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Boonie Loonies

Mini Ranch

Mini Fainting Goats

Our Animals

We raise and breed Mini Fainting Goats and Mini Silky Fainting Goats.  We currently have 16 goats. We have some for sale throughout the year. Please contact me for infomation if you are interested in purchasing one.

About 2 years before we moved here I was scrolling on fb and saw this video of fainting goats going down slides. Right there I knew I needed some. When Christopher got home that night I informed him we needed a home that I could have my goats with lots of toys for them.

About 6 months after we moved in we found Mason. He was a mini silky fainting buck that needed a new home and I had just the place for him….with me.

We hopped in the truck with Papa and Grandma and set off on the 3 hour drive to go get Mason. The first night was a little rough. We quickly found out that he did NOT want to be alone. I had done my research so I knew he needed a mate.

The next couple of days we searched and searched for another fainter to be with Mason. On day 3 we found her.

Featured post

Great Pyrenees vs. Porcupine

I have never seen a Porcupine. Or the damage that they can do. Well I have now.

Those 2 little adventurists I have decided to go off for another wonder and must have came across a porcupine. I know this because when we got home this evening Belle had quills in her poor face and mouth. At first it looked like straw but I could just tell by looking in her eyes something wasn’t right.

I immediately called the vet and left a message. Christopher at least was home this time and he said he could do it himself so we tried. He pulled the first one and blood went everywhere. Nope I can’t do this. I called Mark, the neighbor, and he didn’t answer. I swear how did I make it to 40 without ever having to do these things.

I read everything I could find online and everything says go to the vet. Well sometimes this just isn’t an option. And there is no way that all the other guys run to the vet every time this happens. There must be a way!

I started to brush out Belle and get her calm so we could take a look and they were inside of her mouth oh it was awful. The Vet called back and said we could do this ourselves if we could. And at 8 at night and where we live that is the best option really. There is no way I’m going to be Man enough to do this.

Mark also called back and his sons were home if we needed some man power but of course Christopher would have none of that. We could do this. Crap. So we got down there and got the pliers out and started pulling them out of her face. All in all little Belle did pretty good. She let us for the most part work on her but those inside ones she just wasn’t having.

It took a little wrestling and some fighting and some crying but we sure did get it done. Here is what I now know. We did everything the exact opposite of what the internet told us.  We did call the Vet and I would recommend any vet to do this rather than Me. It was tough, not because we couldn’t physically do it but because it sucks to watch someone you love so much hurt over and over again at your own hand.

We cut the ends off of the quills. There is a little hallow part and that helps them to come out easier. Next we pushed them in just a hair before pulling them out. This lets them untwist and straighten themselves out before coming out. You have to make sure that you pull in the direction that they went in, or they won’t come out they will rip.

I had a hard time with this one also but you need some sturdy pliers to pull them out. Those suckers are really in there. The one part that Christopher and I disagree on is he yanked them out like it was his job. I pulled and let Belle pull away the rest. I’m not as firm handed as he is I guess. But both ways did work.

Well I hope no one ever reads this and has to use any of this info because they have had it happen to them.

Babs

It’s funny how my animals know more than I do. It’s like when nurses talk about the quiet days in a hospital. Something is gonna happen, but never sure what or when. This is the day I had yesterday. I had a visitor coming up to get some wood for crafting. And I had my friend Barbara here, it was her birthday, in the house. Of course Christopher wasn’t home.

I went outside to Becky into the corrals. Hope, the horse, was just chillen and all the goats were in the back quarter. I was collecting my eggs for the day while Becky was getting in her truck. The only instructions I gave her was Not to let Hope out. Being cold my chickens having been laying that many eggs but on this day I had 30 in my shirt all excited that the better weather was coming and there goes Hope right out of the gate.

Poor Becky is not an animal lover. She has been here multiple times but just doesn’t have that love for them. I tried running after Hope with my basket shirt not really doing any good so I went in the house dropped of my eggs and headed out back to see what was happening.

It didn’t take long to find Hope she was on the outside of the fence in the back quarter close to the goat. On a side note she loves those goats. She really enjoys being with them, and doesn’t like when they go to places she can’t. I walk down to where they all are with Lily by my side and they see me coming. My little herd headed back home before I even got there. While doing this I’m thinking How in Thee Hell am I gonna catch this horse.

