Livestock Guardian Dogs For Sale

This is the only litter we will be offering for sale. We have a pair of wonderful, working livestock guardians (featured in the first photo) and we’ve let them have one litter. We have a small farm of sheep, goats, geese, ducks and chickens. Our dogs guard all of them and us as we have a small acreage.

We purchased our dogs from a breeder in Port Angeles, WA. His goal was to mix breeds together to create a healthier, more socially well-rounded farm dog. The dogs we have are mostly a cross of Kangal and Boerboel. Kangals are the sheep guardians of Turkey and Boerboels are a general farm/family guardian from Africa. You can read more about them on this website: http://www.olympicdogs.net/post/559569980/kangal-x-boerboel

We have found our dogs to be outstanding at everything their breeder claimed. They are stable and calm around our livestock and our children. Their methods of guarding have been most welcome as they do not bark all night as most of the other popular breeds do.

They are just very pleasant dogs to have around. They very much enjoy coming in the house and hanging out with the family but do not complain when they are sent back outside to work.

The litter they have had consists of 10 puppies. 6 females (1 is spoken for) and 4 males. I expect them all to be fairly large as their dad is just over a year old and was 120 pounds and 30 inches a few months ago. Their mom is 24 inches and 80lbs and is full grown.

The puppies were born on July 21st and will be 8 weeks old on September 15th. They will have all their shots and be dewormed before being placed in their new homes. Pups will be available on September 12. A deposit of $100 is needed to secure a pup. Deposits have started coming in and the order they are received will establish the first come first serve basis for picking out your pup.

Please contact us to come and see the puppies or for any questions. We are located in Central Washington State. You can reply to this ad by email to redcabinfarm@gmail.com.

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Hugo, sire

Bersa, dam

Bersa, dam

Here’s a few links for videos in chronological order of the puppies:

Below are two videos of three of the female puppies taken on August 25th:

Here also is a link to a gallery of the most recent photos of the litter:

https://redcabinfarm.com/2015/08/23/pups-are-almost-5-weeks/

And lastly, here’s a link to the puppy portraits of them at three weeks old:  https://redcabinfarm.com/2015/08/10/puppy-portraits/

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Anatolian Shepherd Maremma Great Pyrenees Akbash Komondor Kuvasz Tibetan Mastiff

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The Sting of Failure: What NOT To Do With Bees.

No, I’m not going to apologize for my cheesy title. Is that a back-door way of apologizing? Anyway, failure hurts. It makes me feel sorta stupid and naive.

We attended one beekeepers meeting. One.

First lesson:  Don’t get bees if you don’t even have time for the meetings.

We did read some books and thought if we avoided a few of the obvious mistakes we’d be fine. Let me just tell you:  beekeeping is much harder than that. You really need the local bee club for help and support. Having a mentor in that club wouldn’t hurt either.

So, the short story of our unsuccessful season with bees was that we didn’t manage them properly. It is especially important during swarm season. In both our hives, the original queens left with more than half of the workers.

Second lesson: Don’t be greedy when you’re harvesting the honey.

I found the smallest hive dead after a cold snap at the end of November and I gave the frames of honey they had to the remaining hive. I found that hive dead this spring. So, I took all the frames of honey, read how to harvest it, and spun every single frame in the extractor.

Um, NO. Don’t do that.

You normally only harvest a frame of honey when its 90-95% full of capped honey. It should look like this:

photo courtesy of instructables.com

Not this:

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Since I did do that, I had a harvest of watery, uncured honey mixed in with some good, normal honey. It didn’t taste right and it didn’t look right either.

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At some point after I poured all this ‘honey’ into jars, I found out that I harvested honey that had too much water content and could potentially spoil. So, 1 3/4 gallons sat on my countertop for days and days while a busy weekend went by and I thought about what to do with it.

I researched “how to save your honey harvest when it’s too watery”. Nothing.

Finally, I skimmed the foam that had collected at the top of each jar and poured it into a large stock pot. There was sediment in the bottom of the jars, too and I tried to leave this behind and not be greedy this time.  I did, however, save a pint of the “raw nectar honey” to keep in the fridge. Part of the reason we got bees was because of the potential the honey had of helping my son with his hay fever allergies, so I wanted to save him some.

I heated the pot full of watery honey slowly on the lowest setting on the stove. I let this cook for almost 2 days. The level dropped maybe a half an inch to an inch. It now looked and tasted like honey. I took it off the heat and let it cool a little and then poured it into jars. I was left with a gallon and a half.

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We haven’t given up on keeping bees. They are fascinating and there needs to be more of them around. We, will, however, learn a little more before we get them again.

Posted in Bees, Food | Leave a comment

Our First Lambs

Our Icelandic ewe, Nidi,  had twins yesterday afternoon. (This is a gallery so if you want to see the pictures larger just click on them.)

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Cheesecake From Goat’s Milk Chèvre

I know I’m posting this on April Fool’s Day but this is not a joke. See?

