Monday, November 8, 2010

new fainting goat buck

I am way too tired to be blogging, but I had to mention our new buck. He came from Patchwork Acres in Albany, GA, although he wasn't bred there. I wanted to name him Phil, but Katie and I compromised with Ben. Unfortunately, I missed my does' heat cycle, so we'll have to wait until next time around for them all to be bred.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hunting Dachshund

This morning I got Katie on the school bus as usual, then proceeded with my farm chores. Fed the goats and their LGD, filled horses trough, threw out some chicken scratch. I kept hearing this noise from the back yard. Lucy the Dachshund had dug out again under the gate on Saturday, and I thought it was her scratching at the gate showing her displeasure at the concrete cinder block I had propped over her hole. Upon peeking around the house, I saw no Lucy. I went into the back yard a few minutes later and narrowed down the source of the sound to behind the storage shed. Was Lucy scratching at the fence? I rounded the corner and found her adamently digging at a black flexible drainage pipe that was lying by the hay shed. She would occasionally stick her head in the end of the pipe hoping to reach her prey. I'm standing there trying to decide if I should pick up the tube and try to empty out the culprit when Lucy gets her head stuck in the end. She freaks out, jumping around, running backwards, hits the hay shed, knocks over a propped up pallet on herself. I finally caught her and extracted her head. While she was shaking it off, I lifted the pipe and shook out a chipmunk who scurried to safety unnoticed. One of the lucky few that got away...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

OK, time for an update...

Yesterday morning I let the dogs out into the backyard as usual. When I called them in for breakfast, Lucy the dachshund didn't come. It's not like her to miss a meal, but I just went ahead and fed Alex. I heard Lucy's hunting bark (ridiculous excited high-pitched yip) and figured she'd treed something and that's why she didn't come in. I took the trash out to the garbage can, and there was Lucy in the front yard. Ugh, she got out somewhere. I caught her, toweled off the mud, chastised her, put her in the house, and continued on with my morning farm chores. I went to the backyard to see where Lucy had escaped, but the two gates looked fine. Must be a hole on the fence. I walked along the fencline with Alex following along until I came to the lowest part of the yard where the fence was laying completely flat covered in mud! The rain over the previous two days had washed so much silt down from the goat pen and the backyard that it had built up against the 2x4 welded wire fence and pushed it right down! (Thanks to the previous owners who had built the fence using landscape timbers as fence posts...the people who had our last farm did the same thing...FYI, you can't do this...)

So now I get to walk the dogs on a leash until this weekend when we have time to fix the fence...

Then we get home last night and Maggie and Sandy (two horses) were in the backyard. It had crossed my mind to check the fence after the storm, and I did check on the other pasture fence, but not theirs. We caught them and put them in the other pasture with the other four horses. Then I went to see how they ended up in the back yard. Turns out, when the backyard fence fell, it shifted the corner post which is shared with the pasture. There is a gate latched on to that post, and the latch had pulled loose. The horses figured this out, went out the gate, down a small hill through the woods, across the backyard fence lying in the mud, and right into the grassy backyard.

It's always something, isn't it?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Next? a llama!

Katie and I brought the goats home yesterday. We had to drive past the Mall of Georgia and we literally had people snapping picture of the goats at traffic lights. I guess those city folks don't see many goats. It was pretty funny, three goats in two dog crates in the back of a pick up truck. We stopped at a McDonalds to use the potty and get a drink and on our way back to the truck, a girl jumped out of a car in the drive through line and came running over to talk to us about the goats and pet them. I guess we created quite the distraction.

