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Kim Lemmon

Kim Lemmon has been a member of the Ohio's Country Journal staff since 1999. She is currently the manager editor.

Kim graduated from The Ohio State University with a major in Agricultural Communications and a minor in Equine Science. Kim and her husband, Mark, reside in Marion County.

The Lemmons currently own miniature horses. They also breed and raise a few pygmy goats each year.

Kim has owned horses since she was a child and has been involved in many aspects of the horse industry since that time. From 2002 until 2010, Kim operated her own riding lesson program that included coaching 4-H members, adults and a college equestrian program. She is also a former 4-H horse judge.




Bonkers, the Pygmy goat

Every set of Pygmy goat kids born at my place has one silly member. This year was no exception.

In mid-March, a wether was born that immediately caught my attention with his fun antics. If he isn’t chewing on my jacket or jumping on a toy in the goat pen, he is knocking his brothers and sisters off my lap so he can take a seat. He is so much fun.

This particular wether is destined to go to a 4-H home when he is weaned, and I generally let my customers pick the names of their goats. This particular kid wether is going to be a 4-H project for a young lady. She is very excited about her goat project, and I am excited for her because I know a kid this tame and silly will provide much fun and entertainment for his owner’s family.

The family that is buying this little boy was nervous about picking a name for him.

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Giants and miniatures stand out at Ohio Equine Affaire

Despite the gloomy and cold weather Equine Affaire drew crowds to the Ohio Expo Center. There was plenty of shopping, demonstrations and learning opportunities, but my favorite part of the event was seeing the draft and miniature six-horse hitches.

Watching horses around the 18-hand height and horses just more than 30 inches performing similar maneuvers during the Fantasia show was quite an experience. Of course, I already have a pre-existing love for draft and miniature horses and driving so that probably encouraged me to choose these hitches as my favorite part of the performance.

I have spent some time watching both of the men prepare their hitches and drive them and it is clear they are both talented drivers with talented horses. It was very fun to see such opposites in sizes perform a discipline that I enjoy so much.

A thank you goes out to all the equine performers, demonstrators, etc.

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Miniature horses: Age is just a number

When browsing the Internet and Facebook, I often see advertisements in which people are looking for a miniature horse for their children. The advertisements often read similar to this:

“In search of a miniature horse for my young child. My child is a beginner. We need a very safe horse that leads and rides and is trustworthy. Nothing more than 13 years old.”

I usually become frustrated when I read these advertisements because I believe that due to a lack of knowledge about miniature horses these folks are often overlooking older miniature horses that can be active and work for many years to come.

I never understand their unwillingness to consider older or even senior miniature horses, because in my experience, miniature horses can often live longer and more actively into their senior years than their larger equine counterparts.

I myself have miniature horses of all ages, but I greatly appreciate and rely on my horses that are nearer in age to 20 than 10.

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Steps for a successful lambing or kidding season

Goat and sheep lambing season is here and well underway for some producers. It is always important to review your last lambing/kidding season and its successes and failures as you prepare to raises lambs and kids during the current year. The following article offers some helpful tips for goat and sheep producers.

Take some time to read the tips below. Some of them may be review, but you never know when you will learn something new that could help your herd or flock.

6 steps for a successful lambing or kidding season

By Tom Earleywine, Ph.D., director of nutritional services for Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products Co.

The health, growth and early performance of a lamb or kid crop directly impact’s future performance in the milking parlor, pasture or showring. As a result, long-term successes can be driven by success during the lambing and kidding season.

Nutrition is essential in giving lambs and kids a solid start.

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Mountain Monsters: Trapper is not dead

I am pleased to confirm that despite rumors to the contrary in January of 2016, Trapper from the television series “Mountain Monsters” is alive and well.

A publicist for Discovery Communications, Inc. and “Mountain Monsters” confirmed he is in good health after a cliff hanger during one of the episodes left fans worried he had passed away.

“I’m happy to confirm that Trapper is alive and well,” a publicist for the network said. “At the end of the 2016 season premiere, there was a cliffhanger revealing that Trapper had a medical emergency. In reality Trapper’s health scare occurred last spring, and fans will see in this weekend’s episode that he is now in recovery and on the mend!”

Comments and messages of condolences were left on my blog from several years ago, Mountain Monsters: The inside scoop. I’m not sure why so many folks were sure Trapper had passed away, but I’m happy to report he is doing well.

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2016 draft horse sale dates

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Fireball the one-eyed wonder horse

Every one of us has our own unique physical and mental limitations. Though we may find our weaknesses frustrating, most of us are blessed to have fully functioning bodies; we are not truly handicapped.

That is not the case for Fireball, a very special miniature horse. Though he was born with eyes that operated normally, a year or two-ago he was involved in an accident in his pasture that permanently damaged one of his eyes.

