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Posts tagged “Hens

An Afternoon with Maria!


Max joined us as we visited the farm of Maria. Maria is a charming young woman that I met at the seasons first craft market. We had so many things in common that we chatted as if we were long lost sisters or friends. This is not something that happens everyday, so when life brings you a special friend like Maria, you recognize it and enjoy the experience.

We had such a joyful  time at her farm viewing and getting to know her many animals. She has beautiful Swedish goats that at this moment have the cutest little curly white babies. She breeds and sells some of Sweden’s endangered species of chickens, ducks and rabbits. She also breeds turkeys and has the most beautiful, colorful and majestic male turkey named King.

We had a lovely time chatting over cup of coffee, tea and a Finnish cake that she baked for our arrival to her farm. It was a delightful visit. We will be back often as we enjoy each other’s company and animals. Maria has seen much of Gullringstorp on my blog and Facebook but has not yet visited us. She will us very visit soon.

Of all her animals, the ones of most interest to me above all the others, were her beautiful rescue greyhounds. We are planning to adopt a rescue greyhound from Ireland and meeting Maria was just such a wonderful ting to have happen. Her dogs have come from a wonderful rescue center in Ireland and I will use the same company when we are ready to adopt.

We spent a splendid day with Maria and her animals. It was a great opportunity for myself to enjoy and  become reacquainted with  greyhounds and for my husband to meet them for the first time and understand the yearning I have had to adopt one. It was very important to see if our little dog Max could be around these large animals. He was just fine! They enjoyed them and he enjoyed them. No we know that ill not be an issue. We must make sure that the one that we adopt  is ok with small dogs and cats. Maria’s dogs love her small Jack Russell terrier and are just fine with her two cats. With our small Brussels Griffon and 4 indoor cats, we will have to wait to find a greyhound that has been seen to be well with both for our home.

We spent such a lovley time at Maria’s farm and are very much looking forward to returning.

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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.


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.


I am so, so, sorry… BRANCHES AGAIN !!!!!


Our autumn is really beautiful and colorful, but much too much rain for my liking and that of my goats. Some goats don’t mind the rain , I was not so lucky, maybe just one or two of my goats don’t mind the rain.  When this happens, especially for more than a couple of days, we must step in and assist our “house-bound” goats.

As long as Mother Nature delivers us rain, day after day, then there will be BRANCHES…

Our boys got their branches first and my how they enjoyed them

Our boys got their branches first and my how they enjoyed them

Our little Flynn, just over 2 yrs old and a wether has been moved with Nanna . the other bucks thought he was a girl and you can imagine it hasn't been so pleasant for him.

Our little Flynn, just over 2 yrs old and a wether has been moved with Nanna . the other bucks thought he was a girl and you can imagine it hasn’t been so pleasant for him.

Alika enjoying her branch. We have to be imaginative in how we place the branches. they can not be just placed on the floor of the boxes. By nature, goats are browsers, so they need to stretch their necks upward to enjoy the leaves

Alika enjoying her branch. We have to be imaginative in how we place the branches. they can not be just placed on the floor of the boxes. By nature, goats are browsers, so they need to stretch their necks upward to enjoy the leaves

Alika's box pals, Keriana and her daughter Fiona enjoy their branches

Alika’s box pals, Keriana and her daughter Fiona enjoy their branches

In the dim light of their box, Pumpkin and her daughter Rose enjoy their branches
In the dim light of their box, Pumpkin and her daughter Rose enjoy their branches
Our little Rosie who is looking more and more like her mother , stands in the dimly lit box with her branches

Our little Rosie who is looking more and more like her mother , stands in the dimly lit box with her branches

Our tiny ladies, our Pygmy ladies enjoyed their branches

Our tiny ladies, our Pygmy ladies enjoyed their branches. Here are two, Ivy and Petunia.

