Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kidding Time!

We finally have kids on the farm. After all our waiting and miscalculating Theresa finally had her babies today.

This is how her udder looked when I went out to see her this morning. I barely touched her teat and it started spraying colostrum all over the ground. Since that stuff is liquid gold and very important to the immune system of the new kids, I quit doing that immediately.

I was expecting her to kid much earlier based on what I was seeing and how she was behaving. So I canceled all my afternoons activities and hung out in the goat house. She didn't want me to touch her, but whenever I left the pen she would call until I came back. As long as I sat with her she was calm. I really began to wonder if she was really in labor. After all, I had been expecting her to be in labor since Easter.

I finally just had to go get some things done! So I came in the house and did a little work. (If anyone wonders, I work for a great guy at A little before 3:00 I went out to check on her and she was making a sound that let me know something was happening for sure. It was like her normal maaaaa, but much more intense that I had ever heard. When I walked in the stall it looked like she was just starting to push.

Talk about adrenaline. I was running back and forth making sure I had everything I could possibly need. Turns out all I really needed was the dental floss (for tying the cord), towels and iodine. It was a completely uncomplicated kidding. The first kid was born and before her back feet were even all the way out, the head of the next one was out.

Newborn kids are surprisingly slippery. I quickly dried this one off with a towel while Teresa started on the other. Once I got the one as dried off as I could, I gave it back to it's mother and took the other one.

My doe is a full Toggenburg. The buck that we bred her with is a full Nubian. So far the kids look mostly Nubian. Their ears are smaller and narrower, but so far they flop much like a Nubian kids ears do. I can't wait to see if they stand straight out to the sides as they grow. How cute will that be?

And speaking of cute, the one little doeling (they are both doelings) has white spots on both sides and the one on her right side looks like a heart! The flash made this picture kind of light, but you can sort of see it. She is darker than it looks in this picture.
So far mom and babies are doing great. Teresa is a seasoned doe and is great at taking care of her babies. The babies seem to be getting the hang of nursing, although I think shaving the long hair on Teresa's belly is on the agenda for tomorrow so they can find their way faster. Luckily Teresa nudges them into the right spot pretty quickly. It's amazing how quickly they catch on.

More pictures to come soon. I think I'm going to have a really hard time selling these little does.

I Want To Be Lazy.

I recently found a new blog to read in my spare time. It's called I'm A Lazy Mom. It's chock full of information on how important it is to get our kids involved in the daily workings of the house. Not only does this make life less stressful for mom and get the jobs done faster (more people doing them means less time doing them), it also means that the kids know how to do for themselves when they grow up and move out on their own. I think it's brilliant. My new goal is to be a lazy mom too.

The author also has started handing out Lazy Mom Jobs. We are suppose to do the job and then provide photographic proof that it was done. This week the job was to paint our toe nails. (Yay, a fun one to start me out!) I did one better, I got my daughter to paint them for me. See....
I even let her pick the color. She was amazingly excited to do it. Her brother and sister were upset that they couldn't paint them. Do I see new special helper reward in our future?

Not only did I get to feel a little pampered by having someone else paint my toe nails for me, but I also got to have a nice relaxed conversation with my daughter while she did it. I'd say that is a win win situation.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A New Addiction?

It's quite possible that I have found my next great craft adventure. My daughter's 4H club (which I'm co-leader of) was invited to Chickasaw Farm today for their Shearing Days.

There were 31 sheep sheared today. I did not catch the name of the gentleman who did the shearing and hoof trimming. He was a little too busy to chat. I was really amazed at how fast it goes.

Once the sheep is shorn (is that the right word?), the fleece is then laid out to be skirted. Any big bits of straw are removed along with feces and extremely matted spots. Somehow I missed getting a picture of that. Probably because I was too busy learning to do it. I was so amazed at how soft and fluffy the wool is right off the sheep like that. And my hands are so soft now from all the lanolin in the wool.

Not only do they have sheep on the farm, but they have a store where you can purchase yarn, roving, felting needles, knitted items and even raw fleece. I was a good girl though. All I bought for myself was some white and dark brown roving for needle felting projects.