The cheesecake doesn’t use any cream cheese. It’s still silky and luscious. And no, it doesn’t taste GOATY!

But let’s take a few steps back and talk about the cheese first. I have tried mozzarella a few times but have not been very successful so far. You can read about that at Spring and Cheese and Third Time’s A Charm, if you’d like.

This milking season I’ve decided to start out with a simpler cheese. I found a great tutorial/recipe here in the recipe section at the Cheesemaker’s website for Chèvre or Fromage Blanc.

It requires you to have a mesophilic starter culture and rennet. I still have these supplies from last year and they worked just fine. I purchased this rennet and this mesophyllic starter culture  from Hoegger Supply. They sell everything goat related that you can think of and I’ve ordered quite a few times from them and have always been happy. (And no, I’m not being paid to say it.)

The recipe for Chèvre also says you can use cheese moulds or a fine mesh draining bag. I used both and liked the result from the draining bag better. I made my own out of fine muslin by simply sewing a drawstring bag that would fit over a large stockpot that I have.

I didn’t have a plan to use the Chèvre in a cheesecake but the idea started percolating in the back of my mind when I saw the texture of the cheese once it was done draining. So, when my husband said it was time to dig trenches and put our overhead electrical service underground for our pumps, I told him I was planning on making a cheesecake and wouldn’t he like me to do that instead? I definitely played my cards right because I’ve been on a baking strike since December. I have not made any sweets except for one birthday cake. He agreed and said the boys and he would dig and he didn’t desperately need my help until the next day.

I don’t know if you’ve ever made cheesecake but I find it a very simple thing to whip up. The hard part for me is in the baking. This time I tried the method provided in the recipe from CrunchyCreamySweet.com. It worked perfectly. (I’m having technical difficulties with her website and can’t seem to get her link to load for the actual recipe to share with you right now. I’ll post the link as soon as I can.)

So, here’s my recipe using the goat’s milk Chèvre instead of cream cheese and at the end I’ll provide the directions I used from CrunchyCreamySweet.com.

Side Note:  I used 3/4 cup of sugar instead of the 1 cup it called for and planned on drizzling some maple syrup over it (so I could reduce the sugar somewhat). It worked well and next time I want to try omitting the sugar entirely.

Goat’s Milk Chèvre Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups of finely crushed graham crackers
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 24 ounces of Chèvre
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of greek yogurt (I used goat’s milk yogurt that I had strained to make it into thick Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp milk (I skipped this because some of my Chèvre was a little “wetter” than regular cream cheese)
  • 3 well beaten eggs

Instructions (from CrunchyCreamySweet.com):

Prepare the water bath:

  • wrap a 9″ springform pan in aluminum foil and set in a roasting pan.
  • boil 2 cups of water. set aside.
  • preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Make Crust:

  • place graham crackers in a food processor and process until finely crushed.
  • add sugar and melted butter and process on low until combined.
  • press the mixture into the 9″ springform pan.
  • bake for 7 minutes in preheated oven.
  • set aside.

Make Filling:

  • place Chèvre in a food processor and process on low. process for 15 seconds. increase speed to high and process for 5 seconds until smooth. (I didn’t do this because I used an immersion blender instead. I’m sure you could do this in a regular blender.)
  • add sugar and process on low until combined.
  • add flour, yogurt, vanilla and milk (if using) and process on low until smooth.
  • add eggs and process on low until completely incorporated.
  • pour batter over prepared crust. tap the roasting pan gently on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles.
  • place the pan with the springform pan in the oven. pour enough recently boiled water to come at least 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan but not over the foil.
  • bake 1 hour and 20 minutes. check at 50 minutes and add more boiling water if necessary.
  • when the 1 hour and 2o minutes are up, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there with the oven door slightly ajar for another hour.
  • remove cheesecake and let cool completely.
  • refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight before eating.

Enjoy 🙂

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Nina’s Birth Story

It’s almost been a month since this year’s kids were born.

February was literally a blur. I had vertigo writing out the March calendar on the dry erase board when I came to the end and had to write “April 1, 2, 3, 4”. APRIL! The next thing I know is it’s going to be August.

Anyway, cuddly, loveable Nina, our dairy goat, gave birth to twins on knitting night. It was February 10th, a Tuesday and I was on my way to go knit with my awesome neighbors and drink some wine. Nina had been extremely boring all day (because I was watching her and waiting for her to go into labor). Her udder had been filling for the past week and just in the last day it looked like it had filled completely. Anyhow, I went to check on her a half hour before I was due to leave and she was already pushing.

It was not an easy delivery. The first baby came out and was followed by some bright red blood. That worried my husband and I. There wasn’t a lot of blood but it was worrisome, nonetheless.

Then we waited, and waited. Nina was as big as a house and I had started to wonder just how many kids she had in there. It is not too uncommon for a goat to have five kids at one time. FIVE!

