Tuesday, February 17, 2009

They Were Just Kidding

It's been a big 24 hours in the goat department. For the most part I just ignore them and let them steal whatever it is that they want to eat. About a week ago though I decided that I thought they might be getting close to having their kids so I penned them up down in the lower barn. Yesterday afternoon while I was doing chores I noticed one of them standing by herself over in the corner of the pen, which is usually a sign that something is up. When I went in to check it out this is what I saw.

Then while we were down oohing and ahhing my wife noticed that one of the other does was looking kind of close. That one didn't do as well. When I went down to check her later that night she was in trouble. She had one head and four legs sticking out of the back of her. Both kids were trying to get out at the same time and were stuck. I was able to get one of them pushed back in far enough to deliver the other, and then there was no problem with getting the second one out. I think if I had checked a few hours earlier the kids would have been fine, but both of them ended up dying. They never were able to get to their feet. I offered the loan of the mother to Farmer Todd and family for a milk goat, so that's where she is now, until they come to their senses at least.

Then the third doe we have looked like she was thinking about it this afternoon while all the neighborhood kids (human) were down looking at the first set of baby goats. When I checked again an hour later her twins were out and up nursing. We have one more doe (a yearling) who I think is a little way off yet.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009



Last fall while I was clipping one of the pastures the motor on our one good tractor started to hammer in a way that made it pretty obvious that something had gone terribly wrong. I shut the tractor down as fast as I could, but not before the damage was done. It turned out that the head broke off of one of the valves

Early this winter I got the tractor pulled into the garage and pulled the cylinder head off to see what the story was going to be. It could of been worse, but it could have been better too. When the valve broke it cracked the piston that it belonged to, but pieces of the broken valve traveled into other cylinders through the intake manifold, and ended up getting melted into several of the other pistons. After consulting with several people who know about these things, I decided that the thing to do would be to have an automotive machine shop do a minimal head rebuild, and replace the cracked piston and the worst one of the others that was damaged. About a month or so ago I got the new pistons in, and the head back on. I've got maybe ten hours of running time on the tractor since then, and so far so good. Altogether the repair cost about $1400, excluding my time, which as always is free.