Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Searching for Mr. Right...

Four years ago we decided we wanted to raise registered AKC Anatolian Shepherds.  Back when we started with the brush goats, a big group of wethers, we had a Pyrenees who was "adopted" by a neighbor (that is along and interesting story - not the time nor the place to explain).  Who was then replaced, after his "adoption", by Rabies, an Anatolian cross (looked all Anatolian).   We really liked that he had short hair and stayed cool in the summer not to mention his great athletic ability and the no questions asked when it came to taking care of business. Later after Rabies passed and we re-started our goat venture (another story) we purchased a pair of unregistered Anatolians, Jo and Mischief, from a couple out of TX.

Hondo - 21 month old raised with goats.  Tall and well muscled

As our goat herd grew we knew we were going to have to find another dog (or two) to add.  That is when we decided we wanted to raise this wonderful breed.  Much searching went on to find the right female.  To my surprise a lot of Anatolian breeders 1. do not raise them as LGD and 2. Are extremely picky about whom their dogs go to.  I understand being picky, they are a different type of breed and are not for everyone, but occasionally it felt more political... the contracts that came with the dog seemed more detailed than adopting a child.  I won't go any further into that...

We found Ookii (pronounced Okie and means Big in Japanese) at Dream Catcher Farms in TX - she was raised with goats and children, which makes for a good fit for our ranch.  Did I mention our dogs have to be very tolerant of strangers, this is not an easy fit sometimes - again another story.

We decided to wait on the male thinking we might breed to an outside dog.  This also allowed Ookii to turn 2 for her OFA certification which came out as good.  During that two years we purchased a male that didn't work out and ended up with another female as a replacement.  Horizon Farms Amazing Grace.  She is a beautiful dog.

Jasper - 11 months old, raised with bottle kids and does and kids (bonus points there)

So now we have two registered females and no "Mr. Right".  If we were going to do this, the time is now. Ookii is now 4 and Gracie 1(she won't be bred until she is two and her OFA test done).

I have three dogs I am considering right now... it is hard to choose, they are all different and very nice in their own right.  There are so many different "types" of Anatolians if you have not noticed.  Some have more of a Mastiff type body, others are long and lean and then you have the inbetweens.

Gideon - 21 months old - raised with goats very stout.

Now we are just deciding on who we like the best and we have to  factor in who will work the best in our situation.  The dog needs to be aloof to strangers but not eat them because even though you tell the people running around our ranch DO NOT PET OR FEED THE BIG GOAT DOGS they will.  

Keep checking back to see who Mr. Right will be!  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Organizing the 2011 Doelings

Most breeders probably all ready put their does up for sale and have been sold out for over a month.  Me, nope.  I drug my feet thinking I didn't have that many (read post before this) to sell.  With the culling of quite a few older does I figured I was keeping most of them.  After getting everything up, separating the doelings and taking the wethers off to market I realized I had a lot more than I thought.  Also after the drought this summer and talking with my husband we decided there was no need for keeping an extra amount either.  

These are the two NZ Bucks I used last breeding season.
Black Buck: DAR Kareem O Wheat
Red Spotted Buck: DAR Diamond Trout
All of our registered stock this year will have to be DNA tested regardless of the %.  We turned both bucks in at the same time with the does due to not having enough pens. 

So yesterday I had the task of "organizing" the doelings into groups. 

1. Replacements: Who and how many.
2. Who to sell: A. Who to sell as registered stock.
                        B. Who to sell as commercial.
                        C. Who will go straight to market.

1/2 Kiko doeling that we will be retaining.
Sire: NZ Kiko Dam: PB Spanish - she is one of my favorites to look at. 
She did not get her spots from the 
Spanish side believe it or not.  I am pretty sure he sire is
DAR Diamond Trout. 
The DNA test will let me know if I am right. 

Purebred Doeling we will be retaining.

Another Purebred doeling we will be retaining.

This is just a few of the ones we have offered for sale

FOR SALE: 7/8 AKGA Doeling (papers pending)
She comes from a line of dams that have made excellent mothers. 

FOR SALE: 3/4 PB Doeling (papers pending)


Purebred Spanish Doelings
Below are 2 of the 6 Spanish doelings we are offering for sale. All of them are black.  
Priced $200 each or $175 if you take them all.


