Changes and Addititions

There is a big change here on the farm. I am no longer employed outside the home. I have resigned from my day job. As of last Friday, Tammy Sue’s Critters is my full time job. This is something  we have been working toward for several years and we are very grateful to be at this point. I’m a bit nervous, but exhilarated at the same time.

In order to help build our enterprise even more, I am doing a Tuesday evening market over in the Heights. This market is at the corner of Kavanaugh and McKinley in the parking lot. We are there from 4:00-7:00 pm. Last Tuesday there were about 15 vendors. Starting on June 7, we will be joining the city of Sherwood for their Thursday evening market. We will be at the corner of Country Club and North Hills in the parking lot. This market will run from 5:00-8:00 pm. We look forward to seeing some old customers and meeting new friends.

As always, we will be at the Argenta Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning. This is at the corner of 6th and Main in North Little Rock.

We will be debuting our laundry soap tomorrow at the Argenta location. This is a new product for us. we are making it with our soap, as an alternative to store bought detergentwith all the chemicals.

We will soon have body butter and a new scent in our shampoo bar.

Lots of excitement as we move forward.

Another Little Doe

Last Saturday we were blessed with another little doe. Our present count is six does and three bucks from the spring kidding season. We still have one more birth to go.

The milk production is back to normal. We are getting enough for our needs, our customers, and our soap and lotion needs. How I treasure that rich liquid!

It is time to make some decisions about our kids. We have a great herd foundation, so we must find some good homes for our kids. Since they have been separated from their moms for about a week, it will be easier to let them go. I hate it when the babies leave and both momma and kid are crying? We have a couple of interested parties in a few of our kids. We are meeting a couple this evening, maybe it will be a good fit.

Milk!!!

I just got home and checked our girls. We have milk. Babies are fine, drinking water, eating hay and grain. Our momma’s have milk!

Milk!!! Hopefully

In the past week, we have implemented several steps to help with milk production. This past weekend, our daughter came to visit. She is our resident vet, so I had her check our girls. They look fine. Their bags look fine. It has become all of our considered opinions that the kids are draining the mommas’ dry. Last evening we separated the kids into their own area. This morning when we checked, it appeared that we had milk. We will have our answer this evening when we milk. I am totally believing that we will be back in production!

Such Is Farm Life

As spring comes each year, we are filled with renewed hope for the coming year. How many kids will we have? How many will be does? How many bucks? How will the baby chicks do?

Once the kids start coming and the baby chicks arrive, it gets pretty hectic. We are very goat friendly here. I do not seperate the kids from their mothers. I just love the bond that forms between the mother and the kid. We watch mother and daughter stay together until the next year, when a new kid arrives. Our girls are very protected and pampered. This system has worked well, until this year. Our goat “families”are very happy, but the fact that we do not ever seperate the kids at birth, is costing us dearly. Our goats are extremely happy, but milk production has bottomed out. We are taking steps to correct this problem. We are changing feed rations, adding some probiotics, increasing their minerals and putting them back on the electric milker. Keep your fingers crossed that all this helps as we really need their rich milk of our girls. It is a main ingredient in our soaps and lotions.

We will keep you all updated on the progress in milk production.

Most Excellent News

Yesyerday I received a call, a call I’ve been waiting for. Two years ago I applied to the Arkansas Craft Guild. At that time, we were making water based soap and had a much smaller product line. Since that time, we have changed to Goat’s milk based soap and added lotion, lip balm, bug banisher, and lotion bars. We have strived to improve our line and create a product that nourishes and replenishes your skin. This year I reapplied to the guild. Well, the answer came in that call yesterday. We have been accepted!

New Arrival

On Thursday April 19. 2012 at 12:11 pm, we were blessed with a brand new grandson. He was 8 lbs. 15 oz., 22″ long. Waylon Austin Nathaniel Pope is perfect. This is first for all of us. We are all really good withdealing with critters, not so sure how we will do with babies. At this point everybody is home from the hospital and recuperating very well.  It just amazes me how that little tiny bundle can require so much of our energy. But oh what fun!

Pretty Quiet Week

It’s been about a week since our little breech baby ws born. Life is good on the farm. Our girl is doing well. We are going to call her Stormy’s Star in honor of those that helped birth her. We are expecting another birth anytime now. At present we have six little kids on the ground and they are such a pleasure to watch.

