Tuesday, May 31, 2011

GOT MILK?

This week we began milking Boomer...separating her kids from her at night for about 12hrs.  About 5:30a she begins calling out to us saying "Hey WAKE UP, I'm HONGRY and so are my BABIES and I am gonna be annoying until you wake up!"  This is Boomer's very loud opinion...did we say she is also known as Oprah?!  ;) Boomer surprised us all when we milked her officially for the first time...she produced just over 1.25lbs of milk this was about an 8hr or 9hr with hold from the kids.  That was AWESOME...or so we thought...this morning day numero dos she was kept from the kids for 12hrs overnight and her milk weighed in at 1.85lbs!!! For those of you who would like the pounds translation into fluid measurement equivalents...2lbs of milk is approx. 1qt or 32oz of milk. So in reference to those numbers Boomer is doing amazing!

As the babies are rehomed and begin the process of weaning, we will start milking twice a day and at her peak we are hoping to get at least 1.5qts to 2qts per day.  We are pretty excited to see how her udders develop over the next few months and even more excited to see how Clarice's udders will develop once she is old enough to kid.



These pictures are from this mornings milking...she has great front attachment and nice smooth supple dairy skin, her teats are slowly elongating as her kids continue to suckle.  (takes me about 7mins to milk her dry)





Anyone who wants to come on down we could always use some "farmhand" work in trade for playing with some baby goats ;)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Swimming chicken?!

Woke up this morning to Boomer bleating out around 6:15am, a bit earlier than usual.  So I put on some clothes an slipped on some shoes to see what the ruckus was about.  I figured she was letting us know that she was hungry but to my surprise she was trying to let us know that there was a chicken in the water trough and that this was unacceptable!

Poor Sterling was floating and shivering the the water.  We have no idea how long she was floating out there but we do know that she was water logged and and she was EXHAUSTED...this was a semi-emergency situation.  We brought her in toweled and used a blow dryer to get her warm.

Now she was hanging out in our southeast facing bathroom (the warmest room in the house) with a heating pad to get her temperature back to normal.  As we were drying her off we noticed she was "hiccuping" and had some water come up.  Keeping a close eye on her today to make sure it doesn't progress into pneumonia and I will be grabbing some antibiotics from work just in case.

We also gave her a little maple syrup to get her glucose stores back up, as she probably used them all up during her struggle.

When we speak out to her she looks up and blinks at us...I think she is going to be okay.

More info will be posted on chicken anatomy and what to do in these situations.

Here's to hope!

I will say this she looked mighty funny all soaking wet!

Monday, May 23, 2011

WMRA: Seven Myths about Urban Chickens (2011-05-20)

WMRA: Seven Myths about Urban Chickens (2011-05-20)

This wonderful NPR special about keeping Urban Chickens...take a listen and be informed!

Thanks for supporting us at Wish We Had Acres Farm!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spare Change...



Finally our second pregnant doe Pocket Change aka Pookie kidded around 1:30am Saturday May 21. We suspected that Pookie would kid within 24 hrs as her mucus plug was released earlier that afternoon. We waited in anticipation all day checking in on her almost every hour to see if any progress had been made...

Nothing on Friday but we were still hopeful. We decided to hit the sack around midnight, leaving the backdoor open so we could hear any commotion. About 1:30am Champ (our ol' beagle/basset mutt) jumped off the bed and began barking at something, it was early and I summoned him back to bed and about 10 mins later he jumped back off the bed and began barking. At that moment the birds roosting in our neighbors ficus tree all took off in a startle and at that moment I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I grabbed my head lamp and a flashlight and made a pass around the yard...to my surprise there were two little kids on the ground already and momma was doing her due diligence and cleaning them up.

I woke Laura up, grabbed her camera and ran out to hopefully catch any more births (we were guessing she would have between 3-5 kids due to the fact she was packing some heavy freight in her loins) We made it out to the pen just in time to catch the last 2 births. Ms. Pookie was now a proud mama to 3 bucklings and 1 doeling.

A proud sister was very interested in the birthing process she was awake and alert checking out everything! She was climbing on us, climbing on Pookie, sniffing the new kids...all the while her brothers were sleeping in the igloo...I must say Clarice is going to be an awesome addition to the herd and a great future mama.

As all this was happening our other mama (Boomer) wanted to be queen mom she was very "opinionated" during the whole birthing process and we were afraid of waking the neighbors...fortunately it was a Friday night ;) party in the pen! She was so vocal we decided to deem her "Oprah" I was busy quieting her down and Laura was catching everything on film the best she could in the dark. For about 3 hours Boomer was calling out to Pookie's babies trying to get them to come to her for feeding, this resulted in moving Boomer and her 3 kids to the chicken side of the run and installing some shade cloth over the fence to prevent her from seeing Pookie's new kids. Finally we gave up on trying to keep her 'udderly' quiet and went to be for we had work and class early in the morning.

Pictures of the kids from the night they were born will be posted soon but here are some impromptu portraits of the kids just over 24hrs old. (in order of birth buckling, doeling, buckling, buckling)



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

BOOMER BABIES ARE ON THE GROUND!


Well it's been quite awhile since we last posted...firstly we moved to a new location in downtown central Phoenix. The lot is just shy of a quarter acre. We moved into a house adjacent to a condo community and some of them loved it and some hated it...which of course made our lives a living hell for awhile. In an effort to accommodate their aesthetic we built a new and improved chicken coop, installed several raised bed gardens and with the additional room we decided to expand our herd. After 4 months of trying to appease our neighbors so we could keep our chickens, the 2 neighbors that lived within 80ft of our coop signed the paperwork for the city allowing us to keep our chickens.

In the waiting period, we purchased 2 pregnant does from Lil' Roughnecks based in Mesa, AZ back in February. Our 2 new does are named Boomer and Pocket Change aka Pookie.

On May 3rd, 2011 Boomer gave birth to 3 kids surprising us all for she is a first freshener and did not show very big. She had 2 bucklings and a doe. We were there for the birth and just happened to catch it while we were checking for eggs to complete a dozen for a friend. Dave noticed the water breaking and immediately began to inform Laura and our neighbor Tracy who is also a student midwife. (How often does someone have access to a midwife for a goat kidding!)

Boomer's water broke and here came the first kid...she was breached but was lucky to have no real problems kidding the first one. To our amazement a little brown and white doe emerged from the placenta.

About 30 mins later the pushing resumed and this time a little black and white buck poked his head and a foot from her vagina, due to the positioning Boomer need a little help and them bam there he came!

Mom was busy cleaning these two little ones and we were enjoying their new little lives helping mom clean up and the after birth or so we thought began to pass. Little did we know it was a third kid. Our midwife Tracy was a bit concerned for she had never seen the amniotic sac be birthed intact therefore she was not convinced Boomer was done having kids. As she was examining what we thought was the afterbirth was another jet black kid. He was soon birthed with no complications.

Boomer surprised us with 3 beautiful kids and we thought she was only going to have one at most two!

It has been quite the adventure here at Wish We Had Acres!

The gift of life is amazing and we never seem to tire of it!

So if you're in town give us a buzz and we can give you a tour of our lovely place.

Until next post!

TaTa for now!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

by the way... this is how a goat smiles

video

spring is in the air!

video
2 of our new little faces peering down at you. Growing fast and newly debudded, our 3 little ones are fast approaching 2 weeks old already! One girl and two boys. Boomer is the proud new mom and we hope Pockets will birth soon... she looks ready to burst.