With the weather getting nicer, we've had several people request to use the pavilion, whether it be for a picnic before or after their visit with the animals or a place to blow out candles on a birthday cake. Last night, we readied the pavilion for those types of occasions with three new picnic tables ready to be used.
After the picnic tables were put together, it was such a nice evening that we took a walk in the pasture to see the animals. The llamas and alpaca tend to hang out together and were close enough to snap a few pictures.
With all of the big animals out in the pasture, the calves stayed up to munch on some hay. Our Highland calves are so friendly that they'll get right up in your face if you let them!
Hildie and Harley were pretty sure Jerad had some cow cake in his pocket.
Harley was quite curious about the camera!
And Hildie was full of love and kisses!
I love how each of the animals have such a unique personality!
I've been thinking about doing a giveaway for quite a while, but my goal was once we hit 800 likes, we would do it. Guess what! We woke up on Wednesday morning with 800 likes, so now we're doing a giveaway! We hope you'll join in for a chance to win!
So, what do you have to do? If you haven't already, go to Facebook and like our page at www.facebook.com/bradtsmenagerie. On our wall is a picture that looks like the one below.
Share that picture with your friends and have them like our page. Once they have liked the page, have them comment on the picture that YOU are the one that sent them. Remember...LIKE the PAGE...COMMENT on the PICTURE. If your friends have already liked the page, they can still help you win by commenting with your name on the picture.
So, what are you winning?
The person who sends the most people to our page will win admission passes for four to The Menagerie, plus feed baggies for each of the four, a group picture with our sweet zebra Autumn, and one of our t-shirts made by our friends at HG Screen Printing.
Even if you're not interested in winning, you can still share the love by sharing our photo and sending people our way. :) We are getting excited that we are so close to 1000 likes!
The giveaway starts today, Thursday, March 28, and will go through Monday, April 1. The winner will be announced April 2. You've got five days!
What are you waiting for? Head on over to Facebook and like our page. :)
Wow! What an amazing week! We had no idea what to expect when we opened for our first Spring Break, but after 195 cups of feed given at admission, 106 feed baggies, over 20 photo discs burned and countless anti-bacterial wipes and paper towels used, we're calling it a success! Thank you to all who came to visit The Menagerie! If you haven't been yet, we hope you'll come and see us at some point. Give us a call at 580.430.1269.
Sometimes you just need a break! As it so happened, right when we needed a break from the snow and all of the inconveniences that arose as a result from the moisture that we were so thankful for, the time for our scheduled trip to Branson came up. Perfect timing! A little back story...Last May, we bought our first Scottish Highland cattle, two bulls that we named Brick and Bray, from Blake and Kali Coble of the Coble Highland Ranch in Henryetta, Oklahoma. A few weeks later, we received a letter in the mail stating that our membership to the Heartland Highland Cattle Association (HHCA) had been sponsored by Blake and Kali. Soon after that, Jerad went back for more by purchasing a few bred Highland cows, and now we have a fold of 12 Highlands as a result. Jerad discovered an absolute love of the gentle-natured hairy cattle. Last October, we traveled back to Henryetta for a Highland Field Day sponsored by the Coble Highland Ranch, where we learned more about the Highland breed, the Heartland Highland Cattle Association, and met some of the people who are involved in the HHCA. That's where we learned about the annual meeting that's held in Branson each March, and Jerad immediately put it in his schedule. So, even after getting three feet of snow, losing electricity, and being without running water this last week, there wasn't a thought in Jerad's mind to cancel our trip. In fact, we used it as a time to get away. (Don't worry! We have two guys that we fully trust with our animals who were taking care of them! Thanks, Tyler and Derrick!)
It was in our plan to leave a couple of days early to take a little mini vacation with our family. We had a great time doing the tourist-y things like going to the Dixie Stampede and taking "Old Time" pictures. It was our first time to travel to Branson as a family, so we really had a great time.
On Saturday at the annual meeting, we enjoyed meeting so many people who also love the Highlands, as well as learning more about the HHCA and some of the activities in which they are involved. One of the fundraisers for the HHCA is the sale of calendars, in which members of the HHCA submitted photos to be used. We were excited that our photo of Brick in the snow was used for the month of February.
We really had a great time chatting with Blake, Kali, and their little cutie Parks and getting to know them better, too. And, of course, we loved the food while we were there! First, the Outback Steak & Oyster Bar was amazing! Pricey, but amazing. Braylon and I enjoyed the Melbourne Grill with ostrich, lamb, and quail. Jerad and Brickman enjoyed the seafood. At the Dixie Stampede, not only was the food amazing, but you also were beyond stuffed by the time you left in addition to being fully entertained. The HHCA fed us a lunch of different Highland beef entrees. We loved tasting it for the first time! Then on our way home, we stopped at Lambert's Cafe in Ozark. If you've never eaten there, you should put it on your bucket list!
By the time we got back home, we still didn't have water, but the animals were alive and well, thanks to Derrick and Tyler working a bit harder than they normally have to, hauling water in from a well a mile west of the farm and heating water on the stovetop to warm the zebras bottles. We are so thankful for the moisture, a way to continue to get the animals water despite none coming from the hydrants, a couple of college guys who we could trust to care for the animals, a fun and safe getaway, and time with new friends. Now, bring on spring!
