Goats

doe with kids
photo from Blessed Little Homestead

From her blog, dated around 18 months ago or so, this is one of their does who had recently kidded. Twins.  Not uncommon, BTW. Goats often have two or three kids.

And this one is actually better than what I’ve seen since then. She’s in what appears to be a pen of some sort with some shelter, and bedding. Old blankets are not exactly the best choice, but hey, if you don’t have straw . . .

And the doe is either naturally polled (born without horns) or was properly disbudded as a kid.  That’s good.

Points subtracted for using baling twine as a collar.  How to strangle your goat in one easy lesson, unless it was made with some sort of breakaway thing on it.

I suspect from what I’ve read and from the various photos that these are Nigerian dwarf goats, more than likely not pure-bred, maybe mixed with pygmy.  They aren’t large.

pregnant goat
from FB page, Blessed Little Homestead

So, here’s a photo of the latest pregnant doe. According to Nicole, they had three does, and this is obviously not the same doe who kidded last year.

horns

And this is a comment from one of Nicole’s clueless supporters.  Folks like this poor woman hang on her every word, as though somehow Nicole knows anything at all about what she’s doing.

Nicole and Joe have left the horns on their goats in all probability because 1) they don’t know how to remove them, and/or 2) they don’t have the equipment necessary to do the job.

Horns are terribly dangerous. They are removed for the safety of the human beings (especially children) who might be caring for/playing near the goats and for the safety of the  other goats, especially does with large udders.

It’s a big mistake to live with horned animals, even if you think they are gentle.  Disbudding kids and calves is easy and quick if you do it when they are very young. It is beyond awful if you have to saw them off when they are grown. (Horns are like fingernails, in a way, and have a blood supply.)

Anyone who raises dairy goats knows this. It’s only the clueless types who leave dairy animals horned.

milking
From Nicole’s FB page, Blessed LIttle Homestead

Proof that they actually milked a goat.  It looks like they had about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of actual milk in that lovely plastic container. [Hint: don’t milk into plastic. It’s gross.  Milk into stainless steel.]

This is fairly typical of Nigerians. They are tiny goats and they give hardly any milk, like a hair over a quart per day. In dairy terms, this is abysmal. If you happen to be a very small family, you know, two or three people, and you aren’t particularly fond of dairy products, well, Nigerians don’t take up much space and that might work fine.

The Nauglers have 11 children.  Eleven.

How many Nigerians do you think they would need to be milking to supply their family with milk? If all three of their does were in milk at the same time (and that’s iffy indeed), that would yield a whopping three quarts of milk per day, not even a gallon, at a maximum.

In addition, the figures on dairy goat production assume that the goats are actually fed.

goats forage

“Free-range” in Nicole’s vocabulary means “we just turned them loose and they roam all over the place, including into the neighbor’s property and eat whatever the hell they want.”

Let me explain something about dairy animals. They make milk for their babies, like most mammals do. We have selectively bred them, over the centuries, to produce more milk than their babies actually need, and we take the excess.  Making milk is really hard on a dairy animal. If you’ve ever been or known a lactating  mother (breast-feeding), then you know they can eat an enormous amount of food and not gain any weight.  It takes a lot of energy to make milk.

Those little goats might make enough milk by “foraging” to feed their babies, but they simply are not going to make enough for anyone else.

A dairy cow, for example, produces about 5 to 8 gallons of milk daily.  She eats something in the neighborhood of 30 pounds of hay or grass daily. This is about six or so times as much as non-lactating cow.  She has an enormous udder. She’s also bony and looks skinny.  A healthy dairy cow has ribs you can literally see.

Contrast her with the beef cattle you often see as you drive down the road. They are huge animals, with lots of muscle, but hardly any udder at all. That’s because nobody bothers with their milk except the calf.

It’s the same way with dairy goats. They’ve been highly bred to give massive amounts of milk (for their size), and they require high-octane fuel to do it.  Oatmeal is not high-octane food.  There is almost nothing to “forage” on in Kentucky in the dead of winter. This winter is a little odd because it’s unseasonably warm, but still. . .

goat shelter
from Nicole’s FB page, Blessed Little Homestead

shelter

I suppose it’s better than nothing, which is what I think they’ve had up to now.