Commercial Does
We have about 11 commercial (non-registered) doelings for sale. 
$200 each or $175 for 5 or more. 

Sire: Spanish  Dam: PB Kiko

Purebred Doeling who is a triplet.

High % Kiko Doeling 

So if you haven't all ready purchased you doelings this season, give us a call!
870-715-2891 or e-mail at

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A New Spanish Buck

We are excited to announce our purchase of a new Spanish buck.  A 2011 Buckling that is out of a Kensing bred doe and by a Weinheimer bred buck.  We put him in with 15 Koy Ranch bred does on Oct 21.  Barry likes his build and his type but is not excited about him not being black.  If the kids turn out like I think they will, I don't think he will mind. 

We have not come up with a name for him yet. 

In with some Koy Ranch Does.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How many doelings?

2011 Spanish Doeling

I take records, I write down birth weights and who was born when. I even tag everything when the kids are born... the trick I have found is looking BACK at your records and actually reading them.   This kidding season it felt like for every doe kid that  was born three buck kids were born next.  I kept thinking how we were going to have to keep every doe to replace older does I was getting rid of this year, plus the usual number of culls.  So I didn't look at the doe kids or count them as time went on... WELL, we pulled all of the doelings off the 350 acres to avoid them getting bred.  I don't like breeding does in the year they are born. 

The pen we put the doelings in.  Lots of food, although, not for long since there are so many of them.

As we were working the goats and separating the 2011 doelings my husband asked "How many of these do you have?"  My reply, "I had mostly bucks, there shouldn't be too many."  Then he asked "How many of these are you keeping?"  "Well, most of them because we got rid of so many does this year."  As the work went on the doeling number got bigger.  The pen we were putting them in was getting more and more crowded, to the point we had to use a different pen.

Some of the 2011 doelings

When all was done we counted the little girls and I had fifty two.  Hmmmm, fifty two?  I was thinking I had around 30 with some that would end up at the market.  Moral to the story:  It is important to read and use your records not just make them.

Crazy colored Kiko/Spanish doeling

What now?  Now I need to go through the doelings and figure out who I am keeping, who is worthy of being sold as breeding stock prospects and who is going to market.  

Purebred Doeling

Monday, June 6, 2011

Goat this and thats...

Mid Spring

I would say summer is now upon us.  The cool rainy days have stopped and the heat has arrived.  I think it was a bit rude of Mother Nature to go from one extreme to the other, but she does what she does and we have no say in it. :)

With all the rain we had some of the goats were very "challenged" while others took it in stride.  When extreme weather comes it lets you know who your real tough girls/guys are and who needs to go.  So some have been added to the culling list.

End of May

During this time of the year there is a lot more thinking about the goat program than doing.  The kids are starting to show more of what they have potential to be and the does are out just doing their job.  A lot are starting to put weight back on due to all of the summer forage (which is nice to see).  A few things I have thought about while watching the goats be goats:

1. I really need to update my website, and do it on a regular basis.  I usually am more involved with it but this year I have been very ho-hum about it.

2. I need to get back in the Goat Rancher.  Another, sigh, I didn't renew my breeder listing.  That is something that is important if I am going to sell any kind of breeding stock, duh!  AND I need to do a 1/4 page ad or something.

3. Breeding plans. I have decided I need to stager breeding better.  Breed the top does to kid out earlier and the first timers and commercials later when the weather is pretty okay (unless we get more rain and mud like this year, then it really does not matter). 

4. When should I go look for another Spanish buck?  We purchased two last year. One ready to go and the other was quite young and we only gave him a few does.  So I am thinking the older buck is going to find a new home (think he has found it), breed all the Spanish to the younger and then look for a buck for the year 2012 breeding season... my thoughts thus far.  

Spanish bucklings: always on the look out.

So as the summer goes on I will sit and think some more and come up with more plans for the future.  Before we know it, it will be time to gather up kids and take them off to market.  

Can't afford to wean these guys late or else I will have some unauthorized kids being born. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Puppies for sale, you know you want one.

The puppies are just a couple days over a month old.  They will be ready in about 4 more weeks.  There are 8 girls and 2 boys.  This pups are full siblings to the last litter that went for goat dogs to pets.  They do make great family farm dogs if you have time to spend with them.  Priced $200 each.  They will not be registered but are full blooded Anatolians. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kidding season, new puppy and puppies at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Meat Goats.