Well come to find out I didn’t have to. The goats headed home and so did Hope. I never appreciated how beautiful a horse was until that moment. She started running free through the high grass and her hair was flowing behind her and I just kept thinking WOW!!

Hope took this little shortcut back to the corrals through the backyard under a tree so I took her same path. As I am thinking still how am I gonna catch this horse I see my little Clyde, the chicken, under the tree. Yes I talk to my animals and I was having a little conversation with her that went like this.

“Whatcha doin back here Clyde? This isn’t your normal spot. Oh I see you are eating something. Whatcha eatin? Oh Kaety, goat, you are behind the tree. Whatcha doing behind the tree? (Katie turns around OOOhhhhhhh afterbirth) OMG OMG Did you just have a baby. Where’s your baby, Where’s your baby?”

So yes the frantic switch is now turned on. I start looking all over for this baby. Now I know I am not the brightest of bulbs most days but there that baby was not 2 steps away from me, just laying in the grass in a little tiny pile. I pick it up immediately to find out if it is alive and it’s the tinyest little goat I have EVER seen. Even for Mini’s. She couldn’t be more than 2 pounds. I know I am suppose to stay calm, that they can all sense my craziness but at that point all hell Had broken loose.

At this moment Katie dropped the rest of her afterbirth. Which started a fight between Lily and Clyde to get to it first. Katie is just worried about her baby so it’s this 4 way mess with no one really knowing what’s going on. Lily of course won she snatched up the afterbirth and took off running. And Clyde gave up and went on with her day. I now have this little baby in my arms and Hope is still out.

I’m yelling for Barbara who I guess is in Birthday Bliss inside the house without a clue what is going on. Becky comes over and tries to help and I hand her this little baby. Poor Girl!

And that Hope. That girl just went right inside once the goats were in, then just stayed calm like no adventure had just happened. Since I had already disturbed the poor mama and baby I knew they needed to be in a jug so I could check things out better. I put the baby in the Jug and here comes Lily again to Protect her. I tried to lure Katie in with some grain which in turn caused the entire herd to come over. I picked up Kaety and carried her into the barn.

As soon as I put her down she ran away. OK so now I have to get baby back into the jug. Put her in an go pick up Kaety again. Finally get them both inside and all checked out. Made sure she was latching on good and that everything was as it should be and gave Kaety her afterbirth treats. My goodness what a day.

I headed back into the house and informed Barbara that we just had a new baby, as she had no clue what at all has been happening and since it was her birthday and since she was there I was naming her after her. Well these names just pop out of my mouth and Babs it now was. What a precious little princess she is. She is as healthy as can be and up and jumping around already.

Lily White

I was worried Belle was getting worked to hard with all this land and that she had to much to protect.  I sure do wish she could speak words to me and just give me all the answers. Well since she can’t I have to guess. I guessed she needed a friend. I started looking at rescues after all Belle came from another home and look how perfect she is.

I signed up for bunches of rescue places. Filled out the pages and pages of paperwork required and we didn’t even get one message back. I finally found out the answer why. Because we live on a big beautiful ranch. I guess we aren’t the best kind of home for a giant breed outside dog. Who Knew.

Livestock guarding dogs are very special and I have found 2 types of people that own them. The first type is like us who believe that their natural instincts should be encouraged and embraced. The other type believes everything We do is wrong. The 2nd type believes that these dogs should be house pets and it’s too dangerous for them to be outside. I can’t imagine having enough room in my home for them.

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The actual ad online for Lily

 

Well it just so happens that this 2nd type are the ones that run the rescue groups. Well Shit. I’ve done my research I swear. I know what I am doing at this point. I thought I had all the answers. Nope. But luckily, I see a post online. Great Pyrenees Anatolian Mix puppies. Next town over. $200! Well Hot Damn.

Well not only had we never owned a dog before we certainly hadn’t owned a puppy before. What in Thee hell were We gonna do with a puppy. Again back to the research. Well the internet says that Belle will take her under her wing and take care of her. Super. Sure let’s try that.

