Need The Right Tools for the Job

When you have the right tools for a job it makes it easier to do that job. Here on our farm “Tailspin Farms” when one of my tools get broke or misplaced it’s hard for me to complete the job at hand. 

Cleaning our stalls and barns here are some of my favorite tools, a leaf rake, grain shovel, and manure fork. I use them every day to clean up after our goats.   

Leaf rack works great to clean up after goats. 
I rake the goat pellets into the gain shovel. 
A manure fork works great to pick up old hay.

Tools on the Farm

Including the leaf rake, grain shovel, manure fork we also use a good heavy water hose. We like to use the heavy hoses because they last longer and hold up to all the use here at our farm. 

I would call our equipment tools also. Just because they are a key tool in helping us with big jobs. Lik our EZGo cart with a dump bed. Our cart gets used twenty-four / seven. No matter what we are doing we always use our cart. When cleaning up after our livestock this cart works great. Building a fence or repairing fence we load up the cart and here we go. One of the best gifts my hubby has bought me. 🙂 

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Margarita & Stace

How to Tell If Eggs Are Fresh

How to Tell if Eggs Are Fresh

You can’t tell just by looking at an egg whether it is fresh or not. The good news is that there is a very simple way to test the freshness of an egg and there’s no need to crack it.
Whether you buy eggs from the store or from a local farmer, all you need is a bowl of water to do a quick freshness check.

A Quick Test to Check an Egg’s Freshness

Fill a deep bowl, pan, or tall glass with enough cold tap water to cover an egg. Place the egg in the water.
• If the egg lies on its side on the bottom, the air cell inside is small and it’s very fresh.
• If the egg stands up on end and bobs on the bottom, the air cell is larger and it isn’t quite as fresh. It is probably between one and three weeks old, which is perfectly acceptable to eat.
• If the egg floats on the surface, it is bad and should be discarded.

 

Why the Float Test Works So Well

The reason this method works is that the eggshells are porous, which means they allow some air to get through. Fresh eggs have less air in them, so they sink to the bottom. But older eggs have had more time for the air to penetrate the shells, so they’re more buoyant and will float.

Signs of a Bad Cracked Egg

We don’t always think about checking the freshness of our eggs before cracking them. That’s why it’s also good to know how to tell if an egg is bad after it’s out of the shell. A very fresh egg out of the shell will have an overall thick white which doesn’t spread much. The yolk will stand up and have a nice, rounded dome.

  1. If the egg white is quite thin and spreads, it is probably past its peak.
  2. A flattened yolk or one that breaks very easily is an indication that the egg is old.
  3. The white of a very fresh egg will be cloudy. A clear egg white indicates an older egg, but not necessarily a bad egg.
  4. When in doubt, give it the sniff test. The smell of a rotten egg is unmistakable and should be apparent immediately upon cracking. If it smells bad, do not eat it.
Choosing and Storing Eggs

Now that you know how to test your eggs, it’s time to get a few buying and storage tips.
• Store them wisely
To ensure your eggs stay as fresh as possible, make sure you’re storing them in the coldest part of your fridge—that’s usually going to be the bottom shelves, because of cold air sinks, and towards the back of the fridge. Many people like to store their eggs on the inside of the fridge’s door—sometimes there’s even a little egg compartment in there—but that’s actually the warmest part of the fridge since it gets the most exposure to the kitchen’s heat.  It’s best to point the small end down, so get in the habit of flipping your eggs whenever you bring a new carton home.
• Eggs which are a week or so old are easier to peel than very fresh eggs when cooked in the shell. This makes them perfect candidates for hard-boiled eggs. To keep hard-boiled eggs fresh, keep them in the shell until you’re ready to eat them.
• Still, always discard any eggs that have an odd appearance or odor, or that have been stored improperly—even if they passed the sink test. It’s not worth the risk of getting sick

Store them wisely
To ensure your eggs stay as fresh as possible, make sure you’re storing them in the coldest part of your fridge—that’s usually going to be the bottom shelves, because of cold air sinks, and towards the back of the fridge. Many people like to store their eggs on the inside of the fridge’s door—sometimes there’s even a little egg compartment in there—but that’s actually the warmest part of the fridge since it gets the most exposure to the kitchen’s heat.

Have chickens?

