Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!!

For my last post of 2017 I want to share pictures of some of the animals that I took today.  It was so COLD!!!  All of my exposed skin was hurting bad, so I didn't stay outside for very long.  That means I wasn't able to get pictures of everybody, but I got as many as I could.  I think giving an update on how everyone is doing is a good enough way to send off 2017.  This year wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible either.  There were injuries, illnesses, STRESS, loss, etc. but nothing catastrophic happened... no humans died, I wasn't seriously injured or sick, I have a job even if it is 90% of my stress load, etc.  Some good things happened too, such as getting a new car, new goats, Jackal lost quite a bit of weight on his diet, etc. 

The good news is I'm content right now.  The job is getting slowly better bit by bit with new management.  I've gotten back into my workout plan and I'm losing weight and feeling a bit better in general.  I'm super excited about my pregnant goats.  My horse is healthy and happy again.  I'm looking forward to some things about the new year (mainly baby goats), but I don't really plan on making any goals or resolutions.  I have loose ideas about what I want to do, but I don't want to set anything in stone because it seems like when I do, something happens to ruin my plans.  I've always been the type of person who needed to control every little detail, plan everything, etc. but I'm starting to decide I prefer to just wing it with most things.  There's less expectation and less disappointment. The most fun I've had at the end of this year was all spontaneous stuff that wasn't planned, so I'm just going to keep doing that for now.

Chrome getting injured and then getting white line was such a huge blow this year.  It derailed all of my plans and frankly left me pretty depressed.  He's always been so healthy that it was just unexpected and very disappointing.  After dealing with that and the deaths of some of my animals this year I just want to enjoy everyone and everything as they are now... in the moment... because life is short and I don't want to miss anything by always dreaming about what could be instead of appreciating what I have.

I guess it goes back to that saying I keep seeing on the internet...

So without any further rambling here are some pictures of my beautiful animals who bring me so much joy on a daily basis.  I love them all!  My family, friends and pets are what I feel are important and that's what I'm going to focus on enjoying and appreciating in 2018.  So happy new year everyone!!  I hope you all are excited about the new year and that it is kind and generous to you!  Enjoy the pictures.

P.S. I'm going to group pictures of each animal together so I can talk about them a bit instead of just posting them in the order I took them.

First up, Jasper.

He is such a chunk!  I love this picture!

I really like this one too even though it's a bit blurry.
A bunch of them are blurry... I really need a new camera...

Jasper is doing great!  He gained all of his weight back from breeding season (as you can see above). He is getting along great with his two sons.  He is so gentle with them.  It is adorable watching them play together.  A two hundred pound buck gently headbutting with his sons who are only a quarter of his size/weight.  So adorable.  I'm very pleased that we got so lucky with Jasper.  He is a kind, respectful, friendly (downright cuddly) buck and he's grown up really well.  He may not be a purebred Boer, but he still turned out really nice.  I'm very proud of him for keeping his friendly temperament during rut and for how well he took to his leash training.  I'm so looking forward to seeing his kids next year!

Speaking of kids, I only got one picture of Taz and none of Champ.  We've been letting them loose in the yard to eat acorns and they weren't cooperating for pictures.  They are both looking good and getting so big.  I can see so much of Jasper in them!!  Especially Champ.  He's like a carbon copy!  Both boys are very sweet and love attention. 

Next up is Coral.

 She is such a pig with the food and is getting fat... not just pregnant fat lol.

 I completely by accident got two pictures of her sticking her tongue out!
She was licking the protein bucket hehe.

 Look at the belly!!  She is due mid February.

Coral is doing fantastic!  She will eat out of our hands, will come into the barn even if we're in there and hubby even steals opportunities to pet her while she's eating.  She still shies away from touch and runs out of the barn, but then turns around and comes right back inside.  I can't believe how far she has come this year.  I think she will always be skittish, but I would officially not call her feral anymore.  This was such an accomplishment and I owe it to hubby who put in all the work with her while I was working so much overtime.  I'm very happy with how things turned out with her, because if she had stayed feral and kept causing us injuries we were going to have to rehome her.  I'm very thankful that she can stay!

Mother and daughter.  Amethyst is getting so big!  They are sharing the protein bucket.

Speaking of Amethyst, she is next!

Love this picture!  Her blue eyes can be spooky sometimes hehe.

Amethyst would not cooperate for pictures!  Either she was walking, or standing in the sun which reflects and washes her out, or she would be under my feet or she would have her back to me.  I only managed the above pictures.  Oh well.  Any picture is better than no pictures of my pretty girl.  Amethyst is so weird.  Some days she's like her mom and doesn't want anything to do with humans and other days she practically crawls in our laps like when she was a baby.  Such a teenage girl! ;)  She is SO fluffy and soft!!  I can't believe how thick of a winter coat she has.  She is covered in soft cashmere, but you can't see it because she's white.  She has even grown a little beard!!  It's so cute.  If you click on the above pictures you may be able to see it.  Oh and I forgot to mention she is over seventy pounds now.  My baby girl is growing up! 

Next up with Big Mamma.

 This is her favorite thing!  Horn scratches.  She positions her head under our hands.

