Another day of clean up here at Gullringstorp. Because of
the strong winds associated with this storm, we have snow blown
through cracks in our stable walls as well as our workshop. The
wind has also blown the snow into snow dunes all over
Gullringstorp, including our roads in and out of the property.
These snow dunes are not soft fluffy dunes, but hard packed snow
and ice. Our goats are indoors today. They can go out sometimes
during the winter months. If the enclosures are pretty clear, then
they can go out. Much of our snow gets moved around with the help
of our tractor. Thank goodness for it. Here you can see our snow,
snow dunes, snow in our workshop and our tractor at work.
At a Neighbor Party, the hosts, organize the entire evening for us. There are the games that start the evening off, then we retire to indoors for a beautifully laid buffet. After the meal comes desert along with coffee, then godis (candy snacks) and snaps and cognac. There will be active conversation from the recent harvest, to hat or straw bales to tractors. Information is shared and everyone, up and down our table is engaged in a conversation. After tractors, our end of the table was relegated to discussions about goats, then the soap making business, then tractors again. Our hosts were kind enough to arrange for a mini bus to pick us all up at preplanned locations. This was so kind and allowed everyone to be free to drink as much as they wanted and not have to worry about the drive home. When we arrived at our host’s Inn (Värdshuset) in the woods just minutes away from Gullringstorp, our hosts greeted us outside in the garden. We were told of the events of the evening. I am pretty sure that this tradition is only in our neck of the woods, but there are outdoor activities well planned out for all the guests to participate in. Everyone enjoys the fun , no matter how silly. It’s great to see all of our hard-working neighbors leave the worried of the world behind and just have FUN! Our Planned evening:
Station 1 : Drinks! We walked through the beautiful woods and came upon the first station. There we had our choice of drink, beer, whisky etc.
Station 2: Driving! We were all wondering what we would be driving. We soon found out.
Station 3 : Tossing Frogs ! Oh dear, I all could think was, poor little frogs!
Station 4: Hot Air Balloons! We had no idea. We soon found out.
Station 5: Up to our waist in water !!! Oh dear! Station 6: Tire toss! Tire toss???? Oh dear.
Station 2: Driving!!
Station 3: Tossing Frogs Luckily they were NOT real frogs, but jelly frogs!
Station 4: Hot air balloon Object of the game was to hold a balloon between your legs and walk around a chair 3 times
Station 5 : Up to your waist in water ! We weren’t actually! there was a glass of water on a piece of paper and the object was to pull the paper without spilling the water. What fun we had and so many laughs
Station 6 : Tire Toss For some reason, I was picturing tractor tires and this would be an event for the men. What a surprise to find out that it was a bike tire to be tosses over the back of a wooden lawn chair. It was a lot of fun for all. I made it twice!
All our event photos are only of my other team mates. The other teams were ahead of us and we didn’t really see them except at the end when al got together at the end. After all the teams had completed all the events, we waited for our hostess to welcome us inside to sit for our meal and drinks.
We enjoyed the beautiful meal and then it was time for a traditional Swedish event, Snaps Songs. We each got printed out song lists with lyrics and even the name of a familiar song that was the tune for this Snaps Song. We had lots of fun and everyone participated, even my husband.
After the songs we had desert and coffee.
It is a Swedish tradition for someone to stand up and say a special toast of thanks to our hosts. Our hosts were thanked not only for the wonderful time, but for the food , drinks and good company. This evening it was my husband.
After some time has passed and we have all had plenty to eat and drink, it’s time for an all time favorite at our neighbor parties, Grilled Korv ( Hot Dogs) ! To our hosts, Ann-Marie och Carl-Eric, we send a warm THANK YOU for such a lovely evening ! To our neighbors we send a warmTHANKS for the evening’s enjoyable companionship. To our neighbors who were unable to attend, you were MISSED, but please enjoy the fun here.
I am happy to say that Frida is recovering just fine !. She has been placed in the “baby yard” for several days and is now out with the rest of the herd in the large enclosure. Since goats are social animals, she was not very happy being separated from the herd. I just felt it was best for her to be out in the fresh air, but to stay calm at the same time. We are now having really beautiful weather and t he goats are out in the enclosure for the entire day until around 7 pm. I am out often to check on Frida and all the goats and see her doing just fine. I watch for a while to know what she is up to and how she is handling the others. When Pumpkin approaches her, she makes a sound that lets Pumpkin know, not to bother her and she walks away. It seems to be working fine. Frida knows that she needs to take it easy. She will be a bit short of breath at the end of the day but she has complete calm in her box and is able to recover from the day’s activities and is breathing normally within a couple of hours. I am not sure yet if this will be a remaining effect from the pneumonia or not. if so, then we will just work with her and make sure she continues to have the best quality of life as she can, within her capabilities. Frida is determined not to succumb to this and we must take our lead from her. She will not be put down because of some shortness of breath at this time. As long as she eats , has interest in the other goats, tends to her daughters and can get around the enclosure, then it is up to me to make her life as comfortable as can be.
