Sunday, 26 February 2012

Got some catching up to do!

Well, what an end to the week!  A rollercoaster of emotions and no time for blogging.  So, get yourself a cup of tea - I have a feeling this blog may be a long one as we catch up on events from the past few days.

Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I shall begin ...

So, Thursday was delivery day as Friday was taken up with other things.  Quick whizz up to London and then back home via the farm/country store in Aylesford where I stocked up on kidding essentials.  More feeding bottles, milk powder, bucket loads of spare teats and other such exciting purchases.  My colleague who has the most gorgeous Cashmere and Boer goats in the Lake District National Park, calls this our 'nesting' phase!  The days when we try and get ourselves organised ready for the ensuing chaos.

Friday started very badly as our little Morgana goat took a serious turn for the worse.  She has been living up in the main barn for a few weeks now as we have been treating her for some kind of strange nervous condition.  She had been recovering exceptionally well but, for some reason, went rapidly downhill on Friday morning.  We took the very painful and heart-rending decision to say goodbye as we had exhausted all the possibilities, and so Peter called in to send her to the big goatshed in the sky.

Not a good start to the day.  But we had to pick ourselves up and carry on as the BBC were coming to film us in the afternoon for Countryfile - how about that for bad timing?!

As we were not entirely sure what they would be filming, we tidied up a bit, put lots of clean straw and hay in and then patiently waited for them to arrive.  Here are the girls busy getting themselves ready for the BBC:

A very grey and overcast morning gave way to brilliant sunshine and blue sky and by the time the film crew turned up, lots of goats were out in the field and it all looked lovely.  Couldn't have wished for better weather!

The Countryfile team were spending a couple of days filming in various locations around Kent and wanted to come and visit us before they went off to Buttercups Goat Sanctuary later in the afternoon.  Our presenter was the lovely Matt Baker - what a thoroughly nice bloke!  Very down to earth and really nice to talk to.  He was completely at home with the animals as he had goats as a child and was very interested in what we were doing with them and how we looked after them.

So, they spent the whole afternoon with us, doing various things with the goats.  Monica came and did an acupuncture treatment, Michael came back and did some pregnancy scanning and they also filmed the start of milking.  I don't expect we will have more than about 5 minutes on the program but they certainly have plenty of material to choose from! 

It was an exhausting experience but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, especially the cameraman and the sound engineer when certain goats who shall remain nameless (Willow and Footsie) tried to eat the microphone and the very expensive camera equipment!

Here's a few pics of the day:

 You can see the results on BBC Countryfile on Sunday 11 March. 

An early start to Saturday saw me go off to Wimbledon market.  This time of year is always entertaining at markets as we have virtually no cheese to sell and so I have to concentrate on the raw milk, kid meat and goat's milk soap.  I did have a little cheese but had sold out an hour and a half before the market ended! 

It was lovely to see some returning customers as this was only my second time at Wimbledon.  The meat went down particularly well and a lovely Indian lady gave me a great recipe for a traditional Parsee kid meat curry.  I love to collect goatie recipes as they are great to give out to customers who are not sure how to cook the meat. 

My loyal GeeGee Parrot's Mama came along to collect her milk ration and brought with her some frozen fruit from her own allotment for me.  Delicious victoria plums and morello cherries! 

While I was at market, David took advantage of the good weather and decided to muck out the rest of the barn.  So now we are all ready for kidding.  The little men have moved round into the hay barn with the big chaps.   Little chaps to the right, big chaps to the left:

 This has left one large bay in the main barn completely empty:

Along with another bay on the opposite side of the barn, where we have squashed the big girls up a bit:

And we have moved the hayracks round as well, just to confuse the goats!

So, it looks like we have LOADS of space in the barn but, believe me, once we get into kidding there will be pens and babies everywhere!!

So I wonder what this week will have in store?  Well, I know that tomorrow morning, I have to take the last four little chaps to the butcher.  Taking the last kids of the year is like the end of an era and it always seems the hardest run to do.  Especially when my beautiful Little Floppy Ears is one of them:

Later in the week we will start to see babies arrive.  In theory, Moyra is due on Tuesday, followed by Alice, Lara, Dolores and Whoopi on Friday and big fat Footsie goat on Sunday.  Things will get a bit frantic over the next few weeks, so please bear with me!  I will blog as often as I can to keep you all up to date with the new arrivals. 

Wish us luck!!


  1. Exciting times indeed.... we'll make sure we watch Countryfile on 11th (just before we head off to the sun again on 14th) :-)

    Have just been reading on the BBC website that Schmallenberg virus has been reported in Kent ... Hopefully nowhere close to you though ...

    Look forward to seeing baby pics soon

  2. Another holiday?!!!

    Yep, Schmallenberg is all over the place now. Not yet reported in goats in the UK but only a matter of time I would think.

    Baby pics will start as soon as Moyra gets her act together!