When I first met him, Fireball had become outgrown by his current children and he was looking for a new home. Though he was as sweet and as happy as could be, his left eye was so severely damaged in the accident that he no longer had vision in that eye, plus he looked like he had been possessed by the devil. The poor little guy’s eye looked like a flame of fire.

Although my husband and I do not have children of our own, we are always looking for sweet and calm miniature geldings to add to our driving program, and Fireball’s wonderful disposition and driving skills fit the bill, despite his lack of vision in his left eye.

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Feral cats — The unwelcomed adventure that became a blessing

Cats are an important element in my barn. I always like to keep between three and five around to keep the vermin numbers under control. My barn cats are all spayed or neutered and well fed, and although I occasionally pet them, they are mostly independent creatures that care more about bringing “presents” in the form of dead rodents to their roommates, my pygmy goats, than they do paying attention to me. That’s fine by me. I hate rodents of all kinds so the arrangement works out nicely.

For nearly 10 years, I kept my cat numbers low and had minimal losses to my cat population. I considered myself lucky none of my cats had disappeared mysteriously and that none had been hit on the road. I was also thankful that no feral cats had found their way to my barn. That all changed in the fall of 2014.

Last fall, three recently weaned feral kittens claimed my barn as their own.

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Which comes first the KITTEN or the egg?

As you can probably imagine, I have many Facebook friends who, like me, enjoy sharing photos of their critters. Due to the amount of cuteness that constantly clutters my screen through Facebook, it takes a tremendous cute overload to impress me. Recently a Facebook friend of mine, Jeanne Beth Murphy of Glenwood City, Wis., was able to break through my cute filter to impress me with a photo.

Murphy shared this incredibly adorable photo of kittens being babysat by a chicken named Queenie. It seems that the hen had chicks of her own so when the mama cat needed a break, she left her kittens for the hen to watch along with her own brood.

The photo had the following caption: Our tiny Bantam hen and her sweet brood.. some of her sons and daughters seem to be of questionable heritage.. LOL

Of course many comments and questions were left with the photo.

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County fairs provide more than ribbons, tractors pulls and food

Many people love county fairs. Whether attendees enjoy riding rides, eating fair food, competing in or watching livestock shows or other performances, there is something for almost everyone to enjoy at county fairs.

It is no secret that I enjoy showing our miniature horses at the Morrow County Fair. Although I always try my best and often have good results, my favorite part of the fair is the sense of community. A walk through the barns or a stop at the yearly square dance are always sources of finding good friends with which to enjoy a chat and a laugh. Fun and friendships accompany hard work for me at our county fair.

 

In addition to my family, I can always count on my friends and fellow exhibitors for a helping hand. My family has learned the hard way that if they come anywhere near the miniature horse barn on show days, they are going to be drafted for a job and they seem to look forward to it and enjoy it.

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Ohio State Fair to add new draft horse classes

Be sure to check out the Ohio State Fair Draft Horse and Draft Pony Show Aug. 3-7, 2015. Draft horses and ponies from all across the country will visit Ohio to compete in classes throughout the week.

In addition to the traditional halter and hitch classes, two new classes will be held. A new class will be held on Wednesday night of the show for pleasure driving horses. During the halter portion of the show, a supreme halter champion will be chosen from among the draft horses this year.

Watching the draft horse and pony show is always a fun and exciting way to take a break from walking the fairgrounds and cool off. Make sure you visit the Coliseum to see these horse in action during the fair.

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Goat enjoys luxurious long baths

This past spring, I spent much time washing a little goat named Sugar. Sugar was new to our little herd at the time, but I got to know her quickly because she developed a skin issue that require regular baths.

Despite the fact that these baths took place in the house in a utility sink using warm water, Sugar was never to sure that she liked getting wet. After showing her initial displeasure at being wet though, this funny little goat would sit down in the sink and let me soap her up and scrub her.

The baths were lengthy as the special soap had to stay on her wet skin for about 10 minutes, but Sugar never seemed to mind. She always sat quietly while I made sure the soap covered every nook and cranny of her body. She seemed to enjoy spending time in the sink.

Goats never cease to entertain me.

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Easy homemade hay-saving small livestock hay feeders

Hay waste has been a constant problem for me through the years. I love my goats, but they waste much hay. In the past, I have tried all kinds of hay feeders, but nothing has worked until we tried this most recent version.

I didn’t come up with the design on my own, we modified a design that goat breeders shared on a goat Facebook page. The concept couldn’t be more simple, and it was very easy to make.

List of supplies needed: Plywood, 2×4’s and some screws.

List of tools needed: A drill, a pencil, and saws (a circular saw and a jigsaw work best).

Cut a piece of plywood to the width and length you want the feeder to be. Cut another piece of plywood to serve as the bottom of the feeder. It should be about 4.5 inches wide and the length of the width of your larger plywood.

