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Monday, May 9, 2011

Eclipse - we will miss you

Part of life on a farm and of having livestock and pets is the hard part of losing one. I have always told my children, and everyone else, that when an animal comes into your life you have to realize that they will probably not live as long as you do so it is your responsibility to give them the best, kindest, most loved life possible while they are with you.

Before we moved to Alvin I boarded my horses with a friend who had her own horses and pgymy goats. That was my first time to be around these inquisitive creatures. In March 2000 a set of twins were born at the barn. My daughter and I were there and after they were born my friend let Marissa name them. One was Star (because of the star on her forehead) and the second one had a half moon on both of her sides so her name became Eclipse. Marissa looked forward to visiting "her" goats when we went out to the barn. When we purchased our place in April 2001 my friend gave us Eclipse and Star as a housewarming gift. Greatest gift ever! Star got sick and we lost her early on but Eclipse has been with us all this time.

I read up on lifespans of goats and it is generally 10 to 12 years and Eclipse had started slowing down about a year ago. She was the boss...she loved to play chase with Marissa and Tyler and anyone else who would push her horns then run! If you tried to walk across the pasture she would get in front of you to make you stop and give her a rub. She was just a fun being to have around. She got hit by one of the bigger goats last week and the hit must have been just too much for her. She seemed to be getter until yesterday. We had to ease her pain because she couldn't get up or move without pain. I also believe although hard our four-legged companions leave it up to us to make hard decisions on their behalf and I could and would not let her suffer needlessly. It was hard but I know she is not in pain any longer. She was surrounded by us and we were with her until the end. We gave her hugs and I kissed her forehead. We were so blessed to have known her from the day she was born until she passed. We love her and will miss her.

That's all for today...come back soon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Perfectly good feed bucket - now it is

My goats are fed grain in their outside pen twice a day with hay inside the barn. Here is one of the 10 feed buckets that are lined up on a wire panel on the goat's outside pen. (don't know why the picture shows up at this angle but you can get the idea)
I was looking at the goat feed buckets and thinking while watching my OH work on a small banty chicken pen...which my OH hates because my thinking generally means more work for him...and I decided to do this...
with the results being this!

I bet you are wondering why I would go a put holes in a perfectly good feed bucket and it is because of these lovely ladies and their very hard, knee level horns. See how hard they look? Well they are!

I feed the goats on the outside of the fence because they think they are starving at feed time and even though there are 10 buckets they think there is only one bucket with feed so a calm moment of each at their on bucket
can quickly became this!

and it doesn't matter if another goat or a person's knees are in the way of the only perceived bucket of food is in the way. This works great when it is dry outside but when it rains - if it ever will it seems - the water would have be dumped before adding feed. Which means either trying to dump the water from outside the pen (with water ending up on your foot) or going inside the pen (bad move).

So...ta-da...the water drains from the bucket!

I really hate to admit that it has taken me a few years and a bunch of bruises around my knees to fiquire this out but's done now!

That's all for today...come back soon.