Well, it seems all of my does except for Tank Girl have kidded. Every doe did just fine, even the freshener Marceline. This is my second year having pure San Clemente Island goat kids, though it's my first year with totally healthy kids of this breed. I feel very excited and pleased with myself. I feel really confident in reading the does' ligaments and predicting when birthing will happen. There is a spot at the base of the goat tail with these ligaments running on either side of the hip bones. You can feel these ligaments relax and then disappear as the goat grows closer to kidding.
There is also the excitement that I know what what I will do with every kid in the future. I don't feel overwhelmed or worried like I have previous years. I will be able to sell my san clemente buckling, Elmore as a valuable breeder buck to someone in the future, I plan on keeping Strega the female clemente doeling. All of my other mixed breed bucklings I plan on raising here at home for the summer. I then will have them harvested and processed at a locally owned processing facility. The plan is that I will be able to sell goat meat at the local co-op early this fall. I know this may sound a bit brutal to some people. Right now it's the best solution to extra goats that I have. I do home harvesting and processing also, and will do that if I have extra. I have tried re-homing castrated bucks, also called wethers. The times when I have found new homes for my wethers have always proved to cause me worry and despair. The new owners either lied to me about their knowledge of goats, did not have good transportation, or where obviously duped into buying goats for their kids that probably wouldn't take care of them. I have better luck selling does that are in milk or have been bred. That way the animal is more "valuable" to people and more likely to be well taken care of. I know other people have much better luck and work harder at re-homing their extra goats as pets. I am personally just making a decision to do otherwise. I know I can give my animals an excellent life, and I don't have to worry about how they are doing in the custody of someone else.
So right now I'm just loving up all the kids running around, and giving the moms some extra TLC. I can't wait for warmer weather and greener grass. Nothing makes me happier than watching my goats grazing/browsing on new pasture and giving me lots of delicious milk. Enjoy all the pictures I have been taking!
Thanks for your support!
Amazing but true, I have sold out of my first round of chicken shares. I feel so fortunate to have all of these people support me and be part of this great farming adventure. If you still wanted to purchase a chicken share I am raising another group later in the summer. I would need to know if you wanted any shares by August 1st. The chickens would be harvested at the end of September. There is still a lot of availability with turkey and goose shares. Not to mention the fabulous goat milk shares.
You can find out more details on my store page, or just send me an email or message. Now I'm going to enjoy this lovely spring weather and start more seeds.
Thanks so much for you support!
Poking holes in the dirt, what else could be better on such a beautiful March day. The high temp was in the lower 40's, and I got to sit out on the deck for the later part of the afternoon starting seeds. So far I have three large trays of white sage along with different varieties of peppers, hyssop, tobacco, valerian, flax, woad, mint, rosemary, thyme and fenugreek just to name a few. There are still others that need to get started this week and throughout the next month or so. I tend to start my tomatoes in April, they get so leggy if I start them too early. It feels good to have dirt stuck under my fingernails again! Plus it's good to plant around a full moon, right?
The whole month of March is starting to look pretty hectic. It seems like every day is becoming booked solid with plans, mostly things I need to do done around the house. Lots of organizing as I walk into starting my own business, plus just good old farm work. On top of that one of my clemente breeding bucks has a swollen rear hock. I think the pregnant does are bossing him around and he got pinched somehow. I have him in an extra pen by himself to recuperate right now. I also gave him a good dose of my garlic paste along with cayenne pepper, goldenseal, vitamin B and some amino acids. There is some herbal stuff I ordered off the internet today that will be coming soon to help him along and calm down the inflammation. He does seem to be walking on it a bit already, I hope it heals quickly. I felt no broken spots, but the area is warm to the touch and swollen.
