We’ve been feeding Chaffhaye for a week now

IMG 20140715 092859 4111 168x300 Weve been feeding Chaffhaye for a week now

The goats just can’t wait for their Chaffhaye!

You really need to watch our animals to see their love of Chaffhaye.

The goats get into the bucket before we can get into the pen.

The sheep do all but climb over their feeders, as do the milking goats.

What makes it so irresistible?

It could be the kiss of molasses that is sprayed onto the freshly chopped alfalfa, or it could be something far more simple, and something most animals in our valley have never tasted… absolutely fresh alfalfa, cut when it is most nutritious, yet tender and tasty.

I find it very interesting that both goats and sheep are in love with it. After all, sheep are grazers, and I would expect them to love it. Goats, however, are browsers. They are happiest when  allowed to trim our trees, munch on  tumbleweed,  or other miscellaneous weeds on our farm.

But, love it the goats do!

Because it is guaranteed, and under continuous test at the company, we can safely  feed it year round without worrying about “working it in” or having bloat blocks on hand in case they get a tummy ache.

So, here’s what we’re expecting the Chaffhaye to do for both us, and our animals.

With the sheep, aside from the dust that gets blown around, the fleeces should have much less vegetative matter. Because we expect their immune systems to be healthier, thanks to all the beneficial bacteria, we really hope the sheep lice will find a new home. We don’t like to treat for it, as it runs contrary to our “natural” and close to organic business plan.

We also expect the mothers will produce more milk, which leads to faster-growing lambs, and then more money in our pocket.

Our goats are our most precious animals. Each doe has the potential to produce more than 10,000 pounds of milk in her lifetime. That’s a lot of Cajeta! We assign a value of $3.00 per 8 pounds of milk, so you can see how much our gals are worth… just under $4000 by their milk alone.

Feeding Chaffhaye allows us to keep a balanced diet in front of our girls year-round. We simply vary the amount they get from 1 to 2 pounds each per day. After kidding, when they are nursing their own offspring, we keep feed in front of them at all times. They’re good at self-regulating because the nutrition is so good and consistent.

The rest of our animals also get varying amounts of Chaffhaye for several reasons.

Our chickens love it. We throw it into their yard as “scratch”. No matter what they were doing, when the Chaffhaye arrives, it’s pandemonium in the yard, lots of cackling, and jostling for position.

The ducks aren’t fond of it. We’ve spoiled them with fresh chopped lettuce from our garden, as well as their commercial pellets.

The cows would eat the whole bag of Chaffhaye if allowed. Coco is very pregnant (due in  a couple of weeks) and she pretty much inhales anything put in front of her. Tebow, the steer has to be very quick to get anything special, as Coco is very pushy with food.

A few of our rabbits like Chaffhaye at this time. We’re not pushing it on them, until we’re sure we have all the other animals settled in. Changing feed on rabbits is always a lengthy process to keep from upsetting their temperamental digestive systems. Our main reason for feeding them Chaffhaye, is to reduce the pellet dust.


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Posted by therealshari - July 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Categories: Around the farm, Chaffhaye, Goats   Tags: alfalfa, chaffhaye, chickens, cow, farm, goat, rabbits

Land of the free because of the brave

It’s our Independence Day, not just the 4th of July.

It’s a day which shall live forever, as a tiny band of just over 200 men declared their independence from Great Britain, and King George.

What caused this desire for independence, later referred to as a revolution?

Control, taxes, oppression, and a deep down desire for exactly the opposite. A desire so fiery that the flame would never be extinguished.

Two-hundred-thirty-eight years the Continental Army was organized, with over 10,000 men to engage the British in our fight for independence.

Today, 238 years, our Independence Day is celebrated with Bar-B-Ques, flags, parades, and travel.

At a time when we need to take time to reflect on what the 238 years have brought forth, we would rather party, and say “all is well”. Any problems we have are someone else’s problem.

We Four Country Gals are here to tell you that no… our country’s problems belong to no one but us.

Now, we’re more fortunate than many. We have a little piece of land in a very peaceful valley. Our problems here deal not with control, taxes, or oppression. Our problems deal with how best to manage our little farm for our own self-sufficiency, and how we can help others in their efforts to do the same.