And one other thing, Nicole has claimed that they “make cheese” from the goat milk.  This made me laugh. It’s possible that they took their little pint of milk and stirred in a little vinegar and heated it and got some curds.  Maybe.  But they didn’t make cheddar cheese or anything even close.

One of the best reasons to milk a cow (not goats) is cheese.  And cream.  You can’t make butter from goat milk without going to a whole lot of trouble.  The fat particles are very small and it’s more or less homogenized naturally.  You don’t have to stir the cream up before you drink it. If you have a whole lot of goat milk to waste, it’s possible to churn just the milk but you’d get only a small amount of butter for your trouble.

And good cheese is hard to make without at least five or six gallons at a pop, and that’s minimum. I know you can find little kits online that purport to let you make cheese with only a gallon or two of milk, but it’s very, very hard to do that.  The reason is that the temperature of the milk has to be regulated precisely and with small amounts it fluctuates easily.  Professional cheesemakers use large stainless steel vats holding hundreds of gallons of milk, hence raising the temperature by two degrees, for instance, is easy to control.  That’s much harder to do with only a gallon of milk.

Doing anything like that on the Naugler kitchen stove (cinder blocks) is laughable.

These folks are not living sustainably by raising goats. This is one of their myths.

50 thoughts on “Goats”

  1. Thank you. This is a well thought out post, and exposes what many of us have been saying for a while-that the Nauglers are clueless when it comes to animal husbandry.
    One thing that has bothered me about this “free range” method of raising goats, is the disease and parasite issue. I am not a fan of goats, for several reasons including the smell, but I know they need a bare minimum of yearly vet care as well as proper nutrition.
    I’m not even going to touch the baling twine. It’s going to make me vomit with rage.
    Not a fan of the milking post and collar either.

  2. The goat being milked was not used to being milked. They were doing it with brute force. Young dairy animals should be trained, gently, to go into the milking stanchion. They are generally fed their grain while being milked. They learn to look forward to it.

    Tying an animal up like that is teaching the animal to hate and fear the process. But I strongly doubt this was done more than once or twice.

  3. Oh, and goats have a definite propensity to get parasites. Worming is essential. So-called “natural” wormers simply do not work.

    There is some truth to the idea that giving them more space to roam lessens the likelihood of them getting worm-infested, so the Nauglers may dodge that issue that way. Of course, no fencing and “free-range” means that they are wandering onto the neighbor’s fields with impunity, I’m sure. It also makes them quite vulnerable to predators (dogs, coyotes).

  4. I felt sorry for the goat when I saw that. It also occurred to me that the kids may have been seriously injured, or they could have killed the doe. It certainly did not help milk yields.
    I’ll bet the kids didn’t care for the taste of fresh goat milk, especially milk from an animal lacking in cleanliness and nutrition. Probably why they don’t talk much about milking them.

  5. Garbage in, garbage out. What your dairy animals eat will affect the flavor of the milk. Their definition of free-range will make for some wild variables in the quality and quantity of milk produced.

    Yet another failure of the parents to give any useful lessons to the children.

  6. What your dairy animals eat will affect the flavor of the milk.

    That’s true, but of course, these people are not milking nor drinking the milk at all. Nicole just posts pictures and lets her followers assume that’s what they are doing.

  7. Loved this post. The Nauglers are the most inept homesteaders I ever saw. How their supporters can be so gullible is beyond me. Having dairy animals is hard work. Joe and hard work don’t seem to meet up very often. I always wonder what happens to all those free range animals they have. You see a picture or two of them when they first arrive on the homestead and then they disappear. Where are the rest of the goats? What happened to the rabbits? Where are the chickens now? How are all the dogs doing? I bet the coyotes around the homestead are licking their chops. I bet their free range practices feed the coyotes well. My sympathies to the neighbor next door. I bet all the boys down at that Custer General store have a good laugh every time Joe comes over to share another Blessed Little Bullshit story.

  8. My impression is that Nicole has hoarder tendencies. It’s why she just won’t stop having babies and why she keeps accumulating animals way beyond her ability to care for them. I just remember feeling stunned disbelief when she posted about buying a fish when they were still trying to get the kids back. I just couldn’t believe that is how she would spend money or time. I think it’s a compulsion.

