South African Boer Bok

Autumn Olive Farms is a family based operation in Augusta County. We have a dual focus model with a singular commitment to the health and wellness of the land, animal and the consumer. We raise the beautiful South African Boer Bok as an environmentally sound method to combat the invasive plant species problem while producing one of the finest and healthiest meats in the world right here in the Shenandoah Valley. The combination of the worlds premier, purpose bred and standardized meat goat with the fantastic forage base of invasive species here in the Valley provides a win-win situation for the land, its owner and the consumer.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Version of the Princess and The Pea...


This is Doug, our cat, and he has a problem.  

This is Thelma.  She is one half of Doug's problem.  I don't have a picture of the other half of Doug's problem.  Her name is Louise and she pretty much looks like Thelma. 

Doug's problem all started when Thelma and Louise decided they wanted to fly out of their pen everyday and lay "their eggs" in a nest of "their choice."  This is how they got their names "Thelma and Louise."  Unfortunately for Doug, they decided that his house was an nice place to lay their eggs.  Doug's house is located right by our back porch.  As you can see it is nothing fancy, but it is a nice place for him to sleep and get out of the weather.
Doug's house. This picture was taken at 9:00 AM. Notice two eggs already in there! 
There are several problems with Thelma and Louise choosing Doug's house for their nest.  One is that cats do not get up early.  They like to sleep until mid morning.   The hens pitch an absolute fit and wake up the whole farm until Doug leaves so they can lay their eggs.  If they could talk it would go something like this "GET OUUUUUT, GET OUUUUUT!!  My egg is coming and I HAVE TO COME IN!  You know there is not room for the two of us and I would never lay my egg in the company of a cat! "  Doug just looks at her and yawns and stretches his paws out and thinks about it.  Meanwhile she is standing outside clucking and pitching a fit as LOUD as she can.  Doug finally gives in and slowly climbs from his warm bed.  He then sits at the back door and waits for his breakfast.    

There are also good things about them choosing Doug's house to lay their eggs.  It is a convenient location for us to collect eggs right outside the back door. The top of the house opens up and we can easily collect the eggs.  This is much better than the blue barrel where the rest of the hens lay their eggs.  Of course they made their nest in the back of the barrel where it is hard to reach.  We have to climb half way in to reach the eggs or use a stick to roll them out.  Yes, I have stuffed the back of the barrel with hay to force them to make their nest where we can reach it.  Does not work!  They get in there and mash down the hay and make a cozy nest in the BACK of the barrel!   Not very convenient, but it is nice to know where their nest is.  Another good thing about Doug's house is that if we forget to collect the eggs and it is cold, then Doug lays on them and keeps them warm, so they don't end up freezing.  

This story is about one day Doug seemed so sad, very tired and out of sorts. What could be wrong with him?  He had been fed, so I knew he wasn't hungry.  He did not look sick.  Just tired.  Then it occurred to me...
I had been really busy and had not collected the eggs in a few days.  Okay, it was about 5 days!  I went out to look and sure enough there was a nest of 10 eggs!  Doug had no where to lie in his own house except on top of them.  He did not mind sleeping on a couple, but this was really pushing it!  No wonder he looked so tired.  He had not had a good nights sleep for days!  This gives new meaning to "The Princess and The Pea!"  I collected the eggs and he went in his house and enjoyed a nice nap that afternoon and a good nights sleep that night.  I do make sure to collect the eggs every day now.  I wonder what is going to happen if Thelma or Louise decides to get broody?  I don't think Doug would volunteer to be a "midwife."  Thelma and Louise have burned that bridge with their antics every morning! 

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