Don’t wash your eggs until you’re ready to use them. They have a covering, known as bloom, that protects them from bacteria. Leave eggs intact until you’re ready to cook them, and your home-grown eggs should outlast grocery store varieties.
Finding blood in an egg may seem gross and cause for tossing out the egg (and all of the ingredients that you’ve just cracked it into), but it’s actually completely safe to eat. Occasionally a blood vessel ruptures when an egg is being formed, and this causes a small blood spot (also referred to as a meat spot) to appear on the yolk. You can remove it if you’d like, but the egg is perfectly safe to eat with or without the blood spot.


If you buy your eggs from the grocery store, you probably won’t come across an egg with a blood spot very often, if ever. Egg producers use electronic spotters to detect eggs with spots, and they’re removed before they go to market.
If you have your own chickens, or you buy your eggs direct from a farmer, you may see blood spots a bit more frequently, simply because the spotted eggs aren’t being culled.

Now you know how to tell if eggs are bad, here’s how to get a perfect poach on your super-fresh eggs.

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Margarita & Stace

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Deals

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Deals

Happy Monday! A brand new week is here, what do you plan on doing with this week? I think I will start my week by shopping on the Amazon Prime Day. I’m letting you know it’s Amazon Prime Day today (and deals start in just a few minutes!)!!  I have saved on household items, yard items, car items, and the list goes on and on.

I’m a pretty frugal person, so I buy things on sale whenever I can and that especially applies to bigger purchases. I buy several items for our home on Amazon.

There are a lot of products that I have used to help me save money by shopping on Amazon. I wanted to make sure I shared them with you today so that you can snag them if you’ve had your eye on something that Amazon decides to put on an amazing sale today! Here are some of our favorite items from Amazon.’          

pingbingding HDTV Antenna Amplified Digital Outdoor Antenna–150 Miles Range–360 Degree Rotation Wireless Remote–Snap-On Installation Support 2 TVs

I’m looking for items to start my Christmas shopping. Hohoho!!

The deals are slowly rolled out throughout the day, starting at 3 pm Eastern, so make sure you’re watching the items you want!

Click below for my post on the products that have really helped me in my weight loss journey that will probably be put on a great sale today.

Bloglovin

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Hope you enjoy shopping.

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Margarita & Stace

 

 

 

A Glass of Sweet Tea

A Glass of Sweet Tea

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you information free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in many (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links is much appreciated.

There’s nothing better than a glass of ice tea to drink. If anyone knows me they know I love my sweet tea. I drink sweet tea year round all day long. Always have a glass of sweet tea in my hand.  Durning the day while I’m working on the farm I make several trips inside to refill my glass with sweet tea.  Also to cool off a bit before heading back out to work.

We were at our favorite restaurant La Encalidia in Nixon Texas having dinner when by mistake the waitress put lemonade in my tea.  To my surprise, I like the lemonade in my sweet tea. It’s really good and refreshing!  Now I know people have done this for years but it was something new for me.

Since I liked it so much I bought a lemonade mix to put in my sweet tea. I add a tablespoon of lemonade mix to a glass of sweet tea. Hmmmmmm! It may be all in my head but it seems to help quench my thirst.  With our hot summer days hitting 100 degrees and more.  This is the most thirst-quenching tea I have ever made!!!

This drink has to be my favorite drink for the hot summer months. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it.

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Margarita & Stace

 

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! Hope you are having a safe and fun 4th of July!

What are your plans for the day?

Relaxing day on the 4th of July

We stayed home and made some home cooking from the kitchen. (Where it was cool)  I cooked my sweetheart some cooked cabbage, fresh sausage, butter beans, and cornbread. All day the house smelled so good. 🙂 🙂

Stace’s parents came out and enjoyed the day with us.

We also had a short visit from our youngest daughter Kristen and her boyfriend Matt. Of course, while they were here they had to go out and see Monster. Monster is our new Boer Buck born this year. Matt thinks he is cool looking.

We are Blessed on this day with, faith, love, home cooking, and fellowship. Oh, and did I forget to mention chocolate. Brownies with a double chocolate chip. Hmmmm! Just melts in your mouth.

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Margarita & Stace

 

Why Goats

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Why Goats

We bought our farm in Stockdale, Texas in 2008. I retired from training horses. That was a fun ride for 25 years.