    It’s sad that she claims some morally superior lack of attachment to “stuff” but she seems to manage to justify acquiring all these living things. It would be so much better if she would just acquire “stuff” that wasn’t dependent on her for care so there wouldn’t be all these children and animals suffering from neglect.

    Also, with regards to the facebook comment about the goats’ horns, I wouldn’t necessarily assume that post is from a supporter. I know my strategy when posting to BLH is to sometimes raise a topic in a non-confrontational, or even an insincerely complementary, manner in order to draw attention to an issue and see if NN will comment in more detail. It can be a bit of a “give her enough rope to hang herself”strategy. She is so deliberately vague when she posts about homestead topics that I tend to think it’s a good idea to try to get her to be as specific as possible. The more she reveals about how they do things and her thought process (or lack thereof), the more likely supporters will start to see through the facade and obfuscation. (And god forbid anyone ask anything in a remotely confrontational manner because the attack dogs will pounce and NN will claim the role of persecuted victim.)

  9. They don’t even have the good sense to rotate pastures to minimize parasites and get the maximum use out of their forage. Nor do they supply them with hay. Pellets can be helpful but they’re not the best choice over the course of the winter. Dairy goats need high quality forage, not whatever they can scrounge on acreage that has second-growth scrub. Has anyone seen whether or not they supply any minerals or salt for their goats? Loose or in blocks? Would they know how to get their hay analyzed? I doubt they would bother, of course.

    It’s like they read what experienced people have written and then just shove it all to one side with a sneer. I suggest they invest in a textbook or two if they’re ever going to get serious about doing something more with those goats then using them for photo opportunities and/or fundraising.

  10. They don’t even have the good sense to rotate pastures to minimize parasites and get the maximum use out of their forage.

    From what I can see of their land (via Google Earth), they don’t have any pastures. Nor do they buy any hay or grain of any sort that I know anything about. In her own words, the goats “forage.” And like oatmeal as a treat. My goats used to love cigarette tobacco, but that doesn’t mean we thought we could feed them that and get milk.

  11. Well, they can hardly rotate pastures if they don’t bother to fence their property at all. Yes, it would help if they would clear their land of the scrub trees, get the soil analyzed, address underlying issues, seed it and then keep the goats off of it for enough time for the pasture to really take hold. That takes longer than most people care to think about and it’s hard to stick with the plan when you see those green shoots and think, “At last!”

    It can be done though, even with goats, if someone were willing to invest the time, energy and money to do so. Plus taking the time to learn a skill well. Not their style, to date.

    http://articles.extension.org/pages/19924/goat-pasture-management This may not be the best article for them to start with but it’s a darn sight better than “they’re goats and can fend for themselves”.

    I doubt they can find high-quality hay now, certainly they will have to pay more for it than they would have done if they bought it off of the field, but they should jump right on it. This warm spell won’t be with us forever and it’s less expensive to purchase a few round bales now than it will be in February. If it can be had at all.

  12. I will start off by stating I have no knowledge of farming. With that said, if I decided to homestead, I would thoroughly research it by first asking those that are knowledgeable in this field and follow up with reading/researching the topics I would need to know and then some, and follow up with more questions. These people seem to have just gone right ahead w/o much preparation. With all of the time they spend online they could’ve read quite a bit and by now actually homesteading. Their stubbornness in asking or accepting any type of helpful info on running a homestead is beyond words. Then again, much of what they do is. That pond looked worse this summer….I’m sure when it’s warmer, more bacteria will grow. When they first moved on to that land, from the pics it looked a lot cleaner. Like many have said, it is sad for the kids, that don’t realize there is another world outside of the one they are forced to live in. Not realizing there is so much more out there for them. Those parents aren’t equipped to take care of themselves, let alone 11 children.

  13. It appears to me, and by her own statements on her various postings, that she has little interest in either fact checking or understanding the various memes, quotes and videos she posts. Seriously, the woman will post some video and then state that even she hasn’t watched it. It seems that her motives are either to play on people’s emotions for her own gain or incite or irritate people, once again for her own gain. It saddens me. Such beautiful, bright, hard working children with such potential appear to me to just be props to their parents in a game I just don’t understand.

  14. I would thoroughly research it by first asking those that are knowledgeable in this field

    I will tell you how it’s done. You ask your neighbors. You ask the dude at the feed store. You find a good vet and ask him/her.

