Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Trips

Well, I said I was ready, didn't I? New triplets were born in the barn this morning. They were large and colored differently from the first batch, so I'm pretty sure these are offspring of the large buck, Bosephus. Two females/one male.


It's hard to find a minute to record notes here right now. The work is intense. However, it's worth noting that yesterday:

I picked the first of the asparagus.

In the woods, I found an entire steep hillside of pink trilium - and am so glad that we can preserve such treasures.

Red and green cabbages have been transplanted. Nearly all of the seeds I planted in the vegetable garden are now germinated. Tender plants await transplantation in the greenhouse.

We've established a routine with the first thirteen goat kids and are ready for the next batch to arrive. They will no doubt be the offspring of Bosephus. The small pasture has now been opened up for the babies and mothers for part of sunny, dry days.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Just a Quick Note

Just a quick note as I run out to begin what will no doubt be another very busy day on the farm: Five new babies were born yesterday, so we are up to thirteen kids as of yesterday. There are eight females and five males.

Of course, that may need to be updated again today. Who knows, maybe we'll have a rest today?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Up to Eight

We're up to eight goat babies as of this afternoon -- four female, four male. All are white with brown markings. The first five have already been out of their jugs and playing in the afternoon. They can dance, jump, and run.

Blooming currently: wisteria, apple blossoms, lilacs, althea, dogwood, redbud, tulips.

As I finished the afternoon chores and walked out of the old farmhouse toward my truck, I spied two small fuzzy kittens. Either the feral cat that goes under the shed has had them, or the Spring faeries have just made them from the ether and fog. Oh, well, sure. Why not kittens, too?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Let the Games Begin...

Shelby (pictured here) had twins yesterday. Today, so far, Q-tee had triplets. 'Only one buckling in the bunch so far. All are white with brown and grey markings. These are Hubba Bubba's babies, so have classic Boer looks.

My grandson will name the first two doelings. He submitted a gigantic list of names for this year's babies. We'll start with "U" names and go to "V". If necessary, we'll start into the "W"s, but I'm thinking we might be able to stick to "U" and "V." So, anyone out there with suggestions for baby names, just submit them in the comments section.

I'll be updating frequently from now on and taking short naps in-between.

Friday, April 14, 2006


No little goatlings yet, but from the sound of the moaning and groaning in the barn last night, you'd think there'd be a bunch this morning. I'm posting this because I've received messages asking if we've had any kids yet. The herd wattled out to the pasture this morning to get in some munching before the rain.

The goslings, on the other hand, have begun to hatch early. Two are already cuddling together in a temporary cardboard box brooder in the old farmhouse. They are much too delicate to join the Slobovian ducklings out in the real brooder in the chicken house. Ducklings (or baby dumplings, as I call them) peep excitedly when I come in because they know I'll give them yet another quart of WATER! Yay!

Dumplings guzzle the water and play in it, so I've decided to dole it out during the day. They go through about six quarts a day, and there are only six of them. The result is a slushy mess around the water drinker. One task for today is to get in there with a flat dustbin and scrape it out and add dry wood shavings. I'll give the goslings a couple of days to get oriented to the world before introducing them to wet duck world.

Ducklings have that sly half-smiling look they give you. They are little cynics who love you for what you give them. Goslings, if you are the first being they spy upon hatching, consider you the object of their affection, and whistle and vocalize when they see you, whether you are bringing food and water or not. I'd never "help" chicks or ducklings out of the shell, but goslings are different. Their shells are so hard and the lining so rubbery, that after 24 hours, I often chip away parts of the shell to help them stretch out and get out. I firmly believe that mother geese do the same.
If anyone remembers my ATV shopping and cares: I finally bought a Kawasaki Mule utility vehicle. It is like a tiny truck or a golf cart on steroids. The little bed holds nine 6-gallon buckets. So far, I've used it to drive down, and especially up, the hills to open and close pasture gates; checked out our trails through the woods; haul cuttings to the fields; etc. This morning, while tending to the livestock, I raked up nine buckets of top wasted hay from the goats to the chicken house. Then, I went back with the empty buckets and filled them with manure, which got dumped on new asparagus beds. The nice thing was being able to back right into the barn so that the buckets didn't need to be carried a long distance. That is what tires me out.

I believe I'll be using a lot less gasoline if I use the Mule instead of a full-size pickup for farm work. So far, so good.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April First

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Temperatures in the seventies, windy and sunny. We got a little rain last night and I see the peas emerging from the soil in the vegetable garden. I planted beets and chard this week and cucumber seed today.

The first violets have shown themselves in the fields and pastures. I see that the pulmonaria is also blooming.

On March 30th, each flock (different breeds of geese; different ponds) elected a nest manager who declared eggs off limits to humans. The nest managers are ganders. They escort the geese in a gentlemanly manner to the nest and guard against all who would take eggs. Later on, they will take the geese and shake them by the neck if they want a break from setting. Ducks are chased away.

Early on, I could take eggs with impunity, as geese are even worse at math than I am. I'd take five and leave one and, silly geese would think that was fine. Now, I must make a wide berth when passing by the nests, pretending not to see.

Annabelle had her calf. I spotted it while talking on the phone. Don and I drove down to check it out later. It's a heifer. I think I'll name her Pulmonaria.

'Just fooling around. I think I'll name her Violet.