Saturday, October 10, 2009

Milking Mabel....

I know, I know.......First it was goats, then cats, then goats and cats, then cows, then goats, cats and cows, etc, etc....

Now it's MABEL.

She is "taming" down nicely - so far. The first night, she wouldn't get within 20 feet of us - even with food. The worst part about it was, she wouldn't go into the barn. That was two short days ago.

Now, I can't get her OUT of the barn! She has decided that being out of the cold wind is nice, after all.

Trouble is, I think the goats are convinced that Mabel eats goats for lunch. They scatter when she gets close (except when there is food involved...).

Food fight

If you look close, you can see the head of "Tiny" our "runt" goat. He's right in there, under Mabel's chin, getting his share of food. The other goats keep their distance. I think he gets away with it because he is so small, Mabel can't see him.

He needs to be careful though -- one sneeze in his direction, and he'd go flying.

Or worse - Mabel could INHALE in his direction and that would be the last we ever saw of Tiny.....

These poor critters seem to get trapped in the barn at least twice a day. They ARE learning to clear the area when it is time for Mabel to mosey into the stanchion, though. At first, the goats would run ahead of Mabel, thinking that they'd get to her food first.

They soon realized that was a BAD idea....


Now, they see her heading down the aisle and go the OPPOSITE way so they don't get run over.

She is still a bit "shy", but she has actually been waiting to get into the stanchion when it's time. She keeps a watchful eye on where I am at, but the draw of food is more then her shyness.

Supper At The Stanchion

Once in the stanchion, she is ok (for the most part) at letting me touch her. I've tried milking her, but she doesn't want to "let down" completely yet. She is getting better every time, though. She has actually started to follow me around when I'm out there.

This morning, she even allowed me to rub her nose WITHOUT FOOD. Maybe in a few days, she will get "comfortable" with me.

Of course, the goats are irritated now.

The cats think of me as their "hero" because we gave them the milk from the first three milkings. It wasn't much, but enough for the cats to start worshiping me.

I (almost) hate to, but I'm gonna have to bring them back down to earth REAL soon.

This is another project I'm working on -

Tank Heater

It is a "Wood Fired Stock Tank Heater". I found this older propane tank in with a scrap pile on a nearby farmstead. It had been welded on, had brackets added, and had a couple of holes in it's hide.

I figured that it would be perfect for a tank heater. A neighbor uses one similar (but square), and it seems to work rather well. You just need to be sure an add wood every day. It doesn't take much, though, it's designed to "smoulder" the wood, not burn it.

I DO know that it will be a LOT cheaper then the electric one we used the last two years.

So far, there was a thin layer of ice on the smaller tank this morning, but nothing on the larger one. The way I have it set up, the big tank is not out in the open, nor "broadside" to the wind. HOPEFULLY this will help keep it a LITTLE warmer, anyhow.

We'll see how it works this winter....

It's 27° and light snow right now.....

1 comment:

  1. Mabel sure has a pretty face. I think most Jerseys do.

    Happy Anniversary

    Mom and Dad


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