Animals & Pets Archives · Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois
We to a big leap of faith, quit our jobs are moved to the the heart of the Shawnee National Forest to follow our dreams of self sufficiency and to make a go of living off the land… Can we help you feed your family?
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Animals & Pets

The kiddos milked our dry goat, we got 1 pint!

Yesterday my three and five year old girls joined me at the milking stand. "I want a turn!" they each announced. You see, I had our Alpine goat, Pop tart, up on the milking stand. She was out enjoying pasture earlier in the day when I noticed her udders and teats looking kind of full. Since January she's had "precocious udders" which basically means she was dried up and just began making milk again. She bagged up (her milk came in) and we noticed her self sucking (aka nursing herself) in January. Now she needs milking about once a week and we typically get 8 oz or so...

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Our goat herd grows…

We found ourselves another milk goat, one in milk! I was getting pretty panicky after getting a confirmatory negative pregnancy test on our Alpine dairy goat recently. Buttercup, our new goat, found her way to our home a week ago. Her two newborn kids also came along! I happened to see a craigslist post for a bred dual purpose goat who was about to kid...

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My experience with a sudden lump on my dairy goat- It’s NOT Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL)!

Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) is a chronic contagious disease affecting mainly sheep and goats This disease is also called pseudotuberculosis or often “abscesses,” and has been referred to as the curse of the goat industry throughout the world.

The locations shown in the photo are where CL lumps typically appear.

On Feb 11th I noticed a lump just below my doe’s ear

Mom, it’s like a zoo around here! St. Francis of Assisi at work?

After quite a stint of pet woes it seems we are getting a dose of some animal cuteness. A chick hatched out last week that we have in a brooder inside the house right now. Super cute! The husky dog returned to have some fun. She's cute and sweet as long as there aren't any poultry that could become her playthings. Munched poultry is NOT cute and I just had to process a prized hen last week because husky "played" with her.  Nathan jumped in the farm's work truck to drive the husky back to her home- three miles away when a kitten jumps from the truck, in to his arms...

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… and the special continues…

... with a living room fail courtesy of the cats. Here is what we woke up to this morning: I am not sure how we didn't wake up to the loud crash. It seems we are only conditioned to wake for Everly's sounds or something. Also, how in the heck did the cats manage to do this? That glass table top is heavy as were the books sitting on it... Despite my ant filled bra and other unfortunate happenings I did have something to be pleased about: My students first halftime performance of the year....

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It's been a special day…

... and I don't mean special in a good way! Yesterday I sprayed lotion in my hair instead of hair spray. I did it right as we were about to walk out the door too so I had the pleasure of enjoying greasy lotion hair all through the afternoon and evening. Special! Today has been just as great. First one of our pet finches got his abnormally long toenails stuck in the store bought wicker nest. Luckily he was rescued and went unscathed unlike the female finch we had back in the day that got stuck and lost several toes as a result. It is a game day for the colorguard I teach so we rehearsed this afternoon and I was a flying ant magnet! I retrieved several of them from my cleavage,...

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Really, 5 min cake in a mug? You becha!

Yeah, so thanks to Witchypoo's talks of birthday cake and wine I was having my own cake craving yesterday. She recommended I search for the 5 min cake in a mug recipe for some instant chocolate goodness and I found it here. Calls for tablespoons of sugar, flour (specifically cake flour), cocoa powder, milk, oil and an egg. Seems simple enough but then you microwave it. Sort of strange if you ask me but what the heck? So I combine my all purpose flour (didn't have cake flour, is there a difference?) , sugar, cocoa and the egg. Then I added the milk and oil and mixed the heck out of it as directed. Popped the mug in to the microwave and stood back. Our microwave makes this strange sound when you nuke stuff,...

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Still pregnant and still preparing for baby Tater's arrival

I am 37 weeks 4 days pregnant today. Things are still going as planned and all is well, I've just been less energetic and basically I am irritable and restless at this point. My mind is going 100 miles a minute but my body can't keep up. I try getting out and doing stuff but am quickly forced to retreat back to the couch or bed. Haven't had much to say here on the blog because all is still going fine and as expected, I feel like I've been sharing the normal updates for 9 months and they are the same ole shit, different day- LOL. Tater is still moving like a mad woman, I am still mucus plug loosing. Contractions are now hurty and tight at the same time but never...