Her second kid was born nearly an hour after the first. (A normal amount of time is 30 minutes or less.) She had a very hard time getting him out and I was worried I’d have to scrub up and “go in”. I did not have to but I did pull that kid’s legs as she pushed. It turns out they were his back legs, he was delivered bass ackwards. It wasn’t exactly a breech birth but close.  After the kids nursed and we took care of the umbilical cords the new family of three collapsed on the straw and the two bucklings promptly fell asleep. She hadn’t delivered her placenta yet but she was so content and exhausted I didn’t think waiting around to see it delivered would prove fruitful, so I went to bed.

The next morning the afterbirth was hanging there, (ugh!) on its way out. As it neared 24 hours I started to worry. You aren’t supposed to pull it because you can cause a hemorrhage. I went online and researched ‘retained afterbirth’. Once again, I was worried I’d have to scrub up and “go in”. After reading as much as I could stand, I decided I liked the idea of tying a small rock with enough weight to apply a steady downward pressure to it.

I tied the rock to the placenta. To date, in this new farming career of mine, that was the GROSSEST thing I have ever done. And, I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve done a lot of gross things so far. But it worked! Not immediately but I guess it tilted the scale. The next morning it was mercifully gone.

The little family has remained happy and healthy and it seems Nina’s new kids have already doubled in size.

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Piper’s Birth Story

Piper is a wonderful dairy goat. She’s so calm. When I bought her from Sunny Pine Dairy as a bottle baby a couple of years ago, the girl who worked there helped me pick her out. She told me her mother was a wonderful milker. Her temperament was excellent and she had a good udder.

Last year, we grieved with Piper when her big buckling did not survive his birth.  My husband said she looked broken-hearted as she watched our other goat with her live baby.  She formed a special attachment with us that year as we milked her.

This year, we were especially happy for her when she gave birth to a lively little doeling.

Piper’s due date this year was February 6th. I had not witnessed any discharge or bagging up in Piper in the days previous to her delivery. (Bagging up is when the udder fills with milk.) On February 9th, I did noticed that her udder was starting to fill. I thought maybe she was still a few days away.

Later that afternoon, we heard some strange noises on the baby monitor. The boys said it sounded like there was a buck in the yard with them. I ran down to check. Piper was on the other side of the hay feeder already pushing.

I stayed out of the way and took a video.  She would push and yell when she had contractions and then there would be a minute or so of quiet.  When I thought she might be having a bit of a hard time, I offered a little assistance by gently pulling on the baby while she pushed. The kid slipped right out. I wiped the kid’s nose clear and then stood back and let Piper have a little time licking her new baby and bonding. Then I helped dry her off. Once she was up and stumbling around, I made sure she found the right place to have her first meal of the all-important colostrum.

Here’s the video. BEWARE. Do not watch this unless you just absolutely LOVE details, ok? It is graphic. Seriously. If you just want to watch the baby after it’s born as she takes her first steps and such, start the video at 3:30

But, they say birth is a miracle. It makes me tear up every time I watch it so, here it is:

 

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Finley’s Birth Story

Piper, Nina and Finley are our goats. We bred them to a Boer buck in September. Their due dates were February 6, 11 and 10, respectively.

Finley started showing some discharge on February 2. It was clear but I got all excited and started the ‘great goat watch’. I got out our baby monitor and small closed circuit camera. I ran an extension cord to the goat house and hooked up a light. I got each doe out and trimmed her hooves. And then I waited, and listened and waited, and got other people to come and watch and wait when I had to go do errands and then I waited and listened and watched and waited… I spent 6 days doing this.

Finley, Feb 4, 2015

Meanwhile, both of our vehicles decided they needed a mechanic’s special attention. So, on February 8th I went and borrowed a car from a friend. Then around 3:40 pm, I checked on the goats and noticed Finley had some extra discharge. It was cloudy and gloppy. Since I had gotten all excited the first time I noticed her leaky ways, I just told myself it would still be hours before she delivered and I left to pick up my husband from work.

We got home at about 5:10 and I went straight in the house to start dinner. I sent my son, Lucas, to go down and check on her for me. He came up saying she was either doing a gross poop or there was a leg hanging out of her butt! He hadn’t taken a flashlight with him so he wasn’t sure. I told him to stir the beans and I ran down the hill to check myself. I stayed until both her bucks were delivered.

Her first kid was all black. I kept trying to put a feed sack under her to catch her kid but she just kept moving. Soon an all black kid was born. Then after we had begun drying him off she shoved out another buck. He was huge and red; just like his daddy.  He did get up after a bit but the little black one was up pretty quickly. After a little bit of time with them both and lots of attention from Finley, we moved them all to the goat house because it was raining.

After getting everyone under shelter, the big red buckling started to seize. He was having trouble breathing or something. I stuck my finger in his mouth to ‘sweep’ whatever might have been in his mouth out but I felt something slide further down. My hubby told me later that was not an acceptable maneuver when doing CPR. However, he did regain his breath. My sweet husband worked on him non-stop. He coughed, he sputtered but he did not live. My neighbor has always said, “They either get up and live or they don’t”.

Here is the little survivor who is already trying to take over the world.

We’ve called him Fidel.

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