Our newest member of our Gullringstorp family, Boris is doing just fine.
He seems to be enjoying his new home. He watches the cats and our little Max through the plexy glass on his enclosure. He can be found on every shelf and resting area provided him. He has finally found his heated shelf and seems to enjoy it. He hasn’t started to eat yet but I offer him a nice bowl of delicious chopped veggies: kale, carrots, zucchini and apple. If the plate is untouched in the evening, it goes into the chicken’s bowl. He will soon start eating. He’s still adjusting.
I am so glad he is here with us at Gullringstorp!
The boys needed to be out on this crisp cool morning because their box is being emptied today. I figured it was also a day for our ladies to be out and get some fresh air. They don’t have a full day, they will be in by 3 pm just before it gets dark.
Good decision, the ladies are so happy to be out. They are running, playing? Snatching mouthfuls of hay on the run and greeting old pals. They soon discovered the snow. It was fun to stand on, slide on and lick.
I am so happy to report that our little buckling Florian has been through the worst and all the discomfort associated with his procedure. He is now under the watchful, loving eye of his mother Iris. Iris who was my wild child, always needing to be first and get all the treats, has settled down considerably when she became a mother and a fine one at that. Florian is in the best hands possible with his loving mother.
He is sleeping well, and has a wonderful appetite. He no longer sleeps with the bucks in their box, he is back with his mother Iris and sister Blossom. In addition, he is able to enjoy his days now in the ladies enclosure. There he can play and still be a little boy with Huckleberry, with no fear of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies among our does or doelings.
He has been welcomed into the enclosure by each doe and has been accepted as a part of their herd within a herd. Prior to our goats being released into the enclosure, we must prepare. Water buckets are cleaned everyday, the grounds are checked for any dangerous items that may have gotten into the enclosure and hay for both the boys and girls is brought out from the stable. Every now and again, there are repairs that need tending to. Leif takes care of them, as a rule.
Little Florian spends hes days now with Mommy and returns with her to their box in the evening, for dinner. For the next 5 days, he will receive a penicillin injection. He took last night’s injection well. I decided that he would be too active in the morning and like any child would not be still for me. So when he comes inside at night, not only is he worn out from all the fun of the day, but he is hungry and pays no attention to me or what I am doing.
Well as you can see, I had real difficulty keeping my promise to sell our next bucklings. I did try with Florian but it was a no go. He will remain with us here at Gullringstorp and grow happily in the home of his birth, Gullringstorp.
When we started out with our goats, we decided not to have bucks of our own. This was because of all that I have read and all that I had heard. Bucks were dangerous, bucks were stinky and bucks were unpredictable.
We went for a long time hiring a Rent-A-Buck to come by Gullringstorp for our ladies. We were lucky to get a beautiful buck named Emil who fathered some of our most beautiful babies. You can read about Emil on another post “Our Rent-A-Buck” .
Then it happened, Hilda, our most gentle of all our goats gave birth to a doeling and a little buckling. Knowing how the temperament of the mother is passed on to her babies, we knew that this would be a wonderful and gentle buck when he grew up. We were right. Then we realized that since we also had tiny Pygmy does, we needed some tiny Pygmy bucklings for them. We purchased 3 tiny bucklings from the same farm we bought the doelings. With these little boys , we gave them all the love and attention we could so that they would be manageable.
Two years later, Nanna one of our Pygmy does, gave birth to Toby and I just couldn’t bring myself to sell him. Alika and Hilda two of our Nigerian Dwarf goats gave birth to 3 beautiful little bucklings, Pip, Winston and Phillip. Needless to say, they all have remained here with us and near their mothers, at Gullringstorp.
We have 7 bucks now in the boy’s quarter. With all the love and hands on, hand feeding every day, we have 7 beautiful, tamed bucklings. They are all collar and leash trained, should we need them to be led on a leash.
Although they are all tamed and kind, they are not without challenges: One challenge has been the way they have their hay in the box. We had one hay rack That was already in place from when horses used to live here. That hay rack was modified for our goats. Then we saw that we needed more hay holders of some kind. We tried horse hay bags. Well let me tell you, I know horses weigh a lot more than our little boys, but our little boys can really do some damage. they used their horns to systematically destroy the bags. That wasn’t working with the bucks , but did work with the does and doelings. We found an ad for hay racks at a great price, when purchased in volume. so we bought 5 of the.
Our bucks got 2 of the new racks. We thought our hay storage was solved. well it really wasn’t. We had two little bucks who thought it was fun to leap from the cable drum and lad right in the middle of the hay rack. Not a good idea; no place for accidental poopies or pee pee. We tried to move the cable drum so they couldn’t reach the hay racks. We did that, then , one day saw something that I had never imagined. Our little buck Winston, no bigger than a Cocker Spaniel actually leaped up into the hay rack from the ground!!
Then I got an idea. Not just out of the blue, mind you. Lids!! Lids are not unusual here at Gullringstorp. I our tiny Pygmy girl’s box, we had the same problem. We had a tiny doe who kept leaping into the hay rack. Solution, a lid. Pygmy goats love to climb so all the girls have had a chance up on the lid, now a fun shelf.
So lids it was:
Our bucks were shocked at first to see the lids and were a bit confused. Then they found the perfect use for the lids; sharpen their horns , of course!
As our little bucks have enjoyed their enclosure, it became obvious that they were now in need of more grazing. It was time to extend their space.
The boys like to relax on warm days:
Well with new covered hay racks and extended enclosure, our boys are more than happy!
Today, June 22, 2013 is Midsummer Day. Here in Sweden, it’s normally a day to relax after all the family and friends, time spent eating and drinking snaps. Every now and again there is a special activity planned for the day.
