So far this year we have had 7 does kid for a total of 14 babies- 9 boys and 5 girls. Our two top does gave birth to 3 kids each! Unfortunately this is the first time we lost a kid. It was a sad experience but one that is part of this lifestyle. We have one doe that will kid next month and that will be the end of our season. It has had it’s high and low points and caused us to think of things we will do differently for next year.
Today the first of our babies left for their new home. It was a little bittersweet. It will be wonderful to be back to our core crew but you do get so attached to those kids. So here are the three boys. They found a home where they will have a life of hard work – looking cute and being friendly. We will probably visit them from time to time as we tend to do with the goats we sell.
Our first kids were born this morning. Katy is so good at calling it. She told me this morning this was the day. We have a doeling and a buckling.
Drew now has his permit and is learning to drive. It is a bit of a challenge up here in the mountains with all the hills, curves and snow but we are making it happen.
Tali is 13 months old now. She is very active and loves to climb. She also has a great love for animals of all kinds.
We have added sheep to our little family farm. The breed we chose on the Navajo-Churro sheep. They are one of the oldest domesticated sheep breeds in America. They are a long wooled sheep that can be used for wool, meat and dairy. The wool of the Navajo-Churro is used to make a true Navajo blanket. We purchased two ewes, Bonita and Soukie, and a breeding ram named Topaz.
Well, the new hive has been doing great this year! They are healthy as can be and are now occupying two almost full hive boxes, with a healthy mixture of stored honey, pollen, eggs, and larvae. I recently inspected the hive and got to watch a brand new worker bee chewing her way out of the cell where she grew (a neat thing to see!).
Given the dry conditions in Colorado, I’ve been feeding them supplementary pollen and sugar water, but they’ve also been gathering lots of native nectar and pollen. It’s amazing to see the different colors of pollen they bring in from the wildflowers around here, ranging from bright yellow to purplish orange to blood red.
The first year for a new hive is when they build up all the comb and food for themselves and get settled in, so we won’t be harvesting any honey this year, but they’ve been progressing very well and should have lots of extra beautiful golden honey for us next year.
Hotshot is a horse (a gray gelding), and one of the more recent members of our farm. He belongs to a friend of the family who didn’t have a lot of extra time to spend with him, so she generously gave us the opportunity to keep him at our place and have a chance to see what goes in to keeping a horse.
He is incredibly gentle and friendly, and overall quite well behaved. He does have some room for improvement when it comes to a few areas like taking a bit, loading in a trailer, or standing still, so I’ve been learning about horse training and working with him to be more respectful of our requests.
It’s great to have him around and hear him whinnying when it’s time for his hay.
We have 19 chickens now. The first batch consists of 8 laying hens (2 Australorp, 2 Orpingtons, 2 Brahams and 2 Dominiques) + 2 silkies. One is our fearless rooster, Billy Joe. He is smaller than the hens but he sure thinks he is something. He crows all day. Emmy Lou is our female silkie. She went broody this spring (and is currently) and hatched us a chick. Only one egg hatched but it is the cutest little thing. It wasn’t even her egg (oh the scandal!) It is a cross between an Austalorp and Billy Joe. It was so much fun for everyone to watch the process and see Emmy Lou mother the little chick. Much more natural then raising them in a brooder box.
Our second batch consist of 8 Austrlorps. 7 hens and a rooster. Mr. rooster is still nameless but hopefully will have one soon. He is practicing his crowing. The hens will be laying in the next month and we hope to sell surplus eggs.
Nick is running the chicken portion of our farm. The first time around we got a sampling of breeds so we could see which ones we liked. Nick decided the Australorps are a good fit for us. They have a great lay rate and are docile. He is working to raise them in the most natural way possible such as using the deep litter method in the coop.
There sure is nothing like those farm fresh eggs!