Ivy is too tiny to stretch her little neck upwards so she must get on the table

Ivy is too tiny to stretch her little neck upwards so she must get on the table

Ivy's daughter tiny Surprise is there on the left

Ivy’s daughter tiny Surprise is there on the left

Here you can se all our tiny ladies with their branches

Here you can se all our tiny ladies with their branches

Our tiny ladies

Our tiny ladies

Petunia is up with her branches

Petunia is up with her branches (Oops, she’s a bit blurry)

Tiny Surprise

Tiny Surprise

Iris enjoys her branches

Iris enjoys her branches

Yummy !!!!

Yummy !!!!

Our little Baby Boy has grown so big and is so full of fur and so stocky, I now call him Bear or Björn

Our little Baby Boy has grown so big and is so full of fur and so stocky, I now call him Bear or Björn

We have many evergreen trees at Gullringstorp, so these branches really make the stable smell like Christmas, a bit early, but very nice.

We have many evergreen trees at Gullringstorp, so these branches really make the stable smell like Christmas, a bit early, but very nice.

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As you can see not only are all the leaves stripped but now so is the bark

With the grounds, intermittent rain and the goats can not go out into the enclosure. Here they enjoy a branch between showers in the back play yard

With the grounds, intermittent rain and the goats can not go out into the enclosure. Here they enjoy a big branch between showers in the back play yard

Here two little families, enjoy the big branch. Hilda and her two sons, Winston and Phillip, Keriana with her daughter Fiona.

Here two little families, enjoy the big branch. Hilda and her two sons, Winston and Phillip, Keriana with her daughter Fiona.

Happy goats

Happy goats

Yummy !!!

Yummy !!!

Hilda and one of her sons, winston enjoy that branch outside in the dampness

Hilda and one of her sons, winston enjoy that branch outside in the dampness

Fiona and Phillip enjoy the branch

Fiona and Phillip enjoy the branch

Winston and Phillip got the branch to themselves while the others ran and played inside

Winston and Phillip got the branch to themselves while the others ran and played inside

Sweet little Winston, on his own. Independent little fellow...

Sweet little Winston, on his own. Independent little fellow…

Indoor Activities allow the little ones to integrate into the herd as a whole. Here Winston meets one of the big scary adults

Indoor Activities allow the little ones to integrate into the herd as a whole. Here Winston meets one of the big scary adults

Hilda and Alika spend some time together

Hilda and Alika spend some time together

The hens are allowed into the goat's play area to enjoy the grass and branch

The hens are allowed into the goat’s play area to enjoy the grass and branch

One of our hens enjoying the branch

One of our hens enjoying the branch

Fiona doesn't mind sharing with the hens

Fiona doesn’t mind sharing with the hens
No one seems to  mind the hens

No one seems to mind the hens

Hilda keeps a close eye on that hen

Hilda keeps a close eye on that hen

 Goats and hens, oh my ......

Goats and hens, oh my ……

Nanna take a trip into the hen' s yard and on the way out, the entrance frame looks appealing

Nanna take a trip into the hen’ s yard and on the way out, the entrance frame looks appealing

Winston likes,  his hens

Winston likes, his hens

Eugene, our Brhama rooster decided to come and check out that branch. He seems to be in a hurry..

Eugene, our Brahma rooster decided to come and check out that branch. He seems to be in a hurry…

Well it wan't the branch he was after, it was the lovely patch of dirt exposed as his ladies scratched the grass away. Maybe they found some tiny worms.

Well it wasn’t the branch he was after, it was the lovely patch of dirt exposed as his ladies scratched the grass away. Maybe they found some tiny worms.

Peanut discovers the hens and the hen yard

Peanut discovers the hens and the hen yard

Welcome back for our Indoor Activities for rainy days! I feel like a cruise activity director, hee hee…


Chickens, Goats and Dogs! Chickens, Goats and Dogs! Oh My!!


We have had lots of rain lately so our goats are not really going out.  I have heard of people who had goats that enjoyed or didn’t mind the rain, but not Gullringstorp goats. They really hate the rain, so we have indoor activities instead.

