Tag Archives: tottys bend soap farm

Our New Goat Daisy is Helping Out

New GoatOur new goat, Miss Daisy, is being a foster mom to Zelda’s twin baby does. We bought Daisy a couple of weeks ago from our friend Bridget. Daisy is originally from South Dakota but she has been a Tennessee girl since she was just a few months old. We are happy to have her as the newest addition to our little goat farm. Thankfully our new goat, Daisy, is a great milker and we have been able to put Zelda’s babies on her for their morning breakfast ever since Zelda got sick.

Zelda hasn’t improved very much since yesterday’s post. She is still grinding her teeth and turning away from everything we offer her to eat and drink. She did like her nutrient drench with extra iron. We are going to try to build her iron back up because the worms have caused her to become very anemic. We gave her an injection of iron in addition to the drench. She is still enjoying her fan and I keep her water fresh and cool for when she is ready to have a drink. If we do not see her drink on her own we will have to syringe it into her mouth to keep her hydrated. She will not get up by herself either but she is able to stand for a few minutes if we help her get on her feet. It is a very touch and go situation and it is hard on all of us emotionally. It is hard not to get discouraged.

Daisy, the new goat, is a bright spot for us during this difficult time. No matter what the outcome is for Zelda, we know Daisy will take care of Zelda’s baby does. Zelda’s doelings still know and love Zelda as their mother but they are no longer dependent on her for milk. That has given Zelda much needed time and energy to focus on getting healthy again. Miss Daisy couldn’t have joined us at a more critical time. We are grateful for her smiling face and all the nutritious milk she provides.

We Have a Sick Goat

Sick GoatWe’ve been nursing a sick goat for a week now. Poor Zelda has been in the barn, away from her other goat friends and her baby goats, trying to bounce back from a bad case of worms. Despite our routine of checking the herd for early signs of parasites, Zelda seems to be suffering from an overload of what are commonly called barber pole worms. Here in Duck River, Tennessee, July has brought a mixture of humid, rainy, and extremely hot days. This type of weather can be tough on dairy goats in our area because it creates the perfect condition for barber pole worms to proliferate. These tiny beasts get into the guts of their hosts and rob them of nutrients, causing anemia and many other complications. Usually proper goat management can prevent sickness but sometimes problems arise as a result of worm overload. That is the case with Zelda.

We were surprised and concerned when Zelda didn’t go to the feeding bins last Sunday. Instead she stayed in the barn away from the rest of the herd. Zelda is our largest and greediest goat of all so we immediately knew she was a sick goat. She seemed depressed and was grinding her teeth, which is a common symptom of pain. Nate checked the color of her bottom eyelids. If a sick goat has worms, her eyelids will be pale pink or whitish instead of a deep reddish-pink. Sure enough, Zelda had pale eyelids.

We gave her a dose of de-wormer right away. She’s also been having symptoms of acidosis, a condition, that could have been caused by the worm infestation, and which caused the ph of her rumen to become unbalanced. To combat this problem and hopefully prevent further complications, we’ve been giving her regular doses of baking soda, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, probiotics, vitamin b, fluids, and a nutrient drench.

Right now, our biggest battle is to lift her spirits. Attention and pampering are critical to a sick goat. We bought some all natural fly repellant that really seems to keep the flies from bothering her. I also plugged in a small fan so she has a nice breeze. She loves her fan!!! Companionship is also critical to a sick goat. Goats really need the company of their buddies or they will sink into depression. A depressed, sick goat has a much harder time bouncing back. Depression can cause them to give up on eating and they will lose their drive to survive. To lift Zelda’s spirits, I’ve been spending time with her and giving her treats every hour. She’s slowly beginning to eat fresh leaves and will even eat some hay every now and then. She likes her Tums which help calm her belly and taste good. She also likes her baking soda. Lately, I’ve been giving her raw goat milk yogurt too. She really likes it! It has good bacteria in it and lots of protein. She had made a lot of progress as of yesterday but today, she seems sad and doesn’t want to eat much, not even her treats!

Zelda is a sick goat. Please send some good thoughts her way. She needs lost and lots of positive energy and love. We are not giving up on Zelda, even if she’s a greedy pig, hahaha. Her babies need her and the rest of the herd misses her too. Hopefully, with enough TLC we can get her on her feet again.

Join us on the Arts & Ag Tour!

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Graphics by Nicole Lewis

We are so excited about the Arts & Ag Tour which is coming up May 22nd -May 23rd. The Arts & Ag Tour has become a Memorial Day weekend tradition in Hickman County, Tennessee. This special event is a two day, self-guided tour of Hickman County’s scenic back roads with over 24 stops along the way. Each stop features a combination of farming, art, music and southern hospitality. Taking the Arts & Ag Tour is completely free! You can pick up a free copy of the beautiful, full-color Arts & Ag Tour Guide at Wild Duck Soup Emporium on the Centerville Square or download the digital version from the Arts & Ag Tour website.

