We hope everyone is having a lovely Easter ! We actually have a beautiful Spring day here at Gullringstorp!! No wind, rain or snow!! A great day for the goats to come out. The boys can even come out today.
After Milk Stand training, the ladies were out in the enclosure:
Wishing everyone a lovely and Happy Easter Sunday!
I saw this post on shianwrites.wordpress.com and really liked it. I got permission from the blog owner to re-blog her post. Thank you Shianwrites! I have always enjoyed Maya Angelou’s poetry.
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I rise.
Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom?
Just because I walk as if I have oil wells, pumping in my living room.
Just like suns and like moons, With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high, Still I rise.
Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my sassiness upset you? Don’t you take it so hard just because I laugh
As if I have gold mines, diggin’ in my own back yard.
You can shoot me with your words, you can cut me with your lies,
You can kill me with your hatefulness, but just like life, I rise.
Does my sexiness offend you? Does it come as a surprise, that I dance
as if I have diamonds, at the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame, I rise
Up from a past rooted in pain, I rise
A black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling, I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear, I rise
Into a daybreak miraculous clear, I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the hope and the dream of the slave.
And so natrually, there I go rising… I rise I rise I rise.
We would like to wish you a HAPPY EASTER and GLAD PÅSK !!!
As cold as it was last night, the sun was even warmer in the early morning hours. The sun melted enough of the snow in the goat’s enclosure that they were able to go out!
Oh happy day!!!!
As the goats enjoyed their day out after so long in the stables, we released the chickens :
It was a lovely day for everyone, goats, hens and us! Spring is trying so very hard to make an appearance here at Gullringstorp.
I know I said that I would just do up to Day 3 but I just had to include Day 4. There has been much improvement from Day 1 till Day 4. These improvements need recognition. My does are quick learners and are becoming more and more accustomed to their new routine. I am so proud of them.
Pumpkin now walks very close to my side as we head toward the Milk Stand and hops up directly with ease. She still has a bit of trouble placing her head in the correct place; she gets a little help from me. Once she is in and secured. she stands well and enjoy her breakfast. She has also enjoyed being brushed to help release her winter wool. She has a beautiful shiny black and silver coat with bright white spots.
Pansy and her sister Poppy are doing much better. Pansy goes first on the leash and is walking much calmer with me. She goes up on the Stand with ease now and places her head in with no problem. Pansy goes first while her sister enjoys a taste from the grain bowl. When it’s poppy’s turn, Pansy stands beside her . They have a loving relationship. I am so happy that they have each other and always will.
Peanut missed the first day of Milk Stand training, but has really learned quickly what is expected of her. I don’t use the leash , just hold her collar and she walks with me as I speak calmly to her. Her mother Hilda stays close to her. Just as I would never separate Pansy and Poppy , I will not separate Peanut from her mother Hilda.Peanut stands well on the stand and enjoys her breakfast. Hilda stays close to her. It works out just fine.
Iris was my problem doe in the beginning, but now she walks calmly to the Stand and remembers exactly what to do. I am so proud of my unruly child. She stands really nicely.
We are all holding our thumbs, (crossing our fingers) that Spring finally arrives and melts all the snow. We are quite ready for the day when we can release our goats into the enclosure . They have been in the stable since October! Time to come out and play. But not yet:
As a result of the frigid night temperatures, we have frozen pipe section in the stable. Our water hasn’t frozen so we can still get water for the goats but the drain pipes have frozen so my husband has improvised , just a bit.
Here are a few photos of our Milk Stand and just how it functions. We do all we can to make sure our does are comfortable and not afraid of the process:
All our pregnant does are doing very well and we can hardly wait for our new babies to come.
March 22nd was the first day of Milk Stand training for my does who are expecting. It went exactly as I had expected. I expected that Pumpkin would resist when she realized she wasn’t leading the herd out to the enclosure. She did just that.
Our sisters Pansy and Poppy can never be separated, this was no exception. As long as they were together and could see each other, they were fine.
Iris was the biggest surprise. She has a bit of history that needs to be explained. She was born at the same farm as our other Pygmy goats. At this particular farm , they do not believe in hands on especially with the babies, so they are not socialized at all. They all arrive at Gullringstorp very timid and it has taken a couple of years to gain their trust. Iris is a bit of a special case. Someone bought her mother at the same time that Iris was nursing. This meant that Iris had to move with her mother until she was ready to come to us at Gullringstorp. Her second mother absolutely spoiled her. Not so sure what she did, but Iris is pushy and expects to be first all the time. It has taken us nearly 2 years to try to calm her down. She will rush in front of the others for grain or even jump into the bucket of hay when I bring hay in her box. She is learning to be a bit more kind and not so pushy. I love Iris , but oh my goodness, sometimes she can be a handful.
Our problem with Iris is the leash. When she is on it she decided she would crawl through the stable , past 5 boxes toward the Milk Stand. Once we arrive at the Milk Stand, she decides to crawl up. I look forward to the day Iris actually walks up the ramp on all 4 cute little feet. Once she is on the stand she is just fine.
Since I am still getting stronger every day from the flu, I had our ladies on the stand just inn the mornings, for now. I will soon be up to full speed and then the ladies will have both breakfast and dinner on the Milk Stand. Because they are not really that comfortable on the Milk Stand yet, I do put grain in their boxes after they have been on the Stand. As they become more accustomed to the routine, they will only have grain on the Milk Stand. It takes time and I will give them the time they need.
We have one young lady who was bred the same time the others were, but went into heat the very next month. I have been under the assumption that her breeding was not successful. With all that down time in bed with the flu, it occurred to me that I hadn’t heard her in heat again after that. So….Peanut went on the Milk Stand this morning. She was accompanied for a short while by her mother Hilda.
You probably never imagined that someone could write so much about Milk Stand training. Well it might just be me , but then again, I don’t think so. Goat owners are always so fanatical about their beloved goats. I am just no different.
Here is Day 2 March 23rd of Milk Stand training:
I must tell you that when my goats are out of their boxes for indoor activities due to weather conditions, each and every one of them finds their way onto the Milk Stand. The difference here is that they are being directed there. they are all familiar with it and know that there is grain in the bucket. They willingly slip their heads through the opening and enjoy the grain at their leisure.
To have me come into their box with a leash is not acceptable to any of the goats except Pumpkin who leads our herd our to the enclosure. She is quite comfortable with the leash; in fact, she has her very own leash, a powder blue one and that’s the one she expects.
It’s all about repetition and consistency. Goats thrive on consistency , so it is up to me to continue with them.
I will post Day 3 then I will return when they have mastered the Milk Stand. the idea is that I will one day not need to use a leash. I will only need to open t heir box and they will run straight to the Milk Stand and place their head in to be secured in place. This will happen. I have done it before so I know it will happen. I will return when they are at that point. It will be a pleasure to post on their success.
After being sick for so long, many of my daily chores here at Gullringstorp have been passed on to my husband. I have been taking care of all the animals in the house and small tasks. I am happy to know that the goats have been so well taken care of by my husband, in my absence.
Last night I struggled with the fact that my pregnant ladies should have already started their Milk Stand training. I could not decide if I should start this morning or wait till Monday . Well I decided that this would be the morning I would start.
We bred 5 does but I have a big question mark over one young lady, Peanut. shortly after she was bred, I did witness what I thought was a heat. We just need to keep an eye on her. I think I may start her on the stand as well.
My first doe was Pumpkin. She was not so happy , but I expected that. She is a strong goat and it took both of us to get her up on the stand.
My next twi does are Pansy and Poppy. These are Frieda’s last babies born here at Gullringstorp. Their mother Frida passed away just about a year ago. I still miss her terribly but thankfully, I have 4 of her children and one granddaughter. I see her in all of them.
Here is the last doe of the morning, Iris. She gave us the most trouble. She was not having it! She refused to walk up the ramp and when she did move up, it was inch by inch. Iris is a Pygmy goat and is quite a bit smaller than my Nigerians Dwarf goats.
Overall, the first experience for my does was pretty good. They will soon come to learn that the Milk Stand will be the only place to get their breakfast and dinner. The process works. I have several does who have been through the Milk Stand training and are very comfortable on the stand. It takes time and patience and lots of love. You can never just yank and pull a doe up on a stand. You must take as long as she needs to walk that ramp and then to actually place her head in to be locked in. It takes time. This is nothing to be rushed.
My does will not be milked for some time, but when the time is right, they will be ready. As with my other does, these new mothers-to-be will have their babies with them when they are on the Milk Stand. This way they will help with any possible separation issues that may come up. It’s always fun for the babies to run and play and get used to the ramp and stand.
Oh I love being back with my goats. I have missed them terribly. It’s like being away from your young children. So much happens and you miss so much. I know they are my goats and not my children, but in a sense they are and I am the goat mommy. This has to be the relationship when you own goats. they need all that you can give them, not just hay, straw, grain and water. They need and require your love and attention, individually.
It has been about 3 years since my daughter’s cats came to live with us here in Sweden. We have Juliet a beautiful Black and White and tiny Pumpkin a Tabby who at 14 years old, and looks exactly the way she looked when I discovered her at the shelter, so many years ago.
It has taken Juliet and Pumpkin some time to settle into the routine here at Gullringstorp. Not only did they have the size of Gullringstorp to get accustomed to, but other animals here in the house as well. They both remembered Little Lady from when they used to live with me years before, so that was no problem. They had two new cats to get to know and like or dislike. After a couple of years, they are coexisting just fine. There are a few flare ups every now and again, but that’s to be expected, especially when you have 3 ladies. The biggest adjustment was not the cats or all the stairs and rooms to get lost in or even the diet of fresh fish; it was Max our dog. Juliet had never lived with a dog in her life and Pumpkin had but so many years ago. Juliet took time to get used to our gregarious Brussels Griffon, which is quite normal. What is not normal is the way Pumpkin our 14-year-old took immediately to Max. It was as if they had been separated at birth. There was an immediate connection and they are now best buddies and have fallen in love.
Here are the two buddies or should I say love birds relaxing in the kitchen:
So here is how we came to have Tom and Jerry. These tiny babies are born in the stable and come into the goat’s boxes for food and water. I can’t rescue and bring every tiny baby into the house, even if I want to. They are stable mice and really have a great home there. the only problem is they get thirsty and seek out water. This is their undoing. They fall in and can not get out. It’s one of the saddest things to see when we go into change and refresh water in the boxes. We don’t really have a stable cat so these mice are not taken care of through the food chain . I go back and forth with the idea of a stable cat. I do have some concerns. One would be where do they wee and poop? Don’t really want that in the boxes or in the straw and hay supplies. Also cats carry Toxoplasmosis in their poopies and that’s really bad for pregnant goats just as it’s not a good idea for a pregnant woman to change litter pans while pregnant. Exposure can be harmful to the fetuses of both humans and goats. For these reasons we don’t have a real stable cat. Sounds so idyllic to have a stable cat, but these issues must be considered.
We just take care of whatever we find when we go to the stable. If they are in the water, they are not alive any longer and that is always sad for me. It never becomes routine. When I find these tiny babies in food bowls, I am so relieved. I just scoop them up and see where they run to. I put a small supply of grain in the hole they ran too and I try to remember where they ran to and place them closer to home. I have no problem scooping them up because there is no rabies in Sweden so these tiny cuties are not dangerous.
This tiny baby was lucky, he had a nice meal and had a dinner partner and didn’t fall in the water bucket.
Hej from Gullringstorp !
I have been down and out of commission with a terrible flu. The older you get the longer it seems it takes to bounce back from the flu. Back now and have a lot to get caught up on. Staying in bed is not fun when you have a house full of little critters that require your attention. Thanks to my husband, the goats have been well taken care of with grain, chopped fruit and fresh water twice a day. I have missed them so much! Just this past week I decided to come downstairs and perform at least one task a day then retreat back to rest. I feed our 4 cats their breakfast and dinner which is fresh cod chopped up in addition to their free choice kitty kibble. I tend to all the fish tanks in the house and feed Little Lady our iguana. Yesterday I felt brave and strong enough to handle a bit more strenuous task… cleaning the frog aquarium.
I took this video yesterday:
This morning when I came down, it was clear that they were quite thankful for the fresh clean water in their tank. I was thinking my two females looked a bit chubby. No wonder, they were full of eggs:
Thank you to all my regular readers and new visitors to my blog, in my absence.