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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Flat Aggie on a Goat Dairy in Wisconsin

Flat Aggie here reporting to you about my adventure here at Paradise Found Farms. Located in the beautiful rolling hills of Wisconsin, is a small 180 acre beef and dairy goat farm. The Bradley family consists of Cyrus, Brenda, and their three young children. Cyrus began the adventure of milking goats in 2009.
 


When I arrived,it was very calm and peaceful with not much happening but that all changed. I got to spend a large amount of time delivering lots of kids. (That's what baby goats are call.) 
In my short visit with the Bradley family, they have over 60 babies born.

They said it's very normal for goats to have twins. Once the babies are born, they are bottle fed milk replacer for 8 weeks.

The Bradley family breeds their goats seasonally and kid them in during some of the coldest weather. Their milking herd of 100 consist of Alpine, LaMancha, Saanen (pronounced "saw-nun"), Toggenburg, and a little Nubian. The Bradley's milk is sent to Belmont, WI, where it is made in to many different types of goat cheese.

In the summer months, the goats are rotationally grazed. They have 10 different paddocks set up. Each paddock is divided by electric fences. During the winter, the goats are fed free choice hay and also get some grain.

In March, they will be start calving. They just started a small herd of beef cattle last year. Their beef cows raise a calf until fall when they sell the calf. They also raise a few dairy steers, but have yet to get any this year.

The Bradley family has a Facebook farm page called Paradise Found Farms LLC. 


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bracing and Grappling

This year, my oldest has taken on a new challenge with wrestling.  The longer the season goes on the more I realize it is pretty much like showing sheep.  A special thanks to Brillhart Slater Club Lambs, Messner Farms, Mom At the Meat Counter, Frankenstein Show Goats and H&K Farms for allowing me to use some of their pictures. 

25. Sweat. We all know athletes sweat, but have you ever seen a showman who has been wrestling a 130 pound lamb for 15 minutes?

24. Hair/wool length is checked.   Wrestlers can't have hair past their eye brows and sheep can't have wool above their hocks.

23. Handshakes are still strictly enforced.


 22. No matter what you are doing, there is always someone who is watching and wants to be you



21. There are no timeouts.  Coaching takes place off the mat and out of the showring.




20.  Hold 'em. Whether it's in the barn or in the gym, they hold they line them up to get ready to go.

19.  Watch the order.  You have to watch the match or class before you.  Some kids get pinned in 30 seconds and some take the whole time.  Some judges are fast and some are slow. 

18.  Warmup.  Everyone has their warmup routine.  Lambs get walked and set up...wrestlers jump rope, swing their arms, run in place, etc.
 

17. Moisturize. The wrestler tells me they have some spray on moisturizer which made me think of Revive.

16.  Sideline Signals. Whether watching a lamb show or a wrestling match, you can catch someone giving signals to those competing.

15.  Cuts and scrapes.  We hate it when a lamb gets a sore or cut, because we know it will leave a scar.  I have used more bandaids on my wrestler since Thanksgiving than he has ever used.

14.  Hydration.  Whether watching sheep or a wrestler it is amazing how much water they can drink.
 

13.  Electrolytes.  Whether drinking ReStore, Ensure or Powerade, both like their electrolytes.

12.  Whether I am going to a wrestling tournament or lamb show, I am always packing food and drinks for kids and livestock.  

11.  Exercise.  Everyone works out.  Lambs get walked and wrestlers get to run.

10.   It looks absolutely foreign to anyone knew.  I am still trying to figure it all out halfway through the season and when I asked for some pictures, my all knowing wrestling friend commented this when I asked for some of the pictures you see in this post:
I so, know how she feels when sitting in a gym watching wrestling.

9.  Early Saturday Mornings.  Whether it is lamb showing or wrestling, I am up at 5:30 in the morning on Saturday.

8.  We know the weight of the clothes.  We know a lamb blanket and halter weighs about a pound.  My wrestler tells me shoes and shorts weigh two pounds.

7.  Stinky laundry.  Amazingly, I will take wrestling laundry over sheep laundry any day.

6.  Fungus.  We worry about the lambs getting club lamb fungus which is no different than ringworm.  Before the larger shows, our lambs have to be inspected for fungus and the wrestler tells me they have to go for "skin checks"  at each tournament.

5.  ALL Day for a few minutes.  Anyone that has watched a livestock show or a wrestling tournament can tell you that you sit hours for for a few minutes of activity by your kid.
 

4.  Work in Silence.  Most of the hard work is done where no one else can see you.

3.  One is accountable.  No matter how you do on the mat or in the show ring, there is only one person you can blame.  No one else is out there with you.

2. Spandex.  Enough said.
       

1.  Family.  Like it or not those people crazy enough to spend their Saturdays with you will become a second family.  Your kids will have more brothers and sisters than you could ever imagine.  They will take care of them no matter what.