Our plans to begin moving at the end of the month have been unexpectedly sidelined due to the bank cutting back on appraisers because of the low demand in the housing market, which means that anyone who is buying a house now has to wait weeks longer than expected while an appraiser becomes available. My main concern is getting the old fence pulled up and the new fence put in while the ground is soft – but, it will go how it goes, and I know there’s nothing I can do that will hurry things along. Trying to find my zen, LOL.
Spring may not yet be here in regard to the weather (we had a snowstorm last week!), but the animals certainly feel spring has arrived. Our rabbits shocked us with three unexpected litters – the bucks somehow managed access to the does despite being separated by cages and a dozen baby bunnies were the result. The Silver Foxes in the barn were exposed to goat hooves, too, and after losing several in one over-active evening, we gave the remaining babies to Mary Margaret to raise with her litter. She is a very protective foster mama and is taking excellent care of her new charges. I tried to get a picture, but she was having none of it!
No eggs have resulted, but yesterday I placed two of our “baby” Muscovy hens with a new drake and all three appear extremely happy with the new arrangement. You can see the Icelandics in their breeding coop behind the ducks.
The Barred Hollands are in a reinforced coop, looking extremely secure.
The Marans and Ameraucanas are getting used to a chain link dog kennel I purchased that Max wrapped in tarp for a weather-break. The Ameraucanas don’t like anyone – including other chickens – but this arrangement enables me to make best use of the two Blue Copper Maran roosters I have to increase fertility rates. Mr M, the senior roo, just wasn’t performing well enough with the five hens he had to cover. :0
Our baby goats are growing at a fabulous rate. All of them had been sold, but a buyer backed out at the last moment, leaving me with two kids from Pinto and Spartacus. The wether will go into the freezer next fall, but the doeling is just so utterly fab that I plan to breed her. Isn’t she an eyeful?
And who remembers itty-bitty Silverjacket, who lived in the mudroom for awhile this winter? She’s getting so big and beautiful now, and is still an absolute love. She really enjoyed having some little girls come on a farm visit this morning – here, she looks like she’s saying, “Come back and play some more!”
Here’s a line-up of this year’s mama goats:
Eve, Pinto and Maybellene
And a group picture with all of the girls. Next year sure will see a lot of baby goats!!
Eve’s gorgeous bucklings have gone to their new home and I’ve been getting four or five cups of milk a day from her – I don’t weigh in pounds, but that’s over two pounds a day, according to my hasty Google search, LOL. I find it amazing that such a small animal can produce such a quantity of milk, even with someone as clueless as I am is doing the milking. Today we feasted on French toast that was made from homemade bread (sweetened with maple syrup from friends Chloe and Tom), our own milk and eggs, and homemade butter that the kids made from cream skimmed off the top of our Tide Mill Farm raw milk. I love self-sufficiency!!
We are still waiting on the Guinea fowl to contribute to our bounty – they will probably begin laying next month, but in the meantime they are adding to our environment by detracting from it. Specifically, by wandering around and devouring any and all ticks they encounter.
Mr Buckwheat and Pinky
I’ll close with a stylish monochrome image from the barnyard. Wishing you all the best of the season!
Ursa, Silverjacket, Java Joe and Maybellene – all dressed up in classic black & white
A few additions to our barn family to be on the lookout for: a mini llama and Guinea hogs! But before they can join us, there will be a little more of that “hurry up and wait” happening.