Tuesday, June 29, 2010

LOOK!! I made soap!!

I have been taking an on-line workshop on how to make goat milk soap! It was a very interesting class! So finally I had all the ingredients and the time to make some.

The above picture is all the ingredients except lye, water and goat milk.
The next picture is after I added all the oils to the lye mixture. And I am waiting for it to thicken a little.

And finally once  it started to thicken just slightly I added the goat milk and the fragrance. The fragrance in Honey and Almond. WOW!! Does my house smell gooooood now!
This last picture is after I poured it into the mold. It has to stay in here until it is becomes pretty hard. Then I will take it out and cut it into pieces and then let it cure for about 6 weeks. It can be used right away but if you let it cure than the bars will be harder and last longer.
I'm not sure I will be able to wait that long!!

It almost looks good enough to eat!

Ok.... so my next project is making cheese!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mohair fleece and batts

Finally have been able to get some fleeces skirted. But I think I am too picky! It took me forever to get two fleeces done. But I am hoping that the more I do the better I get at it. The two pictures above are from Matilda, a black angora doe. She has pretty soft fleece for being five years old. The two pictures below are from Cedar. Her fleece is a little straighter than Matilda's. But hers is also very soft and she is 7 years old!

This last picture is of some mohair that I drum carded into batts. The drum carders is borrowed, but I really wish I had one! From the batts spinning goes pretty easy, well that is what I am told! I have done very little spinning myself and most of that has been with a drop spindle.

Have a wonderful evening!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First to leave the nest (well farm)

Well Adian is going to his new home tomorrow. It will be so sad without him here. He is going to Iowa to grow up and be a daddy to Nigora goats. His fiber is REALLY nice. He has turned out to a very nice buckling. Thank you Gayle! And thank you Brenda!

Here is Alex. He also is turning out to be very nice. His face doesn't have as much fiber on it as Adian and his upper throat area is also smooth. This would be a fault if I tried to register him. Ideally you want fiber all the way up to the jaw and some on the face. Some angoras have so much on thier faces that they can have difficulty seeing. I kind of like them with a little less on their faces. Alex will be wethered in the next couple of weeks. He may be offered for sale to the right person. He has personality plus.

Here is Alan. He will be offered for sale. He has the same sire (Rufus) as Alex and Adian.

The last three pictures are of the shetland ram lambs. They are all offered for sale. They would make really nice fiber wethers. They all have nice soft, crimpy fiber.
If anyone is interested in either the angora goats or the shetland lambs please e-mail me.

Have a wonderful evening!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lesson learned

Sunday, was a much cooler day that the past week, so I decided to 'work' the sheep and goats. I vaccinated the ones that need to be boostered, mainly this year's lambs and kids. Check eye lids to see if anyone needed to be dewormed (more on that in another post). Tagged everyone that need to be tagged. And trimmed hooves on everyone that needed it.

Well..... here is where the lesson was learned. Always...... Always!!!!!! make sure the hoof clippers (they look like tin-snips) are ALWAYS pointed away from ALL body parts. ALWAYS!!!!  Can you see where this is going? Well...here is the story. My black shetland ewe needed to have her hooves trimmed. They where not too bad, but still needed to be done. So I turned her on to her bottom and started to trim. She is usually very quiet but she did an unexpected jerk and BLOOD everywhere!! Luckily not hers, but mine!! I had stabbed myself in the palm of my hand! Right into the meaty part below the thumb.

OOOOOOUUUUCCCCHHHH!!!!! Ok, I said a few other words but I won't repeat them here. Since she was only the second animal I had done that morning, I thought great, a nice cool day and I am going to have to go to the hospital and get stitches! Well, I got to the house and rinsed  and scrubbed and rinsed and scrubbed and .........  Once the bleeding stopped I was able to take a good look at it and decided triple antibiotic ointment and a bandade would be fine for now so I could go finish with the critters.

So now it is Tuesday and it feels pretty good. Since I had a tetnaus shot three years ago, I was not too worried about that. I have kept a very close eye on it and change the bandade often.

And, most important, all the critters are vaccinated, dewormed, tagged and hooves trimmed.

Lesson learned is point those darn hoof trimmers AWAY from eveything. Sometimes hard to do!! But I had lots of practice and was VERY aware of what I was doing the rest of the day Sunday!

Have a wonderful day!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

What am I? Good weed or bad weed?

As you all know I have been moving my sheep and goats about every three days (trying anyway). They LOVE moving to new areas but I have noticed that  they are leaving a particular plant consistantly in all the areas. It looks like a clover but they are not interested in it until everything else is gone and that is all that is left. I have not 'forced' them to eat it but if anyone knows what this might be and if it is good of bad let me know, please.
This is a picture of them as a group. The leaves are much smaller than both the red clover and the white clover in the pasture.

Here is an up close picture of the plant and it's tiny yellow flower and very small leaves.

Any thoughts? I live in east central Kansas if that helps any.
My next plan is to go to a plant identifiing web site but I have always had trouble with that.

Thanks a bunch everyone for looking!!