he returns.

ACT III. At dawn on the snowy outskirts of Paris, a Customs Officer admits farm women to the city. Musetta and revelers are heard inside a tavern. Soon Mimì walks by, searching for the place where the reunited Marcello and Musetta now live. When the painter emerges, she pours out her distress over Rodolfo’s incessant jealousy. It is best they part, she says. Rodolfo, who has been asleep in the tavern, is heard, and Mimì hides; Marcello thinks she has left. The poet tells Marcello he wants to separate from his fickle sweetheart. Pressed further, he breaks down, saying Mimì is dying; her ill health can only worsen in the poverty they share. Overcome, Mimì stumbles forward to bid her lover farewell as Marcello runs back into the tavern to investigate Musetta’s raucous laughter. While Mimì and Rodolfo recall their happiness, Musetta quarrels with Marcello. The painter and his mistress part in fury, but Mimì and Rodolfo decide to stay together until spring.

ACT IV. Some months later, Rodolfo and Marcello lament their loneliness in the garret. Colline and Schaunard bring a meager meal. The four stage a dance, which turns into a mock fight. The merrymaking is ended when Musetta bursts in, saying Mimì is downstairs, too weak to climb up. As Rodolfo runs to her, Musetta tells how Mimì has begged to be taken to her lover to die. While Mimì is made comfortable, Marcello goes with Musetta to sell her earrings for medicine, and Colline leaves to pawn his cherished overcoat. Alone, Mimì and Rodolfo recall their first days together, but she is seized with coughing. When the others return, Musetta gives Mimì a muff to warm her hands and prays for her life. Mimì dies quietly, and when Schaunard discovers she is dead, Rodolfo runs to her side, calling her name.

— courtesy of Opera News

Here you will hear and see two of my favorite opera performers, Roberto Alagna & Angela Gheorghiu

This first video is an interview with these two opera stars:

Here you can watch the entire opera La Bohème if you like:


February 1st and -4 C at Gullringstorp


A morning with sunshine and frost, rock hard ground and -4 c. It was a beautiful morning, crisp and clear. A perfect day for all our goats to go out:

My boys were so happy to be out

My boys were the first to come out and were so happy

Balder is very happy to be out

This is our alpha buck Balder

The boys know there is a doe in heat so they are at each other

The boys know there is a doe in heat so they are at each other

my boys

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Little Man, Winston and Baby Boy

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This is the first time in the boy’s enclosure for Pip, no so for Toby

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Once the boys have settled in , we brought out the girls:

Petunia and Alika

Petunia and Alika

Time for fun

Time for fun

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Iris having fun with Rose

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Nanna, Pumpkin, her daughter Rose and Iris

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Pumpkin, our lead doe

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Time to run…

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Peanut, hilda’s daughter with Keriana and her daughter Fiona enjoy the rocks and snow

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Pumpkin will be in my Maternity watch reports soon

Pumpkin will be in my Maternity watch reports soon

Fiona

Fiona

Pansy

Pansy and her sister Poppy will be on maternity watch soon also

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Poppy, Petunia and Ivy

Nanna is by herself because she is in heat today

Nanna tries to stay near the bucks because she is in heat today

Iris will be on Maternity watch also

Iris will be on Maternity watch also

Petunia

Petunia

It was the first time in the boy’s enclosure for 3 of our little bucklings, Phillip, Winston and Pip. Leif always puts the tiny noses to the electric fence. I just can’t do it although I know it’s a real necessity. Every new buckling or doeling must go through this in order to stay safe inside the fenced enclosure. This way we can leave and be assured that no one will be wandering around one of the adjacent fields. They stay put because they have experienced an unpleasant shock, at least once.

Here Leif makes sure that Phillip, Winston and Pip learn as all the others have before them:

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Little Pip

Little Pip

My little boys are getting bucky!

My little boys are getting bucky!

My babies Winston and Phillip are no longer babies

My babies Winston and Phillip are no longer babies

Little bucks challenge each other

Little bucks always challenge each other

Winston and Phillip challenge each other

Winston and Phillip

Little man's beautiul horns at 1 1/2 yrs old

Look at Little Man’s horns, beautiful. Little Man is Phillip’s brother.

It was a great day for the hens and roosters come out and play. They were so happy :

The hens and roosters were happy to come out

The hens and roosters were happy to come out

Happy Henny Penny

Happy fluffy Henny Penny

Mr. Bojangels was happy to be out of the hen house

Mr. Bojangels was happy to be out of the hen house

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Eugene was happy with his ladies around him

Eugene was happy with his ladies around him

It was a great day for all the animals here at Gullringstorp. Our goats were able to be out till 4 pm when it started to get dark. Some goat owners leave their goats out overnight , even during the winter months. It is supposed to be healthy for them. I have West African goats and the cold is not so fun for them, even with their thick winter coats. Maybe I am a bit protective also; I worry about animals getting to them in the enclosure  or in their outdoor shelter. As the sun goes down, they are all ready to come in to their warm (relatively warm) stable and their cozy beds of straw. I can make my walk back to the house knowing all my goats and hens and roosters are safe inside their homes. I could have it no other way.