kiddin’ around

 

the firstborn kid

the firstborn kid

Baby goats!

I know, I know, babies were last week’s theme but it’s spring, and springtime means babies.

Lucy had triplets! 

Lucy’s due date was this past Wednesday, April 7th, and apparently goats are very timely with their birthing- 150 days from conception.  But because babies are born when babies are ready to be born, we had to take nighttime shifts to check in on her, first on Tuesday, then on Wednesday.  Lucky for us, she held out until the beautiful sunny morning of Thursday (which, by the way, was the day that Silas, Ben and Oona’s son, predicted.  He knows things). 

Ben and I were checking on her every little while during the morning because she had been showing clear signs of pregnancy- pawing at the floor (“making a nest”), getting up and lying down, licking (she’s getting ready to lick her babies dry). 

Considering she had three goat babies moving around inside of her, I’d say she was pretty calm about the whole thing. 

So, this might get a little bit gory for some of you, but it was just so amazing I have to share. 

The first baby came partially out in her sac that was still fully intact.  You could see her perfect little hooves and eyes.  After a bunch of getting up and lying dying intermixed with some contractions and some good, loud bleating, the first baby came fully out.  A sweet little girl.  We had to wipe her down right away to get her warm and dry and especially make sure that she could breath.  Then Lucy took over with her licking, an innate impulse, cleaning and warming the kid.  At the same time, she’s getting ready for the next kid to come, and sure enough, within about twelve minutes, she had a baby boy.  As the baby boy is getting dried and warmed, the first-born girl is already beginning the process of learning how to walk.  Two kids out, at least one more to come.  Lucy’s all over the place drinking water, attending to her two brand new babies, and getting ready for another.  Within about ten minutes, a third baby comes.  A sweet little girl.  Now all three are getting warm and learning how to walk and the first one is all ready to start milking from mamma, so Ben helps her find Lucy’s udder and she’s quick to learn.  Meanwhile, the little boy is having trouble getting up on his four feet.  He has really long legs and the back two keep splaying out from under him.  We’re pretty sure three is it, so we help all of them find Lucy’s udder and take turns holding all of them. 

Newborn baby goats.  In my arms.  Warm fuzzy babies with very fast, vital heart beats, long floppy ears (from their Nubian father), and beautiful fur colorings and patterns (from their Alpine mamma), in my arms.  Amazing. 

sibling love

sibling love

triplets (the goats)

triplets (the goats)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the other farm babies are doing well. 

The ducks drink water spastically all day (and all night, accordingto Ben, who checked in on them during his night time goat watch). 

The chicks are alright.  They’re doing some kind of funny pecking order behavior that I don’t know enough about yet so I’m not going to write about it, but it’s not the happiest of situations. 

This week was also the week of getting our bikes ready and rearing to go.  We use bicycles and bike trailers on the farm to haul vegetables to the farmers market and to drop off our wholesale deliveries, so it’s fairly important that the bikes are in good condition. 

bicycle

I worked with a bike mechanic friend to tune up a fleet of five bicycles.  Replacing shifters, taking off a bottom bracket, tuning up brakes, putting on new cables and housing.  Loots of nuts bolts wrenches wires ratchets grease and bearings.  Love it.  

Although it was mostly a cold, rainy week, we had a bit of a break on Thursday and Friday, which meant that we could plow a piece of one of our plots to get it ready for our first direct seeding.  We plowed about an acre, spread our mineral fertilizer (from Lancaster PA, a story for another time), and chicken manure (from Diemand farm), then tilled it. 

Radishes, arugula, tat soi, and Tokyo bekana went into the ground and got covered with remay (an insulating material which adds some warmth to the soil, seeds, and eventually, plants). 

We also seeded peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, celery and a bunch of flowers in the green house. 

Seeds in the ground, plants in the greenhouse that are almost ready to be transplanted (hopefully it starts warming up soon around here), healthy babies, healthy bicycles…

Sure sounds like springtime at the farm to me.  

 

mamma and babies

mamma and babies

 


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