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Liberty Barn Dance at Malabar Farm

Malabar Farm will host the Liberty Barn Dance on July 4, 2015 from 7 to 10 p.m.

This dance takes place inside a historic barn at the Farm and is fun for all ages. Beginner friendly square, line and round dances are sure to bring entertainment and enjoyment for the entire family.

Live music and a live caller add to the fun. The price of admission is $1 per person. There is also food available.

If you’re looking for a fun activity for the entire family during the upcoming holiday weekend, make plans to attend the Liberty Barn Dance at Malabar Farm.

For more information go, to http://www.malabarfarm.org/events/204-liberty-barn-dance.

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Activities to enjoy in Ohio’s Amish Country

Often it is hard to find the time to take a vacation with the busy lives that we all live. Work and home obligations can sometimes make it difficult to go very far away, but don’t worry — Ohio has many fun activities and places to visit that are close to home.

For my husband and I, we like to visit Holmes County and the surrounding area. We can make the drive in less than two hours so we don’t even have to carve out a weekend to make the trip. We can spend the day exploring the area and then sleep in the comfort of our own bed that night.

Holmes County is of course famous for being Ohio’s Amish Country, but there are all kinds of fun activities and places to see while visiting the area and not all of them involve Amish businesses, but many do.

In preparation for our summer day trip to the Holmes County area (actually it may take more than one), I made a list of things I would like to do when we visit Ohio’s Amish Country.

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Hay farmers don’t need to visit a casino to gamble

No matter what crops they raise, all farmers are dependent on the weather to make a living. Planting and harvesting both have to be done in a timely manner within a fairly narrow period of time and sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t want to cooperate.

Unpredictable weather is a problem that all farmers face, but lately I have been feeling particularly sympathetic toward hay farmers. Rain can often be a blessing for farmers, but some of the recent rains have been a thorn in the side of some local hay farmers as they are constantly are faced with the gamble of whether or not the weather will stay dry enough to bale hay.

Just last week I was taking a drive through Knox County when I saw first hand several hay farmers that had gambled on no rain and lost. An unpredicted rain pounded down on their freshly mowed hay fields. We all have witnessed rain falling from the sky on days when no rain was predicted; normally that rain is only a slight inconvenience, but it was a pretty large problem for these farmers with mowed hay fields.

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Undeniable goat cuteness

There’s really no denying it. Baby goats are cute. They love to bounce and play and create all sorts of havoc.

For this week’s blog, I’m not going to write anything; I’m just going to let you watch the adorable baby goat cuteness in action in the video below.

Enjoy it and share it with your friends.

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Oops…kittens

I like my barn cats very much, and I appreciate the great job they do of keeping vermin out of my barn, but I like to keep their numbers in check. I’m a big fan of spaying and neutering barn cats and all of my cats have had these surgeries.

Last fall, three kittens showed up in my barn. They were obviously just weaned from their mother. These little critters were cute, but also really wild.

The kittens decided to make my barn their home, and I spent all winter and early spring trying to tame them down enough that I could catch them so they could also be spayed or neutered.

As luck would have it, one week before their scheduled surgeries, one of the kittens that had now grown into a juvenile cat gave birth to three kittens. Uh oh.

The kittens are cute, but I don’t need more mouths to feed.

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Endless mowing

I recently made a significant reduction in livestock numbers at our place. I was having trouble justifying the expense and the work required to care for so many critters so I decided it was time to make a change. The change wasn’t an easy one, but it has significantly lightened my livestock related workload and expenses.

The one side affect to reduced livestock numbers that I had not foreseen was the reduction in grass eating power now residing in our barn. With less critters, I buy less feed, but I also have less natural grass mowers. This spring I have spent a lot of time mowing grass.

I will admit that I might be overdoing it a little bit with the regularity of my mowing, but shorter grass is easier and faster to cut through and our rotary cutter has been in need of repair for some time. The lack of a usable larger field mower means that this spring I have spent much time seated on a riding mower while mowing not only the yard but the small field beside our house that used double as a pasture and arena but is now just an arena.

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Arthur the miracle Pygmy goat

A healthy and normal birth is just the first in step raising livestock. Anyone who has ever had livestock born on their property knows that the fun has just started but the work is not over.

The eight Pygmy goat kids born in my barn in late February were a tremendous blessing. Eight was the largest number of kids I have ever had born from just three does. I have enjoyed caring for the kids and playing with them, but it has not all been fun.

With an increase in numbers, of course comes an increase in the chance for things to go wrong. The first sign of trouble was baby goat with scours. I assumed poor Arthur just had an upset tummy so I treated him with products I had on hand designed to rectify issues like his.

After two days of treatment, Arthur wasn’t any better so I stopped by my vet’s office and purchased another treatment designed to prevent scours.

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