Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Split Pea Soup in the Electric Pressure Cooker


Our Easter Dinner usually includes Ham.
Ham, usually means leftovers.
Leftover Ham, usually means soup.

I decided to use this year's leftover Ham bone in a Split Pea Soup Recipe.

For some reason I was under the impression that I couldn't make split pea soup in the Pressure Cooker. After some research, I found out I was wrong. I am not sure where I got that idea from, but glad that I discovered it wasn't true!







Split Pea Soup

4 cups Split Peas
8 cups water

1 chopped Onion
3 diced Carrots
2 stalks diced Celery

Sort and rinse Split Peas.
Place in Pressure Cooker. Add ham bone, water, onion, carrots, and celery.
Place lid on Pressure Cooker. (follow directions on your Pressure Cooker)
Set to high for 10 minutes.
When timer goes off let the pressure go down naturally.


Add salt to taste after it has been cooked.


Done!~
So fast and Easy. 




I didn't have fresh onion and celery. I used freeze dried celery and dried minced onion. Still tasted great.
I used yellow split peas.


This is a super recipe and a great way to use up that leftover ham!








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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Goat Kids and Disbudding

Sophie's doe kid 2014



We have goat kids on the farm! They are the cutest little things and they always manage to bring a smile to my face.

I know that many take their dairy goat kids from their mothers when they are born and bottle feed them.
We choose to leave them with their mothers after they are born. The dams take great care of their kids and leave us with little to do.

We also choose to disbud (dehorn) our goats. There are some who choose not to, but most Dairy Goats are disbudded when they are young.  Our girls show in 4-H and no horns allowed in Dairy classes. But even if we did not show, we would still choose to disbud them.

2013 Kids



The first couple of years that we raised goats a neighbor disbudded our kids for us.
After we decided we were going to continue to raise goats and that we would have kids every year we bought our own electric dehorner so we could do it ourselves. It is easier than taking the kids off farm to have it done.

We have been doing the procedure for about 15 years. We have never lost a kid or had any real serious problems. On occasion, we have waited too long and ended up with a buckling with horns. They can grow in pretty quick. The different goat breeds seem to vary on how fast the horns grow in. When we had Nubians it seemed we could wait almost 3 weeks. With Saanens we had buck kids that we could not do at a week. With the Oberhasli and Toggenburg we have about a 7-14 day window to get them done without any problems.

Mike is the one that ends up doing the procedure.  We catch the babies, give them their tetanus shot,  and clip the hair from the top of their heads, but he does the actual disbudding. He has a drawer that he uses to hold the goats, to make it a one man job. 

I am not going to lie, it is not for the faint of heart! But then a lot of aspects of raising livestock are not!  If we actually rated the top ten things we dislike about raising livestock, disbudding would easily be up there in the top 3.


Sophie, who is now a mamma


I am grateful it is a quick process and the kids seem to handle it very well and are back to bouncing around in no time.

For a tutorial on disbudding you can visit:
http://fiascofarm.com/goats/disbudding.htm




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Friday, April 18, 2014

Shepherdess Notes: Raising Bottle Lambs




We are making up for all of the years we have not had any bottle lambs.
This year we have quite a few!

There are several reasons you may end up with a bottle lamb.

Ewe rejects the lamb. 
We do what we can to remedy this. I will put the ewe and her babies in a a pen.
If the mother pushes the lambs away or refuses to let them nurse, I will put a halter on the ewe and tie her up so she cannot move her head and I will let the lambs nurse. If the ewe is not aggressive towards the lambs, I will keep the lambs with her in the pen.
I will go out every couple of hours and make sure the lambs are eating. Even if it means that I have to continue tying her up each time. The lambs need the colostrum that they get from their mothers the first few days.
Usually the ewe will come around.
If the ewe is aggressive with the lambs (hurts them) I will keep them in a separate pen next to hers.
If this doesn't work then we have a bottle baby on our hands.

Ewe dies
We have never had this happen, but on occasion the ewe dies after she lambs. You can try to graft the lamb onto another ewe who gives birth to a single or loses her lamb/lambs. If that is not possible you are left with bottle feeding.

Ewe does not have adequate milk

This is the situation we are in this year. We had a hard winter and have a few older ladies that can't provide enough milk for their lambs. We decided to keep the lambs with the ewes and supplement bottles.
I like to keep the lambs with their mothers if we can. They are more socialized that way and act like sheep.  When we are their "sole mothers" they do not behave like sheep. Life is much easier for them when they are raised with the flock.