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37 weeks: Last weekend at home before I head to the Farm…

Today we had a good quickie shopping trip before N went off to work. We stopped by Walgreens to take advantage of a few really good deals. Aquafresh Toothpaste was normally $2.29 each. With the store coupon found in their weekly circular ad they were marked down to $.99 each. We got 2 and also had a manufactures coupon for $.75 off which got the price per tube down to $.62 per 6.4oz tube. Not bad! We only had one of the manufactures coupons, if we had 2 of the $.75 off coupons we would have been able to get them for $.24 each. That would be less than a pack of gum. We were also on the hunt for Dawn dish soap. A 10.3oz bottle was going for $1.99 but with the...

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Weekly Winners May 18th- 24th

Here is another Weekly Winners post, all photos were captured using my new Kodak Cd-1013 Digital Camera. This is the crappy food photo edition. Behold my first attempt at making Mac and Cheese from scratch, easy enough right? I knew something was terribly wrong when the macaroni was practically disintegrated after just a few minutes of cooking but I drained it and proceeded to make the recipe anyway. Here is how it looked when plated up: N took the first bite and didn't say anything, he just seasoned the stuff and kept eating. When I took my first bite I practically vomited in my mouth. The recipe wasn't bad and the cheesy part was good as was the asparagus that was mixed in. The problem was the wheat pasta that was no longer pasta. It...

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Critters in my back yard: Rabbits, snakes, spiders, frogs and more.

There are only about 3 weeks left until I'll be at The Farm. I am doing great and Tater seems to be planning to stay inside for a bit longer (thank goodness). I've told her she has to stay put until June 4th at least, that way she'll be full term! In the meantime we have been trying to do things to have fun and to keep busy while we are waiting for Tater to do her last bits of growth and development. Things like putting the house together the way we'll need it when Tater comes home, unpacking, organizing and even vegetable gardening have been a few of our pastimes these days (other than my excessive napping). It has sure been quite a critter filled weekend for us though! Late last...

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Pets are adjusted, I think. Hell has frozen over!

The animals are finally beginning to settle down, it is a freaking miracle! We aren't waking to Dixie pawing at the door or excessive yowling from Hailey in the middle of the night AND everyone seems to be getting the hang of their new lives & homes. Dixie now uses her nifty dog house for shelter from SOME of the elements. At night she does sleep in the dog house and she has figured out how to stay in it when the hard rain is falling. I still find her digging holes in the flower beds and laying on top of the plants for shade and cool, it is not even insanely hot here yet! So, we need to get some fencing around the beds already but having her sleep in...

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Wordless Wednesday: WTF? Edition!!

Why must Jack vomit almost every time he eats? Especially now that we have WHITE carpets? Perhaps it is because he is apparently swallowing whole pieces of food as opposed to chewing them like every other animal in the world. Yep, those whole bits came right from his stomach! Nothing like the sound of a cat preparing to vomit waking you from your afternoon pregnancy nap and when you try to quicky move him from the carpet to a vomit safe tiled area. BAM, explosive vomit stream shoots from his mouth and splatters the white carpet. AND, there is not carpet cleaner here for me to clean the mess up with. Double WTF! Called N and told him to either pick me up so orange dye for the carpet or to bring home...

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Just another post written in the wee hours of the morning…

Patience is not my best attribute right now! It is 4am. The dog woke me by scratching the door, she is sleeping outside along with one of our cats. You see, we are now living in the new place and we've got white carpets throughout the whole place. The backyard is a swamp since it's been so wet and stormy this week, so that means muddy dog paws to contend with. Plus, both the dog and cat have had some newly developed bathroom/ behavior issues since we've moved from Arizona and basically I don't want ANY animals with house training or behavior issues in the new place, period. I want to keep this place accident free and I am sick of cleaning up messes. That being said we've exiled the dog and one...

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Don't worry, I am not dead- just blog slacking.

Don't worry, I am not dead. Just crazy busy. I survived the tornado warning and am still doing well with Tater. We are still moving stuff in to our new place and I did actually do the video tour of the new house today. The video is kind of a speed demon tour though, lol. I feel like we are going though the days in "fast forward" and the video really illustrates this. Today I took care of fixing the peony bed here at the old place. In the fall I divided a portion of the bed, it looked much more bare and spread out unlike the rest of the bed which was clumpy and overgrown. Peonies like other rhizomes need to be divided and spread out as the years pass....

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