Should goats eat corn?

I know using corn as animal feed isn’t good for cattle. That is why I don’t feed corn to Happy, our milk cow or the steer we are raising.  But what about goats? They are ruminants too, I know. By nature they are made to digest more than just grass. Goats are considered browsers, like deer and enjoy a variety of plants, leaves and bark included in their diet. But corn?

We offer our goats lots of hay and a supplement from the feed store that is a specific grain mix just for goats. One of the things in the mix is cracked corn. So yes, in small amounts, I offer corn to my goats. Back to my original question. Should goats eat corn?

I had that question answered by the goats themselves one morning as I was going out to feed them…

Daisy waiting to be fed.

Point taken.

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday blog hop hosted by GNOWFGLINS, Culinary Bliss, and A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.


My kitchen

I took on a painting project last week.  My kitchen cabinets. Nothing fancy.  Our house was built in the 50s and the cabinets are original custom built-ins.  They don’t make cabinets like this anymore.  Anyway, beige is out.  Not that I follow trends but it’s nice to not look outdated.  Ironically,  I went for the old farmhouse kitchen look. New but old.  I love beadboard so was excited to install it in the backsplash.  The counter top might look cluttered but I like my kitchen user-friendly. The less time I spend in there, the better.



It’s nice to have the kitchen fresh and clean, since I spend 80% of my existence standing right there. 😉  Love the new faucet too. Funny how these little things can make life simpler.


That sums up the bone-chilling temperatures we’re having right now.  If you’ve never experienced this kind of cold, let’s see if I can give you an idea.

-26 F at twilight this morning

Normally when you think of cold, you think of snow.  When it’s this cold, it doesn’t snow.  The consolation is the sun shines and it shines brightly!  Sometimes we see sundogs.

Behind a closed window blind.

I bundle up in my parka, toque, and ski mitts to go out and do the animal chores.  The wind bites at my face like hundreds of tiny needles.  Exposed skin can freeze in a matter of minutes.  Beneath my feet the snow has changed from the low sound of crunch to a high pitched squeak with every step.

As my mechanic hubby says, “This is when things break”.  Cars don’t go without the block heater being plugged in for several hours.  So when the power went out last night, we were all up, stoking the wood stove and starting the cars.  To get to work this morning, the engine needs to be kept warm but without electricity to power the block heater, starting the engine is the only way to do that.  It will start as long as it’s done soon after the power goes out and before the block heater has a chance to cool down too much.  Thankfully the power was out for only 1 hour and 40 min.

Frosted steer! Is that frozen drool?

The waterlines in the barn froze while the power was out.  There really wasn’t much we could have done about that.  The animals were all fine, though.  I spent 45 min. this morning with a hairdryer defrosting the waterlines, and hauling water to Happy.  A milk cow drinks a lot of water.  She needs a lot of water.

The temperatures are expected to stay this low for a couple more days.  We usually manage okay when it comes for a day or two but when it continues for more than that, it really starts to take it’s toll on the farm.

Those warm summer days in the garden seem so far away right now… (yes, we get those too)

Have you felt this kind of cold?
How cold does it get where you are?

Kitchen maid

Sometimes I feel like I spend 80% of my existence in the kitchen. If you’re wondering where I am, look first in the kitchen. If I’m not there, I’m probably in the barn or the garden, depending on the season.

Today is an intense kitchen day. I barely have time to tell you about it. I got way behind on cheesemaking over the holidays. The clutter of jars in the fridge is driving me crazy!

Yesterday I made mozzarella and put the curd in the fridge, so today I will do the stretching. The ricotta has been drained overnight and this morning I salted it and put it in the freezer. I put 2 1/2 gallons of milk on the stove to make cheddar and I’ve got the yogurt maker going.

That's better! sort of

Wait, there’s more. I have 5 quarts of cream warming to room temperature so I can make butter. And a pot of chicken bones simmering into broth. Today’s eggs still need to be cleaned and put away. Must get my son to empty the compost pails. I’ll have to have this all finished and cleaned up in time to start supper (which I haven’t figured out yet). Maybe if I get it all done, I can take a break from the kitchen tomorrow?

Do you ever feel like a slave to your kitchen?

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday blog hop, hosted by GNOWFGLINS, Culinary Bliss, and A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.

First duck egg!!!

Pretty huh? First duck egg on our homestead!

One of these things just doesn’t belong here. One of these things are kind of the same… 😀

Thank you ducky! Whichever one you are.
I don’t know what to do with it, though. In the spring, when I have a few, I’ll incubate them.
What would you do with one duck egg?

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday blog hop, hosted by GNOWFGLINS, Culinary Bliss and A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.

Happy New Year!

I can understand why so many people make resolutions for the new year. It feels like a fresh start, what better time is there to make changes? I’ve been thinking, pondering, ruminating about the year ahead and what changes I’d like to make, goals I’d like to set.

Looking back on 2011, I’d like to share the top 4 posts from here at the homestead.

1. Homemade bag balm
2. Cheese in a homemade cheese press
3. What I do with “all that milk”
4. I don’t like digging carrots

There’s some reading for you if you haven’t already.
Some of the exciting (to me) highlights from 2011:

~Getting Happy (lol), our milk cow! Here she’s making her youtube debut. Makes me wish I was a cow.
~Learning to make cheese. Since getting Happy, this was really something I wanted to accomplish.
~Being on Sylvia’s radio show. I was so nervous, I was way outside my comfort zone doing that, but it turned out well and was a lot of fun! Sylvia has just as sweet a spirit as she sounds.
~Making many wonderful friends on the internet! I know that sounds sappy but it’s so true! I especially want to thank you for reading and commenting. It means so much to me.

Here’s looking forward to a great year ahead with new things and new experiences!
May God bless you and your family.

Cucumber yogurt dip


Looking for a dip to serve tonight? Here’s what we’re having! This cucumber yogurt dip, also known as tzatziki, is easy, simple and quick to make.

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 cup yogurt, drained
1 cup sour cream
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tsp. chopped fresh or frozen dill

Mix the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt and sour cream with a whisk. Stir the oil/vinegar mixture into the yogurt/sour cream. Add the chopped cucumbers and dill. Refrigerate for 2 hours to blend flavours.
Serve with fresh veggies, or warm flat bread triangles.
Draining the yogurt first makes the dip less runny and thicker.

Have a wonderful New Years Eve! Stay safe.

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday blog hop, hosted by Sustainable Eats, Culinary Bliss, A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, and GNOWFGLINS.

Simple hot cocoa

This way of making a hot cup of cocoa is so simple, my son makes it for himself often.

In a cup, mix a heaping tablespoon of cocoa and a heaping spoonful of honey. Stir well to form a paste. Warm the milk and add to the honey/cocoa mixture. Stir well. That’s it! Enjoy!