A customer of Li’l Sis Goat Milk Soap, requested a soap-making tour. We have had people come often to visit the goats. No one has requested a real tour. I put together a very informative tour starting with our goats and goat care. I not only supplied items that we use daily or need to have on hand for our goats, but to add to the talk were photos of events that could not be shown on this day. Here are topics that were covered:
- Goat nutrition
- Medications, when needed
- Winter considerations
- Goat “Meet & Greet” in the enclosure
After the first portion of the tour was completed, we went into the workshop( Leif’s) and had the Soap-Making presentation. There was much to discuss and no real need for photos because everything was right there to see and touch. Here are topics that were covered :
- Safety Equipment
- Natural Botanicals
- Natural Colorants
- Natural Essential Oils
- Natural Butters and Oils
- Utensils Used
- Li’l Sis Goat Milk Soap Products were on display for purchase
Because of where our guests stood, they were able to see our goats run into the enclosure and leap and frolic as they always do. They were able to watch them eating and playing and falling back into their family units.
The Soap Making portion of the tour:
I would like to thank my husband for his support, all his help in organizing and moving things for me.
This was our first fully organized tour here at Gullringstorp and hope it will not be the last.
With a bit of disappointment I must report that our little Iris did not have her babies last night. It just goes to show you, no matter how you may want babies to be born, they will always come when they are ready .
We checked Iris several times last night and again this morning. I can say that she is due quite soon, just when, only Mother Nature knows for certain.
We had yet another lovely Spring day and all our goats were out till nearly 8 pm this evening.
Here are our mothers-to-be :
Here are four of our five mothers-to-be :
I will keep you updated with post from the Maternity Ward at Gullringstorp and share all the news.
Sorry no babies yet, but, they are coming!!
I have several ladies who are due to deliver during the first week of April, by my calculations. Nature always has the upper hand in the situation, but I like to think I can pin point the tim frame of deliveries. What I do is watch and keep a very close eye on my ladies. I know them all intimately; how they sound, how they eat, how they drink, how they interact with others and even how they go down to rest. I look for any subtle changes to let me know that she may be getting close to labor.
The feelings came over me yesterday with our little Pygmy doe Iris. I knew she would be the first of my 4 does or maybe 5. She is quite wide and he baby bump is very pronounced. I watched her and how she was out in the enclosure. She was licking at her teats, and looking at her rear end. I said to myself, hummm, looks like she will be any day now. We checked her often out in the enclosure and during the night even when she and the others were back in the stable. She was resting easy. I had placed a large amount of fresh clean straw in one corner for her just in case. Nothing happened during the night and she was quite eager to hop up on that Milk Stand for her grain this morning. I massaged her as she ate and kissed he baby bump and had a bit of a chat with her babies. I love my goats and am always so excited when they are due to deliver. it’s a special time in our stable.
Iris is out in the enclosure on this beautiful Spring day. I sat with them for some time, as always, but kept a particularly close eye on iris to see subtle changes in he behaviour. There were some changes:
- a bit of a discharge
- I could see she was a bit uncomfortable when she went down to rest
- Unable to decide where to lay down
- Other goats came to sniff her
- Her pals who share her large box came to stay by her side
With all these developments, my husband decided that today was the day to clean out her box and place all clean straw down for he delivery. We have been lucky and been able to change boxes for all our pregnant does. We have just come into Spring and our boxes have not been cleaned out for 6 months. Let me explain: we clean up poopies in every box everyday, but we do allow the hay and straw to build up during the winter months. This is very important in providing our goats with a really warm bed to sleep the night in. All the urine and poopies that fall through the straw will ferment and help keep them warm. Spring time is a busy time here at Gullringstorp with box cleaning.
Iris’s box is done and when she comes in she will have a clean house to deliver in, today or tomorrow.
While I am out with the goats, Leif has started on Iris’ box. There is much to remove, but he has the procedure down. It is a big job and I always ask if I may help him. The answer is always a flat NO and he means NO. I have asthma and not only this, but when I got my first goats several years ago, I was having trouble breathing and felt quite winded as I would walk back to the house. I eventually went in to have a check up and I wasn’t just winded, I was having real trouble but didn’t realize it. I was sent in for allergy testing. I felt like a kid! I was tested for so many things and I was so afraid that I would be told that I had an allergy to my beloved goats. Well time for celebration !!! I had allergies, but NOT to my goats. Boy was I relieved ! I did get some difficult news. I have allergies to both hay and straw! Lord, what kind of farmer could I be. Well I soon learned from my doctor at the Lung Clinic that I was required to wear masks when I am in the stable and handling hay or straw. No problem!! Nothing stops this country gal!
I wear 3M filter masks when I am dealing with hay and straw both indoors and outdoors. I have done so for nearly 5 years now and no more problems. When we have visitors to Gullringstorp to visit our goats, I don’t wear my mask because I am not handling straw or hay, just talking. My masks get quite expensive because they only come in boxes of 10, and they are not included in the national prescription plan. It is a bit of a problem, but a necessity. So now you can understand why my husband says NO to the cleaning up of boxes. I can however, lay down the calcium on the box floor and fresh straw, with my filter mask on.
I can’t help clear the box, but I can prepare a nice lunch for my husband for when he is finished.
It will be my pleasure to keep you updated on Iris and our other does who are in the Maternity Ward at Gullringstorp!
So don’t forget to check back for updates!
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!
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.
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.
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:
It turned into such a lovely day for our goat’s day out.
Here are our new mothers and their babies having fun in the enclosure for the first time :
They had a wonderful day