    You might get conflicting advice. That’s okay. What you get, though, is ultimately some sense of consensus. If everyone in your area uses round hay bales with a particular style of ring, there is usually a good reason. If everyone is raising a particular breed of cattle, or chickens, or goats, there is also generally a very good reason for it.

    You ask around and find out who knows about pond management. You go visit that person. You aren’t a smart ass. You are humble and ask.

    And people are kind and good and generous and they will help you. They will go out of their way to help you, especially if you are willing to help them out in return or buy the guy a six-pack every now and then.

    But if you want to be an ass and refuse anyone’s advice and charge along on your own and fall flat on your face, they will let you do that too.

  15. They should also go find and take several classes from a master gardener in the area. More than several! They are so far behind in site preparation alone that it beggars belief.

  16. That’s another wonderful resource. The local extension service. Free classes galore. In some cases, the agent will come out and help you test your soil, or evaluate your pond, or give you a lesson in pruning old fruit trees.

    Of course, the service is provided by the evil nasty government which the Nauglers want to eliminate totally. . .

  17. It’s been my experience that when a person believes they already know everything, they do not listen when you try to teach them something.

    We had neighbors move in from NY state. They asked my dad for advice on how to do a certain thing. Mind you, my dad had a lifetime as a farmer experience to draw from. He told the new neighbor how to do the thing he asked about. The new guy says, “Well, that sounds good but I think I will do it my way.” And it failed. Every time, he failed because he never listened to the ‘expert’.

  18. They are not homesteaders. They are poor ignorant squatters. That land will be worthless to any living thing by the time these grifters are done with it.

  19. I don’t know how to actually reply to a specific comment but I agree with you localyokel. They had no options after burning every bridge they had and decided to call it “homesteading”. Threw a couple goats and rabbits into the mix (for picture purposes only) and called it “living off grid”. If someone offered them a house in the middle of a city, all bills paid, so their lazy butts wouldn’t have to work, they’d jump on that in a heartbeat. There’s no genuine attachment to living off the land or homesteading. I can’t believe I considered their lies as truth at one point.

  20. I don’t know how to actually reply to a specific comment

    I set this up with no threading of comments. Threads get confusing and make it very hard for people to keep up, and they also make the replies and replies to replies get narrower and narrower on phones.

  21. I am beginning to think the animals are more pets, than productive farm animals. The dogs, goats, rabbits, chickens. And seems like there is some tragedy then and again..the dogs killed the chickens, don’t know if the rabbits survived the dogs and cat. Dog gets out on the road and run over. Doubtful making any income, or even goats and chickens providing much milk and eggs. Even selling baby goats, probably wouldn’t cover costs incurred. Or the dog breeding. Wouldn’t get much dog food, from the few bunnies. Maybe the animals give homesteading ambiance.

  22. Oh boy, even the animals can’t thrive or survive. Somethings got to give at that Blessed Little Mess. I just hope the children are not harmed even more than they already are. They have an awful winter to get through yet.

  23. There’s a surprise newborn goat non-homestead today. Is that common? I hope the new goat mom gets the proper food and care. The baby is adorable.

  24. I saw that. They didn’t know the goat was pregnant.

    I guess that happens with large herds, but they do not have a large herd. It means that they basically don’t pay any attention much to their animals. When our cow is pregnant, we know the day she was bred, and what her due date is, and about a week prior, we go on calf watch round the clock.

    But that’s just me.

    Even the dairy near us knows when their cows are due (dozens of them) and bring the ones closest to calving into a sheltered area.

  25. Poor goats. No, December births are not the done thing for a lot of reasons. The weather isn’t conducive, for one thing. The grass isn’t coming up or established. They’re going to have to be particularly vigilant regarding feeding mom so she can feed the kid and that means more than table scraps. That means going to the feed store and spending money, then ensuring that she gets what she needs (separating her from the others). Free-ranging with a newborn kid in the winter is just going to lead to predators moving in for a quick easy meal.

    They really need to go get good hay – NOW. Plus consulting with someone at the agricultural extension service, a nutritionist (hopefully one is on staff) and a large animal veterinarian to set up a program for the benefit of mom and the rest of the herd.

    Why in the world didn’t they use a marking stick on the buck’s chest to note who was mounted, when and be prepared for a kid? This should not have been a late-December SURPRISE.

