Things have been rather busy—one might even say hectic –for the past few weeks here on the Hunker Down.  One of the momma goats—a Nigerian Dwarf that we call double wide because of the shape she reaches in the later part of her pregnancy (wide as she is long)—gave me quadruplets this go round.  Actually,  she needed old JVC’s help since # 2 down the chute was ass backwards with only one rear leg out and hung up good.  Guess I can check off reaching up into a goat’s birth canal to turn a baby and help it out from my bucket list, eh??.  Wasn’t surprised when one more immediately followed, but when the forth came out, it was more than I was ready for.  Anyway, watched momma and the kids real close for a couple of days, expecting I’d be needing to help her out some more.  She was doing her best to nurse all 4, but I could tell that one ( #4 and the smallest) was having a hard time getting her share of momma’s bounty.  So—after trying to help out by supplementing with bottle formula and not having any success at all since mom and her natural teat was much more preferable even for a hungry baby, we took two of the babies off of her.

Now the fun really began.  I’ve got two hungry babies that had been on their mom for 4 days or so and they don’t want anything to do with that bottle.  I mean, it was a real fight the four times a day we were trying to get some formula down them.  Plus we were getting all sorts of conflicting advice by numerous goat “experts” such as they won’t ever take a bottle after being with their mother that long , don’t use the formula—use a concoction of condensed milk, whole milk and butter milk instead (that proved to be real popular—not) , to just persevere and they’ll finally come around.  Well, that’s what we did, and after about 4 days of battle, one morning one of the kids took to the bottle like it was the most natural thing in the world, and by that evening, the other one had too.  What a blessing that was. hunkerdown 011 (800x536) However, mixing formula and feeding 3 times a day now does take up a bit of time, and with them thinking I’m mom now, and following me (under foot actually)everywhere I go in the yard and garden, and hanging out on the porch when I’m in the cabin,hunkerdown 008 (800x536) I’m not getting much else done around here these days.  But that really doesn’t matter—the important thing is that doublewide’s 4 babies (3 girls -1 little buckling) are all growing and healthy, and I’ve got plenty of entertainment right here in the front yard.



Since this is the very first post in this blog, I’ll attempt to bring my readers up to date on what has happened here on the Hunker Down during the past year.

Prior to moving to the ranch full time, I’d spent a good deal of time (and cash) building new fence on the south and west sides of the property – the intent being to keep a few goats to clear the heavy under growth and add a little meat to the freezer.  Also acquired a 35 hp tractor with a few implements which has proven to be well worth the investment  as I can accomplish a lot of work in a short amount of time with it, and at my age, time has become a valuable commodity.

The property came with a little two room cabin that is ample for my needs, but not so much for my lady friend so I suppose I either build onto it or suffer the consequences. hunkerdown 019 (800x536) That’s a project that will become a priority after the basics of a homestead are in place which should be fairly soon now.  The goats have a pen and shelter,hunkerdown 023 (800x536) the garden area has been defined with some raised beds and more to come, hunkerdown 026 (800x536)and I’ve just finished building a combination garden tool shed and chicken coop–just need to fence in their pen area and that is a completed project.hunkerdown 025 (800x536)  Also have a good sized hole in the ground which will eventually become a root cellar/storm shelter.  And, the house yard and garden area is fenced off from the rest of the place so the goats and their LGDs can have the run of the place without getting up too close and personal.

That little thumbnail sketch essentially brings us up to date, –the various adventures getting here will find there way into the blog as time goes by.