Thursday 16 March 2017

30-something .. and counting ...

The new arrivals have been steadily appearing this week .. No major traumas (so far) but there's still plenty of kidding time left!

The glorious spring weather has made life much easier and it's lovely to have all the barn doors wide open with the warm sunshine flooding in.  The girls have been spending a lot of time out in their field enjoying the sunshine and even our two new girls, Lara and Zenobia, were also spotted testing out the electric fence!

David has been busy getting the front field ready for sowing new grass seed.  You may remember he ploughed it .. well, the next stage of preparing the ground is with a power harrow - this breaks up the big clods of earth left by the plough and leaves a lovely fine soil which is then rolled before the seed is drilled in.

As with all boys' toys, a power harrow is a big bit of machinery that fits on the back of the tractor ..

The plough turned the soil and left the field very rough ..


And it's interesting to see where the worms have been hard at work in the newly turned soil .. Their casts show up as darker soil where they bring everything back up to the surface .. We like our worms!


The power harrow breaks up the soil and you can see the difference here ..


In between arrivals this afternoon, I had a ride in the tractor with him, just to enjoy the view and watch what was going on.  

This is all so important for us - getting everything right now means that we will have great forage for the goats to eat and that means we will have lots of lovely milk!

Anyway, enough about fields ... We want pictures of baby goats!!

So, here's a quick selection of new arrivals for you to enjoy ..

Many more to come yet!

If you use Twitter, keep an eye open for our postings on the new arrivals (when we have a mobile signal!!)  @elliesdairy

So, that's it for tonight .. I'm back off to my little caravan at the side of the goat barn .. Another night of listening and waiting ... Night all!

Thursday 9 March 2017

I now declare the kidding season officially open!

Over the past month there have been many trials and tribulations .. but, as usual, we got through it and the kidding season has now officially begun!

As happened last year, the Gracie Moos beat the goats to it again as our oldest and (in my opinion) loveliest Gracie quietly gave birth to a beautiful little bull calf.  All by herself with no fuss and bother .. he was there all clean and ready as we arrived to start morning milking yesterday morning.

He's a stocky little chap and is happy with all the attention he is getting from mum and all his aunties.  Shouldn't be too long before he is joined by a few more little people.

Meanwhile, David spent a busy few days mucking out the goat barn and moving gates around to put everything into kidding mode.  There are a lot of very large goaties around at the moment ... here's  Poppy and Pippi looking slightly rotund ..

But our main contender for the Dolly Parton Award 2017 was our dear Shares who was sporting rather a large udder yesterday evening:

Due to kid today, she looked absolutely nowhere near this morning.  But early this afternoon as David walked into the barn to investigate a strange growling noise, he found Shares fighting a crowd of goats who were all eager to see the first new baby of the season!

And here she is ..

Every year I just marvel at how tiny and perfect the new babies are .. Just gorgeous!  Our first baby looks strong and healthy and hopefully there will be many more to follow.  It remains to be seen how mummy Shares copes this year .. regular followers may remember that we had to leave her two boys with her permanently last year as she kept on jumping gates to get to them!

Next week promises to be a hugely busy week with many girls due to have their babies .. My little caravan is cleaned and ready for habitation as I prepare to spend the next couple of months sleeping (I use the word very loosely!) outside the barn.

I will do my very best to keep the blog and twitter updated with all those new arrivals, so watch this space!