Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Farm Update: Babies galore!

A few weeks back, we had four baby goats and 50+ day old chicks arrive, all on the same day. I thought it was probably about time to at least introduce the goats! We named them all after Harry Potter characters this year, since I just finished listening to all 7 audiobooks. I grew up reading the books, but this was my first time listening to the (british version) audiobooks, and my first time reading all 7 in a row. First up is Nymphadora, or Nymphie for short, whom you have already met and who is now a big girl at 6 weeks old.

Cameo and Tarot both had a set of boy/girl twins.

Cassiopeia and Orion are names from the Black family tree, and I picked them because they are also constellations and both babies have black moonspots.

I have been spending lots of quality time with the babies, especially Nymphie, who is my darling.

Actually, it's really hard for me to take pictures of the goats right now, because my lap is usually full. 90% of my pictures look like this:

(that's Nymphie, chewing on my scarf, which she is obsessed with - she has a terrible habit of either popping up into photos she was not meant to be in or knocking my camera hand just as I take a picture)

Orion and his little sister are so sweet. They're super friendly, just like their mom, and they will both happily fall asleep in my arms.

Draco and Luna on the other hand, are both a bit unique - like THEIR mom. They're friendly too, but much more independent. Luna is a perfect copy of her mother, she's similar both in looks and personality. I still call her Mini Tarot sometimes.

Draco seems to think that Cameo is just as much his mom as Tarot, he is constantly following her around and trying to nurse from her. He is huge, by far the biggest baby.

The chicks are also doing well. I picked out a mix of 13 different heritage breeds for our laying flock, so we have a wide variety. We will have multi-colored eggs too, green/blue, brown, and white. This is an old photo from their first week, they have now grown feathers, tripled in size, and look and act like mini chickens.

I will get better pictures of them once they are moved outside. They're in our basement right now to keep them warm, but I'm building a chicken tractor so they can forage around the pastures and garden during the spring & summer.

The kids are still nursing right now so I'm only milking once a day.

But when they are weaned in about a month, I'll be milking twice a day. I am enjoying milking, it's very meditative for me, like spinning. A nice quiet moment to start the day. Although I am a novice milker, so it takes me about an hour to milk three goats and do a few other chores. The milk is amazing, so lovely and rich and sweet. I don't really drink milk except for a dash in my morning tea, so I'm learning to make cheese. And also yogurt, kefir, ice cream, sour cream, and buttermilk. I'm dreaming of wheels of cheese aging in the basement, hopefully I will learn quickly and not make too many mistakes!

On the fiber front, I was a vendor at the Homespun Yarn Party this past sunday. It was super fun as usual, and I have some yarn left over so there will be a shop update soon! I have lots of fiber dyed for patchwork yarns, so expect to see a bunch of those popping up soon. I also have a few pygora goats that are about ready to be sheared.

Stardust, the matriarch/queen of our herd, is starting to shed. She's going to be really happy to get all that fluff off and enjoy the warm spring air!

No comments: