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Surprise Babies!

This is a quick posting, just to say that we have even more babies than we knew.  Liam and I headed out to the milk pen the other day, he to feed the bottle babies and I to milk, and he called to me that we had baby ducks.  Sure enough, one of the duck hens was in the next pasture with about 8 little ducklings!  I ccouldn't believe it, since in 8 years of having ducks we've never had one hatch anything.

Newest Arrival

I've just got a quick update today, on a few things.  

Honey!

Well, we finally got around to harvesting our honey for the spring, and it was finally a good harvest.  The first time we harvested, a couple years ago, we had one hive and got 11 quarts.  The second year, we had 4 hives, although some were young, and harvested 8 quarts.  Total.  This year, we've lost a few over the winter (but noticed one was gone quickly and salvaged the honey - about 10 quarts), so we currently have 2 hives.  We collected 24 quarts this time!

More Babies

This past week, we had a welcome addition to the farm.  We finally have more geese!  The geese really didn't lay any eggs the last two springs, and the few they did they didn't sit on, and no one else was feeling broody at the same time.  This year, we are down to 5 geese, only two females, and they both were in the mood for babies this time!  The first was laying quite well about 2 months ago, as evidenced by the number of goose eggshells we were finding around the yard from the dogs.

Almost There

Well, my hopes for a more relaxed post this time were, as usual, unfounded in reality :)  The last two weeks have been  pretty crazy on the farm, but we have had a WWOOFer intern since the 14th, so that's been very helpful.  It's actually been partly such a whirlwind because I've been pushing really hard the last 2 weeks to get ready to leave the farm with the boys for 6 days for a family get-together in Pennsylvania (which is actually where I am now), and since this is a really busy time of year, there was an awful lot of stuff to do first!  

Spring!!

Wow!  Spring is here, which means I should have done so, so many things yesterday - if not last week.  I've been frantically trying to get the garden in, while getting the spring hoophouse out, so I can get the summer hoophouse in...  and of course everything else I need to do -- pasta, soap, milking, cheesemaking, occasionally feeding my children, you know!  It's been pretty crazy for the last few weeks, I've been getting up around 5:30 or 6 and washing eggs or making soap or pasta before breakfast, just to get it out of the way.

Almost-Final Kidding Update

Well, our streak of near-constant goats kidding is maintaining pretty well.  No one had babies on the 16th, 17th, or 18th, (and prior to that the 7th, 10th, and 11th) but otherwise there's been at least 1, usually 2-3 a day since the 4th, 27 mamas done with 2 left.  I emailed a local playgroup about the babies last Sunday, inviting anyone who was interested to come out - and we had 27 people show up throughout the day, another 3 on Monday, and 8 more on Wednesday (2 of those were repeats)!

Latest Kidding News

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Goat kidding has been rolling right along in the last week - we have only had 3 days since the 4th without babies.  We are currently at 31 born, 12 lost :(, so 19 remaining with 12 of those girls.  It's a girl-heavy year, which will work out well for us since I'm going to cull fairly heavily this fall.  Several of these first-time kidders aren't going to get a second chance, particularly #1416.  

Busy Weekend

This was a long, crazy weekend!  It started Thursday, with alpaca shearing. Caleb took the day off to get ready - we have to set up a holding pen close to the barn, and another shearing pen in the barn, and then cover that with plastic for a windbreak since shearing is always on an extremely windy day.  We have to clear a large workspace in the barn pen, bring the generator up to the barn to run the shearing equipment, and get plastic bags and markers ready to label all the fleeces. 

Bottle Baby Update

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I am so glad to report some great news - our little house goat baby is doing fantastically well!  She had a hard time eating for the first several days, she's still working on how to use her tongue.  When she tries to suck, it just falls out the side of her mouth and she doesn't actually put suction on the nipple, she just pumps the milk back into the bottle.