Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Goslings are growing

Earlier this month I showed you the 18 goslings from one pair of geese.  I work at an apartment community where apartments surround a lake.  Today I was able to capture a group of many goslings in various growth stages on photographs.  Once the yellow fluffy feathers of each gosling disappear and are replaced by gray feathers, they go through an awkward stage like teenagers.  They are a lot of fun to watch especially when they are in a row with a parent on each end.

I hope you had a joyous day!  Dawnie


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trip to a goat farm, goat milk soap, fodder, and other goat Info.

I found a lady who lives close of Mulvane on a farm and she sells fresh goats milk.  Obviously I had to get some fresh goats milk and visit her farm.  The kids loved the goats and the goats loved us.  They even tried to eat my dress.  LOL  I was not familiar with feeding goats fodder, so I had to Google fodder and find out what it was.  It appears to be well worth it if you have animals and can't get hay for them due to the drought.  Of course, it is extra work for you, an initial expense to set up the system, and you need somewhere to grow the fodder that has water access and hopefully cement floors.  You may find this link helpful if you want to read up on fodder:  http://www.peakprosperity/blog/growing-sprouted-fodder/72618

Most people seem to be growing barley as fodder, but it is not the only grain used for fodder.

Information about the farm can be found at:

I made a batch of goats milk soap using white lilac fragrance oil.  Apparently it accelerates trace or seizes and makes the soap thick very fast.  I thought it was me the first time since I was trying to get done fast, but on the second and third batch it still set up too fast.

Since I was talking about goat milk or goats milk or goat's milk, I thought I would read up on goat milking.  (Which way is proper?)   I found this useful information on Goat Milk Stuff's website.   ( and I thought you may find it interesting.  Check out the website video on you tube.  I had no idea how soon goats breed.  I also have not set down to the kitchen table and enjoyed a goat meal.  I am sure it is very good, but I can't do it.  I raise my chickens for eggs only.  I do eat meat, but not every meal and not one of my animals. 

"There are also mini breeds and dual purpose breeds such as Nubians that were bred to give a moderate amount of both milk and meat.

In order to give milk, a goat must first get pregnant and have kids of her own. Her body creates the milk to feed the kids. Dairy breeds have been bred to give more milk than their kids would require.
At Goat Milk Stuff, we raise our goats with the goal of having them large enough to freshen (deliver kids) around their first birthday. We milk the goats for ten months and then dry them off two months before they have kids again around their next birthday. This dry period is necessary for them to have enough energy to grow their kids.

Individual goats give different amounts of milk. Over the course of their 10 month lactation, their milk output will follow a general lactation curve. Many different variables can affect this lactation curve - genetics, age, health, nutrition and number of kids can all play a role.

Some goats give so much milk that they are able to “milk through” into a second year. Occasionally a goat will give milk without having kids – this is referred to as a precocious udder. And bizarre as it seems, there have even been bucks that have been known to give milk (yes all bucks have teats, and no, a milking buck is not normal)." 

I bet you have to be careful milking a buck.  LOL  I have pictures of our farm visit and the new goat milk soap for your viewing pleasure.  

 First batch of goats milk soap with fresh goats milk.
 Re-batching of soap failures and parts cut off bars when making smooth edges. 
 Second batch of goats milk soap.
 Eye candy.
 A close up view

 Meet the goat heard.  The barn was very clean!
 He is sweet on you!
 Trying to eat my clothes.
  One goat likes to go under my dress.  
Notice the bra strap.  LOL
For Larry, I do know what sensible shoes are when in a barn.  LOL
 Mother love. 
 Notice how smart the farmer is.  The babies are in old tires as beds.  The food containers on the wall are plastic barrels cut into.

Blessings to you and yours!  Dawnie

Saturday, May 18, 2013

This Week at Custer Cottage's Urban Farm

These two are turning out beautiful with unique coloring on them.  They will probably be roosters and have to go to Larry's rural farm, with my luck.  We have an urban farm and we can only have hens.

 We had a pretty little visitor this afternoon.

 I moved the brooder outside.  It is time for them to be out in the fresh air and have some fun!

The little dark one on the left is who we call Mini Me.  It does not grow more than a mini amount.  The one next to it was in the same clutch and she is much larger.  There were 5 we purchased from a lady that hatched them.  I do not know where she got them.  They are the oddest chickens I have ever seen. 
One of them is tiny and one turned out to be a Silkie, but she does not have many feathers.

This is Lacy.  She is a Golden Laced Wyandotte.  You know the old saying that you always want what is on the other side of the fence.  Yes the grass is greener, but she actually she wants to join her friend.  One of the hens jumps over or flies out of the six foot fence and plays in the outer yard.  She is the only hen that can jump that high, so far.  Lacy is probably jealous. 

We had a respiratory infection with our hens this last 2 weeks.  We have not raised chickens for very long, so it was something new for us to experience.  I placed all of them on antibiotics and they are looking pretty good.   Some of the hens had no sign or obvious symptom of being ill.  Others were sneezing or had eye matting.  I threw out all of the food we had, just in case it caused any of the illness.  We did not have any problems with the girls until around the time we purchased the last batch of food.  We are not eating any of the eggs since the girls got ill.  I am just taking extra precaution.  I did try some natural remedies, but they did not help the girls.  I also cleaned the coop very well and disinfected it.  Obviously I prefer natural remedies and cleaners. 

I crocheted another shawl.  Most of them I knit, so I finally crocheted one.  It matches this shirt very well.  I wanted to crochet lace around the edge, but I ran out of yarn.  The lace is on hold at this time.

Friday, May 10, 2013


My son graduated this evening!  Congratulations Dylan!

Now ready for another challenge.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ball Jam and Jelly Maker

I purchased a new toy this past week and I used it for the first time last evening.  It is a jam and jelly maker by Ball, the jar people.  It makes small batches of jam in 21 minutes.  I do mean small batches.  After you make the jam, you can freeze, refrigerate, or can it.  I decided to make an unusual kind using blackberries and plums, along with spice and golden sherry.  I was impressed with how easy it was to make a batch of jam.  I made a batch when I was doing dishes and cleaning up after a meal.  21 minutes goes real fast!

First you place pectin in the gadget, then you add (2 2/3 cups) prepared fruit.  After 4 minutes it will beep and you add the sugar at that time.  After cooking  21 minutes, it will let you know when it is done. The jam maker has automatic arms and it stirs the jam as it is cooking.  I found that the jam to be less thick as I like it to be.  The flavor of the jam was excellent!  Did I say excellent!  It may have been the liquor flavor I enjoyed.  LOL

I will show pictures of my canned jam and give you a better recipe after I experiment a while.  What a fun way to play!

Blessings to you and yours!  Dawnie

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


This past weekend, I was able to persuade my son and his fiance to help me make soap.  We made 3 small batches of soap.  For one of the batches I used a mold which made roses on the bottom of the soap.  The bottom of the soap becomes the top of the soap when you unmold the soap.  All three batches had calendula infused tallow in the soap.  Two batches also contained calerndula petals in the soap.  One batch was beautified with calendula petals on  top of the soap also.  Of course, I used glitter to top two batches of soap.  You need a little sparkle in life now and then.   I used a fragrance in one batch called antique lace.  I love that fragrance!  It does turn the soap brownish, so the lovely antique lavender color will change color.  The second fragrance I used was honeysuckle and the last one I used was blackberry.  I tested the soap and it lathers very nicely and smells glorious!

Thank you for viewing my blog!  Blessings to you and yours!  Dawnie