Chocolate Jumps the Gun with Triplets

Chocolate decided to deliver early … on leap day! She gave birth to triplets, two bucklings and a doeling. The brothers are strong and very healthy. Their sister came out small and very weak. After a lot of coaxing and working, we managed to get her to start sucking and just checked the stable and she was eating on her own. She’s not out of the woods, yet, but certainly more hopeful for her than the beginning. Chocolate is a good mother and is doing fine.

  • a mother goat standing over three newborn goat kids, one brown and two black and white
  • three goats asleep on straw and towels under a heat lamp

The day started out with goat drama … Maggie. Maggie appeared to be blind this morning, would not eat, and did not know where she was. She had a nervous twitch in her neck. We believe it is a severe nutrient deficiency, and have managed to get her to eat and drink a little and stop twitching by giving her nutrient drenches and this evening a vitamin-B complex shot. She still doesn’t see anything (and this should be temporary if we can get her through this and figured out what’s wrong). We will have a vet here on Tuesday. Soooo … as we were dealing with sick Maggie, next thing we know, Zaman is out there with Chocolate licking all over something and we rushed out into the field and there was the first, tiny little doeling and a giant Anatolian Shepherd licking her while her mama was involved in birthing two more. Good dog!

March 1 a.m. update: all look like they are doing well.

Franck from France

Franck found us through the WWOOF program and was referred to us by our friends at the Peach Jamboree. Franck was on a sixth-month leave from work in Paris (France lets people do that without losing their job). In these past six months, Franck explored wonderful places in South and North America. Before heading back to his job in Paris, he spent some time in Northern California, in his favorite city, San Francisco, and on Two Bucks Ranch. Below is an abbreviated photo log of Franck’s time with us. We were so happy to have Franck with us and the ranch is much more prepared for this early Spring because of him.

  • man standing in field with a lot of goats
  • a list of work projects with a plastic screaming goat paperweight
  • a row of kiwi vines and a row of grape vines all tidy and mulched
  • A bed of asparagus, rhubarb, multiplying onions and a parsley plant
  • A man hugging a cow
  • two rows of raspberries tield on wires
  • a before and after picture of an aqueduct before it was cleaned full of leaves and after as a nicely dug trench

Photo credits: Franck V.

One item on the project list was “make sausage”. That project has its own post here.

Franck’s movie recommendation: The Biggest Little Farm. You can find it here: https://www.biggestlittlefarmmovie.com/. It’s very good, including stunning cinematography and some intense and emotionally challenging moments.

Joys of Spring!

  • Goat kid looking up into the camera -- funny!
  • a pink flower set in green foliage
  • Heifer getting neck scratched
  • a plum tree with light pink blossoms
  • goat with big horns
  • Water running out of a pipe
  • A brown and white goat in front of a white and black goat
  • Goat standing on wire spool
  • A brown and white goat
  • Side view of brown and white goat
  • Side view of a dark brown goat
  • Side view of a gray, black and white Alpine goat
  • Side profile of goat with horns
  • profile of goat kid face
  • goat kid with big ears
  • A very pregnant, brown and white goat

There is so much going on right now!

Lots of pregnant goats due within the month.

Things blooming everywhere.

Very, very dry and unseasonably warm and sunny every day.

Cute animals all around!

Making Sausage with Ground Turkey, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

  • Grinder, turkey meat and sausage-stuffing tube
  • ground turkey meat with sun-dried tomatoes and basil ready to stuff into casings
  • sausage stuffed into casings
  • stuffed sausage ready to freeze
  • sausage on the grill
  • pasta with our homemade pesto
  • sears and roebuck grinder with GE motor

Every year, we save two or three of our largest turkeys (40+ lbs each) for sausage. It takes about 4 hours to process them into stuffed sausage.

Steps:

1) thaw frozen turkeys to almost completely thawed

2) cut meat off bones; make some turkey-chops (like pork chops) with breast meat

3) grind all the rest of the meat

4) grind up a couple quarts of sun-dried tomatoes

5) crumble a quart and a half of dried basil leaves

6) evenly mix tomatoes and basil with ground meat

7) put the sausage stuffing tube onto the grinder and push many feet of casing (cleaned hog intestine) onto the tube

7) send mixture back through the grounder through the sausage stuffing tube at the outlet an into the casing (like creating a giant worm) (see video below)

8) create sausage links by pinching and wrapping casing as desired, tie with string and cut

9) freeze in bags for later use

We made about 25 lbs of sausage and the rest of the breast meat was cut into pork-chop size chunks for later grilling or lightly frying in olive oil with herbs/seasonings as desired.

About the grinder/motor: We purchased the grinder at an estate auction many years ago. It is from an era when America’s manufacturers made things to last. It is a Sears & Roebuck grinder with a GE (General Electric) motor. We think it is from the 1940s. It weighs 60 lbs!

Stuffing sausage (video courtesy of Franck V.)