Category Archives: Pets and Livestock

Ryah and Padme have gone to their new home – but watch for 2015 kids appearing in the coming weeks!

Click image for gallery:

Ryah and Padme are nine-month-old doelings from the award-winning Mystic Acres Oberian line, and are looking for their new home.

Oberians are a cross between Oberhasli (full-size dairy goats) and Nigerian Dwarf (miniature dairy goats). They are quiet, friendly, and easy to contain, with does/wethers/kids requiring only 4 foot field fencing. They make great family or homestead milkers.

The photo gallery above is current; this video of them is from late Summer 2014:

Both girls have their horns, and have been dam-raised with access to organically maintained pasture. They have been handled and loved-on frequently, and are very friendly. They will be ready to be bred this fall, for kids (and milk!) in the spring.

These girls were both single births, born just two weeks apart, and have grown up together. They are more like siblings than just herd-mates. We would prefer that they go to a new home together. $300 for the pair.

Contact Teri or Peter at Braided Bower Farm for more information or to arrange a visit.

Goats for sale!! ALL SOLD!

UPDATE 8/22/12: Starbuck and Boomer went to their new home yesterday. They were the last of our goats available for 2012. Stay tuned for the 2013 arrivals!

UPDATE 8/17/12: Crake and Anakin have gone to their new home! At this time, Starbuck and Boomer are still available.

We have a variety of Oberian (Mini-Oberhasli) wethers who are looking for their new homes. All are very friendly and will make wonderful pets. All are from Mystic Acres’ quality Oberian dairy goat lines.





Crake and Anakin are cousins; Crake is 3 months old and Anakin is 2 months old. Both of these boys have intact horns, and have been castrated. Crake is a deep reddish brown and Anakin is a medium brown; both have black markings. Both of these boys are sweet and friendly, and with training, could make great pack goats. It would be wonderful if these two kids could find a home together.

Starbuck and Boomer are 4-month-old brothers. Both are disbudded (de-horned) and castrated. Both are shades of light brown with black markings, and both have a frosted nose and ears like their mama. They are best friends, and can usually be found curled up together for their afternoon siesta. We would love for these two boys to be able to remain together.

We are asking $125 for each pair, or $75 per goat if sold singly. Goats are herd animals, and need to live with others of their kind. We will not sell any of these goats separately unless there are already other goats on the property (preferably of a similar size and/or age).

Best buddies
Boomer and Starbuck


This is Sephira, one of Zoe’s daughters from this year, at one month old. She is now four months old, and has gone to live at her new home, with her uncle Barnabas and aunt Clarisse (Aberdeen’s kids from last year). I can’t believe I didn’t get any more recent photos of her before she left, but fortunately her new person has already sent us several photos of her in her new digs.

Some of our critters get to stay with us for years, but some are with us only for a short time. It’s getting easier to accept that, as time goes by.

Our current totals, including both the recent losses (to hawk and to hatchet) and the recent gains (namely, Maud’s new chicks):

  • 31 chickens (it’s too early to tell the gender for sure yet on this year’s chicks, but those that turn out to be male will be destined for “freezer camp”);
  • 9 goats (two of which are for sale: Zoe’s other daughter, Isis, and Lulu’s boy, Galahad – details on those two coming soon!);
  • 1 dog;
  • 1 cat;
  • …and hundreds of plants!

New goat house almost ready!

We’re moving our goats to a new area about 300′ from the old one, and the new goat house is almost ready. No, I’m not using a cheap camera; 90° angles are rare here, due to the use of salvaged lumber and also my inexperience with building anything on this scale; it’s sometimes difficult to push a thousand pounds of lumber into the perfect position and secure it with just two hands. But it’s darn solid and should be much nicer for the goats.

Here’s the front, with a nice wide door, to reduce the bottleneck when 9 goats try to rush through at once:

The basic structure is 4x4s with plywood sheathing, which would not stand up to the antics of a goat herd for very long, so the lower part inside is reinforced with, what else, shipping pallets:

…and their new pasture area is really, really ready for some munchin’:





Lammas 2011: harvesting alliums and hoping for exotic tomatoes

It’s Lammas, traditionally a time to celebrate the first harvests of the year, and despite the seemingly endless coldwetwinterspring weather, we’re actually starting to have something to harvest.

