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Monday, May 10, 2010

The End of "Busy Season"

And so the "Busy Season" comes to a close here on the "farm". Our last goat kidded last Monday with a nine and a half pound buckling. I was at work when Abby finally managed to pull the kid out after two hours of working with the doe. Paladium was a first time freshener and she had been bred to our buck that has a history of throwing very large kids. (He has since gone off to the auction) Abby had called the vet after an hour of trying to get the kid out with no success. As is often the case here, the vet drove in the driveway just as Abby managed to get the head out. She delivered the kid the rest of the way as the vet was getting on her gear. I am so proud of Abby! She began this year's kidding season nervous and unsure of herself, and ended the season having managed to assist three does with no help from me or anyone else. She now has more confidence in her own abilities.

Hannah's Alpine, Venezuela, had twin bucklings but only one lived. She kidded about ten days early and we suspect that she was bred to the aforementioned buck when he jumped the fence. While Caracas is cute, with his front half Alpine and back half Oberhasli, he will be going to the auction in a few weeks.

We only had six female baby goats worth registering this year and one of those is already sold. Abby has two that she is keeping until the first few fairs to see how they place. I have three that I am keeping for the same reason. They all look really good at this point and it is just too close to call as to who is the better kid. Our theme for this year was presidents and first ladies so our registered does are named:
Abigail Adams
Louisa Adams
Lou Henry Hoover
Ladybird Johnson
Betty Ford
and
Dolly Madison

The presidents (who have/are gone to auction) were:
Lyndon Johnson
John Adams
J. Edgar Hoover
Ulysses Grant
George Washington
George Bush Jr.

Two of our bucklings were whethered for pets and were named for presidents who are still alive:
George Bush Sr. and
Jimmy Carter


All of the bucklings have been, or are being, shipped to the auction. While several were really good looking we already have two very nice bucks and don't need anymore. Abby has decided to sell her beloved Nite Lite. Nite Lite for the past two years has had some very difficult kiddings and really shouldn't be bred again. Abby has also decided that she simply doesn't have time for her cart goat, Jones, and he is also up for sale. She is hoping that between now and October someone will want them for backyard pets, otherwise they will need to go to auction. Abby has stated that she would rather pay for Nite Lite to be put down than for her to be sent to the auction and possibly be sold as meat.

The bees have been installed and seem to be content in their living quarters. Sometime next week I'll have to open up the hives and check to make sure all is going well. I am trying a new system this year for extraction and will be harvesting as the supers fill. I am hoping this will give me a continuous supply of honey, rather than a huge amount at one time. We shall see...

The chicks are growing quickly and are almost ready to be put out with the rest of the hens. The layers are producing well and we are collecting about four dozen eggs a day. I have several regular customers who purchase between two dozen and five dozen eggs per week, so the chickens are now paying for themselves.

So now we sit back and relax... yeah, right... "Fair Season" is just around the corner!
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