Monday, 9 April 2012

Glorious weather and new arrivals

What glorious Easter weather we had over the weekend!!  Cold, wet and windy ... Lovely.  Wye Market was absolutely freezing on Saturday morning and it was pretty dismal up at the cheese plant today as well.  Never mind - it was nice and hot and steamy inside the cheese room.  Here's our new apprentice cheesemaker, Julie, all set up and ready to mould hundreds of little fresh goatie cheeses.

I have been training Julie for a couple of weeks in the hope that she will soon be joining us here at Ellie's Dairy.  There are just not enough hours in the day for David and I to do everything and so we thought that if we could have someone else to make cheese one day a week, then I could make a different cheese on another day. 

Julie already knows a fair bit about cheese as she already works at several farmers markets on behalf of Jane the Cheese.  She has also helped me pack cheese and get orders together in the past and so making the cheese was the next logical step.  I think she will be good at it too!

Back in the barn, we have had a few new arrivals over the weekend.  I am a bit behind on the photos but here's one of Florence's two little babies, all snuggled up with their arms around each other:

I got up yesterday morning to find that young Sibyl had given birth to two beautiful little kids sometime during the night.  I can only assume that they didn't cause her too much trouble as I didn't hear her shout at all.  And then her sister Pandora, did exactly the same thing last night!  

Although I sleep very soundly in the caravan outside the goat shed, I do wake up when there is the slightest hint of any goatie birth in progress - I think my ear tunes in unconsciously!  However, once again, I heard nothing during the night but was woken up by the characteristic squeaking of the new born kids.  Rolling into the barn in my pyjamas and wellies (what a lovely sight that must be for the goats!) I found Pandora standing proudly under the hay rack with a lovely little female kid all cleaned up and fed.  That's the way I like kidding to go!

We have got most of the kidding out of the way now - there are just a few fat girls left.  Moonstar is now the fattest goat in the barn, closely followed by Cassie (who was due yesterday).  We finally finish around 22 May so still a while to go.

Will try and catch up with pics tomorrow! 

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