Arts and Ag Tour-1Tottys Bend Soap Farm is going to be Stop #11 on the Tour. Visitors will be able to tour our small farm where we raise registered Nubian dairy goats. Our milk parlor will be open for visitors to see where Nate hand milks our goats each morning. Folks will learn all about our sustainable farming methods and how we make small batches of handmade goat milk soaps using milk from our own goats. Our friend Miss Pam will be at our farm to offer hands-on goat milking demonstrations. She will also have a booth with her Star Brite soaps for sale.

Just a short ways up from us on Tottys Bend Road are two more stops on the Arts & Ag Tour. Stop #12 is the Tottys Bend Community Center. This historic building once served as the community schoolhouse. It is also said to be the location of the longest running regular potluck in the United States. Members of the Tottys Bend Community Center have been gathering for a potluck dinner on the second Tuesday of the month for over 40 years. Their monthly potluck is open to non-members as well. During the Arts & Ag Tour visitors to the Tottys Bend Community Center can learn about the history of the building and its members. Light refreshments will be served. Tottys Bend Community cookbooks will be for sale with proceeds benefiting the upkeep of the building.

Arts & Ag Tour signDuck River Rose is Stop #13 on the Arts & Ag Tour. This scenic rose farm is also located on Tottys Bend Road. Owners Larry and Connie Baird are award winning rosarians. They cultivate over 400 rose plants in addition to many other plant varieties. Visitors to Duck River Rose will enjoy a tour of the gardens which overlook the Duck River. Larry and Connie are happy to share information about rose care and how they became interested in roses. Larry will have his handmade garden stepping stones for sale.

The entire Arts & Ag Tour is a family friendly event. There will be a ton of arts and crafts for sale throughout the Tour as well as local, chemical-free produce, farm eggs, grass fed meats, and southern style plate lunches. We look forward to meeting new folks on the Arts & Ag Tour and hope many of you are able to take advantage of this once a year experience.

Visit us at the Franklin Farmers Market

Franklin Farmers Market

The Franklin Farmers Market is a special place where farmers and artisans from Middle Tennessee gather each Saturday to meet our customers and sell our wares. It is a producers only market which means that everything at market is grown or made in Middle Tennessee by the market vendors. We have a booth at the Franklin Farmers Market where we sell our handmade goat milk soaps. We have been part of the Franklin Farmers Market for over four years. It is a wonderful venue with a loyal following of customers who come out every week to support their local farmers and to purchase fresh, local foods and handmade wares. The Franklin Farmers Market summer season begins this Saturday at 8:00am and we are so excited to be there again!

We look forward to Saturdays at the Franklin Farmers Market because that is where we do our socializing and shopping for the week. This time of year we are able to get fresh strawberries, tender salad greens, farm eggs, goat cheese, local milk, meats and seasonal veggies. We have fun catching up with many friends we’ve met at the market. Some of our friends are fellow farmers like the Lingo family from Beaverdam Creek Farm who grow and sell chemical-free produce, organic corn grits and grass fed beef. We also have friends from the Franklin Farmers Market who are artists like Rockin’ Robbin. Robbin creates handmade jewelry that is inspired by her Texas roots. She also sells vintage cowboy boots!

Last year we enjoyed a fantastic summer season at our booth which was in the parking lot just outside the main shed. But this year we are happy to announce we will be in a new location beginning this coming Saturday. We are expanding our space at the Franklin Farmers Market and will be in two booths, side by side. The extra space will give our customers more room to browse, and to take their time smelling and looking at our large selection of goat milk soaps, lotions, body powder, shaving soaps, and lip balms. It will also give our customers room to stand while we process their credit cards. We are thrilled to run credit and debit cards at the Franklin Farmers Market, right on our cell phones. Being able to accept credit and debit cards makes shopping so much more convenient for our customers.

If you’ve visited us at the Franklin Farmers Market before please remember you won’t find us in our usual summer location. This year we will be in a 20 foot wide, white tent at the far end of the shed next to ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Rocky Glade Farm and Sue’s Flowers. Please stop by and see us if you are in the area. We love meeting our customers and making new friends at the Franklin Farmers market!

Green Thumb Goat Milk Soap

 

Goat Milk Soap

 

Our Green Thumb Soap is a great goat milk soap for spring. Working in the garden, planting, pulling weeds, pruning, picking, mowing, working on your mower, etc. gets your hands dirty enough that you need Apricot Seeds-1a little (or a lot) of extra scrubbing power to get your hands clean. The apricot seeds we use in our Green Thumb goat milk soap are just the right ingredient for the job. When you wash your hands with Green Thumb soap you can feel the fine grit of each tiny apricot seed as it exfoliates and scrubs the dirt away. We chose the fresh scent of rosemary mint for this exfoliating, apricot seed soap because it reminds us of working in our herb garden in the spring and early summer. Our Rosemary Mint Soap is just like Green Thumb soap but without the scrubbing apricot seeds.