With a return to normalcy, we have been able to do a little catch up. The goat house expansion is moving along. The inside walls are framed. We have the tyvek up and outside siding installed. Most of the electric is in. It is about ready to have insulation put in.

The tomatoes have taken over the greenhouse and we are selling them as fast as we can. If you need any heirloom tomatoes, let me know.

We got some of our tomatoes in the ground and also some of our favorite long beans.these beans grow in red and green andreach lengths of up to thirty inches. They are very meaty. It doesn’t take many to make a meal. Our strawberries are looking great for first year plants. Most of the trees in the orchard have set fruit. Hopefully we will be harvesting lots of tree ripened fruit this summer.

Any day our first grandbaby will arrive. This is indeed a time of new birth and beginnings.

Whew! Got through this one.

Yesterday afternoon was a very eventful time at the farm. Upon arriving home a little early, I immediately checked the goats as one of the girls was two days past due. When I got to the goat yard, I noticed that Zoe was in the birthing process. I noticed a nose and a foot were out,so I figured that the birth would be finished in a few minutes, so I went about letting the chickens out and checking horses. In about ten minutes and there was no progress, it was then that it dawned on me that we only had one foot out and this is not good.that means on leg was back and the shoulder was holding the birth process up. Luckily our daughter is a vet, so this was my first call. According to her, what needed to be done was to push the kid back in rotate her and then redeliver her.I tried as hard as I could, but I just didn’t have the strength to do it. I called my husband, he was thirty minutes out. I decided to call my farmer friend Eddie, he is only about three mile away. At this point, the only thing I could do was to try to keep our baby breathing. With each contraction I put my hand in and kept her neck from being constricted. By now both the mother and the kid were in distress. It seemed like an hour till Eddie arrived, but it was only a few short minutes. Once he arrived, we got my daughter back on the phone. Eddie had his daughter in law with him, she has really small hands, just what we needed.Chris started talking us through the process of trying to save two lives. We struggled with trying to push the kid back in. Mother struggled with contractions and trying to push. Chris was trying to prepare us for the likelihood that we would at least loose the kid and maybe the mother. By now our baby is very purple and is showing signs of edema. Mother collapses to the ground. Chris says it is ” highly unlikely” that we will be able to deliver this kid, and we may loose both of them.  Amazingly, Eddie says ” I like highly unlikely.” he gets the kid to turn just a touch, maneuvers the shoulder and gives a tug, we have a birth. Our little doe is here, but she is purple and very stressed. Mother is pretty stressed and has suffered some intense trauma. But both are alive. In just a few minutes, mom starts to clean the kid up. We are astonished at how well they seem to be doing. Fast forward thirty minutes, kid is standing, trying to nurse and mom is doing remarkably well. According to my daughter, the vet the next twenty four hours are critical. We checked them several times through the night. Our mother is doing well considering what she’s been through. She has lots of swelling and discharge. Our little girl has some swelling and discoloration. By this morning both our mother and kid are a bit more lively. I spent the day checking on her about every hour. By late afternoon mother is eating hay and baby is playing in the yard. For all intensive purposes we are out of the woods. On last check tonight and our little girl is nursing and mom is calm!

Post Spring Break

Spring Break has come and gone. The baby chicks are really growing. They are now in the big cage and loving the extra room to flex their wings. This is the time when they are slowly introduced to the older and wiser hens. In just a few weeks time the chicks will be out running with the big girls. Since we have added these little gems to our flock, we have decided that the girls are going to need more room to play. We expanded their running area to about double of the previous size. Egg production has been great and they girls are definatly earning their keep.

We also delighted to announce that so far this spring we have had two sets of twins and a single birth in our goat heard. We are very happy with our four little does and one little buck. There are more to come. One of our does should deliver any day. The other two within the next month. We are also building an addition to the goat house. This will allow us to be able to milk, pour and clean up much easier. This will just about double our working space.  On the outside, the goat yard has been expanded and we have cut the excess trees out. Our son came over and chipped up the wood. Now I have lots of wood paths.

Besides these new additions, we have added to our line. We are now making several flavors of lip balm. It is made with beeswax, almond, olive, rice bran, flavoring oils and stevia. This is a totally natural balm. We do have an unflavored version wit just a touch of honey.  Our other addition is a Bug Banisher bar. It is made with beeswax, olive and coconut oil. The bar has citronella , sage and lemongrass oils.

Come and see us at Argenta Farmer’s Market this Saturday for a special Easter Market.