The geese also got moved from their hoop house spot to the grain bin area. I had to rig up some extra fencing around the building for them, but they seem to like being outside for a change. Plus there is a big puddle forming that they spend the whole day in. It was quite the adventure trying to get the geese from point A to point B. I initially caught the male goose and carried him up to the new spot. He is a mellow fellow and I had no troubles moving him. He just got very agitated being away from his female companions. When I walked back down to the hoop house to catch the ladies, the male decided he needed to be back with them and flew all the way from the grain bin to the hoop house. That's like 150 yards! After that happened I realized if I kept on moving one individual goose it would keep flying back to it's companions. I ended up herding the geese up to the grain bin area. It was slow going, but they herd pretty nicely. Especially when I was carrying a long stick to help guide them along. If one goose strayed too far to the left or right I would just stretch my stick out to herd them back in a group and keep moving forward.
I also wanted to talk about the great local event Bob and I attended on Saturday. It's called the Traditional/Green Skills event. You pay $12 and get to take four different sessions of many classes to choose from. The classes are taught by local people with experience. Classes like food storage, home/green funerals, growing mushrooms, herbal teas, goat care, blacksmithing, and spinning were offered just to name a few. I was also able to set up a table and sell my soaps and jewelry. It was a great experience and I got to make quite a few new connections. Events like this really help glue the community together. I feel pretty fortunate to be living in the area that I do!
That sums it up for now. I hope to keep at the blogging on a regular basis even when life starts getting busy again. I'm looking forward to the challenges and rewards!
Very slowly I have been working on this particular blog posting. Recently I started feeling the tickles of a cold rearing it's snotty head. I called in sick to work today, I was sick yesterday, but I'm having that feeling of needing to be productive. Even though it hurts my eyes to look at the computer for long, reading books seems less hurtful on the eyes. So I'm reading Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins. I recently finished listening to and audio version of his latest book Tibetan Peach Pie. I highly recommend all of his novels, they get my brain juices boiling. It seems that I just have a really big bad yucky cold. The sinus pressure I had yesterday was intense, today I just get tuckered out very easily along with snuffles and chest congestion. Tinctures, juice, and fruit are my best friends.
To get to the point, I wanted to talk about being sick on a farm and how a person deals with this. Quite honestly it's pretty nice having a partner around to help out. Bob does plenty of chore helping, he just doesn't know the details when it comes to feeding goats. Plus, try as he might, he cannot milk a goat. Those particular chores are up to me to take care of every morning, rain, shine, snow, or puke! Oh, and I have made myself do chores in-between puking, being hung over, or just feeling worn down. This is my responsibility I took on, I have to take care of the animals I have under my protection. This is something people should be aware of if you ever decide to go into any kind of farming or animal husbandry. I'm sure any pet owner will know that your dog still need to go outside to pee, poop, and have exercise regardless how you feel. It's always good to have emergency back up people available for help too. Think about emergencies that might pop up, who can you call to help take care of things while dealing with those emergencies? On an even bigger and more serious thought, what happens to your animals if you can no longer keep them for whatever reason? Thinking about unknowns can be scary but important.
I am thankful to have family and friends close by that will be here for me whenever I need help. The community around me strengthens me and I feel fortunate to be part of it and able to help people when they need it. I think farming on your own is doable, but being able to have that support around you is what makes it actually work.
Enjoy the pictures I took this morning. You can see my very pregnant does eating from their assigned buckets. Along with my two boys and my friends goat May. All my goats get kelp with their grain. Depending on where they are in their pregnancy or how they are doing as a whole they get certain herbs and supplements to help them along. Right now my pregnant does are getting extra selenium in their food. Everyone is getting homemade garlic powder to help strengthen them overall. Garlic is a wonder plant! Plus the two babies, Strega and Elmore have started eating grain. They look so cute as they obviously shove things around in their mouths, feeling and tasting things for the first time. The kids are doing so good, despite the cold temperatures they where born in.
Well, I hope I kick this sickness in the butt really soon, there is a lot to do around here!
Born and raised in a small town, then moved back to the same small town. Jill of many trades and happy to be so.