Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring babies. :)

One of my favorite things about this time of year is all the new life that is sprouting up everywhere. It always feels like the world is being given another chance after the long dreary grayness of winter.

Had we bred our goat Delilah last fall we could have been blessed with baby goats right now and fresh goats milk. We didn't breed her though, deciding to wait until she is over a year old which is really better for her. We are also hoping to have the newly cleared pasture fenced in and a small barn/larger shed constructed by then. We planted a mixture of timothy and clover in the area and it is already beginning to come up. If all goes well, next spring i will be looking out my kitchen window to see baby goats frolicking in the pasture.

i'm not good at being patient, but i'm trying.

There has been no shortage of baby goats to play with though. My friend's dwarf Nigerian recently gave birth to quadruplets!! She was a first time mommy, and it really is quite amazing that all 4 of the babies survived. They are already a couple weeks old in this picture, and they are the size of puppies. They were at least half this size at birth! They were so unbelivably adorable, i've never seen such tiny goats before.

The kids enjoyed bottle feeding them.

Sage was content just to carry them around. They were so sweet.

This one is trying to suckle my finger. i blieve my friend said that the mother is producing around a quart and a half of milk per day, which is good for the Dwarf Nigerians. Nigerian goat milk is higher in butterfat and higher in protein than milk from most dairy goat breeds.

Spring also means new peeps. :) Although we usually hatch out our own, this year we purchased some pullets from the local Farm Supply. The winter was hard on our birds, and we lost almost all of our hens to predators. We only have one setting hen left, and she hadn't been broody yet this spring. i'm hoping these new chicks will be good layers and will actually stay within the fencing, so there will be less of a chance of loosing them to predators.

We made a special trip to town for what was advertised as a an 'animal swap meet'. It actually turned out to be one guy with about 12 full size chickens, a box of day old chicks, a pair of turkeys, a dozen piglets and a ewe. That was all. He was selling them out of the back of his truck. i was really disappointed. The chicks he had were Silver Wyandotte, all straight run. i've learned my lesson in the past buying straight run, you are pretty much guarenteed to that 50% or more are roosters. In my case it is always the or more. Our last batch of chicks had 5 roosters and one hen.
Since i had promised the kids we'd be coming home with new peeps, we went into the Farm Supply and bought some of their pullets. They didn't have the breeds i'd been wanting, but at least i knew i'd be getting hens.
We came home with two speckled Sussex, a white leghorn, a red production layer and two Black Australorp.

Or so we thought we had two Black Australorp. As soon as the feather began to come in it was quite obvious that our two black peeps were not the same breed. The one on the left looks like a Black Australorp, the one on the right is getting a lot of red/brown feathers mixed in with the black. i'm guessing it may be a Black Star chick....i guess time will tell. :)

These gals have grown really fast, and have already gotten in most of their feathers. We'll be introducing them to the rest of the flock soon...and finally getting them out of my house!

1 comment:

  1. Your children are beyond gorgeous and those baby goats are so cute I can't stand it!