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Archive for March, 2013

Happy Easter Sunday and a Beautiful Spring Day !


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.

The boys were so relaxed when I entered the stable this morning

The boys were so relaxed when I entered the stable this morning

Sleepy boys

Sleepy boys

We have 7 little bucks but this morning we decided to place a leash on only two and hope the others would follow

We have 7 little bucks but this morning we decided to place a leash on only two and hope the others would follow. Poor little Toby was the only one who fell far behind the others. He seemed to be a bit afraid. He will be back on a leash until he gets used to going out once again.

Once I helped Toby to catch up, they all followed and walked into the enclosure like little gentlemen

Once I helped Toby to catch up, they all followed and walked into the enclosure like little gentlemen

The boys must pass through the girl's enclosure to get to their enclosure

The boys must pass through the girl’s enclosure to get to their enclosure

A quick head count and all the boys are in

A quick head count and all the boys are where they should be

It's fun to try and take the leash off when they are so happy to be outside

The boys always head straight for the hay

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It’s’  not always so easy to take the collars and leashes off when the boys are so happy to be in the enclosure

Here are my youngest boys; Pip, Winston, Toby and Phillip

Here are my youngest boys; Pip, Winston, Toby (hidden, but I see his feet) and Phillip. Oh my how my baby bucklings have grown. Phillip is almost as big as his big brother Little Man

I am so happy that both the girls and the boys have a wonderful deep shelter where they can go if they are not happy with the weather

I am so happy that both the girls and the boys have a wonderful deep shelter where they can go if they are not happy with the weather

 

 

After Milk Stand training, the ladies were out in the enclosure:

Poppy and Peanut share a tender moment.

 Peanut and Pansy share a tender moment.

Our ladies were happy being outside again. Pumpkin enjoys a lay down in the sun while the little Pygmy girls play in the bench in the distance

Our ladies were happy being outside again. Pumpkin enjoys a relaxing nap in the sun while the little Pygmy girls play in the bench in the distance

Wishing everyone a lovely and Happy Easter Sunday!

 


March is Women’s History month (Maya Angelou)


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.

Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise

A Greeting From Gullringstorp


We would like to wish you a HAPPY EASTER and GLAD PÅSK !!!

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Who Let the Goats Out????


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!!!!

My husband took the lead with Pumpkin so I could take up the rear and collect any curious goats wandering the wrong direction

My husband took the lead with Pumpkin so I could take up the rear and collect any curious goats wandering the wrong direction

ILook at the driveway,, no snow!

Look at the driveway, no snow! Oh dear two playful little girls on the right.

They were more orderly than I had expected

They were more orderly than I had expected

A quick count and they are all in!

A quick count and they are all in!

Time to unleash Pumpkin. What a great lead goat she has become

Time to unleash Pumpkin. What a great lead goat she has become

Our little herd is now ready for fun in the morning sun

Our little herd is now ready for fun in the morning sun

 

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Poppy and Iris in the rear

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Rose, Pumpkin and Poppy  my beautiful Black and White goats

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Iris, Pansy, Poppy, Hilda and Peanut in the back

Petunia, Pansy and Poppy

Petunia, Rose and Pumpkin

Rose

After the initial excitement of being out calms down, the goats will break up into little groups. They will be paired off mother and daughter or box partners.  Here we have  Pumpkin with  her daughter Rose right behind her and Hilda with her daughter Peanut

Nanna

Nanna

Rose

Rose

Peanut and Hilda

Peanut and Hilda

Ivy and her daughter Surprise

Ivy and her daughter Surprise

Nanna

Ivy, Nanna and baby Surprise

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Poppy, Pansy with Hilda and Peanut

Pumpkin and Petunia

Pumpkin and Petunia

Not sure if this is a greeting or a score to settle

Not sure if this is a greeting or a score to settle

Eyeball to eyeball, hummm

The all important stare down

Hopefully this will clear up what ever is between these two

Hopefully this will clear up what ever is between these two

Pansy and Poppy

Pansy and Poppy

Iris showing off her beautiful baby bump

Iris showing off her beautiful baby bump and cute little teats showing

Peanut showing some baby bump

Peanut showing some baby bump

Pumpkin and her baby bump having some water with Rose

Pumpkin and her baby bump having some water with Rose

Pansy calling for her sister Poppy

Pansy calling for her sister Poppy

My little goat clump

My little goat clump

Pumpkin just enjoying the day

Pumpkin just enjoying the day

 

Pumpkin playing

Pumpkin playing

My little goat clump

My little goat clump

Nanna

Nanna

 

As the goats enjoyed their day out after so long in the stables, we released the chickens :

 

 

Happy chickens

Eugene is happy and crows to let everyone know it!

Eugene is happy and did a lot of crowing to let everyone know it!

All our hens came out to explore

All our hens came out to explore

It was a lovely day for everyone, goats, hens and us! Spring is trying so very hard to make an appearance here at Gullringstorp.


Milk Stand Training Day 3 and 4 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.

Pumpkin with her beautiful shiny fur shining after a good  briúshing to remove the winter wool

Pumpkin with her beautiful shiny fur shining after a good brushing to remove the winter wool

 

 

Leif put up anothr guard rail on the rigt hand side of the Stand to protect slipping

Rose is always close to her mother Pumpkin

Rose is always close to her mother Pumpkin

 

 

We at Gullringstorp as well as at Li'l lSis Goat Milk Soap believe in Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Here is the collected wool from Pumpkin. It will be Recycled and Reused as nesting materials for our birds that live here at Gullringstorp

We at Gullringstorp as well as at Li’l l Sis Goat Milk Soap believe in Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Here is the collected wool from Pumpkin. It will be Recycled and Reused as nesting materials for our birds that live here at Gullringstorp

 

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.

Pansy looks really beautiful

Pansy looks really beautiful

Pansy is doing so well, so quickly

Pansy is doing so well, so quickly

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.

Peanut with her mother Hilda near by

Peanut with her mother Hilda near by

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Gentle Peanut on the Stand

Gentle Peanut on the Stand

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.

Iris really has a noticeable baby bump

Iris really has a noticeable baby bump

Iris

Iris

 

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:

The fields suriunding Gullringstorp are slowly thawing , but not the goat enclosure:

The fields surrounding Gullringstorp are slowly thawing , but not the goat enclosure

The sun shines on the remaining snow

The sun shines on the remaining snow

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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.

A section of the drain pipe showing the blockage , frozen solid.

A section of the drain pipe showing the blockage , frozen solid.

My husband cut the piping where it was not frozen and plced the bucket there to collect the drainage. Once Spring comes and melts the ice in the pips that go outside the stable, he can replace the cut portion and we will have proper drainage.

My husband cut the piping where it was not frozen and placed the bucket there to collect the drainage. Once Spring comes and melts the ice in the pipes that go all the way outside the stable, he can replace the cut portion and we will have proper drainage.

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:

 

This is where the goat will slip her head

 

This is where the goat will slip her head
This is hoe it looks when it is secured around the goat's neck

This is the way it looks when it is secured around the goat’s neck.  Only one of the bars moves toward the goat and comfortably secures her head in.

This is the simple closure at the top.

This is the simple closure at the top. the chain is never touched until the goat’s head is in place. If touched too early in the process, they can get spooked.

Once our ladies are comfortably in the head piece, she can begin to enjoy a nice bowl of grain

Once our ladies are comfortably in the head-piece, she can begin to enjoy a nice bowl of grain

All our pregnant does are doing very well and we can hardly wait for our new babies to come.

 


Milk Stand Training Day 2, March 23rd at Gullringstorp


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:

Pumpkin had her daughter there again for reassurance. I think, or was it just for the grain?

Pumpkin had her daughter there again for reassurance. I think, or was it just for the grain?

Pumpkin was comfortable enoh to actually start eating her breakfast.

Pumpkin was comfortable enough to actually start eating her breakfast. She had fun with her daughter Rose playing with her.

As you can see, Pumpkin was much more relaxed on her second day on the Milk Stand

As you can see, Pumpkin was much more relaxed on her second day on the Milk Stand

Pansy was first on the stand yesterday. Her sisiter Poppy joined her and enjoyed some grain also

Pansy was first on the stand yesterday. Her sister Poppy joined her and enjoyed some grain also

Here we can see Pansy's baby bump.

Here we can see Pansy’s baby bump.

My sweet Pansy still has saddness in her eyes since she lost her mother Frida, one years ago. I give her lots of love.

My sweet Pansy, I can  still see sadness in her eyes since she lost her mother Frida, one year ago. I give her lots of love.

Here is a great way to see Poppy's baby bump

Here is a great way to see Poppy’s baby bump

Pansy stays close to her sister  Poppy while she is on the Milk Stand.

Pansy stays close to her sister Poppy while she is on the Milk Stand.

Pansy walked away for a moment and Poppy was not too happy

Pansy walked away for a moment and Poppy was not too happy

Poppy was not happy at all when here sister Pansy was not nearby

Poppy was not happy at all when here sister Pansy was not nearby

This is Peanut. We bred her with all the other ladies, but she did come back into heat on month after the breeding. We just assumed that her breeding was not successful. Now I am rethinking that. She seems to be growing and I have not heard her in heat since.

This is Peanut. We bred her with all the other ladies, but she did come back into heat on month after the breeding. We just assumed that her breeding was not successful. Now I am rethinking that. She seems to be growing and I have not heard her in heat since.

Penut was not talking to me, she was talking to her mother Hilda who was in the grain room eating hay

Peanut was not talking to me, she was talking to her mother Hilda who was in the grain room eating hay

Peanut did very well for her first time on the Milk Stand. She ssettled down and ate her breakfast

Peanut did very well for her first time on the Milk Stand. She settled down and ate her breakfast

Peanut is a gentle and very sweet goat , just like her mother.

Peanut is a gentle and very sweet goat , just like her mother.

Peanut has such beautiful eyes and a sweet expression. Can you see it?

Peanut has such beautiful eyes and a sweet expression. Can you see it?

Iris was still a bit unhappy on the leash I had to use to direct her  to the Milk Stand. She took her time as she crawed on her front legs and finally made her way onto the Milk Stand. She is fine once she gets ther, it's just getting her there.

Iris was still a bit unhappy on the leash I had to use to direct her to the Milk Stand. She took her time as she crawled on her front legs and finally made her way onto the Milk Stand. She is fine once she gets to the Milk Stand,  it’s just getting her there.

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.


Time for Milk Stand Training at Gullringstorp


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.

Pumpkin, finally on the Milk Stand, and not very happy. She is shedding her winer wool; not so sure that's a good idea because we are still quite cold here at Gullringstorp

Pumpkin, finally on the Milk Stand. She was not so happy and  had a few words for me. She is shedding her winter wool; not so sure that’s a good idea because we are still quite cold here at Gullringstorp

Pumpkin looked aroud while on the stand. She had her daughter Rose to keep her company, along with me of course

Pumpkin looked around while on the stand. She had her daughter Rose , who is also loosing her winter wool, to keep her company

Pumpkin is a lot calmer even though she is looking around

Pumpkin is a lot calmer even though she is looking around

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.

Pansy got on the stand with very little effore. Her Sister Poppy who is always with her , joined her at the grain tray

Pansy got on the stand with very little effort. Her Sister Poppy who is always with her , joined her at the grain tray

Pansy's sister Poppy is finding the grain

Pansy’s sister Poppy having fun on the grain tray

IWe are able to see Poppy's tiny baby bump. She will either have a single kid or 2 tiny ones

We are able to see Poppy’s tiny baby bump. Looks like she will either have a single kid or 2 tiny ones

 Pansy found the grain

Pansy and Poppy are always talking to each other. I think they learned that from their mother, Frida who always talked to them

Not so easy to see Pansy's little baby bump, but it's there

Not so easy to see Pansy’s little baby bump, but it’s there

Pansy and Poppy are  always together

Pansy and Poppy are sisters and are never seperated

Yummy grain !

Yummy grain !

Poppy's turn on the Milk Stand

Poppy’s turn on the Milk Stand

Pansy walked away for a minute and Poppy was not so happy

Pansy walked away for a minute and Poppy was not so happy

Pansy returned and joined her sister on the stand

Pansy returned and joined her sister on the stand

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.

Iris was not happy with this , at all!

Iris was not happy with this , at all!

Once Iris made it up onto the Milk Stand, she was more comfortable like this.

Once Iris made it up onto the Milk Stand, she was more comfortable like this.

Iris may look uncomfortable, believe me she is not. She is just fine.

Iris may look uncomfortable, believe me she is not. She is just fine.

It didn't take Iris long to find and tuck into the grain .

It didn’t take Iris long to find and tuck into the grain .

Unfortunately, this is the best way to show off Iris' baby bump

Unfortunately, this is the best way to show off Iris’ baby bump. Nanna was allowed out to keep Iris company. I think it helped.

Baby bump!

Baby bump!

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.


A Love Connection at Gullringstorp


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:

 

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Nanna’s Visitor


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.

Nanna’s visitor:

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This tiny baby was lucky, he had a nice meal and had a dinner partner and didn’t fall in the water bucket.

 


Happy to be Back !


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:

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Thank you to all my regular readers and new visitors to my blog, in my absence.