Going to the fair? Please visit our booth this year in the Merchants building. Our booth will be open Monday July 9th through Friday July 13th from 5pm-9pm nightly. We will be offering Twin Willows Luxury Goat Milk Lotion in four scents and two sizes, Twin Willows Goat Milk Bar Soap in five scents, as well as beautiful peacock/chicken/guinea feather hair creations. All items are locally produced by Twin Willows and will be available for purchase at the fair. If you want to learn about the Nigerian Dwarf breed, stop by and “talk goat” with us. We have informational handouts and displays to introduce you to the ND breed, and can answer any questions you might have. We will also have a special guest in our booth every night! ;) Hope to see you there!
Each gate latches two ways so that the layout can change with needs. This arrangement shows both pens closed which opens the aisle from the east side of the barn to the far west side of the barn and out into the pasture. Along the right side of the aisle is an alfalfa feeder running the length of the aisle.
Here the first gate has been closed cutting off access to the aisle to the pasture but allowing the goats to roam from the east side of the barn and into the first stall. They also still have access to the alfalfa feeder at the right. You can see one of the little bucklings mad at me for shutting the gate and cutting off his access to outside.
Here both gates have been closed. The goats can still roam from the east side to the west side and into the first stall (unless you shut the pass thru.) This arrangement creates two L shaped pens with individual access to the alfalfa feeder along the right. Pretty cool huh?
And here is a pic of the silkies that my mom has been raising since they were a day old. They were getting a little too big for their britches there in the city, so Mom brought them out to the farm. Their names are Vanna White, Paisley, and Link.
We had a great time participating in the Lincoln Country Classic this weekend. The Nigerian Dwarf breed was well represented, the show was well organized, and I think everyone had a very nice experience. We really enjoy participating in shows, learning from the judges and from other great breeders. We took three seniors and three juniors, and we are very pleased with results. Trixie and Airianna both won their classes. Annie took second, with Apple third, and Kat Von D took sixth. The best placing was Airess E'lan, who won her Intermediate Kid class and ended up taking Grand Champion Junior Doe! Having earned her Junior Leg, Airess will now be placed on sabbatical while she grows up at Twin Willows, and will continue her career after she has kids of her own.
Even though we were busy showing this weekend, work at the farm never ceased. Mom and Dad were busy building out the west side of the barn all day, and the end result when finished is going to be SPECTACULAR! Dad came up with an ingenious system of penning where the layout is easily rearranged by a two position method of gate latching. This layout will allow us to segregrate animals when needed or keep certain areas of the barn off limits. I will get pictures when everything is finished.
On the agenda today is more work on stalls, cleaning pens, and trips to buy more feed, alfalfa and bedding. Also, changing the brakes on the truck is of utmost importance. Life on the farm is never dull.
Mom and I have been working on a new farm project, so stay tuned for an exciting announcement later this week. If you live in or around Cass County, you will definitely want to pay attention! Happy Farming!
Cutest darn little things! Soon we will have guinea keets coming out of our ears! These are what is left of two hatches from last week and this week. We noticed yesterday that another hen started sitting on a nest she has been building in a brush pile. Looks like we have a white, a bunch of pearl grays, and I think the brown and white ones are pearl gray pied!
What a crazy couple of days we have had! Last weekend, Brandon and I drove down to Richmond, Indiana to attend and exhibit at the Hoosier Classic. We had such a wonderful time, and, as always, it was a tremendous learning experience for us. Our girls came away with many great placings, including Best of Breed, Best Udder of Breed, a Grand Champion, and a Reserve Champion.
After all the excitement of the weekend, and within a couple of hours of being home, our Lady Tator Tot (who stayed home while we were at the show) went into premature labor. After several difficult hours she delivered twins in the early morning, both DOA. Tator seems to be doing fine, but we are having a full work up done on her to try to determine why she delivered so early. Her udder failed to freshen at first, but through working with her, she is slowly building an udder.
We also had some raccoon drama early Wednesday morning. Brandon heard something outside and went out to find six raccoons in the chicken coop. He managed to eliminate five of them, but one ran away. We lost a couple of chickens as well, and last night not a single chicken would stay in the coop. Instead they roosted on fences and inside the barn, and one rooster even slept on the hood of the truck. I guess I would be scared to sleep in the coop too!!
In happier news, we had a visit from brother Jeremy, and his girlfriend, Britni. Jeremy and Britni drove from their homes in Los Angeles and spent several days at the farm with us. Good times were had by all, but it never lasts as long as you want it to. Looking forward to seeing them again very soon.
No goat show this weekend, as we have two birthdays to celebrate and a dance recital to attend. Next show is the Lincoln County Classic in Elnora, Indiana on June 23rd.
We have been VERY busy getting goats ready for another show. It's never ending isn't it? This weekend we will be showing at the Hoosier Classic in Richmond, Indiana. The show is said to be one of the largest and most prestigious shows in the US, so we are very excited to participate. We will have two very nice bucklings available at the show so COME & GET THEM! They have amazing pedigrees and would make excellent herdsires.
Got a few new pics updated including new pics of Apple, Annie, Trixie, Airianna and Kat. Maybe I can get a few more pics tonight since they are all looking so pretty!
In other news, Pioneer Babe Ruth baseball kicks off tonight in Rochester. Twin Willows (along with Monticello Sycamore) are proud sponsors of the B team. Go get em Pioneer!!
Thought I'd leave you with a few pics of the less glamorous side of raising goats...
We had a great time at the Michiana show this weekend. Twin Willows TIO Apple Blossom won her class, and Gypsy Moon CM Airess E'lan brought home Reserve Grand Champion Junior Doe at 10 weeks old! This was Airess' first show, and she did very well! The next show is the Hoosier Classic in Richmond, Indiana this weekend.
We had another nice surprise yesterday. After nearly giving up on the guinea hen who has been sitting on her nest the longest, Brandon happened to walk near the nest yesterday morning and saw movement. Two keets were hatched and one was hatching. Brandon scooped up the birds and the eggs and brought them into the house, and in 5 minutes we had a brooder set up. Sad to say that out of four hatched eggs, only two have survived. Still, we are pleasantly surprised that we ended up with ANY keets hatching from the clutch because we had nearly given up. More eggs are in the incubator and are due to hatch at the end of this week.
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Twin Willows Herd
How to Get Started Raising Goats
by Erica Hopkins
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