I have had to make decisions like this about other household pets during my lifetime, but this is the first time for one of our goats. Frida is a very special goat at Gullringstorp. When we got her we knew that she had babies in the past and had those babies sold. So I said, I would never sell her, or her babies and I haven’t !
We were told by out vet that Frida’s pneumonia was a result of possible allergy to a hay we were giving the goats. None of the other goats have had a reaction to the recent hay supply, but it was explained to us that Frida had developed a hyper-sensitivity to this hay. I am happy to say that the lovely meadow hay is not the problem so we can give this to Frida.
New Meadow Hay Pick-Up
We have been back to the farm that is selling off their supply of meadow hay. We bought two huge bales on tis day and have 4 more on reserve. Our goats love this soft fine delicious hay and we are expecting at least 6 more tiny mouths that will soon be eating hay . I can’t think of a better hay for them to be introduced to. We may have to purchase more because our goats really love this hay.
Maternity updates :
All our pregnant ladies are doing well. They are all really good when it comes to the milk Stand. I just open the door to one of the boxes and who ever is due up first or next , just run out of the box and hop onto the Milk Stand, no problem. I really didn’t believe that these girls would ever become trained to the Milk Stand , but I was so wrong. It just took repetition and yummy grain in the food bowl and No grain their boxes.
As far as delivery, we are looking at Nanna to be our first to deliver. She was successfully bred December 16th which puts her quite close to her delivery. We keep a close eye on little Mis Nanna.
I can hardly wait for her to deliver. These will be our first Pygmy goats born at Gullringstorp!! They are going to be much smaller than the Nigerian Dwarf newborns, and they are small!
Alika and Keriana are also doing well:
We had to check breeding dates and found out that Alika had to be bred twice so she is not due until first week in June. We were surprised because she is the largest of all three mothers-to-be. Keriana will be second to deliver a bit later in May.
All these young ladies are “first time Freshers” meaning first time to give birth. Now I start to worry as we get closer. I just hope that they will not have any difficulty in delivery. Little Miss Nanna is who I worry about more. She is so tiny.
Keriana is Frida’s daughter, born here at Gullringstorp 2 yrs ago. Unfortunately, this little lady is nothing like her mother. She can be quite unpredictable and she has a short fuse. You can be patting her one moment and the next she will turn and butt you. Sometimes she walks away and for no reason she will come back to you and butt you. She can be a nice goat , when she feels like it. I just hope her babies have their grand mother’s temperament not their mother’s.
What can make this country gal smile, besides a trip to the opera? I’ll tell you. To look in my food box in our stable and see it filled with straw , hay and grain. That’s what!
We had been giving great consideration as to whether to answer an ad for a special hay being sold by a sheep farmer. He had downsized his herd and had way too much hay. We already have a local farmer who sells us hay , bundles of hay . My husband fills the trailer, which is usually 20 bales. Each bale has 5 or 6 individual sections. They don’t really last longer than 2 1/2 weeks. The reasons for this is our hay racks which were meant for horses, so a lot ends up on the box floor and the goats eat a lot of hay when indoors during bad weather.
My husband has done what he can to fix the hay racks to make sure the hay stays put. They don’t look so beautiful, but for now, they work.
We started to discuss the new hay and decided we should get it. This was not the same hay we always get, it was meadow hay. It is full of grasses, flowers, and herbs. I said we could get it as long as we have a fresh supply of our regular hay to be able to mix with the new hay. Then it dawned on me that if this farmer was downsizing his herd, then he would no doubt have other items we might be interested in. I was right. He had fantastic fencing and gates and even hay racks that sit on top of a fence and can be used by animals on both sides. This was just great. We are going to have to separate our boxes off to make room for everyone quite soon. Our herd is growing and our boxes are large enough to section off into maybe 4 sections, still giving new mothers with their babies plenty of space to bond and stretch their legs, when kept inside.
The thought of having new fencing for our outdoor “baby play yard” and that we would have a real functioning gate, really makes me smile.
The thought of all those fence sections we could have to separate our boxes, really makes me smile.
The thought of those cute little hay racks that could fit over the new fencing and feed 2 goat families, really makes me smile.
The thought of all that beautiful new hay in those huge bales feeding all my goats, really makes me smile.
The thought of my husband saying ok to all those new purchases for our stable, really makes me smile.
Here are our new bales:
Everyone has a trailer hitch on their vehicle and a trailer of some sort. Deliveries here in Sweden are ridiculously expensive, so everyone does it themselves. Max is wearing one of his winter coats, not because of the amount of snow but because of the temperature, it was -10 on this day.
We are very thankful that the sheep farmer , Roger helped put the bales on the trailer with his tractor, and then assisted my husband in securing them , since we had about 40 minutes drive back to Gullringstorp.
I was really not that much help since my husband has had plenty of practice, backing that trailer up. But it was nice of him to ask for my help.
This hay is not only beautiful to look at, but the entire stable smells like a springtime meadow.
Welcome back to see photos of the meadow hay and our new fencing and hay racks.
If you are a country gal or even a city girl, won’t you share with us what makes you smile?