Green Thumb is the favorite hand soap of our loyal customer, Tom the Furniture Guy. Tom is one of our neighbors here in Hickman County, Tennessee. Tom doesn’t garden but he works with his hands all day taking down barns and making custom barnwood signs with the salvaged wood. Tom says our Green Thumb goat milk soap cleans the paint and sawdust off his hands without being rough on his skin.

Our Green Thumb goat milk soap is the perfect choice to keep in your mudroom, greenhouse or workshop. It makes a great gift for friends who love to garden or work with their hands. If you like the rosemary mint scent of our Green Thumb soap you might also enjoy our Rosemary Mint Body Powder and Rosemary Mint Goat Milk Lotion. We also make two other apricot seed soaps, Nitty Gritty and Ancient Mariner.

Our goat milk soaps are handmade on our small farm in Duck River, Tennessee. We are located about 50 miles southwest of Nashville. Here, on Tottys Bend Soap Farm, we raise a small herd of registered nubian dairy goats and we milk them by hand each morning. Each bar of our soaps contains one ounce of real goat milk from our own goats.

New Baby Goat Welcomed on Easter Sunday

Maybe we wrote down the wrong due date or maybe Magic really was six days overdue? Either way, we welcomed baby goat Cinnabun into the world Easter Sunday, after several days of anticipation. Cinnabun is our first girl baby goat of the season. Girl baby goats are called doelings and when they get older we call them does. Cinnabun was preceded by five bucklings. The first two, from our doe Casey, are named Bert and Ernie. Then, Orange-y had twin bucklings during the ice storm. They are named Sherlock and Watson. Next, Dot had a single buckling we named Patrick. All of our kids so far this year share the same daddy. He is our herd sire and his name is Blaze.

GoatCinnabun has different coloring than any of the goats on our farm. She is an all over mix of brown and black with solid black legs and a bright white stripe on each side of her body. Her ears are kind of short and flare out like Magic’s ears. Goat breeders prefer long flat ears but we don’t care. We are head over heels for this little goat. Magic is in love with her doeling too! She has kept her new baby goat in the barn since Cinnabun was born, making sure she gets enough milk to eat and keeping her safe. We took mamma and baby out to the side yard for this picture and short video but Magic wanted to take Cinnabun back to the barn as soon as she could. You can see from the pictures that Magic has a very full utter. She makes tons of rich, wonderful goat milk.

Right now we have several of our best producing does in milk. They will continue making milk for the next seven to nine months, reaching peak production in mid-June. Spring and summer is when we restock our supply of goat milk that we use to make our goat milk soaps. We put one ounce of goat milk in each bar of soap we make. Fortunately we use frozen milk when making our soaps. That works out perfectly because we can freeze the milk when our does are in full production, and store it to use later in the year when they have dried off. There is always plenty of milk for the goat kids to eat and for us to use in our goat milk soaps.

We plan to keep Cinnabun in our herd because Magic is such a good milker. We hope she has passed on those genes to her new baby. Over time we will train any doelings we keep how to walk with us from the barn to the milk parlor, how to get on the milk stand and how to behave while being milked. We always want to have a good stock of up and coming young milkers. That way we will always have enough goat milk to make our soaps and lotions.

Come visit us at the Franklin Farmers Market, we are there every Saturday of the year. We are happy to answer any questions about our goat milk soaps. We love our goats and the vital part they contribute to making all our goat milk soaps.

Barn Cleaning Blues

Barn-Cleaning-BluesWe’ve had several days in a row of beautiful spring weather in Duck River, Tennessee. The goats are loving the warmer days and fresh, green grass. They also really love weeds, which we have plenty of. Some of their favorite weeds are dandelion, plantain, and bee nettle. These and other types of weeds contain nutrients that are very healthy for goats to eat. Goats need lots and lots of protein, carbohydrates, and minerals, especially now that it is kidding season. Kidding season is when the baby goats are born and the mamma goats are producing lots of milk. Here on the Soap Farm, we use that wonderful goat milk to make our goat milk soaps. But don’t worry, there is still plenty for the baby goats too. Dairy goats are bred to be high milk producers, which is the main reason they need so much healthy, nutritious food to eat.

Along with greener pastures and longer, sunny days, spring brings a laundry list of various chores that need to be done. Barn cleaning is our least favorite spring chore because it is one of the toughest jobs on the farm. The hardest part of barn cleaning is breaking up the layers and layers of barn litter that have accumulated over the winter. When it’s cold outside, these layers of manure mixed with wood chips and straw act as a kind of heater for the goats because the layers release energy as they decompose. During the winter we just add dry straw and wood chips when the barn gets damp or stinky. But in the spring its time get rid of all that poo and start fresh again! This year, we had the brilliant idea to put our tiller to the task. The tiller really worked great to break up all of the layers of barn litter which N8 then loaded into our wheelbarrow and dumped in a pile a little ways downhill. Next spring that pile of poo, straw and wood chips will be perfect to use as garden compost.

While N8 was barn cleaning I noticed the other farm critters lounging around enjoying the beautiful spring weather. How nice for them! I also observed the cutest, little inchworm making his way around a fencepost.You can see it all in this short movie we made.