Bees are enjoying the onions that have been allowed to go to flower:

I wonder what the honey will taste like?

It’s a great year for some things, like our tart state plant, the Oregon Grape:

It’s not actually in the grape family, but it makes a really delicious dry fruit wine.

Some year soon, we’re going to have to do a huge field of black oil sunflowers, which are a staple item for our goats and chickens. This is a volunteer, and a spectacular example; I lost count at 27 flowers on this one 6′ tall plant:

Most of the remaining garlic and onions were pulled this morning and now hang from the rafters in the living room:

I am not recommending this as an air freshener. Especially on a hot day when the windows are closed to hold in the cool nighttime air.

Tomato plants are finally setting fruit, and are overflowing the former garlic and onion beds:

We planted about 7 different varieties of tomato this year, purchased as small starts from Boondockers Farm, a great place for heirloom seeds and starts near Eugene.

Boondockers have been working with several obscure (to me, at least) tomatoes, fusing their goals of preserving heirloom DNA and finding varieties that thrive in our particular climate.

Evan, who owns the farm with his partner Rachel, was kind enough to spend an inordinate amount of time educating someone (me) who was only buying one tray of discounted starts. Several of the ones I chose from their almost overwhelming selection are of Eastern European origin, with names like De Barrao Black Ukrainian, Kosovo, and Malakhitovaya Shkatulka. The ones with less exotic names sound no less enticing – Chocolate Cherry, Black Zebra, Chocolate Stripes.

I carefully placed little tags next to each start so I could assess the varieties for future planting, but now there are a few mystery plants…the sometimes frustratingly persistent ink of a Sharpie marker has no UV resistance whatsoever =\

I also don’t know what variety of tomato these are; they popped up voluntarily in a compost bin:

The first round of potatoes is in, and the yield is not overwhelming but better than my previous efforts.

I did not know this before, but “potatoes,” like most of our roots and tubers, are things we plant and care for in order to keep the tunneling moles well nourished. Kidding, but not entirely; I’ll explain in the next post.

Heeler dog: possibly the most important animal on a small farm

Red Heeler mixA hawk just killed one of our Welsummer chicks, but Daks, our Red Heeler mix, got there in time to prevent the hawk from getting a meal out of it, so it won’t start to see our field as the Easy Chicken Place.

When Teri found the dead bird, Daks was lying next to her, guarding. Then we had to find the other chickens, who had scattered to hiding places and would be vulnerable when they came out alone looking for their flock.

Daks came through again; he knows what “Where’s the chicken?” means, and guides us to their hiding places so they can be herded back to the relative safety of their group.

The amazing thing about all the stuff he does to help us – watching the sky for hawks and driving them off (usually before they do any harm), finding lost birds, etc. – is that we haven’t overtly trained him to do these things; he figures out what we’re trying to accomplish and jumps in to help.

For instance, watching for hawks – Daks noticed that Teri and I would run out clapping our hands and shouting whenever a hawk circled the field, and he just took over, and now works hard all day long to keep everyone safe. A few weeks ago he treed a big tomcat who was prowling around near the chicken coop, and once he came charging up barking and snarling at just the right moment to drastically change the dynamic when an Up To No Good (semi)human trespasser was starting to get aggressive with me after I foolishly confronted him unarmed.

Daks was rewarded with chicken feet (crunchy dog delicacy!) and entrails for his good work today.

But it’s still sad dressing out a beautiful little 1-lb chicken who would have grown up to lay big, chocolate-brown eggs…especially when it happens before breakfast!

Mixing up the chicken genetics

Got some new babies today, an experiment with full-size chickens. Two Welsummers (patterned ones) and three Turkens (aka Naked Necks). With any luck, tonight I will slip these under the broody hen whose eggs were all duds, and she will accept and raise them. Without luck, we’ll have chickens in the living room for the next month or two.

The “Turkens” are not actually turkey-chicken crosses, they’re just called that because their naturally bare necks, which tend to turn red as they age, make them look a bit like turkeys.