We've been through blizzard-like conditions before. We've had ice storms and been somewhat comfortable. We've have 22 inches dumped on us overnight. We've lost our power in all situations like this. However, after receiving three feet of snow in the matter of a week, we realized that the difference in all of this was that we have never had the amount of animals that we do now in the snowy conditions in which we were blessed. (And we truly do mean blessed! How amazing it is to have the amount of moisture that we've been given! It's an answer to prayers!)
When the power went out at 5:08am on Monday morning, our first thoughts went to the baby goats and their mamas. They need their heat lamps. And what about the zebras and camel? They don't thrive in cold weather, let alone a blizzard. So, what are we to do? After calling the power company to make them aware of the situation, we bundled up to hook up generators to power the heat lamps. The shelters of all of the animals had been winterized, but without those lamps, they won't survive. After walking through snow up to our knees and doing a pretty good job of keeping ourselves upright, running extension cords and checking the bulbs, all of the animals were as toasty as possible. Throughout the day, Jerad checked the gas in the generators, broke ice, and did what he could to help the animals stay warm. Of course, some animals enjoy the snowy weather more than others, but even the Highlanders were up under their shelter during this storm.
The pinnacle of it all was when Jerad went to check the gas in the generator on Monday night at about 11. On his way back in, he hadn't planned to make a trip to the goats to check them, but something inside of him told him to go anyway. As he stepped up to the pen, he noticed that Runty had just birthed two babies, cold and shivering in the snow. He quickly gathered them up and ran to the house to have JoDe get them warmed. If there's anything that will warm you up, it's an adrenaline rush. Forget about the hat and scarf worn inside the chilly house all day, it was time to figure out a way to get the body temperature of the babies up with the use of only one outlet powered by a generator. Luckily, hot water still ran and a bath was drawn in the sink to help these two shivering kids. After a couple of baths, drying them off by towel, then rubbing and blow drying them, they finally made noises to let us know they were doing okay. While Braylon and JoDe kept the babies warm in dry towels, Jerad readied a stall in the big chicken coop to take Runty. He had quite a workout carrying her to the coop in two feet of snow! She cried for her babies the entire time, and as soon as the heat lamp was set, they were brought to her. As of this morning, mama and babies are doing great! This makes eleven kids for us in the last week!
Here they are this morning with Jerad. Coolio is the one of the left, because she was so cool, calm, and collected during everything last night, and Ali (as in Muhammed) is on the right because she was a little fighter, fighting for her life. Aren't baby goats the cutest thing ever?
While out doing chores yesterday, Jerad heard quite a ruckus coming from the goats. At first he ignored it because the goats often do this for no reason at all. They continued their noise-making for several minutes, so he ventured over to see what was happening. To his surprise, he found a nanny goat in the process of giving birth. He didn't think they were due for another month! After a quick phone call letting us all know what was going on, we were all able to witness the miracle of life and help the nanny as more babies were born.
By the time she was finished, the nanny goat named Baby had triplets. Last spring, Baby had her first kid, a single, that we called Baby's Baby. (Original, we know.) As often happens with our goats, when one starts kidding, another will follow. After we had been in town all evening, we checked to see if any others had taken Baby's lead. We found that Baby's Baby had her first kid. Being a first time mom, she wasn't caring for her new baby, so it spent the night inside while we worked to make it stronger. By this morning, the little one was up on its feet and making lots of noise. After a warm bottle, we took it back out to its mama under the heat lamp to see if she will take to it. If she doesn't, this one will most likely be our new bottle baby.
You've got to admit, there's not much cuter than a baby goat!
After keeping the one kid inside overnight, then taking it to its mama this morning, the mama is doing a great job caring for her baby. We've been checking throughout the day to make sure he has been latching on. He is continuing to look stronger. That's good news!
When you live in Oklahoma, you never know what the weather is going to be. One day it may be snowing, and the next day it could be beautiful and sunny. That's what happened last week!
The Highlands loved the snow...
...while Dylan could have done without it. He stayed in the shelter the majority of the day.
Although, he did venture out into the cold to tell us hello. It's not too often that you see a camel in the snow.
Fast forward to the weekend and we had beautiful, sunny days. You can tell Dylan was enjoying it. It almost looks like he had a smile on his face.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you know, the more places you'll go.
If you live in Alva and your child goes to Washington or Longfellow elementary schools, they could be eligible for a free pass to The Menagerie! We are on the reading awards list for both schools. Check out these two cuties who earned their reading awards and got to exchange them for a visit this weekend! We can't wait to meet your cuties, too!
When it's feeding time, watch out! It's each animal for itself! As you can see, they all hold their own pretty well, though. We've got llamas, donkeys, a Highlander bull, and a miniature zebu steer all eating out of the same trough. Even the hen finds the pieces that fell beneath. Of course, they love to eat out of your hand, too! You'll find that out when you come for a visit! Give us a call at 580.430.1269.
Sometimes when you're out gathering eggs, you come across one that you have to think, 'That had to hurt.' That was the thought about this white egg. It's our first one from either our Sebastopol goose or India runner duck. Since they are currently staying in the same living quarters, we're not sure which one laid it. We'll find out after it spends some time in the incubator. Next to it is a regular sized chicken egg just to show size comparison.
Each day as we wake up here at The Menagerie, we never know what we're going to step in...literally and figuratively! Each day is a new day, and we try to make the best of it. Follow along!