Chocolate, Chip and Brussels Sprouts

No, they aren’t food items served together …

This is our sick goat Chocolate and her little Chip. Chocolate is much better, but still fragile. Chocolate and Chip are not food items at all! We sold Chip’s two brothers after the fire and we all miss them. Lefty was so endearing and Socks was the same color as Chocolate with darker legs. After the fire, we could not keep all of them. Chip is a small female and we really don’t want her bred. She was the first-born of triplets about a year ago on a day about like today — windy, sunny, cool. In the background is our first-born goat here at the ranch, Goatie’s BG (Boy Goatie)

Below: some of David’s freshly-picked Brussels sprouts … they were good! Sweet. Beautiful. Definitely food.

Near Winter’s End

Getting a jump on the flowers and the cleaning before Spring

We haven’t posted much in the last few weeks. We continue to spend most of our days cleaning up after the fire. Brushing and burning continues, and now we have also started vacuuming ash from all the buildings.

We are expecting some goat kids next month if all goes well. Both does will be first-time mothers — often perilous, so while we want to be really excited about new goat kids and more goat milk, we are keeping emotions in check for now. One of our mature does suddenly got sick a couple days ago. The vet was out yesterday and not optimistic. However, we have thrown the kitchen sink of treatments at the goat and surprisingly, she ate a few leaves today. Not out of the woods, but eating is better than not!

Speaking of vets, our long-time cat/dog vet is retiring. Both dogs and cat got to see Dr. McKenzie one last time this week. Our ranch call vet at this time is willing to do basic maintenance with us for the dogs and cat, so that will actually be easier. If we need emergency care for the dogs or cat, we can go to Chico. For larger animals, all the way to Davis or Roseville (west or east of Sacramento — 2 hours one-way). At this time, all the animals look good except Chocolate, the sick goat. Grass is greening up, so they get more to eat. However, there are toxic things in the grass, too, like mushrooms that should not be eaten. We think that’s what happened to Chocolate.

The daily traffic on the road has been a steady stream of dump trucks and logging trucks going back and forth to Berry Creek — cleanup continues at a fast pace because we haven’t had much rain. There are traffic delays and one-way traffic all along the way to Oroville because they are taking all the trees down along the highway. We think they are overdoing it and actually taking some good trees, but in any case, many will sprout from the roots and create a new fire hazard in a few years because no one will come back to clean up after this clear-cut. What once was a scenic highway is now a heavily congested road through a clear-cut wasteland. This will probably go on for several years given the magnitude of the fire and what has to be rebuilt. Our little spot is kind of like an oasis now.

Soon, we will be on our 2021 quest for water … drilling another well and rebuilding the aqueduct that supplies ag and fire suppression water to us and our families along the creek.

Let There be Mushrooms!

For a birthday gift, David received a bunch of bags with mushroom spores. We spread them out yesterday in twelve, strategic locations (where there are no goats).

Varieties included four types of morel (white, blush, black and burn-scar), as well as porcini, oyster and reishi.

Depending upon weather conditions, they may make enough mycelial energy to fruit this Spring … otherwise, next Spring.

Go shrooms!

When Your Horn is a Pillow Prop

Right: Guru snoozes in the warm, Spring sunshine with his head resting on … his giant horns! ; Left Paul also snoozing with his head laid back so that his horn is a stabilizing prop against is body.

We would have liked to capture closer images from various angles, but they were sleeping so peacefully, we left them alone as we drove by on the tractor.

It wasn’t obvious to us how this was comfortable, but they were sound asleep with their heads propped by their horns — getting as much of the sun’s warmth as they could on their heads and necks.

Uh Oh! Stuper Bowl Sunday and the Wings Were Still on the Turkey …

… at least that’s how we started the morning.

We had our work cut out for us this morning, processing the tom turkeys we held over. Right there is 150 lbs of pasture-grazed turkey.

We have two sources of meat protein that we raise here, turkey and rabbit. The four birds in the picture will mostly be processed into sun-dried tomato/basil link sausage, ground turkey, and enchilada meat (smoked from the legs and wings; boiled off the bones). That, along with 3 whole hens already in the freezer, will supply us until next year.

We won’t be watching the football game, and instead of wings, there’s a nice breast of turkey roasting in the oven right now …

Goat Envy?

Here at Two Bucks Ranch, we usually post pictures, stories, guides and thoughts that originate here on the ranch.

But, every-once-in-awhile, we have fun sharing something fun, innovative or insightful.

When we saw this today in the “LA Times”, we felt a twinge of goat envy. We thought we did well getting our goats to cross water. We were stunned to see a goat on a surfboard!

Photo by: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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