So I made the arrangements and we got Belle on her Leash (Horse Rope) and off we went to check out a new puppy. 1.2 seconds. That’s how long it took me to fall in love with Lily. And of course her name just popped right out of my mouth. She was coming home with us no doubt about it. Well we did all the right things. We got Belle out and let her decide who she liked. Good thing she chose Lily too.

lilly
Belle meeting Lily the first time

 

  What a special breed these creatures are. I was so nervous. I didn’t know what in the heck to do. We brought Lily to town with us that day and showed her around. I knew from all my research that she wouldn’t be little for long so we took the day to just enjoy her. When we got home we played for a while then just like the internet said left her with Belle to show her the ways.

And I’ll be if that internet wasn’t right. We put a collar on Lily but only used a leash for some leash training. She never had to actually have it on. We watched out the windows at night to see what all was happening and it was the cutest thing you ever did see. Lily had her place on the porch while Belle was out on patrol.

Lily was a couple weeks old when we heard the noise. She was starting to “work” and she had the cutest little growl and bark (squeak) you ever did hear. Then during the day she was wide awake while Belle resting and she just followed us around wherever we went. Then in the evening she went right back to her spot on the porch.

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Lily at 3 months old

 

At about 5 months or so Lily came into her own. She at this point had a full fledged bark that could scare the daylights right outta ya. She was starting to patrol with Belle for a while but now she was doing her own missions. Man they grow up quick, but she was still my baby.

One day we spent the day away from home working. When we got home both the girls were gone. I FREAKED out. I never understood all those crazy dog people on the local fb groups until this time. I was positive that someone has come by and stolen my dogs. I put out an all points on fb and everyone in a 100 miles radius were looking for our girls.

I was sick, I couldn’t sleep, I was a hot mess until the next morning when we got a call from another neighbors many miles away saying that they had found them. There was no way that these girls had ran that far that quick……..Right?

Fast forward another month or so and my little troublemakers run to the neighbors every chance they get. They are currently taking turns being on a leash until we can figure something better out. It’s only when they are together. But as soon as they are together Boom. Off they go.

Just yesterday I had them both off leash for a no more than a few minutes and I turn and where are they. We take off in the pickup and they are miles. I mean seriously miles away just running through the field tails a waggin. Well I will let you all know what we get figured out. But I do always welcome suggestions.

Sonny and Cher

My big man baby has a cold, so I put him down for a nap. I’ve got the house all to myself with peace and quiet. Not sure what to do with myself. This doesn’t happen too often so I figured I’d make the best use of it and hop on here.

I guess I better get started telling everyone about cows before we are up to our ears in them. This area is an Ag area. Which means everyone is all about the farm or ranch. I made the mistake of calling our neighbor a farmer once. He is such a kind and patient man but I’m pretty sure if anyone else had said that to him he may have punched him. I had to break down and ask him the difference because I really didn’t know.

A farmer works the land and a rancher works with animals. I guess it’s an insult to mix up the two. I promptly reported this information back to the friends and family from New York because I know none of them knew. Well we call ourselves farmers but we certainly don’t work the land so we must be ranchers.

We have some good friends who are ranchers. The neighbor of course and my friends Linda and Jerry. We have learned a bunch from them since we started out here. Not on purpose of course but you kinda just fall into it. They all laugh at me but we are about to WOW them with our skills.

sonyand-cher

I want to call all beef I eat cows but that is so far away from correct. I used to say a baby girl or a mama girl or a boy with balls or without balls. Because they all have different names and it’s a very important part of ranching to know the difference for many reasons. One helps you not spend too much money when you don’t have too.

So let me break down the basics. All babies are calves. Boy babies are steers and girl babies are heifers. Cows are girls that have given birth and bulls still have their balls. It is also important to note 1st time moms. They have their own section when giving birth.

If you haven’t figured out by now that I spend a lot of time online trolling here is a great example. I found a post for a great price for a steer and heifer calf. In the same town that we live in. I knew the girl a little bit and decided to finally let Christopher have some cattle. I figured this would make the perfect practice cattle for me. Get us use to some ranching stuff.

feeding

So that night Sonny and Cher came home with us. Poor Cher didn’t make it 3 days. Sonny though he was a little tougher. He was so playful and friendly and went into the barn with all the goats and some chickens. Christopher made him his own little pen with his own heat source and everything, but he wanted to be over with the baby goats and mamas.