We bought all the same livestock we grew up with to have on our farm. We thought that cattle were the answer for our farm and for the ag exemption. We went off what we were taught growing up.

Due to the very dry weather the drought here in Texas we had to sale off the cattle. Our farm just didn’t feel complete without the cattle.

Our good friend Ike recommended that we should get goats in place of the cattle. We tossed the idea around for weeks. I never thought I would own a goat much less a heard. Although we had a goat that stayed with a stallion that I had in training years ago. The goat went everywhere with that horse. (It was fun when we went to horse shows with a goat tagging alone.)  Oh, and my youngest daughter had a three-legged Barbie doe that someone gave us. It ate and ran with our horses. LOL! That was the only experience I had with a goat.

We went over to visit Ike and Barbra to look at their goats. Most of all Ike gave us so much advice about owning goats. The more I was around his goats and worked with the goats the more I liked them. I came to realize that a goat is much easier to handle than a cow. They are smaller than a cow. So, I can handle them by myself. Which is a plus because I will be the one doing the milking and handling them daily. Also, a goat will do all most anything for a treat.
But, we didn’t know where to start, or what breed would be the best for milking. Ike told me in his opinion Nubian and Saanen goats make the best milkers. I did know one thing, I wanted to milk the goats, so we could have fresh milk.

Ike let me borrow two does (female goat) that was in milk. He sent two goats because goats are herd animals. Which that means you need to have at least two goats together to keep them happy. I was so excited about milking the nannies. The two nannies were Nubian goats that Ike loaned me.

Milking a goat is not as easy as you might think. Goats can be fidgety, stubborn, moody critters. The nannies were not trained to milk. I had my work cut out for me. It was much easier to train a goat than a cow. Milking a goat is much different than milking a cow. So much for thinking it would be like milking a cow. Hahaha! After a few days, I could milk them without any trouble.

I knew I needed a better set up for milking after a very brief time. If I was going to milk goats I needed a milking area with a milking stand. Like the old saying “work smarter not harder.”
We bought four Saanen nannies goats from Ike. We are in the goat business now. All four of the nannies were bred to his Nubian buck.

A goat’s gestation period is five months (approximately 150 days). So, we had a few months to get ready before we had kids (baby goats). Goats are known to have twins, single or triplet births are common. Less frequent are litters of quadruplet, quintuplet, and even sextuplet kids. Birthing is known as kidding, generally occurs uneventfully. Just before kidding, the doe will have a sunken area around the tail and hip, as well as heavy breathing. She may have a worried look, become restless and display great affection for her keeper. The mother often eats the placenta, which gives her much-need nutrients, and helps to keep her from hemorrhaging. Also, is reduce the chance of predators finding the baby.

A doe doesn’t just reach a certain age and suddenly begin filling it’s utter with milk. A doe needs to be bred and give birth. Freshening (coming into milk production) occurs at kidding. Milk production varies with the breed, age, quality, and diet of the doe. Dairy goats generally produce between 1,500 and 4,000 lb. of milk per 305-day lactation. After nursing her kids to at least three months old you can continue to milk the doe.

A doe that is treated properly, fed well, milked daily will continue to produce milk for ten months to one year. An excellent quality dairy doe will give at least 6 lbs. of milk per day while she is in milk. A first time Milker may produce less. Occasionally, goats that have not been bred and are continuously milked will continue lactation beyond the typical 305-days. After her milk dries up she will need to be bred again and the process starts all over.

Does of any breed come into estrus (heat) every 21 days for two to 48 hours. A doe in heat typically flags (vigorously wags) her tail often, stays near the buck if one is present, becomes more vocal, and may also show a decrease in appetite and milk production for the duration of the heat.

Bucks (intact males) come into rut in the fall as with the does’ heat cycles. Bucks may show seasonal fertility, but as with the does, are capable of breeding at all times. Rut is characterized by a decrease in appetite and obsessive interest in the does. A buck in rut will display lip curling and will urinate on his forelegs and face. Sebaceous scent glands at the base of the horns add to the male goat’s odor, which is important to make him attractive to the doe. Some does will not mate with a buck which has been descended.

In addition to natural, traditional mating, artificial insemination has gained popularity among goat breeders, as it allows easy access to a wide variety of bloodlines.