 She is so wide!  Such a chunky, traditional Boer.
So funny because this looks identical to the previous picture just without hubby's hand lol.

This is blurry but I want to share because it shows how much weight she's lost on her diet.  She has a figure finally!  I wish I had a good before picture....

Big Mama is such a sweet, beautiful girl.  For those who may not know she was very overweight when we got her, so she's been on a diet.  She's lost quite a bit of weight and is looking really good!  Sadly she didn't get pregnant (not uncommon for overweight goats).  We are going to keep her on a diet and keep getting her deficiencies treated (copper/selenium) and then in the spring we are going to treat her cystic ovaries and try again to get her pregnant for fall kids.  I really hope we can get her pregnant.  She is a really nice example of a purebred Boer doe.  I think she can add a lot of improvements to our herd.  I really want to give her a new name because I don't like the one she has, but hubby doesn't want to because she seems to know her name.  Oh well.  Fingers crossed the treatments work and she gets pregnant in the spring!

Next up, LeeAnn!

 Her face is always washed out in sunny pictures.
This is such an awkward angle!

Shady pictures are better.  She still has paint on her back, probably because her fur was so thick already during breeding season (that whole copper deficiency thing).

Look at that belly!  I'm 99% sure she's pregnant, but I haven't tested her yet.

Finally got a decent shot of her.  Just wish she'd looked at the camera.

LeeAnn is looking so good!  Her weight is perfect and her coat looks much better.  I think the copper has helped a lot.  I'm still so curious what breed she is.  I know she has Boer in her, but we weren't sure what else.  I thought maybe Nubian, but after a lot of research I'm fairly sure she is part Kiko.  I found some pictures of other Boer/Kikos on the internet that look exactly like her.  Her horns, her face, her color, her build, it all looks like a Boer/Kiko cross.  Regardless, it doesn't really matter since none of our Boers are registered.  4H goats don't have to be registered.  She is so, so sweet too. And loud lol!  I can't wait to see her kids next year.  I think she will make a really good cross with Jasper, so I think their kids are going to be really nice. 

I only got one picture of Dottie and it's a bit awkward because seconds before this shot she was scratching her neck with her back hoof.  Oh well.  Dottie is still the roughest looking one of the new bunch, but that's probably due to her age.  We are still working on her copper/selenium deficiencies.  She also didn't get pregnant, which isn't unusual for an older doe with poor nutrition (her old owners weren't neglectful, just inexperienced), but I'm suspecting cystic ovaries with her as well.  We are going to get her checked out and if she does we will treat her at the same time as Big Mama this spring.  Dottie is still a little skittish, but I think it's more of a "you don't pet me unless I say you can" rather than a scared kind of skittish.  She is the boss of the entire herd and spends most of her time telling everyone what to do (which is why I only managed one picture).  She will come over for petting when she wants to, but it's not often.

Next up is Garnet.

I only got one picture of Garnet because she wouldn't come out of the barn.  It was close to feeding time and she is a little piggie.  She is HUGE!!  You can't tell in this picture but she looks like she's carrying three or four kids.  She's not even due until mid February.  Garnet is doing well.  She's her usual standoffish self most of the time, but she's been cuddly at other times.  You can tell the pregnancy hormones are kicking in hehe.

Now Topaz.

Hiding from the wind up against the wall while getting a drink.  
It was below freezing and windy all day!

Chewing her cud.  You can see the huge wad of cud in her cheek hehe.

Topaz is doing great as well.  I know it's not right to choose favorites (or does that only apply for human kids??), but Topaz is definitely one of my favorites.  I can't explain how insanely sweet and friendly she is.  I need to get a video one of these days.  She always comes to me when I'm out in the pasture and she will stand for hours letting you pet her if you will.  I can pet her everywhere, her ears, her whole face, her horns, etc.  Nothing bothers her.  Most goats don't like their faces/horns/ears messed with, but she doesn't care.  I love this girl.  She may not be the greatest example of a percentage Boer since she's so small and dainty, but her temperament more than makes up for it. 

Next is Andesine.

I love her belly spot.  Notice her color? Know what the white frosting on her back is? Cashmere!!!  She has grown such a thick coat of cashmere this winter.  It's so soft and I love the frosted look hehe.

 Here is a closer picture of her cashmere.  It gives her a dorsal stripe!

Look at that precious face!!  

I was looking at baby picture of her sire Jasper and they have the exact same shaped face!

I LOVE her derpy expressions!!

Andesine is doing great too.  She went through a shy stage, but now she's an absolute love bug!  She loves attention and cuddles.  Last time we weighed her she was already fifty pounds.  She is going to be a super chunky girl when she's grown.  She has such a naturally wide stance.  A lot of goats are very, very narrow, almost knock kneed (a conformation fault), but Andi isn't going to have that problem hehe.  She's obviously not pregnant because she's a baby.  Depending on how big she gets she may get bred in the spring, but we will see.

Next is Tanzanite.

I love my sweet Tanzy!!

 Tanzy is so much like her mom.  She is beautiful, dainty and so sweet!  I adore her.  I don't know what else to say about her.  Not much is going on with her.  She's just a sweet baby who loves attention.  She's obviously not pregnant either and may not be big enough to breed in the spring.  We shall see.

