Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Miracle of Life - Graphic

Look at this!! Miranda birthed another giant. Christian decided to help a little near the end - she was having a tough time getting the kiddo out. I will take a nice dry photo of the baby and add it soon. Exciting! Another girl!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Poinsettia the House Goat

It got a little busy around here during the holidays, so I kind of forgot to post that Loretta had her baby on Christmas Day Night. (Is that a thing?)

We have a family waiting on two doelings, so we let them name her, but we will keep her until she has a half-sister to go home with her.

Meet Poinsettia. She's kind of a house goat. Very good at napping in front of the TV.

...looooove me some house goats.

Monday, December 29, 2008

FOFs Rule!

Three cheers for the Webers and Segers - the latest official Friends of the Farm.
They all came out to visit babies today in their FOF t-shirts.

...when are you going to buy yours????

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Insane sweetness

Watching June nurse and mother these kids is just so barf-inspiringly cute I can't stand it.

We bottle raise our kids here - for a couple reasons. The biggest thing is that we need the milk. If we bottle feed, we can control the amount the kids get and make sure they have enough to grow properly, but not so much that we can't make cheese.

The other reason is that hand-reared kids end up being lovely, calm, handle-able adults that are usually pretty easy to milk later on. That's just our way.

But these aren't our goats and the Hydes don't need the milk yet. I must say, letting nature do its thing has been truly awesome.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A quick visit

The Hydes were able to stop by to visit their new goats for a few minutes on their way out of town for the holidays. The light is really tough in that little shed, so the pictures aren't super - but they are still sweet.

Miranda, Loretta and Lucinda are still hanging in there. I don't think there will be more babies today.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

One down, three to go

Well, after a LOOOOONG day of watching and waiting and watching and waiting, followed by watching and waiting...June is in the shed. Hopefully nursing her beautiful new twins.

Christian's sister and her family came out this morning, hoping to catch the big event and we watched and waited from about 10:30 or 11:00 am until 5:00 pm when she finally gave in and pushed the little buggers out. In the dark. Sigh.

A boy and a girl. Beautiful. And our nieces got to see something probably no other kids in their Manhattan grade school have ever seen.

Happy Chanukah everyone! We'll post better photos tomorrow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

June's Back End

June came this morning. I think there will be babies tomorrow morning.

Her back end looks like an orangutan's face. For serious. That can't feel good.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I love taking portraits of the goats. I call them "school pictures."

Today there was some nice light for school pictures. Someone should have told Libby to clean up a little and spit out her cud.






The Window is Open

We have officially entered the window of normal birth timing.

Goats gestate for 150 days, but you can add or subtract five days and still fall within the range considered normal. Today Miranda and Loretta are at 145. Lucinda is a wild card, as we did not witness her breeding, but based solely on her size (she is freaking enormous!) and the barest hint of udder development, I think she's somewhere in the window as well.

We'll have babies - and precious milk - soon.

And we've got a little bonus planned. June's family is going out of town for the holidays, so we will taking care of her and Emmy here at BHF. June is due Monday.

We're about to get busy.

We have already given warning that baby goats might be attending the Chanukah and/or Christmas celebrations at Christian's folks' house. We have also warned that we may have to back out of another event on Miranda and Lo Lo's due date. We are completely and utterly unable to make 100% firm commitments for the next ten days. But we'll do what we can to make everything work. Here's hoping for uncomplicated births and a holiday season filled with baby goat love.

Miranda - 145 days

Lucinda - 145 days?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Keeping Christian Busy

Technically, we are deep within the low season. Milk output is WAAAAY down, as happens this time of year. Goats have a natural lactation curve that has them generally drying off after 10 months of production. Some will go dry before that, though others - the rare milk superstars - will just keep on milking, oblivious to nature's plan. We don't have a lot of superstars. :(

In the low season, we get to follow the sun. The work day is shorter and we catch up on the long list of things that need to be done in the house or around the farm.

But not this year.

Christian just finished his second custom milk stand, has one order in the hopper and three more potential builds to do soon. I kind of started a side business for him.