Don’t try to do it all at first. Raising show goats, breeding stock, milk goats, and slaughtering meat goats are four different goals for raising goats. Pick your main focus because you’ll need to manage your herd differently depending on it.

Here is a list of books that could help you with more goat information.

        

 

  

 

 

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Making the Goat Herd Profitable

Making the Goat Herd Profitable

Can Goats pay their own bills, or even better bring in some additional income or help supplement in other areas of expense reduction?

With my husband having a Business degree, helps keep me in check with these questions and reminders from time to time.

We are a Dairy and Meat Goat Breeder and our Goats here at Tailspin Farms have been what we call working pets. 😊 We enjoy our goats and the relationship we have with them. Goats would be simply too much work for anyone to keep up with if they did not really enjoy them, so the real question then is how to get them (and our brains) working to get them to pay for themselves. There are two things to consider, 1: Is how to create or increase goat income. 2: Is how to reduce expenses without short-cutting quality care.

First is the investment of the Goats, and keep in mind for the most part with goats the old saying “you get what you pay for” is true. Reduce the headache and expense of bringing home goats that are not productive or not healthy. Understand that a goat that has been bred by someone who understands proper conformation is going to cost several hundred dollars more than say an Auction Goat. The purchase price of a goat is more than just money it includes the Breeder’s experience of managing their bloodlines, and production quality animals. On more note: if you are purchasing Registered Goats make sure you get the Papers at the time of payment, once money has changed hands you could on your own.

We often say the buck is “half of the herd”, so investing in a quality buck from a quality Dam will usually give a positive result in quality of milk and meat production of its offspring. Important to know that some Bucks and Does will cross well and some don’t, so do not be afraid to get rid of a buck that is not working with your Does. Spending money feeding and maintaining a Buck or a Doe that is not putting quality Kids on the ground is not going to be profitable in the long run. The primary goal of any goat breeder looking to make money is to produce quality kids every year, so that the sale of Kids can keep profits up over and above feed prices.

Feed prices always have a way of creeping upwards every year. There are some things to do that can help in keeping up with increasing Feed prices.

1: Do your research on proper feeds (there are many great articles on proper feeds for Goats), purchase quality feeds with at least a 14% protein and check that it contains a balance of vitamins and minerals.

2: Is to develop feeding methods that will help decrease waste of feed, especially hay. During spring if possible plant hay or grazing pastures to aid in supplementing hay purchases. When purchasing or baling your own hay make sure to store hay properly to prevent loss from weather damage, this will help reduce costs from waste and health problems. Animals that are exposed to mold in hay are susceptible to problems. If there is not enough space to properly store hay, consider investing in heavy duty tarping and it is Very important make sure hay is dry before tarping it. Also it is best to keep hay off the ground, otherwise it will just mold under the tarp. Another way to reduce hay costs is in the spring (if at all possible) try to buy a years’ worth of hay before winter to avoid rising prices and decreasing availability during the winter months. Top quality hay will have least amount of health problems and the most productivity. Spending money on good quality hay and feed will result in faster growing kids and better producing does.

Sometimes a goat owner needs to consider cutting back their herd. Consider letting go of a couple that don’t work for your growing herd. We did this many times early in our goat ranching. We would sell two or three does and reinvest in one a nicer Doe. It was a much faster and a lot less expensive way of upgrading our herd than trying to breed up to get where we wanted to be with our herd. That is a lot of feed money and time.

It’s easier said than done but try not to keep pets around if possible. I know this is a hard one, and we have had some pet goats on our farm. It gets costly to keep pets with the cost of feeding them, trimming feet, supplements and all the up keep. Remember the goal is to have goats that pay the bills.

To budget you first need to figure out what it costs per month, and then per year on average to keep goats where you live. Don’t forget to factor in feed, vet supplies, supplements, facilities maintenance and repairs, and equipment costs. It can be a real surprise to see how much our hairy friends are “milking us dry”.

How about barn costs? Goats do not require fancy setup, but they do require shelter from the weather. Having animals that get sick because of inadequate facilities can drain the budget and add unneeded stress. Shelters must be able to allow relief from wind, rain, and extreme sun beating down on them. They should have good air flow to help keep down urine fumes that have evaporated from their stall or shed. The floor should stay dry and are able. Search the internet for barns and stall ideas.

I’ve seen really nice and creative goat stalls and pens built from recycled materials such as pallets and materials left over from other projects.

