This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.
Early November means goat breeding time — time to put our billies and nannies together in hopes the Lord might graciously grant offspring starting in April, when usually it’s starting to warm up!
Even though we tried to keep some new does we kept from last year’s offspring away from the bucks, one got to one of them and had kids, and one didn’t, and so this year is her first time with the boy goats!
And without further ado, here’s the adventure from this year!
As always, we are grateful to the Lord for His continued provisions, and we pray He might grant offspring, according to His will!
Here’s a little around our homestead at the beginning and end of Texas’ 2021 arctic blast!
This was after the first main night — snow and cold, with forecasted windchills down to -18F. These were I believe our worst temperatures we’ve experienced here, even after the 2011 freeze. The thermometer says about 4F:
Here’s the homestead:
I was a little worried about the cattle, given there are some young ones, but thanks to the Lord, they all made it through ok!
During the week, Sue’s “onesy” (coveralls) in front of the wood burning stove was the favorite for the domestics:
On the first day after a week of these freezing temperatures, things started getting back to normal. Here’s our resident stray hanging out on the cistern spigot, which we had double wrapped with blankets the whole time, allowing us to use it too whenever we needed:
And here are all the goat accoutrements hanging on the fence after Sue took them off:
Those were just a few pictures, but we show a lot more in this video, which has the day after the first main night as above, and then after coming out of it 5 days later (including a surpise from a momma cow!):
All throughout, the Lord was merciful in granting all the animals come through (yes, that missing rooster from the video showed up!), and helping Sue and me with strength to do all the care-taking!
We have no grid electric or water, which actually worked to our advantage, as we always had electric and good water as needed. We pray for those still suffering from the effects, but also hope people might consider their situation and on whom or what they depend for life sustenance.
We also saw how we believe God pre-set up provision before we really knew what was coming, even though they seemed a little “cross” to us at the time: the boy goats had knocked off the top of their hay bale, but Sue just took that hay into the barn, and it ended up being their main food for the week; and I had pre-put out hay bales for the cows, and one had been eaten down a lot and spread out by the time the cold hit, and another spread around some, but those also afforded bedding for the cattle. Also, both the tractor and truck starters went out at the same time a few weeks ago, we needed both for this cold front, and so they were ready to go.
Once again, we are very thankful for God’s help through 2021’s arctic blast, and for the gift of the new little heifer calf!
It was that time of year again, to put our male goats and females together for mating season. We wait until now to try to get any offspring being born in April, when most of the cold weather is typically over.
This year, we had kept two of our female goat kids in order to increase the herd, but didn’t want to breed them this year as we feel they are just a little too small still.
And so, we moved them to their own field, and put the billies and nannies together, and here’s the video of all that fun and frolicking adventure!
We thank the Lord for His continued provisions, and pray He might grant the offspring next year, according to His will!
Back in November of last year, it came time for our annual goat breeding season — when we put the females with their respective males — in hopes the Lord grants goat kids in the Spring!
Well, indeed God graciously did, and here’s a little update…
First, over the Winter we lost one of our favorite does, Hannah. She succumbed to something pretty quickly over a day and a half or so. She was one of a kind — sometimes we called her Houdini, because she would be hooked up to the fence line or in a shed, and Sue would turn around to do something, and then Hannah would walk up behind her. And so, Sue would hook her up again, and turn around, and not long after, again, Hannah would walk up! 🙂 She was also our most LaMancha breed of the females we had, and I had wanted to keep one of her female offspring, but the Lord in His perfect wisdom and goodness had other plans. But, we are thankful for the time He granted her to be with us, and the offspring and milk from her over the years. We miss her! This is she with her kid from last year. Bye Hannah-bo-banna…
But, continuing on, we try to time it in November so the kids are born when it’s past the cold, but we had later cold this year, so it was goat coat time! 😀
Here are two of the bucklings in a barn stall with their mommy Nellie:
And Annie with her triplets, two bucklings and a doeling. With this one, the first kid started trying to come out back (not back end, but back) first! So, Midwife Sue got in there, spun the kid around to get hooves heading out, and then Annie was able to deliver that kid, and then kids two and three came out shortly after (we show just after kid three was born in the video below). Wow! Thanks to the Lord for helping Sue and for granting the safe deliveries!
And Adeline with her two bucklings:
Finally, Lucy brought up the rear this year, although sadly she gave birth to two underdeveloped, stillborn kids (last year, she aborted all her kids prematurely). And the little doeling that was born was pretty feeble, so Sue syringe-fed her mama’s colostrum for a couple of days. But the Lord saw fit to keep the little one going and get stronger, and she ended up doing just fine, thanks to God!
Here are a few more pics:
To start to replenish the herd, we decided to keep the two doelings, so they are officially part off the group now, Hassie and Lilly (you can see more of them in the video below)!
Lastly, here’s the video of them all for this year (BTW, in the video, one of the females we’re keeping isn’t “Haddie”, it’s “Hassie” 🙂 ) :
We are very grateful to God for these continued provisions; the milk He grants from them (which is why we raise goats); again, the safe deliveries for the moms and youngin’s, and His guidance for Sue as “midwife”; and for granting continued perpetuation of the herd!
Middle Fall rolled around this 2019, and it was time to put our billy goats with their respective nannies for breeding time! We do it around beginning to mid-November to try to get kid delivery happening after March, because we’ve had snow here into early April before.
Sadly though, our oldest goat this year, Pammy, died early Fall. It was kind of suddenly…just one night in the barn, even all bundled up with sweaters and blankets, so we’re not sure exactly what happened. She had a sweet disposition, was one of the originals here on the land, and will be missed. We thank the Lord for the many kids and much milk He granted from her!
Here she is with her first kid for us, 10 years ago:
And her last ones last year:
What a good mommy! 🙂 Again, we are thankful to God.
But time continues, and it was time to put the goats together. We are down to 5 females now, and we really want to keep any next female from Hannah, the most LaMancha female we have, and so with Pammy gone, we moved Lucy to be with the “older” group (Hannah & Annie) with Shakespeare, and kept the 2 sisters, Adeline and Nellie, to be with Elvis:
And Elvis, sans his horns. If you read last year’s breeding time blog post, we talk about how Elvis was going after Marie and using his horns as weapons. Well, in the off season, we took him to the vet, and polled him, and now he can’t do that. 🙂 We’re thankful this worked, as we were not going to be able to keep him if it didn’t:
Here’s me getting a shed in place after dragging it behind the truck on our shack caddy from one yard to the other:
And the dogs are ready! (to watch, at least) 🙂
And here is our video of putting the groups together for this year:
As always, we are thankful to the Lord for the provisions of the goats. We pray He might grant kids in Spring, and safe deliveries, and help through the Winter. And again, we are thankful to Him for allowing us to have Pammy and for the provisions He granted from her!
When I was about to prepare to put together our 2019 goat breeding blog post, I realized I had sadly forgotten that I had not put out a blog post about our final little goat provision of the year the Lord had graciously granted! He was born much later than all of the others, so we had to wait to be able to sell him.
And here he is!
And here he is with mama, Hannah. Sue called him “HB” for “Hannah Boy”, and I think I added by calling him “Hannah Boy-berra” 😉 :
Sadly, he didn’t have much time around the other youngin’ goats, but he mixed it up with the best of them as he got older:
And here is his video on sell day. You can tell in it that he had a sweet disposition:
We are always thankful to God for Him granting these provisions out here, and we pray they are a blessing to the new owners, and always used as the Lord would have us use them!
Heb. 11:8-10 - "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."