I sent off an application to adopt a llama from the Southeast Llama Rescue this week and I got a phone call from the area adoption coordinator yesterday. She has several llamas that might work out for us, and I'm really excited! I decided to go with a llama as a livestock guardian for the goats instead of a dog because there's less training involved, they eat what the goats eat, they'll stay in the fence, and I can learn to spin the fiber for my knitting. Can't wait!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I finally did it. I finally bought fainting goats. After weeks and months of research, I went shopping all weekend, looking at Nigerian Dwarf goats and myotonic goats. I bought three myotonics, a mom and two of her daughters. I'm going to pick them up next weekend. Phat Horse Farm Fainters?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rosie then and now

Here is Rosie at about 3 and a half months old.

And here is Rosie this morning about one year later.

Wonder what she'll look like next year?
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First day of school

Katie had her first day of first grade today! How grown up is that big girl...

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The proudest greyhound in the world...

Last night, Katie and I were hanging out in the living room. She was about to go to bed, and I asked her to let the dogs in. She opens the door, and too late, I noticed the creature hanging out of Alex the greyhound's mouth. He brings the thing in before I can do anything and drops it in the middle of the room. It's a huge rabbit, and still alive. I am dancing around the living room like an idiot screaming like a girl, trying to figure out what to do with it, when it gets up and runs into my bedroom. I follow it, wondering if it's under my bed, in my closet, behind boxes left over from the move...then the cat runs out of the bathroom. I go into the bathroom preceded by Lucy the Dachshund and find her picking at this poor terrified gigantic rabbit who is cornered by the toilet. I'm still contemplating what to do when the rabbit comes out and Alex scoops it up again. Finally I just grabbed the thing by it's hind legs and carried it outside. Al was none too happy about my stealing of the bunny. I dropped it on the other side of the backyard fence and haven't seen it since. Never a dull moment at the Embry farm.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chickens and goats!

Last weekend, Katie and I brought home 5 pullets! We think they are Ameraucanas, so we're waiting impatiently for some Easter eggs. Jennifer painted an awesome folk art sign for our ghetto chicken coop made out of a dog house and dog pen. Pics will be posted soon.

I just emailed a farm in McDonough, GA about fainting goats. It's time I finally did it. This farm has the cutest babies ever! Can't wait to go see them. Check them out:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You won't believe this story...

So the plan was to move the horses on Sunday July 4th. I was in GA after my first week at my new job, and my husband and daughter were in NC packing the UHaul for the drive down on Saturday. Jennifer brought her 3 horse trailer from Marietta to pick me up and Lexington, and we drove up to NC on Saturday. Of course, as we walked to the Tahoe, Jennifer commented on how low her back tire was, and we went to a gas station to put air in it. Saw the nail, and also saw the bulge that seemed to be starting... We stopped at a tire place in Elberton and the guy put a used tire on for $40, all without unhitching the trailer. Crisis averted.

We passed the UHaul on I85 in SC and waved as we crossed paths. The rest of that trip went well, and my previous manager and his wife met us at Tylers for dinner and beers. (Thanks for dinner, Bill!) It was perfect weather for sleeping in my 3 horse Sundowner weekender. We had a terrific breakfast Sunday morning at Weaver Street in Carrboro, then went back to the barn to pack up my stuff and load the horses. All was going well until Jennifer opened her trailer door...

The tongue and groove floor had popped out and you could see the ground under her trailer! She had been concerned about her floor but had several people tell her that it was fine. wasn't. The vibration of the 5 hour drive had jiggled it right out. What to do... We were able to put the floor back together and decided to go to Home Depot to have sheets of plywood cut to fit over the floor. We bought a drill, some screws, a sledge hammer, and the plywood, and headed back. I needed some air in my trailers tires, so I stopped at a BP. Something was jammed in the coin slot and I couldn't get my quarter in. I cussed, and we moved on to another gas station and found one with FREE air. Of course I had to cuss all the people who were in my way since I was driving this giant Sundowner, and they obviously didn't realize that they were ticking me off. I have no tire gauge that goes high enough for my trailer tires nor my truck tires. My husband bought me a digital one years ago, but the battery died, and I can't remove the battery to replace it. Jennifer borrowed one from some nice man, so we got the tires done. Went back to the barn, and no problem, we got the plywood down and were very proud of ourselves even though it was much later than we had anticipated, but things happen, and we handled it. Then...

