Sunday, February 03, 2008

What's happening on the farm today.

I was saying to Neil last night that I was surprised that there had been so little scuffling between our new Nigerian Dwarf goat buck "Gottaway" and our whether "Little Joe". I had expected some head butting and chasing but really things were very calm out there.

Last night Gottaway did not follow the other goats into the goat barn where they stay over night. I let him stay in with the alpacas and he seemed to do just fine. I figure he will learn our routine in a few days and hopefully follow the others in for dinner. This morning I released the goats from their barn and they went racing into the alpaca pasture as usual to vacuum up any spilled grain and eat the hay I put out there. So, all seemed fine with all four goats together again. Nobody seemed to be upset.

It was about an hour later I was down at the barn again and I noticed that Gottaway and Little Joe both had bloody noggins. They obviously had been butting heads enough to get their horn buds bleeding. I looked both of them over and there were no serious wounds so I threw down more hay to distract them (which worked) and left them to work things out.

By evening, I could tell there was no fresh blood so the head butting must have slowed down. I still couldn't get Gottaway into the goat barn so he will spend yet another night with the alpacas.

With the warmer weather of spring coming I went ahead and put our rabbit buck Sasaparilla in with our new doe Chamomile. Chamomile had been put in with a buck at the breeders before coming here but it didn't take as she didn't kindle when expected. I wasn't too upset by this as after loosing Parslane's litter to cold exposure I really wanted to wait for warmer weather for more kits. Putting Sass and Cham together now should produce a litter the beginning of March for us. Then at some point I will put Sass back in with Purslane for a second spring litter.

We also had visitors to the farm today. We had a couple from Virginia that was just driving by and saw the alpacas and stopped to see them. We talked alpacas for a bit and then started wandering the farm to see some of the poultry we had. They are interested in getting some Barred Rock chicks from us and well as some turkey poults. I told them I hoped for April chicks.

Then in the afternoon we had a local family stop by to visit and see the farm. They raise horses in Semora, NC as well as Boar goats, chickens and a few ducks. They have a small kitchen garden as we do and she is interested in learning to make goats milk soap (yeah, I have someone to learn with now). Their two daughters are almost the same age as Evan and McKayla and they all played nicely together. It was a nice visit and we hope to get over to their farm to see the horses soon.

Late afternoon found Neil and I in the woods clearing and cutting more firewood. The kids played nearby (no… not too close) on the old stumps. Once we had cut the wood we needed for the next few weeks all of us took a hike into the woods to the back corner of our lot. I always forget how much land we have that is wooded until standing in that corner looking back at the property. We hope to get some of this woodland fenced in for the cows and goats this summer. It will be great for them to get out of the sun in midday and the goats will help keep the understory clear.

The hens gave an even dozen today.

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