Our chickens, on the other hand seem to love the rain. Our Brahma chickens really like the rain and stay out till they are soaking wet. I always worry that they may get sick or something, but I think chickens can take it.  No one has gotten sick yet and they really do get  soaked.

 

Here are chickens, goats and a dog:

Max in his warm rain gear

Max in his warm rain gear

Max in his warm rain jacket and boots as he takes a pause on our deck

Max in his warm rain jacket and boots as he takes a pause on our deck

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Hilda and her sons, Phillip and Winston explore the chicken yard

Hilda and her sons, Phillip and Winston explore the chicken yard

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Hilda and her boys

 

The wind blows the chicken's feathers as they enjoy the wet grass

The wind blows the chicken’s feathers as they enjoy the wet grass

One of our roosters, Eugene and one of his ladies

One of our roosters, Eugene and one of his ladies

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Eugene checking on his other lady, Henny Penny

Little Fiona and Phillip enjoy the chickens

Little Fiona and Phillip enjoy the chickens

                                                                                                                                Brahmas love the wind and wet grass

Our Brahma chickens love the wind and wet grass

Max stays out of the way when the big goats are out and about

Max stays out of the way when the big goats are out and about

Hilda and Nanna have some hay in the corridor

Hilda and Nanna have some hay in the corridor

Little Winston meets Nanna

Little Winston meets Nanna

Our little Nanna

Our little Nanna

Fiona plays with Phillip

Fiona plays with Phillip

Hilda and her son Phillip stand in the yard in between rain fall

Hilda and her son Phillip stand in the yard in between rain fall

Little Phillip

Little Phillip

Indoor fun with Hilda, Alika, Pansy and Poppy. Peanut meets little Winston

Indoor fun with Hilda, Alika, Pansy and Poppy. Peanut meets little Winston

  1. Poppy and Pansy with little Winston

    Poppy and Pansy with little Winston

    Peanut, Pansy, Hilda and Little Phillip in the yard between showers

    Peanut, Pansy, Hilda and Little Phillip in the yard between showers

    Winston and Phillip in the chicken yard

    Winston and Phillip in the chicken yard

    One of our lovely hens

    One of our lovely hens

     

    Fiona in the chicken yard

    Fiona in the chicken yard

    Our chickens have dug under the fences , my husband repaired them. Here my husband digs under the door to the yard.

    Our chickens have dug under the fences , my husband repaired them. Here my husband digs under the door to the yard.

    My husband decided that these concrete slabs will keep our chickens inside their yard

    My husband decided that these concrete slabs will keep our chickens inside their yard

    Leif makes sure that the slabs firmly in place. By the way, what do you think if the beard.. He grew this for me while I was in NY.

    Leif makes sure that the slabs firmly in place. By the way, what do you think if the beard. He grew this for me while I was in NY.                                                  I have always wanted to see him in a beard. I love it!

     

    Welcome back for more activities at Gullringstorp !

     

     

     

     

     

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Updates from the Nursery at Gullringstorp


I’m still trying to play catch up from my time away from posting. Here are some updates of two of our four new babies:

Max and Toby quickly became best buddies!

Max and Toby quickly became best buddies!

Toby is so curious

Toby is so curious

Max waits patiently for his buddy to play some more

Max waits patiently for his buddy to play some more

Toby and mommy Nanna

Toby and mommy Nanna

Our naughty little  Nanna is now a full fledged mother!

Our naughty little Nanna is now a full-fledged mother!

Nanna and Toby enjoy their play yard

Nanna and Toby enjoy their play yard

Nanna enjoys her hay  outside

Nanna enjoys her hay outside

Mother and son enjoying hay

Mother and son enjoying hay

Look at Toby's cute tiny pink nose !

Look at Toby’s cute tiny pink nose !

