Scenes from the goat barn

Life is slowly returning to normal on the homestead.  Gilly’s birth was wonderful.  She had a quick and remarkably easy birth, and immediately set to the task of mothering her two doe kids.  They are strong and vigorous; within 5 minutes they were standing and looking to begin suckling.  Gilly needed a bit of a rest, but they kept bumping her with their sweet little heads, as if to say, “Come on mom! Nurse us!”

As long as we are caring for them, Ella has decided to call them Star and Spotlace – sweet and fitting names for these almost identical girls.  She truly loves to hold these little goats, and they very patiently oblige.  That is until they wriggle to the ground and tear across the barn for another race.  Fast and spry and only 5 days old. Amazing.

 

Waiting

Knitting and reading with Yarn Along!

Ah, this waiting period is utterly (no pun intended) suspenseful.  Given how enormous Gilly is, we felt certain that she’d kid on the earlier side (depending on your reference, goat gestation is anywhere from 145-155 days, with an average of 150 days).  Today is her 150th day of gestation, and still no goat kids!  Each day I wake up with renewed excitement – could this be the day?  You’d think it was my first birth!

Patience, and a bit of knitting have thus become my companions.  I wish I could say I made more progress on the aforementioned Manda Ruth cardigan, but I did manage to complete the body, and am now cruising on down a sleeve.

And on the bookshelf are a lot of books that most likely will not get finished before I have to return them to the library!  Too many to mention all the titles, but they include references for teaching jazz dance (thinking ahead to my summer musical theater dance teaching gigs), a few sewing books, and a Paleo diet cookbook.  Because I am mighty curious about that Paleo diet!  But that’s another post for another time!

I’ll be back later this week with photos of baby goats!

Anticipation

(A week-old Gilly runs wild!  (She’s the white one.) April, 2009)

This is the week that our sweet Gilly goat is due to give birth.  I’m all a-tizzy with excitement.  Babysitters are lined up, towels have been prepared, and I’m re-familiarizing myself with my goat-midwifery resources, just in case.  Admittedly, Gilly will probably not need our help at all; with her first kidding, last year, we completely missed the birth!  We were inside having lunch, went back out to the barn to check on her, and found two completely cleaned off kids!  Even though I was disappointed to have missed the birth, it was a great sign of her ability to mother.

So exciting to think about the frolicking goat kids that will be a part of our lives for the next few months. And of course goat kids = goat milk = goat cheese!  Even as I think ahead to the delicious fresh chevre we’ll make in a month or two, we’re still enjoying some of our hard cheese from last year.  It’s just a bit crumbly, sharp, and very flavorful.  Full of pastured goodness.

It’s all so exciting.  New life, birth, cute farm babies, fresh milk, and self-sufficiency. Yes!

 

Spring day musings

Yarn-along-ing with Small Things today…

I have a new pair of fingerless gloves to show off.  (Yes, another pair – I really think they are my last.  For now.)  These might be my favorite yet. It’s the same Cabled Mitt pattern that I used here, but even better.  I used some gorgeous Malabrigo superwash merino, and a smaller needle, and voila! (Ravelry notes here).

These are a gift for a very special person – my sister-in-law!  They were so satisfying to make, and even more satisfying to imagine her wearing them!

And in the garden, things are growing!  I’m so proud of my little tomato starts which, despite the incredible amount of rainy, grey weather we’ve been having, are growing big and strong.  In another month or so they will be ready for planting in the greenhouse.

April is an exciting month for us – our goat Gilly is due on April 18th. She is really huge – I need to take a picture of her enormous belly.  Our goats have always thrown twins, but who knows – maybe triplets for Gilly?

Enjoy your day!