Kelly Smitherson

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since Sep 19, 2012
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Recent posts by Kelly Smitherson

chain is a lot more expensive than simple fencing. You don't need a ton of fencing, just a willingness to move it around and keep the goats happy. The fist reply with the electric net fencing is a good idea, do a couple minutes research before dismissing ideas
I would never tether my goats, mine have used electric net fence, mostly they are just behind a simple field fence with no electric though

making sure fencing is done right the first time will save so much time, money and headache
goats are smart, they will teach you how to build a good fence set up- and tell you when they are unhappy with what is left in their fenced area too
11 years ago
We had the neighbor's cat kill a full sized Muscovy duck at our last place, and maimed at least three other birds that come to mind, I hated that SOB cat. We also have always had our own cats around our poultry. We have three cats now, they share food with the poultry and get along swell. But it could go the other way too. Our cats hunt and kill all sorts of stuff, but they never touch our baby rabbits, our baby chicks, anything of ours. Good cats.
not sure how helpful that is.
Our first cat was an adult feral cat we had adopted from Hawaii and had as a house cat for years before we ever got poultry and he became an indoor outdoor cat. He was perfect with our baby chicks, and adult poultry, but again, a great hunter at the same time. The three barn cats we have now we got as kittens and were raised in the barn, same thing. So, I don't even know I would say getting a certain age cat would make the difference.
11 years ago
Here is what you missed, I put the buck in an x pen yesterday, in the stall. He got out and was back with his babies- now three have left the nest, two white and one sandy orange. The mom and dad are both the same color, so I can not really tell them apart, and the buck and the doe are both taking care of the kits, the kits will crawl under either adult, and when a chicken jumps into the stall, one adult runs at the chicken to chase it out, and one runs to the nest or kits that are out. Both adults will tuck the kits under them with their chin, we spent hours watching them, and have seen nothing but tenderness from the buck and doe

the downfall is that the doe is likely already bred back, and I did not want to just have the poor girl being bred back to back like that- but they are a nice family unit and working well together so far

crossing my fingers to see who else comes out the nest

11 years ago
Thank you for all the suggestions!

My neighbor is being pretty dramatic about me getting bees, already ordering bee traps to line her place with- so I think I am going with the far horse arena area-- thank you! Than kyou !

I really like the shed!! I will show pics to DH - thank you!
11 years ago
So! I wanted to do a Flemish Giant Colony, in the summer they will be out in movable tractors on grass, but for winter the pair of Flemish had the entire horse stall to themselves. I kept waiting for them to breed, nothing- they said they were waiting on spring.
A few times I exposed the doe to my New Zealand buck, but he does not live in the colony. He has his own xpen and cage and outside run etc.

Anyway! I what I was reading on colonies is pretty much you will go out to feed them one day- and wha-la babies!
And that is just what happened, I went out tonight and there he was a cute little (probably two weeks old already) new Zealand /Flemish baby- I can not wait to see who else is in the nest, and who might be out tomm morning (crossing my fingers he is a smart baby and goes back to the nest tonight)

So we watched him for hours today. He was bouncing all over with both the mom and the male Flemish

I HAD planned to take the male Flemish out when I thought she was bred, but apparently I totally missed her hidden nest - and the baby was my first clue I made sure that I included lots of great hiding places and the stall is huge, but I guess I just totally missed the nest all together.

well, obviously he is with both the male and his mom- and is okay- but I snagged the male out anyway- now I do not want the mom bred directly back- plus I really do not want that little stinker hurt, and am really crossing my fingers he was just the bold baby first out of the nest and more will follow-- but do most colony raising folks leave the male in, as long as he is not hurting babies- and let them rebreed whenever it happens? Or do you other colony folks plan the litters more specifically?

I really thought I would love this whole colony idea- but it freaks me out to tell you the truth- knowing that for about two weeks these babies have been chilling out and I have no idea how many or how they are doing - this kit is not very young, he is small, but full fur, eyes wide and bright and a hop in his steps - still baby steps, but I am guessing he is 12-18 days old-ish? And this was my first inkling I had babies was to see this little hopper come on out

cross your fingers with me that more are to follow and all goes well
any colony raisers who want to chime in with advice? links?
11 years ago
We have barn cats- but many permies do not agree with barns anyway, but as it is, we have an old barn that was here when we bought and barn fires are usually caused by rats chewing the wiring, so yeah we have cats. We have one the rat infestation thing before and I am not doing that again. The cats are wonderful and we love them.
They are locked in the barn at night, and get warm milk and care, because again, we love em. One has been eaten by coyotes so far. Very sad.

The trio of barn kittens are great at eating shrews and moles. And ground squirrels and mice, and snakes and birds. The bad thing is that maybe the coyotes would be filling up on all those ground squirrels and mice and moles and snakes if my cats were not. Then maybe the coyotes would not have turned to eating chickens if my cats had not already disrupted the natural food chain.
I still think fat chickens are an easier meal for wild animals than all the work of hunting up enough shrews to fill their bellies, and most wild animals will look for the most calories for the least risk to themselves.
You can not imagine the number of shrews and mice and ground sqirrels we find daily, the dogs wait a few yards off and watch the cats hunt, then rush up to help eat the catch- I am amazed we still have any vermin left, but it just keeps coming and coming.

Chicken feed sacks full of feed and chicken droppings and compost piles are not naturally there either- rats and mice are no fools
Now we have a big ole LGD and cats and we are hunky dory, so soiled or wasted feed, no chewed or damaged wires.

The other bad things about cats in the barn, is the risk of toxoplasmosis - and this could cause stillbirth (at least in goats it can, not sure about all stock) if the pregnant goat got this from eating something the cat soiled - knock on wood, our cats are good so far
11 years ago
I am glad you mentioned the shed, I was thinking about that too, with as much rain as we get out here in the Puget Sound, I was thinking it might be a good idea. Do you have pictures of your shed and set up?

11 years ago
I ordered my first package of bees, Italians.
We get them in April

So, where to place the hive on our property.
Next year they will go on our south hill, right in the sun, this is where our orchard will be, it will be great... but THIS year, that is where the market pigs will be starting, and have a lot of work to do there this year. I do not want the hive where the pigs will be moving, as I am 100% certain the pigs will tear apart a hive even if I put a fence around it, I doubt I could keep the pigs back from the hive if they found it -- so NO south hill this year

so I have a northeast lawn up by the gate, but my neighbors are already complaining about me getting bees - and they could see the hives from our gate if I placed them up here. Also, my four young children often play forts in the trees around this yard.

Then I have an old horse arena out in the southwest pasture, there are blackberries galore. I could put a back up electric fence around the arena fence to keep the kune kune pigs out, and the cows and goats and dogs and poultry etc etc - but... on the outside of the arena is pasture that all those critters will be using in rotation- how much will that bother the bees to have livestock in their bee line?

There are a few other areas too- but ... I want them to have sun, I want them to be out of the way, meaning out of a heavy traffic area- and like I said, SAFE from all our other critters and idiot people too
11 years ago
yeah, your dog is afraid of your significant other and is begging him to smell how submissive he is, your dog is trying very very hard to communicate that he is submissive, the more angry your significant other gets, the harder yoru dog will try to get him to see he is submissive to him- aka the worse the pee situation is going to get

when we very first adopted our dog 10 years ago, my DH could not even stand upright in the same room or use his normal voice without her getting submissive, within a month we had the entire thing turned around, I had to train my DH, the dog was speaking loud and clear

AND setting your dog up for success, why is he allowed on the sofa anyway? your dog also will feel more confident when he knows what the house rules are and what his job in life is

my favorite training videos
11 years ago