Toby eats what ever mommy drops on the tray

Toby eats what ever mommy drops on the tray

Toby found another way to enjoy grain with mommy

Toby found another way to enjoy grain with mommy

Too cute

Too cute

A kiss for mommy

A kiss for mommy

 

 

Keriana’s little Fiona:

Little Fiona

Little Fiona

What a sweet face Fiona has

What a sweet face Fiona has

 

Sweet little Fiona

Sweet little Fiona

Looks like snack time...

Looks like snack time…

Keriana who is Frida's daughter stands with her very own tiny daughter, Fiona

Keriana who is Frida’s daughter stands with her very own tiny daughter, Fiona

Little Fiona has fun on the milk stand with mommy

Little Fiona has fun on the milk stand with mommy

Keriana and Fiona explore the new play yard in the back of the stable

Keriana and Fiona explore the new play yard in the back of the stable

There's nothing prettier than a new baby in the sunshine

There’s nothing prettier than a new baby in the sunshine

Snack time, again...

Snack time, again…

Keriana meets the hens for the first time!

Keriana meets the hens for the first time!

Keriana's curiosity about the hens is short-lived, but not for the hens

Keriana’s curiosity about the hens is short-lived, but not for the hens

Fiona enjoys the play yard

Fiona enjoys the play yard

Fiona has fun in the hay basket

Fiona has fun in the hay basket

Looks like Little Fiona is talking to the hens

Looks like Little Fiona is talking to the hens

hej Fiona !

Hej Fiona !

Mother and daughter

Mother and daughter

Fiona has cute little black stockings !

Fiona has cute little black stockings !

Fiona playing with a block of wood

Fiona playing with a block of wood

 

Gullringstorp herd update:

We have had touchy weather with showers throughout the days lately, but our herd has been out  in the enclosure. Seems like they forget everything when they are out and about, running, playing, eating grass and relaxing in the sun.

The only problem I have is when the weather is too bad for the goats to go out and I let them out in the corridor of the stable. this is when Pansy and Poppy really miss their mommy Frida. They seem to go on a search from box to box for Frida. It really  is so sad to witness this. I try to keep them occupied with goodies or something else to keep their mind off the loss of their mother. Everything I do works , only on a temporary basis. I do sit with them  everyday and give them extra love and even some fresh strawberries from our garden. They do seem to appreciate the extra attention.

We are all healing, slowly…

 


A Quiet Sunday Morning at Gullringstorp


Max and I made our  usual walk out to the stable this morning. It was a chilly March morning so we both had on our jackets. On the way to check in on  the chickens and then the goats, I looked around the property for subtle changes and any signs of Spring. You have to look really close,  but you can find them,   Max and I did.

Spring is on its way,  no matter what the temperature!

There it is, a sign that spring is indeed on its way; a baby tulip planted 2 years ago, coming back

There it was, a sign that spring is indeed on its way; a baby tulip planted 2 years ago, coming back

Even in the shadow of a large evergreen tree, a baby tulip has peeked out of the soil

Even in the shadow of a large evergreen tree, 3 baby tulips have peeked out of the soil

A brand new strawberry plant has bloomed.

A brand new strawberry plant has bloomed. We hope to have many strawberries again this year. The leaves will provide fresh greens for the goats in the early winter months

Our first stop was the chicken house. We have a new rooster!  He is a Brahma rooster and is quite tall and very colorful. We had a large Brahma rooster that we lost to a very large Sea Eagle. This is Sweden’ s largest bird of prey with wings spans up to 8′ across and weighing up to 17 lbs. This large bird got into our chicken yard and attached our very large rooster who stood just over 2′ tall. When my husband approached the chicken yard, he frightened this large bird off but the damage had already been done to our rooster. That was a sad day!

We took awhile before we got a new rooster and Mr. Bojangels has had to be the man for all our hens.

We have a problem though; our rooster needs a name !  Please send us some suggestions. We really need help !

Here is our new rooster!

Here is our new rooster!

What a handsome gentleman !

What a handsome gentleman !

After a few days of being picked on, our new rooster is now one of the gang!

After a few days of being picked on, our new rooster is now one of the gang!