  26. http://articles.extension.org/pages/19441/goat-reproduction-parturitionkidding

    I know Nicole has read this blog in the past and probably ground her teeth in fury. I do hope she reads the link above and then checks on all her goats. Gestation is about 150 days and if there are going to be more kids in the wintertime it’s imperative that they stop trusting to luck and get serious about taking care of these goats. It’s the right thing to do.

    If you can’t be bothered to take care of your goats, it’s not going to reflect favorably on you when you start giving classes on how to properly take care of your pet dogs and cats. Particularly when you’re discussing irresponsible breeding.

  27. Sorry, but this isn’t homesteading or farming. It’s a slap in the face to people that actually homestead. It’s ill conceived and quite honestly cruel to the animals under their charge. I see that she “suspected” one of her goats was pregnant. The kids died.

    They have a dozen crossbred roosters wandering around, goats wandering around, who knows how the grand rabbit venture turned out.

    It’s borderline criminal. Hell it is criminal. It’s animal abuse due to sheer ignorance and irresponsibility. This kind of “crunchy” “blessed” nonsense appeals to a lot of folks that have watched too much Disney and have no real clue about managing and properly caring for animals.

    But that’s how they roll. And they blog to “teach”?

    Teach the masses of clueless followers how you’re feeding that new mother. What kind of hay are you feeding? Where are you storing it. How much do they get. What is their water source? Is it that dead pond? What kind of caprine supplements are the goats getting to ensure adequate nutrition while nursing.

    Teach us oh blessed “homesteaders”

  28. They lost babies last year too.

    This is the wrong time of year to be letting goats kid if there is not any proper shelter for mama and babies, so likely they will lose more.

    Those goats do not get hay or grain so mama’s milk will not be the best for those babies.

    They let the buck run with nannies all the time so with willy nilly breeding they have no control over when kids will be born. The goats are like the owners non stop breeding.

  29. Disgusted wrote, “Sorry, but this isn’t homesteading or farming. It’s a slap in the face to people that actually homestead.”

    Too true. Not only that, she’s doing a disservice to anybody and everybody who has ever thoughtfully and carefully bred animals for a purpose. Regardless of whether the animal was going to be kept or sold.

    One definition of a Hobby Breeder – “A breed fancier who usually has only one breed but may have two; follows a breeding plan in efforts to preserve and protect the breed; produces from none to five litters per year; breeds only when a litter will enhance the breed and the breeding program; raises the puppies with plenty of environmental and human contact; has a contract that protects breeder, dog, and buyer; runs a small, clean kennel; screens breeding stock to eliminate hereditary defects from the breed; works with a breed club or kennel club to promote and protect the breed; and cares that each and every puppy is placed in the best home possible. ”

    They don’t even have hay stored for these animals. I doubt they have contacted anyone in the last year in order to purchase hay in advance, or develop a good relationship in order to get hay delivered as needed. Not to mention trying to minimize waste by the animals. They may be small goats, but there is no point in not trying to feed them properly.

    Set up an account at the Southern States if you’ve burned the local bridges beyond repair.

    Get this, keep it out of the rain: https://www.southernstates.com/catalog/p-9480-southern-states-goat-forage-supplement-tub-125-lb.aspx

  30. applause, applause….Disgusted. Very well spoken! With regard and respect, add real homesteaders and farmers to the face slapping line. Queued along side real homeschoolers and real off the grids. Where some groups have spoken out, in defense, and maybe offense.

  31. A concerned commenter on page regarding the kid goat deaths. Advising to get the doe be checked by a vet. And referencing the Merck Manual on possible infections, lacking essential nutrients and other causes. One hopes for the animals’ health ..the anti vaccine, anti professional medical care and anti knowledgeable, will be set aside. Proper care of pets and farm animals, is an investment and expense.

  32. “One hopes for the animals’ health ..the anti vaccine, anti professional medical care and anti knowledgeable, will be set aside.”

    I doubt it. Veterinarians aren’t going to work for free and if I were a practicing vet, I wouldn’t set up a rolling account for the Nauglers. I would expect payment in full. No net 30. I don’t know that I wouldn’t insist that it be cash.

