Thursday, March 13, 2014

Update on the Farm

So you might be wondering what's going up on the farm? This blog is "Rose's Life on the Farm" but I rarely mention the actual farm, right? I will tell you what's up:

First of all, the above photo is from the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival parade in which the Adirondack Goat Club marched with their goats. Figaro, my Angora goat, was there in all his furry splendor. The crowd loved seeing the goats march by and the goats enjoyed spending a wintery day walking down Main Street. The Goat Club won the 1st place trophy for "Best Animal Unit" (we were the only animal unit, but winning by default is still WINNING in my book).

Second, Lucy and Daisy are pregnant (or should be) and will be kidding the third week of April. I am glad that my attempts at early breeding were a bust because it is mid-March and we have 3 feet of snow and night temperatures in the negative numbers. Mid-April kidding sounds pretty good to me right now.

Daisy is definitely pregnant. Her udder is getting bigger but has the unfortunate problem of leaking milk. I am not sure what to do about that. I tried teat tape. I also tried just super-gluing her teats shut. She still leaks. I am monitoring the situation and I hope that her teat orifices tighten up before she really comes into her milk in a few weeks.

Lucy is hopefully bred. I can't really tell by looking at her size or udder if she is bred or not. I am assuming she is bred since she is very dependable for getting pregnant and since she hasn't come back into heat since the last mating. I am hoping that since Lucy usually waits until the last possible minute to kid (day 155 or 156 of gestation) and Daisy is a first freshener that both goats will get together and kid on the same day, even though they were bred 10 days apart.

The other two goats are good. Fiona, the yearling Alpine, has grown up well. She will be added to the breeding line-up this fall if all goes well. Figaro, the Angora, is enjoying his fame from the parade and is continuing to provide a healthy pile of mohair every 6 months. There will be a new goat added to the farm in a few months. I had ordered a 2014 doeling from a local goat dairy. I wanted either a sundgau Alpine (a black goat with white trim) or a doe from an Alpine named Daisy that I had met on a previous trip to that farm. The farmer assured me that they rarely get sundgau colored Alpines but they would keep a Daisy doeling for me. Well, much to everyone's surprise, four out of the first seven kids born this year were SUNDGAU! Luckily three of the kids are does. One of those does is reserved for me. Hooray!

The chickens are good. I was able to get a new rooster from a neighbor after my last rooster froze to death. The new rooster is a Cochin/Americana/Orpington/a bunch of other things mutt. He is a big boy with a small comb and small waddles. So far he shows more cold hardiness than the last rooster so I think he will be a success for a few years to come.

Carlos, the rabbit, is still hanging in there. He currently lives in a bunny cage in the empty kid pen. I do hope that the weather warms up and the snow melts enough that he can go back into the outdoor bunny hutch before I need the kid pen. Carlos is pretty happy. I give him treats of dried Red Maple leaves that I raked up for the goats and guinea pig food that I accidentally bought thinking it was rabbit food.

The other animals are good. The cat has moved to his winter home in the heated garage. He got in a fight with something a few weeks back and wound up needing a visit to the vet to clean out an abscess on his cheek. He healed well and is looking good. The dogs are both good. Jill is 13 and suffering from "old dog syndrome" in which she prefers sitting on the couch to going for walks. Billy is 9 and the only clue to his age are his gray eyebrows. I recently calculated that my goldfish is older than my marriage which puts the fish at an admirable 10 - 12 years old. He lives in the bathroom in a little fish tank and shows no signs of aging.

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