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Weather, Lambs, Kids and Other Stuff

Written by: Bobbie
January 19, 2013


How warm is it?

You know it is too warm for January when grass is sprouting in the trailer crevices from the seeds dropped out of the last load of hay. We’re watching and worrying about all this warm winter weather. The sporadic rain has been welcome but if the temperatures continue don’t expect to see many peaches, plums or mayhaws this coming spring. Probably a poor crop of grapes also. Went out on the back porch last night and reached to pet the cat. Mosquitoes were flying all around her.

While gathering eggs, found another Oak Snake in one of the nests. They hibernate at 70 degree ground temperature. Yup! When the snakes are back out and roaming in the middle of winter… is too warm.

Babies are starting to arrive.

Where is mom. She was here a minute ago.Kids and Lambs are finally popping out. Though it does seem to be slow going. As of yesterday, ten lambs were on the ground and we’re watching for more. Sixteen kids have been born but we lost two; both the little girls that managed to be born during the last rainy cold spell just after Christmas. We just couldn’t keep them going but we tried. I’m even learning to milk goats.

My friends Melinda and Bob came over and helped us milk the first momma that lost her baby. We got plenty of colostrum to freeze and help for future kids that another momma couldn’t feed for some reason. We used it on the the smallest triplet that goat Melody had. She tried to get better but just couldn’t do it.

Most serious goat and sheep producers don’t bother but I just can’t resist trying. That is why we have Stevie a pet goat that is partially blind. She is a delight to have and comes when called so all the visitors get to love on her. Some of you will remember we have Walker, a triplet that we adopted two years ago. Well he is big and strong and still comes to us when we call. Now there is Ernie born November 19, 2012. He is off the bottle, eats lots of hay and follows us around like a little puppy. These are both Tennessee Fainting Goats and are part of our breeding stock.

Melinda and Bob are continuing to coach us, yes Fred is in there too. Fred is actually better at milking than I am but I’m determined to learn. Another friend gave us some beautiful Nubian milk goats a few months ago. The three girls had been bred and should have kids in February or March. Now those are goats to be milked.

Right now when we milk we get about 1/3 of a cup. Bob and Melinda team-tag it and and can get 2 cups. These are not milking goats and we are doing this to learn and to have a supply for my coffee, oh no, I meant for emergency use.

I am playing hide from MomNow this cute little guy, a Tennessee Fainting Goat, is hiding. We have children’s plastic play yard slides and picnic tables that we’ve picked up at garage sales over the years. They are in the small pastures for the kids, that’s goat kids, to use for jumping and hiding. They seem to have more fun than the human type kids.

“It is warm and all the others critters can’t push me around.” so says this little fellow. Don’t have a name for him yet. Yes it is a boy. We have four of them so far. Six other mom’s should be having kids soon. Let’s hope for a few girls to even this all up.

Fred and helper Yoda.

Yoda holds Fred down Everyday as we make the rounds to check all the pastures, give out some hay and clean water troughs if needed. Yoda and sometimes Gadget, son Chuck’s dog, rides along too. Today was Yoda’s turn. She holds Fred down so he doesn’t fall out of the Gator as we speed around.

Right now we have pregnant or lactating does and ewes so they get some additional nutrition. Yoda and Gadget help keep the chickens and guineas out of the buckets as part of their job. You can see how tough life is here on the farm. Even the poor abused house dogs have to earn their keep.