So, things got a little crazy.
My partner here on the farm finished his internship and moved on and the intern who was supposed to take his place wasn’t able to come. So it’s just me in charge of the livestock now. Which wouldn’t have been that big of a deal except spring is the time for baby animals. Of which we have had many.
Kidding season started in February with three kids from a sweet Nubian goat named Amaretto. This was my first kidding experience and I was fortunate to spot the signs of labor early and so be present for the births. The first kid came out breech and I had to help just a little to guide him out.
Since then, we’ve had six goats give birth for a total of twelve, healthy babies.
A month ago, I’d never done anything like this. Now I feel confident spotting signs of labor, taking care of mama, milking her out quickly, cleaning, weighing, teaching kids to bottle feed, and keeping them warm and happy. It’s certainly not “routine” but it is a lot simpler than at first.
We also started raising chickens for meat (in addition to our large flock of layers). We have two batches of 40, two weeks apart. They aren’t all that much work but a few extra minutes of chores each day starts to add up.
We also had out buck goat return to the farm. Traded a kid for two large lambs. And got ready for piglets… Who came yesterday!
Last fall, we got 18 piglets from two sows. This time we only had one sow farrow but still got 14 piglets! My kids got to be there for this one, too.
This winter was especially mild for us so spring came a little early. Our bees have been out and all the hives seem to be doing well. Now, we’re having a lot of rain. Hopefully that won’t mess up the pollen and nectar flow too badly. I think it will be a good honey year!
On top of all this, our retail meat freezer turned into a meat refrigerator last week. The meat was still good but we needed to move it fast since we couldn’t refreeze it. So we decided to have a last minute farm-to-table dinner for 50 people and cook ALL the meat. Things went surprisingly smoothly!
Things are starting to calm down a little now. Or maybe I’m just becoming a little more competent with animals. We still have more goat kids on the way. And a calf due next month. And there is lots of infrastructure to be built. And something will inevitably go wrong. But spring is here! And life it good.