Fencing should be able to keep goats in where you want them and everything else out. A no climb fence wire is the best but can this type wire can get expensive. We also use cattle panels to make some of our pens. Electric fencing with a GOOD quality charger can also be an option.

Keeping goats healthy will drastically reduce expenses. Medical supplies, Vet fees, and your time can add up quickly when dealing with health problems. Educate yourself on what a healthy goat looks like before buying goats. Also talk to Vets and others who own and raise goats on parasites and how to control parasites. Learning about these issues can help reduce herd losses, loss of productivity, and increased feed and care costs.

You can save money in other way around your farm by helping pastures and gardens be more productive. When we clean out the manure from stalls and pens we move it to our compost pile where it sits and composts and turns into “black gold.” This helps plants and pastures grow with a noticeable difference. You can also make a little extra cash by selling it. Using it as fertilizer will go a long way towards improving a pasture or garden as the microbes in the soil help break nutrients down for better water absorption. Our garden produces better and that saves money at the grocery store.

Think about advertising, there is several ways to advertise. We prefer the inexpensive and free types like on Facebook, Craigslist, and word-of-mouth. Some of our best customers have come from Friends, Family and other customer referrals.

When people come out to look and buy they will almost always try to talk you down on your prices, so decide in advance on a firm price and stick with it. We try to avoid the price negotiation process by posting a price in the ad and state that “This a firm price” and generally people hoping to haggle a deal won’t bother to contact us, but people look for a nice goat are willing to pay for it will.

On the same note as purchasing when selling registered animals, even if you have a written contract with remainder of payment terms spelled out in detail NEVER EVER give the registration papers until payment is made in full.
On non-registered animals, unless a negotiated contract is made ahead of time with a partial payment made in cash, DO NOT let animals leave your property until they are paid for in full at time of pickup. Let’s just say this is experience talking.

Probably the most important thing to me when it comes to considering how to make money with goats is to raise happy, healthy quality goats without taking shortcuts on care and feed. It is also important to take care of your customers so that you get repeat buyers, and new buyer referrals. It is much easier to retain good customers than to have to try to find new ones all the time.

 

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Margarita & Stace

 

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My goal at tspinfarms.com and Tailspin Farms is to provide helpful tips, tools and tutorials for those getting started with a farm/farm live. I cover topics such as how to care for livestock, living on a farm, gardening, crafts and more.

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The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

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Have A Nice Day!
May God Bless You!
Margarita

Look Mom Hands Free

 

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Working outside with the livestock, driving the tractor and more I need both my hands to be able to do the job.

One of the best things invented is a hands free headset. I don’t know what I did before I had one. I guess stand around and talk on my phone. LOL!

I can continue doing my work while talking on my phone.

If I don’t use the headset I have to stop doing my chore and talk on the phone. When working with animals that isn’t always possible. To save time I like using a hands free headset. Then I can say “Look Mom No Hands”.

The headset I like to use is the Bluetooth Headset For Cell Phones,Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Mic,Hands Free Earbuds for iPhone X 8 7 Plus 6s plus iPad Samsung Android Galaxy S8 S7, that I bought from Amazon.

 

 

 

I hear the person I’m talking to very clear. I can also listen to music while I’m working. Great sound, light and comfortable. I have small ears and the smaller ear bud works great for me. For a small device it works great!

 

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Bottle Babies “Goats”

It’s that time of year here on our farm. We have baby goats everywhere. With all these babies we always end up with bottle babies. We are always making the bottles up for the kids. 🙂

I was doing yard work and the triples (the bottle babies) got out of their pen and came running. I knew it was getting close to bottle time. I let them follow me in the house to get the bottles ready. They followed me just like they knew where we was going.

Stace was reclining in his chair after work. The triples Ross, Joey, and Rachel saw Stace and was in his lap before he knew it. We laughed and laughed at the three. They are just like puppy’s wagging their tails and happy to see you.

Stace played with them while I got their bottles ready. After the bottles were ready they followed me back outside. Fed them their bottles then they were ready for a nap. Belly’s full so its sleepy time. LOL!

Can we say rotten baby goats 🙂 🙂

We are very blessed to be able to enjoy our farm life. Our livestock (four legged babies) keeps us on our toes and smiles on our faces. 🙂 ♥♥

 

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