The stands are like ours, but can be built in sizes from those for a single goat to the full fiver, like we use. With each stand he makes, C tweaks the design a little to make it even better. The latest, pictured below, has an adjustable head stock (as the woman who bought it has meat goats, who can get quite beefy, but still may need a good hoof trim) and is in two pieces that can be unbolted for easier transport.

The stands are cool. And hopefully Christian won't burn out on making them. I let him buy a rad new chop saw to aid in the effort to keep it interesting enough. So, you know -- if ya need a milk stand....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Extreme Cuteness

The ducklings are growing. They definitely could no longer fit in an egg. They are still in the coop, learning their life skills, but we'll probably let them out sometime next week.

Try not to let the cute overload make you barf.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Eight is enough

We lost a duckling overnight. :(

It is getting quite cold at night and Harpo tried her darndest to keep all of the kids warm, but she - and her wingspan - are just not quite large enough to cover nine growing babies completely. One was sticking out a bit from her wing this morning. That little bit was enough to kill him.

Oddly enough, I am perfectly OK with this. I think it would have been miraculous for so many to survive in this weather and with a first time mom. Harpo is still a rockstar in my book. Good on ya', Harpo.

Trudy's weird pile

Goatrude is a collector.

When she was a puppy, she mostly collected items she found in the barnyard. Sticks, the occasional neglected tool, bones we had given her or the other dogs. She places her collected items in a loose pile in the center of the barnyard. Occasionally she chews on those which are worthy. (Which once, unfortunately, included a nice pair of protective headphones. Oops.)

Now that the Trude roams, the collections have become baffling. They are kind of like mini art installations.

Yesterday the pile comprised:

a.) 3 bleached out cow femur bone segments (None of which WE gave her. Lord knows where she found them.)

b.) A small mummified turtle

c.) A tanned skunk hide with plenty of fur attached to assist identification.

I hate to be an alarmist, but I think the Trude may be involved in the dark arts.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Duckling Update

Well, there are nine ducklings out of a possible ten. Harpo is officially a rockstar.

By 3:00 yesterday, Christian decided to get her and the kiddos moved to the coop. When he went to get them, three eggs had still not hatched, though the ducks had pipped them. He broke them open and managed to save two of the ducklings by warming them up in the house for a couple hours. The third was DOA.

By five o'clock he had put the two gimpy ducks with the others under mama and we hoped for the best. The whole clan spent the night in a dogloo, in the chicken coop, with a little heater on them, just because we're softies.

This morning those two were indistinguishable from the rest. Victory!

Here is the brood. Sick cute. We hope they'll all make it. We'll leave them in the coop for a few days until they seem steady and ready to go and then they'll be left to free range in the wilds of BHF. If you need a duckling,let us know. We're trying to get the Arroyos to take one. Not sure how many we'll need to sell on Craigslist yet. ...four dollah. (But one free to the Arroyos family)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Breaking News: The ducklings are hatching!!!!

The ducklings are hatching! Christian pulled two out for a quick (and horrible) photo but then stuck them back under Harpo. Not all were done hatching as of an hour ago, but there are lots of delicious little peep noises coming from under her breast. Yaaaaay! Ducklings!!!

We are thinking we might snatch them up and raise them by hand. Keep them warm inside the house for a few weeks. Part of me is feeling sad for Harpo if we do it, but Christian thinks shell get over it quickly. Dawn did when her first batch failed.

We'll see. I'll post better pics when we get some.

And here is Harpo with a used egg in the foreground. Good little mama.


Yes, that is my evil laugh. Meaning I have done something evil. Evil, I say!

We sent Tony to Swede Farm.

Tony is -- or shall I say WAS -- our alpha guinea. He was a total PITA and was absurdly "attacky" toward many of the other poultry types at BHF. He beat up ToD, he beat up Karl - both of which outweigh him exponentially. He also chased anyone he felt like chasing. Pretty much whenever the spirit moved him.

So when we got the chance last week, we reminded the Carlsons that they "forgot" to get Tony when they got their peep peps. Bwa-ha-ha-haaaa. No returns!!!!

...I hope he hasn't killed anything on their farm. ;)