    No, I bet they’ll talk about ‘survival of the fittest’ and ‘natural law’ and let them go. After all, these goats aren’t even legal to sell because they’re not tagged but that hasn’t stopped them from doing so anyway. No way to trace any diseases that could move from one area to another. These animals aren’t going to be suitable for 4H nor would anyone who is serious about their herd and its health isn’t likely to risk what they’ve accomplished with sketchy livestock. Naturally you quarantine new animals but in light of their complete lack of documented information and health records, I’d quarantine them longer still but really I wouldn’t bother getting them at all. They have no particular trait that makes them incredibly productive or valuable.

    They’re cute little goats but they’re more for those who would like to play pretend, or as pets, rather than production. They still deserve to be cared for properly.

    There are so many things that aren’t done well on that property. I wish they would pick something – anything – and get it right.

    To succeed you must proceed to exceed. There is also a spelling lesson in there for her kids. These are the only three words in the English language with the suffix -ceed.

  33. The Nauglers claim to be learning homesteading as they go, and use their blog to teach.
    But to learn, one must be able to take advice and constructive criticism. To learn one must be invested in reading, hearing, absorbing everything about homesteading—including ivestock breeding and care. In order to later teach, the Nauglers must have analyzed and critiqued their homesteading experiences, and communicated what has worked, what didn’t, and why. They don’t do this at all.

    How do you let goats “free range” to self-feed and breed all times of the year, when you live in a climate with snow, predators, and sparse food in the winter? How do you allow dogs to run amok and wander onto neighbors’ properties, abandon them while you go live in a motel, and expect them to survive on their own?

    The Naugler pets and livestock are not taken to veterinarians for screenings, vaccinations, supplements. That costs money. But owning animals costs money. Animals get parasites, infections, diseases and injuries, all of which can result in sickness and mortalities — perhaps why the goat kids just died. (But they’ll never know for sure because they won’t test the mother goat, nor the dead kids.) The Naugler livestock are also not cared for to ensure they have adequate food, clean water or appropriate shelter.

    And this woman is a pet groomer.
    Let her groom animals for money, but from where I sit, the Nauglers should not own animals at all.

  34. . Veterinarians aren’t going to work for free and if I were a practicing vet, I wouldn’t set up a rolling account for the Nauglers.

    Just FWIW, we have donkeys, cattle, pigs, chickens, cats and a dog, and we don’t use a vet very much. Our heifer calves have to see a vet once before they turn 6 months old for a vaccination. We put the calf in a trailer (borrowed) and haul her to the vet. Minimal fee.

    Our pets (the cats and the dog) see a vet as necessary.

    The other animals, well, we have been a good neighbor here and our neighbors help us out. One of them knows more about dairy cattle than we ever will and he comes and “doctors” our animals. So far, we’ve avoided expensive vet visits. It can be done.

    There is a point where you reach a financial trade-off. It makes no sense at all to spend $500 in vet fees to save the life of a $400 calf. And no chicken is ever worth a vet’s attention.

    To give you an example: One of our calves had an accident the other night. These are bull calves, just entering adolescence. They “play” mount each other, sort of gay sex playacting. One of them (named Blue) mounted another one who was standing beside a metal fence post, using it to scratch his neck. The mounted calf stepped forward and Blue came down on the fence post.

    He was very lucky and it glanced him, leaving about an 18-inch-long slash in his belly instead of impaling him. But we think it knocked the wind out of him as well, and he just lay there on the ground, stretched out on his side.

    Cattle don’t lie like that. They lie down a lot (they sleep lying down), but they position themselves up on their brisket (chest), not out flat with all four legs sticking out. Their digestive systems won’t work right that way.

    So he bloated.

    When we looked for him about two hours later, we couldn’t find him (it was after dark) and when we did, we were just sick because he looked like he was going to die. We called our friend the cattle expert who came over immediately. Before he got here, Blue had decided maybe he wouldn’t die and got up. We got him into the barn where we could see and put him on the ground (no small feat with an animal that weighs about 600 pounds) to examine his belly.

    In the end, our friend gave him an antibiotic, a dose of a steroid, and some Banamine (pain killer) and we walked him around for a bit. The bloat seemed to lessen. Finally we kissed the calf good night (although I admit that I went back out to the barn at midnight to check on him) and left him in the barn with some hay and water for the night. We knew he’d either be okay in the morning or he’d die.

    He decided to live.