As I am learning bottle feeding a calf is not like bottle feeding any other animals. They will eat and eat and eat and make their little bellies too full. Which can cause problems. So Christopher created a super boob.

superboob

The super boob is a heated bucket on it with nipples. This allows the calves to eat whenever they like so they don’t have to worry about their bellies getting to full. And at night it stays nice and warm. I did enjoy feeding these babies but it really is better for them to eat when they want.

Now I have learned some of the information I’m about to say After the fact but it is now learned. Sonny and Cher were Holstein. When I proceeded to tell both the neighbor and Jerry about our endeavors they both say Aww. I guess Holsteins are not the best way to practice. They are much harder to keep alive than most other animals for lots of reasons.

Next, I learned about the sale barn. Both of these little ones were purchased from a sale barn. Sale barns can be a place people take animals they don’t want for whatever reason. And then the reason is now your problem. Disclaimer is no not all animals bought at a sale barn have problems. But you just don’t know.

I find myself wanting to give all the animals that live at my home the best life they can have while on this earth. However not everyone lives up to those standards. Christopher went out to feed one cold morning and Sonny was close to dead. He brought him inside and we spent the next 2 days trying to nurse him back to health.

He got a warm bath and had warm blankets that got heated in my dryer then changed out every half hour. He had his own personal heater. Special food treats. He got cuddled as Christopher and I took turns lying on the floor with him to warm him up.

Unfortunately we lost Sonny that 2nd night. We tried everything I could read online. I took better care of him than I am doing to poor Christopher right now who is pretty much on his own. Well I will cuddle with Christopher later, right now I have some chores to do and some animals to love on.

Jam, Jellies and Preserves without adding store bought Pectin.

Why does everyone use store bought pectin in their Jellies, Jams and Preserves? I have searched the internet and really haven’t found any other answer besides it’s just easier. So laziness and time saving has us all adding unnatural substances into our foods that we proudly hand out as x-mas gifts? Well not me.

I like to be different as a rule. And I had never made any kind of jam or jelly before in my life. So of course I did a whole bunch of research to find out just how to get er done. In every recipe I found I kept seeing you have to add store bought pectin. And I still wasn’t understanding what it did. Here is what I found out.

Pectin is a natural ingredient using for thickening found in your fruits. The biggest dilema is that the more ripe the fruit the less natural pectin is inside the fruit. So to get the sweetest fruit the natural pectin is almost gone. OK no worries. I got this figured out.

The best and freshest way to do this is pick your fruit some ripe some not so ripe so you get the best of both worlds. You will have the flavor you want without add anything extra into your finished product. And of course it takes some time and patiences. We got this.

I will be posting my exact recipe for Sand Cherry Preserves in another post but it all is pretty basic. You add water and sugar to your fruit and cook cook and cook. Yes, it takes time. Several hours actually. So is it worth it? Maybe and maybe not. For me though, I couldn’t be prouder to be able to say “I made this, all natural of course”

I know that seems to be the “in” thing theses days but no that was not my goal to be with the in crowd, it was just a bonus. My goal was to make something that was different from everyone else. And I did. Of course I had some help from my Christopher.

My Blog Goals

Come to find out this Blog thing takes a ton of work. I wanted to wait until I had all the categories and pictures all up and pretty before I officially published, but at this point that may take me a few months or longer. I just have so much to tell everyone.

Some of the topics I am going to be writing about are our wonderful homestead, the history of it and updates on all the work we are putting into it to get it to where it is perfect again.  Cooking and canning of course and my adventures doing it. Our wonderful animals and how much they enrich our lives. The adventures we have at Chance’s Thrift will surely entertain you. Raw diets and the garden experience. And things of that nature.

I’m really not totally sure how the whole process is suppose to happen, so I will just do some random chit chatting now and again to try and help tie it all together. I would love to see some comments on what you all would like to see first and I would happily take suggestions on anything you think I am missing.

I am still working out the navigation on here. I remember getting the best interviewing advice EVER. I haven’t had a real job in a while but I’m guessing every interviewer still asks your strengths and weaknesses. My answer always was and always will be the same and true. My bigness weakness is not being able to keep up with all the new computer programs and all the new technology.

Another issue I am working out is the different devices to read this on. I have worked on my Droid phone, my iPad and my laptop. Each of them has a completely different display format. I am doing my best to get that fixed up nice.

