We accomplished a lot this year on the ranch! There was another freeze in the winter where the lock on our gate was frozen shut! Fortunately, we eventually got it open by chiseling the ice away. The goats fared well during the freezing weather staying cozy in their new goat houses. We completed several big construction projects on the ranch including installing our rainwater collection system, the bathroom inside the shop, installation of the car lift and our new custom metal gates along with garage door openers for the shop. In the fall, Michele attended several cheese-making classes in preparation for our milk production next year and made her first cheese (a Colby cheese from grocery store milk - delicious!). The goats have finally reached the size where we can start breeding. We had all of our required health and safety testing done in the fall thanks to the help of Dr. New on a very muddy Labor day weekend and everyone in the herd came up clean! We have started our breeding program small, breeding only 6 of our 10 does and all SIX are pregnant - yay! We anticipate kids to arrive in March of 2022 and we are so excited. One of our biggest accomplishments in 2022 was the purchase of 31 additional acres of land adjacent to the ranch to expand our operations. We are so excited and cannot wait to see what the next year brings!
Happy New Year from Twin HH Ranch!
This weekend we got our first two little goats! They are about 8 weeks old and both are doelings. We did have a bit of a problem with our fence. The holes were too big and these two little rascals just hopped right out of their enclosure! Fortunately, they are both a big fan of food and we were able to capture them again.
For now they are living in the livestock trailer until we get the fences fully goat-proof.
We are still deciding on the names, but are thinking of old 1950's TV shows ... More updates to follow!
This weekend we installed some new fencing near the front of our ranch. This area is far far away from the other pastures at the back of the property and will house the bucks. It's really important to keep the bucks separated from the does to avoid any unexpected surprises!
We started by planning out the size and location of the fencing and then it was off to to the store to buy all the supplies. We chose durable, strong 4' x 16' welded wire cattle panels to keep the goats in place (we all know how motivated boys can be!) Once we got back with our shopping list filled, we started placing t-posts. Unfortunately, we measured the distance wrong and had to remove all the t-posts we had placed (don't worry it was only 6 and the tractor really helped). After re-calculating our measurements, the t-posts were placed in the right spots, and we started placing the cattle panels in place as we went. After placing 4 cattle panels and feeling pretty proud of ourselves and how much progress we had made, we realized we had installed 3 of them upside down. Oh boy, what a rookie move. Time to start over - three times the charm right?
We finally got the cattle panels in place (and right side up LOL) and now it was time to set the corner posts and H-posts in place. These require digging holes that are about 3 feet deep and set in concrete. Unfortunately, we didn't have a post-hole digger attachment for the tractor so, off to the hardware store for a manual post-hole digger we went. Talk about hard work. Fortunately, we have two strapping young lads who assisted with the hole-digging process. It was grueling, hard manual labor, but we successfully got it finished.
We still have to install the gate, and run a hot line around the perimeter, and build a shelter for the goats, but we are pretty proud of the outcome of our hard work this weekend! Not to mention that we learned a lot lessons. Hopefully the next fence we place will go a little smoother.
Today we had a delivery of two donkeys. The donkeys will have the very important job of guarding our goat friends from predators. The goats themselves are pretty young and still nursing with their mamas, but they should be arriving in March/April.
Unfortunately, the delivery driver got stuck in the mud because of all the ice and snow. So it was Brian and his trusty orange tractor to the rescue pulling him out and getting him back on the road again.
The donkeys settled into the pastures pretty quickly, nibbling on the forage and exploring the area. We found a local hay vendor near the property where we purchased some hay and bought some feeders and a water trough. It was a busy day!
Now we just need to come up with names for these little ladies! Any suggestions?
We broke ground in September and the construction is finally completed today! It's been a long road, but well worth it. The shop is very large (60' x 70') with plenty of space for storage as well as a workshop, kitchenette, bathroom and loft for sleeping. It is insulated (yay!) so hopefully we will be protected from Texas weather extremes. Now that construction is completed, we are on to the next steps - installation of water collection system, septic system, electricity and interior details. A lot of work done but a lot still left to go!