Well, spring sprung for us here at the farm the end of March, with 6 bouncing baby goats born, and a lovely heifer calf. We’ve hit the ground (as did they) running, with the cold season crops now in the ground, and even a compost tea spraying completed. 25 Speckled Sussex (for pastured poultry for the family) arrived a few weeks back, along with my daughters egg layers (spangled hambergs – what a name!) and our hens are laying dutifully in their egg mobile out in the field, with their spankin new plastic netting that Winnie (the pony) promptly got himself tangled in during one of his midnight raids on the henhouse – cus he’s starving, dontcha know. Winnie now has his own section of the field, far away from the hens! Actually Winnie is the goat king – he hangs with them, and they kinda hang with him, they especially like to chew on his mane. Sigh.
We are milking the girls once a day now, in the am. We let the babies stay with their moms during the day, and separate them at night. I decided to let them keep their horns as well, seeing as I’m fairly certain horns have a reason, and that goats just don’t look like goats with out them. They look, well, mutilated in my eyes. As we are a small operation, I don’t foresee any trouble with that decision. Horns actually serve several important function – they dissipate heat (not that we have much of that here these days) and they protect the animal from predators. We do have a healthy coyote population here. We had 5 doelings and one buckling – who will end up either as a pack goat and a companion for our someday buck, or on the table, depending on his disposition.
The milk has been fabulous, very light, with less fat in it this time of year so it filters quickly and easily. Makes a light and lemony chevre. But crummy for butter. That’s for later in the year.
There’s more to update, but Peter is putting the scythe together and I am eager to try it, then we are off to the sheep and wool festival to be tempted by lambs