Monday, February 23, 2015

Winter Ice in Texas

Now if you've read my blog for any while you will already know that I grew up in the lush tropical jungle where ice was just something you really wanted to have in your glass of water. However, now living in Texas ice is something that falls from the sky about once or twice a year, usually at about the time when all the fruit trees have started to think that it's spring and the blossoms have begun to bloom.
At the exact moment, that is exactly what has happened in the area where I live. The schools have all shut down, there are very few cars on the road and everything is frozen.
Growing up in a jungle, I never really knew what to expect in a situation like this, but having lived here long enough I have come up with a few tips for keeping animals safe and well cared for even in an ice storm.
I consider the most important part keeping them warm, enough food and water they can actually drink (as opposed to a block of ice). The food part is pretty obvious and when it's cold they can warm up by having enough hay or food. Make sure they have plenty and it's edible.
Water part is also pretty self explanatory. The best option is to have heaters in your water tanks. If you are like me and haven't gotten that far yet then make sure you crack the ice enough for them to be able to get a drink. A lot of times animals won't drink as much if the water is cold. I like to give mine warm water to drink if possible and usually end up carrying about 20 buckets of hot water to thaw out their tanks. They do appreciate it and give me happy looks in reward for my slave labor.
The shelter is very important too especially if you have old animals, or young animals. Sometimes the really old or young can't regulate their body temperatures very well and if they are out in the cold wind or rain they are unable to get warm. A roof and 3 walls are adequate in most situations, depending on the animals.
Chickens sometimes get frost bite on their combs if they can't get warm. One way if you only have a few chickens is to put a thin layer of petroleum jelly on their combs to form a protective layer against the cold. Heat lamps also work to help keep the edge off the cold. Of course when using a heat lamp, make sure the animals can't actually touch it and that it can't be knocked down to cause a fire. Plenty of hay, straw, shavings or other bedding can also help keep the animals warm and they will appreciate and dry place to stand.
Of course always stock up on extra feed and hay before an oncoming storm system!

Hope this helps give you a few ideas to keep your animals safe and warm.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Song for you!

I can listen to this song over and over again so I thought I'd share it here for you to enjoy too!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Milk goats

I have been raising milk goats for a few years now. I started out with mutt goats and have since upgraded to registered Nubian goats. I'm no expert by any means but I've learned a few ways to help keep my milk goats happy and productive.

General health. If you want your goats to produce they must be healthy. Some of the ways to keep them healthy are just basic good husbandry including:

Provide adequate shelter from cold, sun and rain. Goats do not like to get wet. They think they are made of sugar and will melt. Also, if they have to stand in wet or mud they are prone to foot rot, which is a horrible problem to have. They need a dry and warm (or cool in summer) place to rest and chew their cud.

Provide adequate health care. This means make sure they are wormed regularly and properly. Do your research or ask a vet or other goat expert. Do fecal exams. Make sure they aren't carrying internal parasites. That is one of the most frequent and deadly problems in goat herds. They are chemical wormers and herbal wormers that can be used to keep them free from internal parasites. Sometimes they get external parasites like lice. Make sure you get rid of those too. If you want to go natural, use DE (diatomateous earth) or there are plenty or chemicals to put on the goats to get ride of the lice.
Another aspect of health care is keep their fee trimmed. Goats feet, like all hooved animals grow constantly. They need to be trimmed unless you have plenty of rocky ground for them to roam on. If their hooves get too long they start to curl up or under and cause pain for the goat when walking. If the goat is in pain they will not produce as much milk.
Another aspect is to give them their vaccinations. There are several different vaccines that can be given to goats and you can ask your vet for recommendations. If there are lots of skunks, opossums, or raccoon, then it's a good idea to vaccinate them at the minimum for rabies.

Provide them with adequate food. Goats are browsers not grazers. This means that they prefer the leafy hay. And in my observation of goats, the certainly don't eat everything. In fact they really are quite picky. If they don't like the hay, they just won't eat it. Same goes for the brand of grain! However for our purposes of milk goats here my suggestion is to feed your milking girls the best feed and hay possible. It's a good idea to feed alfalfa hay, or sudan hay or if you have a good source of another type of leafy hay then go for it. The feed you give them should contain plenty of oats. Provide a source of mineral and baking soda free choice is helpful to the goats digestive system. The milking girls are putting out a lot of energy producing that milk. If you don't feed them enough or correctly they will drop weight and production.

These are the basic suggestions for getting your milk goats to produce lots of milk. I'm sure there are more but these will get you started. Use common sense and take the best care possible and you will have happy goats that provide you with lots of excellent milk!

Secrets of the Rich

Just about a mile down the road from me is one of the most beautiful properties I've seen. It's on a quiet country road and has a pristine white board fence, a winding driveway up through the trees and at the top of the hill sits my dream house (sort of). It is white stone with that real rich looking decor and design. The barn is beautiful and it has the largest lake in the local area. I look longingly at it every time I happen to drive past and wonder what those people did to get that much money.

The other day I was piddling around looking at real estate for sale, dreaming of a larger farm than the current one, and happened to notice that this particular one I just described was for sale! I clicked on it and sure enough, for 7.2 million dollars you could purchase it. That got me to thinking even more about how in the world people accumulate that much money.
I'm sure I don't have all the answers but I might have a few ideas..
Here's what I came up with:
3 ways to accumulate tons of money:
First way is to inherit it. Unfortunately in my family I won't be inheriting any that I know of, at least not currently.
Second way is to have a great idea, market it, be unique and make lots of money on your idea, work hard and invest wisely. This is great but not everyone comes up with great ideas that are original. So.... back to the drawing board.
Third way is one that I personally am attempting and know lots of people who have made lots of money doing and that is network marketing. It this method you have the potential to earn unlimited amount of money. My advice is to find a reputable company with a solid background, do your research and find one that sells a product that you have seen works, that you like to use and that you are excited about. If you are excited about it and it is working for you then you will make money at it. I would love to share my network marketing company with you. It has allowed members of my family to lose a lot LOT of weight, look years younger and have tons more energy and is healthy for you. If you are interested check out this website and contact me for more info.