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Baby photos at last

I had a chance to get out with our regular camera this afternoon and get a few photos of our beautiful baby goats. The girls are doing really well and were bouncing around annoying their mama Zelda while she was trying to eat her lunch! We have definitely begun our kidding year on the right foot: two girls :*)

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Not unbelievable, but definitely unwelcome

Not unbelievable, but definitely unwelcome

The rain and the wind came yesterday, and even the temperatures plummeted. It was 22F first thing this morning and I had to scrape at least 2″ of snow out of the feed troughs. Rather rude of Mother Nature to throw that at us, but at least we are not getting hit as hard as the midwest is again.

The Hand, all dressed up

The Hand, all dressed up

Our little goatie girls are doing well. They are going to be disbudded tomorrow afternoon at the vet’s. I actually am home today with a recuperating husband after he had some hand surgery yesterday for his advanced Dupuytron’s Contracture. Not fun, particularly since he is a leftie and it was quite bad in that hand. At the moment he is asleep in the recliner with his half-casted/bundled up arm elevated. (We had to throw a rope over the main beam in the living room, and attached it to the stationary bike! I better be careful not to move the bike!).

Blue skies return

Blue skies return

Luckily, the day is improving. The sun is bright enough now that I can hear the snow crashing off the metal roof. I really have to get out there and take a better photo of our baby girls! But first, kitchen cleanup calls.

First arrivals

Short-eared doeling

Short-eared doeling

Two sweet girls

Two sweet girls

Long-eared girl

Long-eared girl

Zelda held out until this afternoon sometime. I looped home before going on to errands (or I thought I was going to do errands) and I found Zelda in the greenhouse. 2 doelings with her, dry, fed and beautiful! I never did get out to do any more errands.

Water works!

Water works!

The second wonderful happening of the day is that we now have water coming from our dug well! Two reasons to celebrate tonight. I am hoping to get more sleep as well!

Pippi and SnowPea. The views are growing!

Pippi and SnowPea. The views are growing!

These are the name of the game this week. Not getting enough sleep due to all the birthing checks and I feel like my engine is running on empty and we have not even begun to kid yet!  Yesterday was Hatchtown Farm’s shearing, and even though it was a long day, it was replete with good work and then some relaxation with friends. Great food as well, as always!

Emily our wonderful shearer at work yesterday

Emily our wonderful shearer at work yesterday

We are still waiting on our goat babies, no secret there, and Zelda looks poised for action today, which is encouraging. She is really dropped and her udder is very full. It would be nice if she presented us with some babies in daylight, although we have had rain most of the day and it’s raw out there. All the animals were still at the feeder this morning awhile after breakfast and I noticed that Zelda had eaten but then walked away. Not much room in there for a big meal!

Every time I make the rounds up in the paddock I do a thorough check of all the back ends and udders. Every one is coming along, but the only one who is very close is Zelda. I can hardly wait for the excitement of new babies. Then it may truly feel like Spring has finally arrived.

(10:30 PM and nothing on the horizon!)

The Big ride

Waiting for their ride to Wiscasset

Waiting for their ride to Wiscasset, Esther is keeping watch

Fern

Fern

Today was the big day. Our 4 breeding ewes took a ride to their new home down in Wiscasset (only about 10 miles away). Amy and Jeff Burchstead have Buckwheat Blossom Farm and are a young, hard working family. They have been raising Coopworth and Coopworth X sheep for many years now and actually, I bought our first 3 sheep from Amy 12 years ago. I was extremely pleased that they were looking for some extra ewes when we called them.

So today was the big day. We got the ewes penned and waited. Esther can never help herself, she just can’t stop jumping up on fences to take a big-picture look at things. What a cutie! When Amy and Jeff came, they had their 3 lovely children along and we got to work loading the ewes. In spite of the mud and the muck, we managed to get the girls into their truck without too much trouble. It was lovely having a visit with them, and it’s also wonderful to know that the ewes are with a good flock and they are only a few miles down the road. Visitation!

Funny that the first sheep I bought were from Amy and Jeff, and now the last sheep we are selling we sold to Amy and Jeff. (Actually, one of the ewes we sold them is the daughter of Norma the ewe that we got from Amy all these 12 years ago). Nice to have that sewn up so nicely. Sniff, sniff, I am going to miss them.

Waiting

Pippi annoys HoneBea the ewe

Pippi annoys HoneBea the ewe

Spinning up Fern's fleece

Spinning up Fern’s fleece

SnowPea snoozing in the Sunday sun

SnowPea snoozing in the Sunday sun

Monday's afternoon sky view

Monday’s afternoon sky view

Another week in the life. It’s getting warmer, slowly, and of course that means MUD! That will be the new complaint flavor of the day from now until June, I am sure.

I do feel as though we are ready for the goat kids. My birthing kit is waiting on the table with the clean towels, the molasses is at hand, and the clean jug in the greenhouse is all set. The waiting is truly the most difficult part. Waiting and watching those goatie bellies and woo woos morning, noon, afternoon and night for the signs of impending labor.

We have also sold our breeding sheep and are trying to make a date with the buyers for the pickup. It’s definitely one of those ‘my schedule doesn’t correspond at all’ with theirs. We are all so busy, it’s a little crazy. As much as I am going to miss those wonderful girls, it’s time to make more room for the goats :*)  We are poised to streamline how things work on the farm and I am really looking forward to it!  But for now, we wait.

Preparations

Elf.  She is telling me she is definitely not ready for Freddie!

Elf. She is telling me she is definitely not ready for Freddie!

For our upcoming goatie babies. Doing what we can to make sure we have everything we need for taking care of our little ones at birth and right after. This week has just flown by already, but I have my portable birthing kit ready and waiting along with some clean, old towels. I have to stay up way past my bedtime in order to do a later evening check on the girls as well, which I find very difficult. But onward we go! A few nights back I had a little bit of help staying up later. Our Salt Bay Treadlers meeting was filled with great food and lots of laughter. Some of us got a little bit of spinning done as well, and that kept me out until almost 9:30.

Salt Bay Treadlers dinner spread

Salt Bay Treadlers dinner spread

Everyone is looking good, but not looking close to going into labor. Zelda remains the only one with a serious udder coming on, but all the bellies are growing by the day. It’s just going to be a goatie woo-woo watch for sure. I have just reviewed some of the notes I thought I had lost track of, and two of the girls did come back into heat on the 29th of November, which makes them due toward the end of my April break week, which is extremely convenient! The only one I am really sure will go on or around her due date, is Zelda, and she is due a week from Saturday on the 12th. Maybe we have a little wiggle room still.

Finally, some blue skies

Finally, some blue skies

The weather has gotten increasingly lovelier this week, although it sounds like some nasty weather is coming in tonight. Let’s hope no kids are knocking on the bus door in the next

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