Kidding season finally arrived.  It started the beginning of this month and is still going full force.  This is the first year to have the Spanish kid and they are proving to be excellent mothers.  They are very attentive and do not like to leave the kids for some time.  We are very pleased.  The only thing that is a little worry some is that they have given us a lot of singles but in their defense (for the time being) this is their first time to kid.  Next year we will start to cull who gives us singles again... it is always a process getting your herd where you want it and there are so many ways of going about it, you just have to pick what works for you and your style you want for raising YOUR goats.

1st Spanish born - Twin Bucklings.
We are keeping an eye on them for possible sire prospects.  Time will only tell.

On April second I headed out to Limestone, TN to pick up our new Anatolian Shepherd.  About two years ago we had purchased a male from the breeder but he had a few fluke issues and didn't work out so this is a replacement puppy.  We went with a female this time.

The eastern part of TN is just beautiful!  I would love to take the family back that direction to do some tourist kind of things.  

The dog in the middle is the sire of our puppy.

Horizon Farms Amazing Grace, aka Gracie made it all the way back to Arkansas.  

7/8 Kiko Bucklings - soon to be wethers.

While I was away the goats kept kidding.  Cameron took over the tagging and weighing of the kids.  Thanks goodness for that. 

This dam is a Myotonic x - we owned her dam, who was a reg. 1/2 boer doe.  We have kept several 1/2 siblings to this doe.  They are great commercial dams.

Triplets - Purebred Kikos: 2 doelings & 1 buckling.  All tired out from being born.

7/8 Kiko doe with her PB doeling

Kiko/Spanish Doe with her twin bucklings


We also had a littler of unregistered Anatolian puppies born on April 6th.  Ookii (pronounced Okie) gave us 11: 3 boys and 8 girls.  

One last thing, don't forget to re-order tags before kidding season starts.  I had, what I thought was enough, an extra box on the shelf.  Well, there was no box when I went to get it... I guess I used them all last year.  So I have about 30 kids running around tag-less.  This does two things: 1. makes it exciting to play the guessing game when my tags finally arrive (hopefully today) and 2. it's going to be a chase down now that the kids have a day or two of age on them.  Oh the wonderful adventures of goat raising. How the simple things as having tags can make your life more difficult when you don't have them.  Oh well, live and learn. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2011 Winter Weather at Horseshoe Canyon Meat Goats...

Remember last years kidding season for HCR Meat Goats?  You might not but we do!  We had purchased quite a few does that were due to kid in Jan. and Feb.  It was one of the coldest most miserable Jan and Feb I can remember - at least it was during the times the does started to kid.  We had goats living in our garage to keep babies from being born and almost instantly freezing to death.  What a mess!  

This year we purchase a few goats that were bred to start kidding the end of January and that they did.  This year the difference was they picked a week that brought 60 and 70 degree weather.  The last doe to kid decided to do so the day before the "big storm" was to hit.  We were able to gather her up and put her and her twin bucklings in the end stall of our barn where we set up a heat lamp and had lots of straw for the kids to keep warm in.  Kikos are tough and so are their kids but letting less than day old kids stay out in freezing rain would have been pushing the limits, no matter what breed. 

All that is left for our winter kidding season are 3 purebred Spanish, 1 Willingham Spanish and one Purebred Kiko doe all bred to the purebred spanish buck (due to start kidding mid-Feb.) The date is approaching fast.  Hopefully this arctic weather will have moved on and we can have some days above freezing.  Time will only tell what mother nature will bring.  

A few days before the big freeze hit Arkansas.

Marlin our English Bulldog/Blue Heeler 

One of the early expecting Spanish does.

A 7/8 Kiko dam and her 2010 PB doe kid.

1/2 Kiko doe 

Joe and Mischief coming to say hello. 

Older NZ doe

The day after the storm arrived. 

Despite the cold the new kids that were born during the warmer weather seem to be handling it well.  We have found if a kid can have several days to nurse he/she can handle pretty cold weather.  They are more capable of finding shelter and following their mother around for some warm milk. 

New PB doeling

The majority of the herd waiting for the hay to be rolled out.  Forage is not an option when there is iced grass covered with snow. 

Cold but beautiful.  

NZ Kiko Buck DAR Kareem-O-Wheat