    Stuff happens. We managed to strangle one of the first set of goats we had (collar with no breakaway mechanism and she was staked to a cinder block because we didn’t have the pen ready – she got tangled with another goat and strangled in less than five minutes). But we learned from our mistakes and did better the next time (no more collars without breakaways, and no more cinder blocks).

    If you have livestock, you are going to have losses. But if you just shrug, you’ll continue to have losses. In our case, there are no more metal fence posts in our pasture anywhere. They were removed the next morning.

  35. ” But to learn, one must be able to take advice and constructive criticism. To learn one must be invested in reading, hearing, absorbing everything about homesteading ”

    The Naugler’s are only interested in reading, hearing, absorbing everything about themselves.

    Living in this cesspool of a homestead is the result of their inability to learn.

  36. Blessed Little Blogger, Your animals are receiving medical care as needed. You probably feed them too, and give them fresh water. But, do you really kiss a cow?

  37. I’ve worked in the field and in fact, I worked several years for a mixed-practice vet who not only made farm and house calls, but also had a practice out of the home. I’m very familiar with people who mostly take care of their own animals. I do it myself. The only vaccines I won’t give are the ones that require a veterinarian to give it (Flu Avert), or they have to give it in order to sign off on the paperwork (rabies). There were clients who did pay in food (elderly mostly) but they weren’t the majority of the clients. Otherwise, the house would never have been paid for, nor the truck, insurance, drugs, equipment, etc.

    T-posts absolutely need to have caps – animals, like children, are just programmed to self-destruct given the slightest opportunity. I don’t even like wood fencing and I mostly don’t use it for my horses.

    My equine vet comes out once or twice a year for the annual check-up/floats and if there is an emergency. It turns out he also sells Heartgard & Bravecto for 65% less than the local small animal vet, so they’ve now lost my business except for when I HAVE TO take one of the dogs to them. When you purchase from the vet you have the assurance that the drugs were shipped and stored properly, you don’t necessarily get that consumer protection when you have it shipped directly to yourself. Believe me, I’ve looked into it. Anyway, he doesn’t wish to do cats and dogs except in passing for long-time clients, darn the luck.

    Glad your calf made it – it’s depressing when they don’t. Ditto for when people don’t call the vet when things are just starting to go wrong. I’ve also had to help saw a dead calf out of a cow and that wasn’t fun at all.

    I’ve taken care of many minor colics myself but I still call the vet because things can go pear-shaped very quickly and the horse may need further treatment than I can legally provide, needs to be destroyed or we’re going to New Bolton. I’m not going to risk losing my job by getting charged for practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Particularly when it’s not my horse.

  38. But some things they do, are so careless. You know, like an ounce of prevention is worth a ton. What seems like rather basic. Like the wood stove, cringing at a fire tragedy waiting to happen. And with the older “cabin”, seeing the gas cans and generator so close. Leaving and staying away from the homestead, with the dogs and animals unattended, I think it was when they were staying in a hotel. The rocket stove, using cinder blocks. Cinder blocks cannot withstand extreme heat, and that is a safety hazard. The older “cabin”, when constructing it, putting the foundation posts on stacked cinder blocks, is what is appeared in the photo. The rifles, leaning against the walls. Where at the very least could be raised up higher from the littles reach. How many times have I read where siblings or friends picked up guns in the home and playing with them…and one getting shot. The rifles are said for shooting predators of the animals. Is there thought of bringing the free roaming animals into enclosed shelters at night, away from coyotes? Predators are opportunists. I dunno, I just hate when there are tragedies, when perhaps a little ounce of prevention may have gone a long way. Oh I agree, Blessed Little Blogger, most everyone makes mistakes. And learns, kind of like the carpenter adage, “measure twice and cut once”…so it doesn’t happen again! I feel certain there are plenty of people in the area that can share advice. It’s a rural community where lots of people are raising goats, chickens, rabbits..and crop farming. There are even old fashioned off the grid types, a couple or more Amish communities. Several opportunities to “sponge up” and learn.

  39. “Like the wood stove, cringing at a fire tragedy waiting to happen.”

    The bricks don’t even extend 8″ beyond the edge of the wood stove, there most assuredly isn’t at least 18″ of bricks (or pavers) extending from the front of the doors and they certainly don’t appear to be properly secured to the floor or each other. I haven’t wanted to see if they ever bothered to use a heat shield for the wall(s) nearby.