Too many lambs for ewe to take care of 
We have only had triplets a couple of times in all the years we have raised sheep.
But some breeds are known more multiples, and sometimes the ewe cannot take care of them all, so you have to make a choice and bottle feed one or two of the lambs OR supplement them all.

Lambs do well on goats milk. When we have an adequate amount of milk on hand that is what we use.
This year we do not have enough to go around so we are using Lamb Milk Replacer. It is expensive and not my first choice.
If I have extra goats milk I will mix it in with the Lamb Milk Replacer.

I had a bag of milk replacer on hand in the freezer but upon further inspection I realized it was NOT for sheep. Too much copper content. Make sure you check labels when purchasing replacer from the farm store.
They are not all created equally. Different species of livestock have different needs.

Thankfully, the bummer lambs we have this year took to the bottles right away. I was surprised since they were actively nursing. Bottle feeding doesn't always go smoothly. Some lambs are quite stubborn and take quite a bit of coaxing to accept the bottle.
We follow the feeding guidelines given for feeding the replacer.
We just went to three a day feedings from four! We will eventually get down to 2.
It is time consuming having to feed the lambs. It is never the ideal thing , even if they are the cutest things ever!




Funny side note: Today we seen two of the  bottle lambs  running along side the fence. I couldn't figure out what they were doing. Then I seen what had their attention, a jogger and a young child, who was riding a bike. The lambs were chasing after them baaaing away. People! And people have bottles...
They stopped to watch the lambs, I think they must have felt pretty special having such a fan club.


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The HomeAcre Hop #66



Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop!

We are busy with lambs, kids, and now that it is actually warming up, yard work.
We haven't worked on the garden, but I did manage to start some herbs in pots.

I look forward to hearing what you all are up to! 


HomeAcre  Host

Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Ann@ Summer Acres
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal


Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)


Featured Post:

How to make Milk Kefir from The Toups Address








Congratulations!
 We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.

Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured




You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.
          Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!
 Clearwater Farm Journal


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Friday, April 11, 2014

Shepherdess Notes: Lambing Part 2




The word  to describe Lambing 2014-"inconvenient"

Sunny, warm, not busy....no lambs.
Rainy, cold, swamped, exhausted...lambs!
That basically describes how the last week has went on the farm.


The ewes have handled it much better than I have. Mike and I were both sick for over a week. I just wanted to sleep!  I may have been able to if the weather had cooperated, but with the freezing rain we had and the colder temps I was outside doing barn checks every hour.

We have quite a few first timers and sometimes they are just clueless and need more help figuring things out.
We also have more "seasoned" ewes.  They are great moms, but this winter was hard on them, and lambing just made it harder. They pulled through, but not without some extra TLC. We are supplementing some of their lambs with bottles.


Yesterday we gave shots, docked tails and put the first group of lambs in the barnyard.
That is always a sight to watch.  Ewes trying to identify her lambs, lambs calling out for their moms. Everyone running around as if  the sky if falling. It takes about 15 minutes for them to realize that the only thing that has changed is their surroundings.




We have had a rough start, but overall it has went well. Our lambing rate is lower than I would like-about 148 Percent. But we haven't had any losses yet, so that is a big plus.

About half of the ewes have lambed. The weather is improving along with our health so this next week should go much smoother. 

And speaking of lambing, Delaney just came in from feeding hay and said a ewe in is labor..
Gotta Go!

Have a Great Weekend!!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

The HomeAcre Hop #65


2014 Doe Kid (Georgia)

I have been on a blogging break. We are in the middle of lambing/kidding and it has been a little hectic.

It didn't help that the weather was cold and damp and Mike and I were both sick.
This week the weather has improved and Mike and I are feeling a little better.

For the next couple of weeks I will probably just be posting the HomeAcre Hop on Thursday's and a Friday Sheep post, until we are finished with lambing.

I am sure Spring is finding you all busy, I hope you can find some time to share your post with us!!

HomeAcre  Host


Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Ann@ Summer Acres
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal



Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)


Featured Post:
Covered Raised Beds from Garden Up Green






Congratulations!
 We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.

Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured



You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.




Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!

 Clearwater Farm Journal












 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

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