In June of 2016 my boyfriend and I bought a 10 acre farm. Our plan was to start a farm and become as self sufficient as possible. Growing a garden, raising animals….living the country life.
In these few shorts month we’ve realized that its not nearly as simplistic and relaxing as we thought. So many highs and so many lows
About 2 weeks ago we found a place that holds an animal auction every Sunday. It’s small farm animals like ducks, chickens, geese, goats and occasionally alpacas. They also auction off eggs for eating and eggs for hatching. Plus they auction off various supplies like incubators, fence posts, animal cages, small farm equipment. It just really cool to see everything and bidding was fun. We left with a male goat, a rooster, 2 chickens and several chicks! Can’t wait to go back this Sunday to buy more birds.
So being originally from Ohio, I don’t really feel like NC has a winter. But this weekend we got about an inch of snow and ice. Everything shut down for the weekend and it was actually kinda relaxing. The house dogs got to experience snow for the first time. They seemed to love it. The goats and horse stayed in the barn for the most part just pigging out on hay. Even our guineas tolerated the cold weather just fine.
Our pond froze over so we watched the geese walking on it. Sadly when it started to thaw, one of the females slipped under the ice and drowned.
But now everyone is enjoying the thaw and the warm weather coming back. I’m sure our horse crystal will be rolling in the mud soon.
We bought 2 new white goats to add to our herd. One was dumbledore, a buck and his friend Gandalf. We had them for two days. I walked outside one morning and see Gandalf laying on the ground, dead. Something had crushed his face and left a huge 3.5-4inch paw print. Dumbledore had also been hurt. We think that whatever it was grabbed Dumby first and that his friend Gandalf, who had horns, rammed into the animal to save dumby. All our other goats had run away.
We nursed Dumby back to health. Almost 2 months went by. Everything seemed safe and the attack was mostly forgotten. Then we get up one morning. It was november 12 actually. I know this cause it was my birthday. Dumby is out of his pasture laying next to the fence letting my dog lick him. Normally Dumby runs from my dog. The other goats were all in the front yard again. Dumby’s face had deep puncture wounds again. And claw marks on his back hindquarter.
After the previous attack we had bought a LGD, Brie the great pyrenese. We’re assuming her barking and running at the animals is probably what saved Dumby.
We tried for a week to nurse him back to health. Cleaned his wounds. Kept him in the house. Got him pain meds and antibiotics. Tried various food items to get him to eat. We thought he was gonna make it. Then he took a turn for the worse. Stopped trying to eat. Stopped pooping. Stopped even being willing to stand up. Rushed him to the vet saturday night and tried a few last things. We took him back home. Wrapped him a blanket and put him in the warmest room of the house hoping he’d make it thru the night. He didnt.
After fighting for a week, Dumby finally gave up. Now our mission is to catch and kill whatever killed him. All we know is that it was a cat. Either a massive bobcat. Or a cougar. Even tho those aren’t supposed to be here.
We started off with 4 original goats. While we plan to raise meat goats in the future, these 4 were gotten mainly just to eat some of the pasture and keep the weeds at bay. They all have their own unique personalities. They’ve learned how to jump on cars, they get out of the pasture and then run around crying cause they’re separated from the others and cant get back in on their own. They try to climb fences that aren’t meant to be climbed. Anytime we feed other animals, they think the food is for them. They now like car rides and will jump in the car if you leave the door open too long. From watching our livestock dog Brie, they’ve figured out how to open the gate and leave the pasture to come into the front yard and then jump on the cars. All of them have gotten their horns stuck in the fencing at least once but they seem to learn so its not a usual issue.
Noggin– the friendliest of the goats. Loves to climb on cars and be petted. Will coming running when you call him or whenever he sees you. Likes to also push his head against your leg like he’s playing some kind of goat game.
First car ride with Noggin
Ruby – Most skittish. Still doesnt like to be touched or petted that much. Loves to jump on cars and is always headbutting the others
Ruby on top of my car with Noggin trying to eat dog food
Pockets – Super curious about everything. He’ll just come up to you and stare at you waiting for you to pet him. Almost dog like. Loves to jump from car to car
Bilbo – A little shyer. Happy to spend his time just eating. Sometimes gets so preoccupied eating that he doesnt realize the group has moved on until they’re far away and then he panics and runs around crying till he finds them again.
First thanksgiving in the new house. Just like most of our farm life, thanksgiving had its up and downs. I spent all day making food. We had everything. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, greenbean casseroles, rolls….I was pretty excited to cook everything successfully since lou normally does the cooking. Friends that were supposed to come by and join us cancelled at the last minute which put a bit of a damper on things. We also had to bury our goat Dumbledore. His story is another post. But it put a damper on the day as well….We ended the night hitting up the local bar which has become like a second home to us. Full of friendly and familiar faces. It was nice to be around other people. It was a good end to the day. Now that thanksgiving is over, its a good time to reflect on things to be thankful for…
I’m thankful for….
- This house and property
- My dog apollo who always will cuddle with me when I’m sad
- The goats who are aggravating and funny
- Brie who defends the goats
- The horses
- Lou for making all of this stuff possible