Mornings around here are hectic but far better than they have been. It seems like with every new goat kid, new project, or new adventure it puts a bit of a wrench in how chores are done. Right now, we have a nice rhythm and technique down, so I figured you should come along and do chores with us!
Our morning doesn't start as early as some, and this particular day I was late getting to the farm. I woke up at 6, but spent my time working on blog posts and got distracted! We probably got to the farm about 8:45, and left about 10:10.
To spare you a thousand photos each, I made each section into a slideshow. Just hover over the photo, and it will bring up a play button! Enjoy!
This weekend was exceptionally nice. We've had pretty cold temperatures lately, with a few inches of snow. Friday the snow started melting, and was gone by Saturday. And Saturday was mid-60's as was Sunday. It's the perfect time to get the goat barn ready for kidding. I meant to do it earlier, but wasn't sure exactly what I wanted. I was spurred to action, not only due to warmer weather, but because Lucy is driving me crazy! She is the only doe who I have no due date for. Towards the end of January she suddenly started growing an udder. This is normal, not necessarily a sign of impending labor. I was planning on using a ligament check on Lucy to decide when she would kid. And then this happened...
That area where my fingers are pressed in are where ligaments usually are. They are two pencil sized ligaments that run from the spine to pin bones. When labor is impending they soften and basically disappear. I felt her one morning, and thought, well, maybe today is the day!! It wasn't, and since I've felt the ligaments and not felt them a few times. I guess I will just keep watching her like a hawk. I figured, to be on the safe side, we may as well get things switched up and prepared if babies do come earlier.
As you can see we have a lot going on in there! The pen with the orange gate in front is the bucks pen which is now the new kidding stall. We scraped out all the yucky hay, and added some plywood. I sprinkled the dirt floor with lime, and we let it dry out overnight. Sunday we added fresh new hay and locked it up! If there is one thing I've learned it's that goats are just itching to poop in new places! The bucks are now in a smaller lot with a hut where they will spend the nights, and once babies are born they will stay separate for awhile. Once I separate the kids at night for milking they will go into the hoop house. Or at least that's how I hope it works out!
Thursday (or at least I think Thursday) we got some seeds started. I usually don't get them started until about the end of February, so I feel pretty good to be ahead of schedule. I was hoping to avoid setting a light up for them, but we just found one we could use. We just started getting sprouts Sunday, pretty sure it's broccoli and cauliflower. Saturday we noticed there were some kind of gnats in and around the plants. I've experienced that before, so I almost brushed it off. However, I am really hoping these seedlings make it!! So I did a little researched and found out they are a fungus gnat. They can kill your seedlings. I wasn't sure how to fix it, but then read someone used DE. That's what is sprinkled all over the plants up there! I had a couple areas that got...well coated. It did the trick! All the gnats are gone.
Saturday I opened my mailbox to an exciting surprise!! It's my first time ordering from Baker Creek, and so far so good. I was extremely excited about my free gift, parisienne carrots. That probably sounds so stupid, but they are a variety I really, really wanted to try. I didn't order them, however, because I have some carrot seed already, and planned to get a packet of rainbow carrot seed. I can't wait to see how they grow! (parisienne carrots are basically a carrot that grows round)
All in all, it was a very good weekend. I'm glad we got the goat pens taken care of, and I'm exciting to start some more seeds. I watched a gorgeous sunset, and enjoyed feeling the sun on my face! Well, how was your weekend? Get any projects done? Feel free to share in the comments!
I woke up Sunday morning to a winter wonderland. We got about 3 or so inches, it was quite slick and slushy for morning chores, and got crunchier as the day got colder. I don't know about anyone else, but there is something about a thick coat of snow that makes the world look completely peaceful and magical. As much as I love it, snow makes for some miserable chores.
It's cold, and wet, and most of the time the animals are less than thrilled. If there are just a few inches of snow, I walk to do chores, but heavy snow or extremely cold temperatures require driving instead. To make matters worse I have to carry gallons of water down by hand. Needless to say I can carry 6 gallons of water at a time...though 4 is much more comfortable!
If there is a heavy layer of snow, none of the animals go outside. Except for extreme circumstances, I do give them access to the outdoors. But goats are like cats, totally unimpressed by the snow, and the chickens agree! I've also been more tentative to let the goats out during really snowy/cold weather as Lucy could have her baby anytime. I would hate for her to get stuck somewhere and have the baby outdoors!
My other chore companions are our dogs. Duke and Dutchess are both lab mixes who love the snow and doing chores. They come with me to the farm, twice a day, to hunt, and play. Duke is more of a watcher, he watches everything and stays on the look out. Dutchess is our hunter, who kills groundhogs, squirrels, mice and whatever she can get her teeth on!
After having so many nice, bright, warm days, having snow and single digit temperatures is difficult. Not just for me, but the animals too. The only thing that makes it better is that it is finally February. You know what that means?! Spring is getting closer and closer, and I am counting down the minutes!
Did you get snow over the weekend?
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My name is Monica, I'm passionate about farming, food, and the humane treatment of livestock.