Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Right on Schedule

Feb 25th was the due date on 3 of my goats, one I wasn't sure was even bred, one was wide as a house and one didn't look like she was quite ready and as we all know a due date is just a suggestion, not a rule.
The started off bad, with the one goat who was in question going into labor before I got the the barn.  When I arrived she had 1/2 a breech baby out and wasn't looking so good.  I discovered what I thought was 2 goats trying to get out, but turns out that the single was folded in half.  I finally got her out and taken away but the poor mamma was not doing so good.  I got her cleaned up, gave her some vitamins and antibiotics, a little bit of grain and molasses water.  She was up and around and missing her baby. 
She is physically doing better, but very confused about where her baby went.  It is very sad.

we have renamed the barn wall 'The wailing wall'  Alice was quite focused on it during labor.

The 2nd goat who was wide as a house was definitely in labor by early evening. By 7:30 I was camped in the barn with all accessories ready.  She is a 2nd time mom and I didn't really have any concerns about her, but after the Pearl lost hers and we almost lost Pearl, I wasn't taking chances. 
Alice has completely mastered the art of Zen and kidding.  She was happily munching hay and cud throughout her whole labor.  Her first kid had his head down, so after a little rearranging he came out, so much for zen then!  The second little one came out nice and easy.  While I ran to get their little sweaters, I heard a noise.......
All night we were hearing the other goats, Pearl was sad, Betsy was munching hay and Calliope the sheep would talk to her little lambs.  As I walked toward the main pen, I heard a baby cry, and thought that it didn't really sound like the lambs, and that is because it wasn't.  Opal decided that she would have her kids on her due date after all.  She had her first little doeling already clean and ready to nurse. 
I brought them back to the kidding pen and a good thing, her 2nd was also coming out head down with one leg forward and one back.
4 kids from 10:15-10:45, a busy half hour.   
After we made sure all kids where up and had a belly full, we made our weary way back to the house.  And as always, a pot of tea made things much better. 
So now for a bunch of shamelessly cute pictures!
Alice's baby girl.

Alice's baby boy.

Opal little girl and Alice's boy.

Snack time.

Suckle Up!

Already anxious for grain.

She is too cute!

The pups are anxious to make sure everyone is ok.

Nothing like a baby goat to make you forget your in the hay.

They have waddles too, my favorite!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Where have we been.

It has been almost a year since I have posted a blog update.  So much has happened, some good, some bad and some very hard to deal with.  I avoided the blog, because this blog is not about personal hardships, but our farming experiences.  And while they intertwine on our end, I didn't feel fair sharing our woes with you.  I have been 'craving' the blog lately and decided that with the beginning of lambing and kidding season, it would be a good time for a new beginning in the blog world.  After all, who doesn't like the stories of brand new babies on the far.

Part of the change that has happened over the last year has been the focus of what we want from our livestock.  We are moving away from the fiber aspect and more towards the milk aspect.  Right now we only have 3 Angora goats and 4 sheep.  The Angora's are looking for a new home and one of the sheep will be leaving us soon.
We have also gotten a little more serious with our choice of pigs.  We are now raising American Guinea Hogs, a small heritage breed.  We have a breeding pair and hope to have a litter of piglets this summer.

We now have 9 dairy goats, hopefully 8 of them are bred, with the first one due in just 3 days.  With the milk from these goats I will continue to make soap, lotions etc, feed the pigs as well as provide wonderful milk and cheese for my family.
Smile for the camera.

Psyche, the queen bee.

Alice is the first due, just a few days away.

Maple always has time for a little munching.

Maple with her baby Daisy.

We have had our first birth of the season, Calliope, one of our 2 ewes, surprised us with 2 ram lambs this past Saturday.  These little boys are a mix of several breeds, and they are terribly cute.  Currently we call them Thing 1 and Thing 2. 

 So welcome back and look forward to a new year on the farm.