Sheila Henry is the lady in red. She and her husband own the farm. She was kind enough to tell our group a bit about the process and let us all touch and feel the various roving. I was quite surprised at how much the texture varied from one sheep breed to the next.
They also have Alpaca. They didn't shear them today though. I'm told they aren't as docile as the sheep and there is a lot of spitting that goes on when the alpaca shearing happens. For that reason they don't have it open like they do for the sheep shearing.

This gal made my little Megan very happy. She loves alpaca and she came right up when Meg went to the fence for a closer look. I'm so glad she didn't spit on anyone. At some point Megan would like some leg warmers made from alpaca wool. I wish I had time to make them before her birthday. Maybe she will still want them for Christmas.Now here is where I could really get into trouble. They have French Angora Rabbits. In July they will have babies for sale. I understand Rob not wanting me to get a sheep. They take up too much room, require fencing and eat a lot. But a rabbit only needs a hutch and protection from the elements. They don't eat much. And I would have new wool every few days. I wonder how long it would take him to notice if I brought one home.

The other thing I saw there that I really want to learn is spinning. This lady was kind enough to let me take her picture. I wish I would have gotten a closer picture of her spun yarn and the roving. The colors were so pretty. There was also a lady there with a drop spindle, which looks like a small disk with a dowel through it and a hook at one end.
I actually ordered a drop spindle when I got home. As much as I would love a spinning wheel they cost too much. A drop spindle is less than $20 including the shipping.

If you would like more information about Chickasaw Farm you can visit their web site at, or email Their store hours are Monday and Wednesday 10am - 5pm and Thursday 10am- 8pm. They also have workshops on some Saturdays. May 1st is with Rita Petteys from Yarnhollow about colors. June 5th is Sue PufPaff who will be making a felted scarf. July 10th will be Bonnie Havlicek teaching all about Angora Rabbits.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Saying Thank You

I don't often forward emails or join Facebook pages that say things like My Big Toe Can Get 1,000 Fans Before Your Pinkie Finger. However, every now and again I get an email I think is worth sharing.

I got an email tonight with a link to watch an amazing video of some people going out of their way to thank the soldiers in our military. Their goal is to reach 5,000,000 people with this video. Their message is that we need to remember to simply say "Thank You".

This is not about weather you agree with the war in Iraq, or if you even remember Afghanistan. This is about letting the men and women who serve this country know that we are grateful for them. Where would America be without them? I shudder to think. So if you would, just click the link and view the video. Let them reach their goal and when you see a service member, or veteran, remember to say "Thank You".

Don't forget to let the video play all the way through. If you don't, it won't count your view. Maybe I'm just sappy, but I teared up several times watching this. I, for one, am very thankful for the sacrifice of these brave men and women.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Our chickens lay brown and green eggs. Those eggs don't do well with the egg dye kits you buy at the store. Last year I actually bought eggs at the store so the kids could have white eggs to dye. It seemed like such a dumb thing to do since we always have such a surplus of eggs here at home.

This year I decided to do something different. I bought the kids all a new set of watercolors from Hobby Lobby for all of $.99 each. They used them to actually paint a couple dozen brown eggs this year. The result was overly excited kids and beautiful eggs.
It was great watching the kids have so much fun. They loved being able to detail the eggs the way they wanted to. They had so much more fun than they ever have just dipping eggs in cups of dye. This will be how we do Easter eggs from here on out. Just look at how pretty they are:

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Tallented Daughter

I have been letting Jade take pictures with my camera a lot lately and have been amazed at some of the great shots she has been getting. Here is a series of four shots she took of Megan last week that I just love.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Hate Waiting

I'm not a patient person. My kids and my husband used up my life time allotment of patience a long time ago. Which is why I'm going crazy waiting for Teresa to kid.
Just look at her figure. She's so close to ready! Her udder is bigger today than it was yesterday, though not exactly full looking yet. Her ligaments are loose as well, though not as loose as they will be. We are so close, but yet it's so obvious (given Teresa's history) that she isn't ready yet. Maybe we will have Easter goats this year.

I'm sure she would like for me to just quit going to the goat house ten times a day to touch her udder and lift her tail.
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