As for the rest of the citizens of the USA, only time will tell, as to whether or not they will awaken to the control, taxes, oppression, and the desire to have true freedom.

Sure, you say you are living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

You’re free, as long as you abide by every single rule, action, law, and judgement produced by your local, state, and federal government. As for your bravery, well, that’s something you’d rather entrust to less than 3% of the nation… our highly trained military forces.

So, on this Independence Day, which is celebrated on the 4th of July and conveniently a three-day weekend, ask yourself this…

Are you really free to enjoy your life as the Declaration of Independence declares…

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

Reflect on these words. Digest these words. Commit them to your heart, for it is once again time for a Declaration of Independence.

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Posted by therealshari - July 4, 2014 at 10:14 am

Categories: Around the farm   Tags: Delaration of Independence, Independence

Summertime, and we’re still having newborns!

Yep, when most everyone else is done having babies around here, we’re still kidding, and one of our hens and our duck are setting with one chick hatched so far.

A while ago, our chickens discovered one of our secrets… their fence had rotted out at the base. If they wiggled a bit, they could go walk about. First there were a couple, then a few, and finally more than half the flock.

While it was fun to watch them interact with the birds in our front yard, go over to the sheep, cow, and goat pens, Mom soon became irritated as they kept “helping her” with the landscaping. Unfortunately, their favorite work was usually done where she had recently raked… kicking all that soil back onto the walkway.

So, Cindy went to work fixing the fence. Because the chickens were mostly smart enough to return  to the coop at  night, and because we really don’t have an accurate count… one hen escaped confinement. She took  up housekeeping in a stack of old tires we had used to grow potatoes.

Being black, she blended in, especially since she was in a pretty dark space.

Chewy, our Border Collie farm dog found her, when she heard a little “cheep, cheep”. As usual, Cindy picked  up the little one, and brought it to the house for everyone to oogle.

A day passed, and suddenly, the heat wave arrived.

The hen, chick, and the rest of her eggs were simply not safe in that tire. They would cook!

Have you ever moved a very protective hen who’s still setting? Let’s just say it involved all 4 of us and the dog. It also involved a lot of cussing, throwing things (not at the birds), and other exasperation.

In the end, after we were  all dog tired of the chase, we watched, as the hen found  her chick  in  the nursery, and Cindy grabbed her, taking her to the nest, setting her carefully, and slammed the top.

Meanwhile, the first time fresheners (goats) are  now in their birth cycles.

IMG 20140629 174953 835 300x168 Summertime, and were still having newborns!

Spirit’s buckling baby about 10 hrs old with Chewy, who babysits quite well.

Yesterday morning, Cindy did the early morning check, and returned with  the cutest, biggest little kid we’ve seen in a while. It was Spirit, who we thought would make it through the night, who had birthed this little giant all by herself. She had cleaned him, but as far as we could see hadn’t done a very good job of feeding him.

We thawed the frozen colostrum, all 4 oz of it, warmed it slightly, showed him the bottle with a Pritchard nipple on it, turned it to him…. and he sucked it right down. No learning how to use the nipple, no crying when it was shoved into his open mouth. No, he attacked it!

Later, he did the same thing with another 6 oz of goat milk, fresh from milking.

No way will we allow him to become a bottle baby, so out to the goat yard goes Cindy. She and Spirit had a go around as Cindy was determined that the little guy was going to nurse. Let’s just say it’s Spirit 1 – Cindy  0.  She returned after washing up her wound, for round 2. Once again, Spirit 2 – Cindy 0.

Later, we both went out. I held Spirit at the front end while Cindy successfully got the little guy nursing. We did it again still later, and evened the score. It’s now Team Cindy 2 – Spirit 2.

We’re still waiting for her two sisters, Tippy and Shivers, due to kid sometime in the near future.

Then there’s the duck.

She’s setting on a clutch, way back in the front corner of her little house. She has the nest so built up that we can’t see the contents. We know there are eggs. We know she’s kicked the drake out, and we only see her every couple days for food and water. How long before we see ducklings? Your guess is as good as ours.


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Posted by therealshari - June 30, 2014 at 11:15 am

Categories: Around the farm, Goats   Tags: bottle baby, chickens, cow, eggs, farm, goat, goat milk, goats

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