Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Another relaxing day

After the frantic action of last week, it was nice to have another relatively leisurely day today.  In between goatie activities, I had time to catch up on paperwork and such like.  I can now see my front room carpet again (it had disappeared under a sea of paper!)

I managed to get my 'kidding calendar' sorted out and now have a complete list of which goat is due to kid when and how many kids she is due to have.  Kick off on or around 28 Feb, then we are going right the way through March and into April/May for the last few.  Busiest weeks look to be the middle two weeks in March when we have about 70 kids due in 10 days.  Sleep is over-rated anyway I think.

I have always slept in the goat shed during kidding time.  I like to be near to the goats and would hate to think that one of my girls might be struggling during the night whilst I am tucked up in bed at home.  The first year (in a smaller building) was a basic camp bed in the middle of the shed:

The second year was a bit more up-market as I got my own pen:

My lasting memory of that year was waking up suddenly in the middle of the night to find a rat running over my head. (OK - how many of you squealed when you read that?!)

The following year, we had moved into the larger barn and it was pretty cold to sleep in there just on a camp bed.  I did think of putting a tent up in the middle of the barn but I think it would have freaked the goats out too much.  David had a brainwave and suggested that we move the goat trailer into the barn:

It was absolutely perfect.  Windproof (mostly), nice comfy mattress and loads of sleeping bags and quilts.  Over the years I refined the number and type of layers required and got it perfect.  And so I spent several kidding seasons in my trailer, sometimes in temperatures down to -11 degrees.  

As we had much larger numbers to kid this year, there would be no space for my trailer in the barn and so we had to come up with an alternative.  And here it is:

Kindly lent to me for the season by Jane (Cheesemakers of Canterbury) on condition that there were to be NO animals allowed inside.  Yes Jane ...

She is intending to sell it in 2012 but I have hopefully managed to talk her into hanging on to it until we have finished kidding again!

Also today, I thought that I would have a go at shooting a couple of videos on my phone.  Not brilliant quality but it makes a change from still photos.

The first one was taken this morning at the barn where the young female kids are living.  A couple of them were play-fighting whilst everyone else was tucking into their hay:

The second was taken tonight in the main barn.  Remember I have blogged before about being trampled by goats rushing to get to hay racks?  Well, here they are - running to hay racks newly filled after milking this evening.  I think you will get the general idea!

Just like the January sales ...

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