Gem refused to be caught. All 5 horses were loaded, and there was Gem, cantering around the pasture. I offered to leave her with Helen, and even offered $10 on top, but she just laughed and handed me some apples to help catch her. We finally caught her with a bucket of grain and got her loaded. We were off. We were already tired and hot from fixing the floor and catching Gem, and we stopped to get a drink and put air in Jennifer's trailer tires (and the new used truck tire...). We head out of there, then stopped to put gas in Jennifer's truck. FINALLY we get on I85!

Several miles down the road, I notice that one of the plastic bins we'd put in the bed of my truck was blowing around a lot, so I pulled off on an exit to move it. I put in in Jennifer's Tahoe and started back to 85. As I turned, I noticed a bubble in the sidewall of my trailer tire, so I call Jennifer to deliver the bad news. A few more miles down the road, I have to pull over on the side of 85 because the other bin in the bed of my truck had lost it's top completely, and stuff was trying to fly out. The foal blanket had already blown out and was caught and hanging onto my trailer's propane tank. Ugh... I collected my stuff and threw that bin into my cab. We inspected the bubble and decided to try to move on...

A few more miles down the road, I hear a tire blow. If you've never experienced this, it will scare the s*%# out of you. I pull over on the side of 85 AGAIN, and guess what, it's not even the tire with the bubble in it!!! It's a trailer tire on the OTHER side of the trailer. So we discuss our options, and we get back in the trucks and limp along to a gas station. Jennifer goes in to ask if anyone knows of any tire stores that might be open, not that any would have two trailer tires in stock, but's the 4th of July AND a Sunday, so no go. I start changing the flat tire while Jennifer calls around to see what we can do. I called a friend back home to get on the internet and find a boarding or lay-up barn near Charlotte, cause at this point, I'm ready to scrap the trip and come back for the horses.

The general consensus was that we could use Jennifer's trailer spare for the bubble tire as long as it was on the front axle, and as long as we took it easy, it would get us home. So we did that. Changed two trailer tires in the gas station parking lot in Charlotte, NC, and not one person asked if we needed help. Screw 'em, we did it ourselves.

After having one tire blow out, driving after dark on the 4th of July will shoot your nerves. Every firework freaks you out. I just kept driving and wished for the best. My mantra was: Slow and steady gets me home. Slow and steady gets me home...

We made it home at 12:30 that night. Let me tell you, those horses were never so glad to get off a trailer. And I was never so glad to be home.

Things I learned:
1) Replace tires at least every 4 years, no matter what they look like.
2) If you have trailer tire issues, a smaller trailer tire that fits the lugs will suffice as long as it's on the front axle.
3) In an extreme emergency, you can take the tire completely off the front axle and limp along to a safe place.
4) If you don't have a Trailer Aid or similar ramp thing to change trailer tires without unloading, you need one. Today. I've had mine for years and it finally paid for itself a million times over.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Moving back to GA!

We've been in NC for close to a year now, and not a single person came to see our farm in GA. Paying a mortgage, apartment rent, and horse board has stretched us pretty thin, so I found a couple jobs in GA to apply to. Earlier this week I got an offer at the UGA Vet School, and I accepted! We'll be moving back to GA at the end of the month.

So now I get to move all 6 horses back to our farm in Lexington, move all of our 2 BR apartment, Kelly has to find a new job in GA, and I'm supposed to go on a business trip the week before I start my new job. All of a sudden, the month got super busy!

I'm sad about leaving my new friends here in NC, but I'm super excited about going back to our farm! After living on my own horse farm for 10 years, living in a 2 BR apartment with no porch or patio has been a harsh change. It will also be nice to be able to see my family without having to drive 6 hours.

Wish us luck on the move!