Nestled at the base of Black Mesa in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona about 9 miles due east of the historic pioneer town of Snowflake, we (the owners Kathryn and David) work towards rehabilitating and improving this long-abandoned 280-acre "off-grid" homestead property with an eye toward self-sufficiency and a plan for sustainability.  This web site documents our continuing  plans, progress, pitfalls, and projects.

Recent Happenings at the Ranch

UPDATED 3/8/14

Baby Report

Just Kidding Around

3/8/14 Kidding season has begun here at Black Mesa Ranch. The does look great and the kids are beautiful. It's hard work though, with many sleepless nights spent in the cold barn. If you'd like to experience the events without getting slimy, dirty, or tired then please check out our Kidding Diary to read about the new generation of goats being born.

In brief:

BMR Herd Continues To Test CAE Free

2/14/14  Once again our dairy herd has tested 100% CAE free. We test every goat every year just prior to kidding (we pulled and submitted blood samples from 40 goats this year). With the test results in, we can feed our kids delicious raw milk with all it’s benefits, instead of having to pasteurize it to prevent CAE.
 
CAE is an incurable, debilitating disease that is passed on most frequently dam-to-kid through milk and colostrum. Keeping our goats free of this disease is one of our top priorities, not only because the disease decreases production but because of the suffering it can cause the goats afflicted with it.

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And In Our Spare Time

The BMR Website Gets a Facelift

2/1/14 It's been well over a dozen years since we started putting our lives online, and our site had become quite antiquated and in real need of an upgrade. So this is it! It was a big project to redo the site, but it should now work well on mobile devices (such as smart phones and tablets) and be more pleasant to peruse for everyone. Please look over the site and let us know - good or bad - what you think. If you notice a problem with it we'd really like to hear about it! You can email the webmaster (AKA Kathryn) with your comments and suggestions. Please remember that your old bookmarks probably won't work anymore, so please reset them so that you can link to your favorite BMR pages!


More Baby News

Happy New Year!

1/1/14 New Year's Day dawned bright and cold.  As I started on my morning rounds to care for all the animals I noticed that the sheep flock seemed a bit bigger.  On closer examination I saw the two newborn ewe lambs frolicking with their mom.  The lambs were still wet from being born, but they were sturdy and playful already.  It's hard to believe that they were inside of their mom just moments ago.
 
On New Year's Eve David picked up 8 weaner hogs.  So now we have a bunch of babies running around the ranch!  The small baby pigs are happily keeping our larger hog entertained.
 
Happy New Year to all.


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Making Babies

Ultrasound Weekend at BMR

12/22/13 Our does usually kid with twins or triplets, but sometimes they have quads and, once, an overachiever even had quintuplets.  Since the nutrition of each doe is so important during gestation, we decided to get an ultrasound machine so that we could get a sneak preview of the number of kids each doe is carrying. This way we can adjust their nutrition accordingly.
 
Unfortunately, simply having the machine isn't all that is required.  Skill is an essential part of the process.  Luckily for us we were able to get a wonderful sonographer to come to the ranch and give us some very intensive training with the new equipment.  Arlana was skilled, informative, and endlessly patient with us.  If anyone in the Phoenix, AZ area is interested in learning how to ultrasound or wants to get an ultrasound done on their animals - contact Arlana at: laneefranklin@gmail.com
 
To see our kidding schedule click here.

Harmony shows us her singleton kid (1st pic), Carmella's twins (2nd pic), one of Opal's unborn triplets makes an appearance (3rd pic)

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Awards Department Report

More Superior Genetics and Elite Awards

8/29/13 Once again the American Dairy Goat Association has awarded the title of Superior Genetics to goats that score in the top 15% for production and/or conformation.  Opal and Cora really deserve their recognition.  Plus the USDA has posted their current list of elite does which includes our Poppy, Princess, Brill, Spring Thyme, Tally, and Ariel.  Elite does rank in the top 5% of does for their production and/or confirmation.  Our Elite Bucks include Rio, Splash, and Marco.  Congratulations to them!
 
Superior Genetics (SG) titles are awarded only once in a does lifetime and are permanent titles, Elite status is awarded twice yearly and goats can qualify for Elite status multiple times.  (All does listed below already have their SG Titles with the exception of Ariel who we're sure will receive it later this year)

Cora (left), Opal (right) - Superior Genetics does

Poppy (left), Spring Thyme (center),  Tally (right) - Elite Does


Ariel (left), Princess (center), Brill (right) - Elite Does

Rio (left), Marco (Center) , Splash (right) - Elite Sires    

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What we've been up to at BMR

Web Site Updates

7/28/13 We have now gotten quite a few of our web pages updated with the happenings of the last year.  Pages with updates are:

  • The Alternative Energy page - read about the latest expense of enjoying "free" solar and wind generated energy.
  • The Poultry page -  Some new additions, but the ducks have flown the coop.
  • The Cow page - David feeds the calf while risking life and limb.
  • The Dog and Cat page - new kittens on the ranch.
  • The Sheep page - and you thought store bought lamb chops were expensive!
  • The Kidding page - the schedule is posted for our upcoming breeding season.
    And of course:
  • The Goat Lineage pages - all the goats have gotten new updates to their individual pages plus the main herd update reviewing our tragedies and triumphs.

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An excuse to play in the dirt

Gardening Season Is Here!

5/25/13 We're off and running with getting the garden in.  Our last frost date is June 1st, and last year we were hit hard at the end of May with a garden killing freeze.  Our weather forecast indicates that we won't get a repeat of that late frost.  David has planted tomatoes, eggplant, onions, peas, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, chives, carrots, and beets.  The peppers and other plants will be going out soon.    


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Content Awards Department Report

 BMR Goats Earn 18 Awards From INBA

4/2/13 The International Nubian Breeders Association (INBA) has announced the 2012 Merit and Awards winners.
 
An overview of the BMR wins:
 
1 - Silver Milk Certificate
8 - Bronze Milk Certificates
3 - Excellence in Linear Appraisal Award
5 - Top Milk Production By Age
1 - Extended Lactation Award
 
Congratulations to all the hardworking girls!  What a great group of goats.  The individual awards will be listed on the lineage pages.
 
The full list of this year's winners can be found at: http://www.i-n-b-a.org/programs/merit-a-awards


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