Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mud Age

Okay, so, it's in the 40s for highs the last few days and the snow and ice are beginning to melt.  I can actually see a few areas of brown in the landscape.  The runoff of melted snow is considerable, having created little streams where none have existed for the past ten years.

The driveway is rutted mud, as most of the gravel has been plowed off during the big snows.  I'm hoping my little UTV will continue to cope with the mud until it gets a chance to dry off and a new coat of gravel can be applied.  Because larger four wheel vehicles are driving the route from the house to the barns, I must cope with the large ruts their tires leave.

Things are winding down in the goat barns.  We have 60 new kids and have been playing "musical goats", moving the largest (and heaviest, and fattest) babies and their mothers in with the general herd and keeping the smallest in private quarters for bonding and individual attention.  Much of the ear tagging is done and now the little male kids are being sorted to determine which will be wethered. 

The poor herd has been cooped up in the barn for a month during the big snows.  This is unprecedented on this farm.  I'll open the gates today, but doubt they will go out, as it is wet and there is nothing to eat in the fields.  Our store of hay is dwindling, so here's hoping that the temperatures will hold and that the melt will continue.

Oddly, where ground water is seeping up around the maternity barn, there is green grass growing.  The ground water is about 50 degrees and was steaming when the air temps were below freezing.  It is a strange winter.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ice Age

We welcomed the 50th newborn goat kid into our barn yesterday afternoon.

The barns are packed.  The constant bombardment of snow and ice make it difficult for the adult goats to go outside.  We're expecting more snow on Monday.  If we can get through this and Spring ever comes, we'll all be happy.

A sure sign of Spring:  the hens have begun laying again.