Next up is Daniel!

 I love this guy!

 Daniel is doing fantastic!!  He is very laid back, gentle, friendly and easy to handle.  You would never guess he was a buck.  Even during breeding season he was so polite to humans and the does.  A total gentleman.  We take him out of the barn to eat by himself because he can't eat what the does are eating.  He comes out of the barn, eats his food, asks for some petting and attention, tries to chew on fingers and then just chills out quietly while the does eat.  When they are done some days he walks right back into the barn and other times hubby has to push him back in because he locks up and doesn't want to go back in.  He's so cute!!  He has put a lot of weight back on after breeding season.  He probably has a little bit to go, but he still looks good right now. 

 Now Georgia.

Oops I thought I got more pictures of her, but I guess not.  After we put Daniel in with Georgia we never saw her come back into heat and never saw any crayon on her from the marking harness, so there is a possibility that the pregnancy test was a false negative.  We can't be one hundred percent sure until she gives birth because goats are sneaky.  She could have silent heats and Daniel could have bred her after the marking harness crayon ran out, so there are no guarantees.  If she didn't come back in heat that would mean she is pregnant with Diego (Apatite's sire).  That would be really good news because it means all of our Myotonic kids next year won't be related, but even if she has Daniel kids that's fine too.  We won't know until she gives birth.  If she's pregnant by Diego she is due mid  January.  If she's pregnant by Daniel the earliest she could give birth is the end of March, so it's far enough apart we will know which one is the sire.  It's just a waiting game at this point.

Last goat but not the least, Zephyr!

Zephyr is doing really well.  She is due toward the end of January.  Since she's gotten used to us she is the sweetest Myotonic we have.  She always comes up to me when I go into the pasture.  She loves attention and she loves chewing on fingers, but she bites hard!  She doesn't mean to, but ouch.  She is doing well and I'm so excited to see her kids soon.  I can't wait!!

The only cat I managed to get pictures of was Pharaoh. 

 He is so gorgeous!!  He is getting slowly friendlier.  He is so weird, because he loves to be pet but he doesn't like people reaching toward him... that makes it hard to pet him.  So what he does is walk in front of us and then falls over on his side.  You have to keep walking until you get in petting range and then squat down and try to pet him.  Sometimes he runs away and sometimes he lets you pet him.  He's a very finicky cat.  He hates being picked up.  It's weird that he's that way because all of the other cats are super friendly and love being petted.  I guess I just didn't socialize him enough.  I'm allergic to cats so I can't cuddle them.  I just pet them and then go wash my hands, so that makes it hard to socialize them and that's why I can't keep them inside, although we do let OrangeJello come in at night during the winter, but he has to stay in a crate. 

I don't have any current pictures of OrangeJello, but he's doing well.  I think he's older than we originally thought and he doesn't do well with very cold temperatures so that's why we bring him in at night.  Also ever since neutering him he has turned into a wuss.  Emerald (the kittens' mother) bullies him!!  That's such a turn around from before when OrangeJello was the bully!! Cats!  Shadow is doing well.  She's a bit of a loner as far as the other cats are concerned, but she loves humans.  She seems to have recovered completely from her illness, so that makes me happy.

All of the other animals are doing well.  I'll update about the horses on their blog and I have a Jack (squirrel) update that I'll be posting on this blog soon. 

Well I guess that's all for now.  Sorry this turned into such a loooooong update.  It's been a while.  I hope you all have an amazing New Year!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cats! Oh and dogs too!

I got a bunch of pictures of the cats last weekend.  They are annoyingly blurry, but I still like them.  I seriously need to save up for a nice camera.  I miss taking nice crisp, clear shots.

The only picture I got of Shadow.  She didn't feel like joining the fray today I guess.

I actually managed to get some decent pictures of Pharaoh for a change! He's very difficult to photograph because he never stops moving and he blends in to all of the leaves.

 I LOVE his patterns!  Isn't he gorgeous??

 At one point he was surrounded by goats hehe.

 Finally he and his mom Emerald started playing.  They love to play!

 Emerald, more often known as Emi.

 He walks over to her, headbutts her and flops over next to her.

 Then she grabs him by the neck, chews on him a bit and then starts grooming him.

 I love her green eyes.  That's why I called her Emerald.

 His expressions kill me!  She really does chew on him and he loves it!

 They played for a bit too.

He spent some time sitting around posing for me too.

 Isn't he gorgeous?

 That second picture is such a signature expression of his.

 He has his mom's eyes.

 I think he is the coolest looking cat I've ever owned.

OrangeJello can't be left out either!

Oh and I mentioned dogs.

Mac, my parent's dog. I think he turns fourteen this month.

Last but not least my sweet Jackal!  

Jackal's diet is going well and he's lost a lot of weight.  You can see how much slimmer his face and neck are.  He still has some to lose.  He also has several fatty tumors that worry me, but they aren't growing so I try not to think about it.  The vet says it's nothing to worry about.  I'm just glad he's losing weight and is more playful and energetic again.  Can you believe he turns ten years old on January 30th?????  Where has the time gone??