Tom

Tom the Turkey

Yeah, yeah I know real original. But it stuck. Spring 2015 we had a couple of goats and some chicks inside. I was getting antsy when I saw an ad online for some free birds in Yuma, Christopher’s hometown. There was 2 turkeys, 4 chickens, 2 ducks and a rooster. How perfect. So we loaded up with Papa and Grandma to go get our new flock.

Now Christopher had put his foot down right in the beginnig with ducks. NO DUCKS he said. His mom had some when he was little and he didn’t care for them. OK no problem, I knew a girl who had been looking for ducks. Problem solved.

We got to the home where they were and they were all beautiful. I had never seen a turkey up close before. They were big and loud. I wasn’t sure how it was all gonna work out getting all these animals together for transport. Come to find out we all were running around trying to chicken wrangle. If only we had a video I’m sure we would have won a bunch of money.

Polar Belle

 

Polar Belle is an almost 7 year old Great Pyrenees. After we brought Mason home the neighbor and his son came over to check him out. The neighbor told me “Well that’s some expensive coyote food you bought”. Well shit. I hadn’t thought about that. So we got to talking and he says “you need a good dog t

o keep watch, like a Great Pyrenees.”

So off I go researching dogs. Now I have never had a dog in my life. I’ve had some experiences that I might share another time, but none of them are positive. So, I start researching all these different dog breeds and what they do. Who Knew there was so many different breeds with so many very specific traits. We decided a Great Pyrenees was perfect for our needs.

Great Pyrenees are wonderful livestock guarding dogs. They came from the Pyrenees mountains and are in the giant breed of dogs. They have natural instints with animals and for sure know more about them than I do. They also are a noctural breed. They relax and sleep all day and are on patrol all night, keeping everyone safe. Something important to add if you don’t know about this breed is that they bark. I read somewhere, after we already had her, that describes it perfectly. They bark at all things, real and imaginary.

The next step was of course to find a dog. $900! That’s the average price of a Great Pyrenees. Holy Cow. We certainly couldn’t afford that. We decided to give up looking for a while because we just couldn’t afford that much. I continued to troll the livestock sites just to see what was out there. . . . . And there she was.

I found an absolutly horrible story about a woman who after 10 years had lost her home and farm over her dog Belle barking. She had rehomed Belle to another family after months of looking and the new home just didn’t work out. They were keeping her chained up all day and night close to the house. This was no place for her to be, so I contacted the owner.

We spent several hours on the phone and messaging making sure Belle would be a good fit for us. Her mom was very concerned about the barking. I explained to her “I’m from New York, the noise at night is a welcome change to the quiet out here”. We all agreed she would be perfect and we scheduled a day to meet.

Belle and her mom arrived at the house shortly before we did that day. I knew that she was gonna be a big dog but I was really not prepared for just how big she was. Her mom had her on a leash that was acually a lead rope for a horse. I was nervous and Christopher was a natural, of course.20161229_165926

Belle’s mom had decided to stay with us for a couple of days to make sure she was comfortable. We decided that we would have her come inside with all of us to get to know each other better for the night. It amazed me then and it amazes me still how graceful that 150lb girl was. She found her spot on the living room floor and we gave her a much needed brushing. If you have never groomed an animal like her know this. The best place is outside to do it. It looked like it had snowed in our living room. And that wasn’t the grocery bag full we had gathered up.

Belle’s mom was very surprised. She stayed with us for 3 days and not once did we hear her bark. It took several more days before she got totally comfortable with us and went to work full time. I gotta admit it took a bit to be able to sleep through the barking. It was soooo loud and constant. I was always worried that something was out there. I finally figured out she was barking so nothing would come near us.

Belle has been with us for over a year now. Her mom came to visit us last month and Belle was so happy to be with us the visit didn’t even phase her. Her favorite daytime activities include napping and relaxing. Her favorite nighttime activities are being on patrol and barking. She prefers to be outside most of the time. Even when I try and bribe her in with a treat. She will come in the front door, get the treat and go out the back door.

Fun Fact I learned from Belle

She will come inside and go underneath our bed, and then it will storm. She always knows when it’s coming and she does not like lighting. So under the bed she goes.

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