As many of you homesteaders know, lambing and kidding time is always a very watchful event. This year things have been so upside down. Last year, our ewes had their lambs in mid to late February. As of now, HUGE HUGE udders, but yet no lambs. They are literally almost a month later than last year. Why? I have not a clue.
It may be that our ram, last summer, was attacked by a neighbor dog and nearly killed. He had bite marks all up his hind leg and could not walk. We had a vet out and he needed serious antibiotics for a period of time. While this event took place in the summer, it could be possible that he was not into breeding mode for a period longer than I had suspected in his recovery. But, that is my only guess.
As of now, our gorgeous grand sire ram is fully recovered, the ewes are seriously pregnant and due ANY HOUR, it is all just a month off.
Now, our goats are another interesting subject. They delivered later last year than now. Our dairy goats last year had their babies end of March. This year, all our dairy goats have given birth except one. They all gave birth over the last month. Now Bianca, our last dairy goat to give birth, looks like she has been ready to go into labor for about a week. Yet, no labor. Her udder has been huge, her tail turned to the side, her vulva swollen and her hips displaced. Well, I mean that her tendons in her hips are loose which is a big sign of labor in the next few days. But, no babies yet!
Every morning my husband and I go into the barn fully expecting a few more cute kids and a bunch of darling lambs. But, no.
This is the wait, wait, wait that homesteaders and farmers have every spring. It is completely predictable, though the unique nuances are always different, each spring.
Then, we have our meat does. We are just now getting into meat goats and also plan to breed to get to the perfect meat/dairy combination. So, I have two does that are due later in March or early April. One is a pure bred Boer who has been bred to a Nigerian Dwarf Sire. The other is a Nubian/Boer cross who has been bred to a Nigerian Dwarf sire.
Our goal with these two does is to get to the perfect dairy, meat combo goat genetically that is smaller in size but robust in meat while also plentiful in providing milk, as well. So, this is a multi-generational project in genetics. Thus, we are keeping all of these two does’ babies to monitor viability of such pursuits.
Needless to say, there are many more babies to come here on the farm. But, as of this morning, no new little ones.
On other fronts, we have planted our onions and added garlic to the garden though that is to be done in fall you can still do it in spring while it is cold, they just are not as big. We also started potatoes deep in the ground, asparagus and rhubarb. My seed starts are being hardened outside during the days and my cold frame is up to get some of the early crops in the ground in the next few weeks.
The chicks are now bigger and in the coop with the big hens and rooster. And, we are getting turkey eggs tomorrow to hatch out in our incubator. We will begin selling turkeys this year. We will be raising chocolate turkeys, which are critically endangered. Learn more about chocolate turkeys here. Our ducks are all big and swimming away. We will also be hatching out ducklings for sale this spring and summer.
Last, we are getting our bee hives ready this week and set up. We will be buying a few more nuc colonies this year to continue to expand our apiary.
May you all have a wonderful day and enjoy the great weather for those of you who have it.
God Bless! L. Davis