Look at those beautiful feathers!

Look at those beautiful feathers!

This little lady was happy on her side of the enclosure

This little lady was happy on her side of the enclosure

Normally the ladies gather here to go inside , but this morning must have been a "hen meeting"

Normally the ladies gather here to go inside , but this morning must have been a "hen meeting"

Two hens pecking away !

Two hens pecking away !

Mr. Bojangels and his ladies, Topsy and Turvy

Mr. Bojangels and his ladies, Topsy and Turvy

These two friends are enjoying a bit of scratching in the dirt

These three friends are enjoying a bit of scratching in the dirt

We have 4 Topsy Turvy ladies and I wondered where the 4th one was. She was  in side in her nest and left us a beautiful delicate egg.

We have 4 Topsy Turvy ladies and I wondered where the 4th one was. She was in side in her nest and left us a beautiful delicate egg.

Mr. Bojangels strutting his stuff!

Mr. Bojangels strutting his stuff!

After Max and I enjoyed watching the hens and our two handsome roosters, it was time to go to the stable. Normally when I enter the stable the boys know I am there and start yelling for more hay. I entered through the back door, real quiet and saw my boys. I include Emil in “my boys”. They were so peaceful and had tons of hay left.

Here are the boys of Gullringstorp on a Sunday morning:

Emil to the left, Baby Boy in the back and Little Man to the right

Emil to the left, Baby Boy in the back and Little Man to the right

Balder and little Flynn, who are always resting together

Balder and little Flynn, who are always resting together

Baby Boy

Baby Boy

Little Man, Hilda's boy born this past August

Little Man, Hilda's boy born this past August

Emil our Rent-A-Buck enjoying Sunday morning in bed

Emil our Rent-A-Buck enjoying Sunday morning in bed

All the boys were really relaxed this morning. They all were so peaceful and quiet. I really liked seeing them like this.

Now to my Milk Stand training. Last evening all three ladies made it up on to the stand. Keriana was the most difficult, but I tried something I read and it worked. I have read so many different methods on how to get your stubborn lady on the stand. Some methods were just plain too cruel, like one woman said she uses a spiked collar on her goat that dig into her neck when she pulls on her. Others just sounded a bit mean for the goat. One mentioned a lead and just pull.

This morning Nanna was first on the stand. She bounced out of her box and up onto the Milk Stand. no problems at all with her.

Next was Keriana, my big girl. I was in the stable alone this morning so I knew if she was to get on that stand, it would have to be me that “assisted” her. I attached a rope lead on her collar and walked her around in a semi-circle so she faced the ramp.Once she was facing the ramp, I pulled. Two feet, then all four . Then I pulled the rope through the place for her head and just pulled and pulled with all my might. Once her head was in place I locked her in.

This was the most humane and most comfortable method  for both of us. I never want to hurt my goats no matter what I might want them to do. Smaller goats can easily be lifted up and placed on the stand,  but when you get a large lady like Keriana or Alika, lifting a goat of their size is no option.

After a lot of pulling, Keriana enjoys her grain breakfast

After a lot of pulling, Keriana enjoys her grain breakfast

keriana

Keriana takes a break to look for Alika

Alika was better than Keriana. She walked up on the Milk Stand her own, but was very careful and took some time to put her head in place. Once in place she enjoyed her breakfast.

Alika

Alika

Look at Alika's "baby bump" !

Look at Alika's "baby bump" !

Keriana and Alika may fight over the bowl of fruit and veggies but these two are inseparable. Keriana keeps a close eye on Alika while she is on the Milk Stand

Keriana and Alika may fight over the bowl of fruit and veggies but these two are inseparable. Keriana keeps a close eye on Alika while she is on the Milk Stand

Keriana wants to make sure that Alika is alright

Keriana wants to make sure that Alika is alright

It was a lovely Sunday morning at Gullringstorp!

Please, don’t forget, we need your help to name our new rooster. Please send in suggestions!