    Let us hope they aren’t burning green wood. Hopefully someone in the family took it upon themselves to cut, split, stack and dry firewood beginning this spring and summer.

  40. They did not gather any wood in the spring or summer. They gathered sapling trees and junk wood I believe just before the baby was born. Surely not enough time for it to season. They could not do it in the summer cause their child slave labor was gone a good part of the summer and when they came back their labor was needed at the grooming shop. The old man is too lazy to have done it alone while the kids were gone. Oh wait they did not even stay at the un-homestead while the kids were gone. The woodstove alone is a fire hazard as it has been altered to use for cooking.

  41. I remember wondering if anyone was minding the animals when J/N were at the nice hotel with TWO swimming pools. I thought it was very funny that Nicole insisted that someone had messed with their vehicle in some manner but then refused to file a police report. Cast aspersions on the hotel and the staff but then not follow through by getting an investigation started. It made me wonder if there were cameras trained on the parking lot that would demonstrate 1) no one messed with the car 2) one of them did it and then tried to shift the blame elsewhere.

    In any case, they didn’t stay at BLaH one second longer than absolutely necessary once the kids were no longer there. Nor did they get started on cleaning anything once the kids were gone. I sympathize that they were upset but to spend the money running off to a hotel rather than staying with a friend for a night or two and then getting down to work made my sympathy drain away like water poured onto sand.

    They had money in the GFM and they could have rented a bobcat for a week for $1000 or so – which would have helped clean up a lot of stuff with not a lot of physical exertion on their part. Joe may have physical limitations of some sort that aren’t obvious (and none of our business), so all the more reason to take advantage of tools. He doesn’t appear to embrace that sort of thing. I mean, they didn’t even pull stuff out of the pond using their own vehicle.

  42. Physical limitations = no. Family has said that the Mrs does not want the Mr to work. Word has it that she has made him quit jobs so he can stay home and mind the kids. Family shared once the kids ate done nursing they become the responsibility of daddy as mommy is too busy with her career.

    From reading the blogs one can gather those thoughts. More than one job it was blogged about employer problems that the Mrs found not to her liking and called unfair. Look at the attention the baby gets or the ones helping at the grooming shop or the ones doing the cooking. Rarely do they get attention otherwise unless they ask for pictures to be taken. Sad when a kid has to ask for a picture to be taken = shows they are begging for attention. I guess the Mrs does not realize that or she would not be saying so and so asked me to take a picture. She does not realize she is telling the readers that the kid is starving for attention.

  43. At one point in time there was a photo of diabetic test strips, so I was thinking that *maybe* Joe has some sort of medical issue. I didn’t really believe it to be the case, but was willing to entertain it as a possibility.

    From what I have read elsewhere it’s less that she makes him quit jobs than he gets himself fired, or it’s apparent he’s about to get fired so he quits. I don’t think he likes working for other people anyway. Having to get tasks done in a timely manner isn’t his forte. He can play pretend at the homestead and boss the kids around instead.

    Neither of them enjoy working for other people and being held accountable. I can imagine how sullen and snide they must be to patrons, fellow employees and employers. When she was working for others, Nicole would take one or more kids with her. Not only were they being used as free labor, they were emotional shields to prevent her employer from bouncing her. It’s hard to fire someone in front of their children. Particularly if the kids look or behave in a manner that elicits sympathy.

    The elder children are going to soon find out that fewer people are going to find them as appealing when they’re adults and it’s going to be hard to generate that same level of goodwill. Particularly if they’re angry adults. I do hope they figure out a way to support themselves and not spend their lives antagonizing others. That’s a very lonely life.

  44. The story behind the diabetic test kits as told by the puppet Amanda M. – was the Mrs had coupons to get them for free and the Mrs used them to monitor her blood sugar while pregnant. The Mrs commented that they used them for a school lesson.
    The only health (if you wany to call them that) issues that were told by family was when younger the Mr had behavioral and anger issues that caused him to act out aggressively causing bodily harm to family. It was said he under went treatment for that.

    Neither of them seem to play well in any form with others. Only seems they can function with others if they are getting money, goods or some form of hand out from others. When the giving stops they get ugly.

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