Saturday, April 19, 2014

And They Just Keep Coming

April 14th, we were working in the garden, Mr. Bootsie pulled a five gallon bucket of chickweed,  he said, "Taking this to the chickens."  I was planting kale plants and waiting for his return.  All of a sudden he came over the hill, go get the birthing kit, Belle is down outside and needs to be moved in.  I went by the house and picked up the birthing kit.  Went to the pasture and told Belle she needed to come inside with me.  I left everyone outside as he was preparing things for the birthing.

I looked outside a little later and there they were, 3 little babies and 3 adults, just as close to the barn as they could get; waiting for someone to come out and say, "It's a boy."  At which time they would go back to their munching and playing in the pasture.

Belle was big, really big, we were expecting twins and there were thoughts of triplets!!!  I am so pleased everyone was wrong and Belle delivered one very large boy.  

Speaking of keep coming, in the live animal trap there was an opossum on Tuesday morning, he decided to eat up the trap and was hung in it.  But before he went in the trap he ate most of the kale I had planted on Monday.

Tuesday, we had rain, lots of rain, none of the goats were out of the barn,  This was a day of mother and son bonding for our new little boy.  Lacie's little girl has started to grow, I was so concerned for her I was feeding her oatmeal with a little milk from her mommie.  Yes, I am milking and practice is going to be the thing I need. My ladies hope that sometime this will become a natural process for me.  They are not excited about my learning on them.  All jokes aside, they are great on the milking stand.  Everyday, I see a little improvement in what I am doing and the ladies are helping me.

After a week of late springlike days, we returned to row covers in the garden, overnight lows were in the high twenties,  Thank goodness, I did not have time to get the tomatoes and peppers planted.  Maybe next week would be better.

Wednesday, disbudding of the 3 little goats was done.  The farmer has an excellent process and it works quite well.  It is not a procedure I enjoy but it needs to be done for the goats.  I saw first hand that morning why we should do this.  We have 2 full grown with horns and 2 disbudded.  The ladies were playing, serious goat playing, everyone has a collar on at this time as we are handling them a lot.  I became very concerned about a horn getting hung in a collar and I could have 2 down.  I watched their actions and soon they moved on to taking care of their babies.  Glad I learned why, as my momma told me years ago, Horns on all cows or all cows dehorned,  Yes, Momma, I understand now.

Hershey was checked on during the night and no babies, I roll out early on Thursday morning and head for the barn.  There is my Hershey working hard, cleaning a little new born.  Mr. Bootsie came, helped clean the baby and the stall.  Another tiny one but Hershey is a small in statue goat so maybe this will be all right.  This one is a little black and white goat.  The farmer came by later in the day and fell in love with this little girl.  She has lots of  polka dots and was quickly named Dot.

Friday was spent in the barn bonding for Hershey and Dot.  The other ones are getting on a schedule of playtime and nap time.  By Friday, life had settled down with 5 new baby goats in the barn so it is time for me to start something new.  I made ice cream and froze it in my little freezer, and began my first attempt at making cheese.  The ice cream was wonderful and a lot of the knowledge explained to me about making cheese started to become a little clearer than mud.  I learn by doing and working out why things did not work as I thought they should.

Saturday, we come to the end of our birthing season, there are 5 little ones in the pasture along with 4 momma goats.  I must tell you there are going to be some changes made.  When I started this adventure I wanted 2 dairy goats, I know we must have the babies to have milk and I am okay with this.  We will enjoy the little ones, the Wee Folk will come and play with them and then, the sad day comes when it is time for them to move away.

This has been one of the greatest lessons of my life.  I have enjoyed every step learning how to care for the babies.  Now there are a few necessary things I could do without but I learned how to do things and I did them.  My milking skill is improving, the ladies no longer need breakfast and a morning snack for me to milk them.  This pleases the ladies.

Did I remember to tell you we are expecting more baby chicks next week.  Monday will be day 21.  It just seems to never stop here on the farm.   I will be back later with more news about our little farm.