Here is to another week on the farm where everyday brings something new. It is difficult to make hard and fast plans, because “the farm” has other ideas. That is what keeps it fresh and exciting! Being flexible is definitely a must. I love the challenges of the daily events.
Monday was a great day to get some major chores done. It was time to take the tarps down off of the barn openings and get the bedding out of the inside of the barn. Open the windows and air out to barn! Then it rained all night and most of the morning. But fear not! The sun came out and so did the wind! Wow! Oklahoma is know for its windy days. Even in the Musical, Oklahoma, the lyrics say, “Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain…”.
Tuesday proved to be one of those windy days. But in with the fresh air and out with the sunshine. Mother Nature is helping us get things clean. It’s Valentine’s Day and I thought that Honey would give us a gift of a new baby goat, but no baby yet. I really thought that she would have been the first one to have babies out of this first group, but alas, she is last.
I decided to do some tractor work so, I brought over a few bucket loads of dirt to fill in Henry’s area where he has been digging holes. Henry is our Great Pyrenees that is one year old. He is a Livestock Guardian Dog. As I dumped a tractor bucket load over the fence he quickly climbed on top. With each load he seemed to be happier. I left the pile there and a little later I found him sound to sleep on top of the mound. He looked so peaceful. I didn’t have the heart to “move his mountain,” so I will leave it for him to enjoy for a while.
Libby is the oldest Livestock Guardian Dog on the farm. She is two years old now and is old enough to start to have more privileges and responsibilities. We have been working with her and now she is able to be out on her own during the day. She did perfectly well from day one. She walked the entire perimeter of the property and marked it as her own. When she was satisfied she came back to the central area and laid down by the goats and ducks. She listens well to commands and I believe she will continue to grow and learn and will protect us for years to come.
Wednesday morning I noticed Honey had separated herself and was acting a little different. I kept close watch on her and soon I heard that all familiar sound of a doe in labor. She found a very safe place in the tunnel. I put some fresh straw in with her and kept my distance. Honey has always been a standoffish goat. She is friendly but she doesn’t like to be touched by humans. She will let us work with her once we catch her but she will give you a hard time catching her. So, standing back aways I watched. It did not take her long and out comes a beautiful baby and right behind that one was another. TWINS!! As soon as mama got them cleaned and standing and nursing I went in the tunnel to get a closer look. Two boys! This has certainly been the year of the boy! Bucklings out number the doelings 5 to 1 now.
Now that Honey has given birth we have a short break before we have another round of births. We have one Boer (Fluff), one Nigerian Dwarf (Daphne), one Nubian (Jolene) and one Alpine/Nubian mix (Elsa) yet to give birth. Once Jolene and Elsa give birth, they will be put back on the stand for milking. It is also possible that Daphne will be milked as well. She had triplets last year, so we will wait and see. I do love milking the goats and certainly love the benefit of the fresh goat milk. It is so delicious! Very rich milk. I do sell raw goat’s milk here on the farm. Contact us if you are interested. Did you know that goat’s milk is very low in lactose and often those that are lactose intolerant can drink it?
Not only do we drink the milk, but I also make cheese and soap. Soap Saturday this week I made a batch of Orange Vanilla. It smells wonderful! It is still curing but I will have some for the Flea to the Market on April 1st and 2nd. You won’t want to miss this weekend festival. Several of our past vendors will be back as well as many new ones! Lots of food, fun, music and shopping.
I moved more compost to the greenhouse. New things have been planted now, as well as soil being mixed and potted for more plants. We are running a water line to have a water source in the greenhouse. This will make is so much more convenient. Also we will be adding a big double sink for a washing station. I will say that it was so nice working in the warm greenhouse on a cold windy day.