Thursday, February 28, 2013

2013 Spring Co-op

ClaireAnna is taking an excellent co-op class called Eye Appeal!  She is learning all about the science of the eye.  They have had a field trip to an optomatrist and today, they got to disect an actual cow's eye.  ClaireAnna is loving it.

This semester, I'm teaching my first co-op class.  The kids are making the SHARK LAPBOOK in this post that ClaireAnna made a couple of years ago.  I think they are having fun learning about sharks although some of the boys seem to already know the material! I've got some big shark fans in this class of 19.


Every year, there seems to be one goat kid that ClaireAnna falls in love with.  In 2009, it was Noel.  She was friendly and affectionate from the day she was born.  Claire begged us to let her keep Noel, even though she was not one of our top doelings that year.  And in spite of the fact that we are trying to teach her how to make decisions that will improve the quality of her goat herd, we agreed.  Some times you have to let the heart win over the mind. 
ClaireAnna and Noel. 
Well, it turns out that Noel's wonderful personality is genetic.  Once she started having kids, it's always been one of hers that is the new favorite.  Noel's first kids, born in 2011, were half Nubian and ridiculously cute.  Happily, we traded the doeling to ClaireAnna's best friend, Dayna, so we can see her often.
ClaireAnna with Emmet and Alice, Noel's 2011 twins.
In 2012, Noel gave birth to the "favorite goat of all time," Nicolas.  We couldn't keep him, but we were happy to find him a home where he would be used as a commercial buck rather then wethered and know....
This year, Noel has done it again.  And this time, in addition to being friendly and affectionate, this little buckling is gorgeous!  We are hoping that he too, will find a home as a commercial buck. 
This is Alexandar.

Some of the 2013 Kids in the Goat Pen

Here's a video of some of our 2013 kids.  (Sorry it is so jittery!) There is still one Boer doe left to kid and one set of younger twins is still inside the barn.  Two sets of Nubian twins are in another pen.  These kids are between 2 weeks and 1 week of age.  All are mostly Boer except the white triplets which are 3/4 Nubian. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Caught On Tape!

When we got to the barn this morning for chores, it was clear that Brook was in labor.  I called my friend, Ashlea, who had been hoping to be able to watch a live goat birth and she brought her kids, Jennah and Jaden over for the big event.  Brook was born here in 2008 and this is her 4th kidding for us.  Last year, she had her first set of triplets and raised them all to weaning so we have been hoping for a three-peat this year!  The Spencer family arrived just in time to watch Brook lie down and start to push out her first kid.

Unfortunately, Brook presented with a head only.  This is not a possible way for the kid to come out, so at this point, I had to stop the video (should have given it to ClaireAnna) and get an obstetric glove and fix the situation.  This is done by pushing the kid's head back in and fishing out the feet.  All I had to do is keep up with Brook, who decided to walk around in her pen during the procedure.  Once I had two feet in my hands, I let Brook take it from there and we resumed filming. 

The first kid is a boy! It's a tradition at Harmon PFarms to name any animals that are born when we have visitors after our guests.  So we named him Jaden.  Kid number two took only about 10 minutes to show up.

Our second kid came into the world in a completely normal way - two feet and a head.  It's a very large boy! We named this kid Al, after Ashlea's husband.  We're keeping it in the family!  Kid number three was actually starting to crown as kid two was born.  If you look carefully in this last video, you can see it.  However, Kid three is presenting in a very unusual way!  Watch this! 

Back feet first is a relatively normal presentation.  But butt first with folded up legs is neither normal nor easy for the doe.  I'm amazed that this kid was born so easily and that I didn't have to assist.  This last kids is, thankfully, a doeling!  We named her Jennah.  All three of these kids were good sized and, obviously, vigorous from birth!  This is normal for Brook! She's a great mama! 

Here is some great info on kidding, including birth positions with diagrams!

These kids are by our purebred Nubian buck, Jasper, who has since been sold.  Brook is half Nubian and half Boer meat goat so they are 3/4 Nubian and 1/4 Boer.  They will all be for sale at weaning.


Jennah on the left, Al on the right.  We've never had this color
before - almost all white with a barely there silver look to their ears.  Very ghostly!

ClaireAnna and Jaden at 6 hours old.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monica's 2013 Twins

These cuties were born today, at about 10:30 AM while we happened to have the Duff family visiting the farm.  The brother and sister human kids were happy to find out we would name these twin goat kids after them!  I was thrilled that Monica had doelings since last year, when I really wanted a doe or two from her to keep, she gave me three bucklings! These two girls are very healthy and were nursing within an hour of birth.  They are nicely boned and well conformed.  I think might keep Ashlyn!

This is Ashlyn.
This is Bray.  (Named after Braden.)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Old Goat

When I was a little girl, one of my friends' dads called me the little mountain goat because I was always climbing on things, (rocks, trees, park equipment) with a relative degree of quick, sure-footedness.  This is a trick I've been doing since I was about seven years old.  Today, at age 49,  I decided to make sure I could still do it.  Yup.

Encyclopedia Brown Oatmeal Cookies

Jessi read the book Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Cake when she was a little girl.  Inside the book were several recipes including this one.  She's been making them ever since.  They are really delicious!

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup unsifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups oatmeal

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine the butter with both sugars, vanilla and egg.  Mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients.  Scoop up a spoonful of dough with a regular teaspoon and scrape it off onto the cookie sheet with another teaspoon.  Keep them 1 1/2 inches apart.  They will spread. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lola Has Twins - Happy Valentine's Day!!

Lola did a great job this year giving us twin kids on Valentine's Day! One doeling, one buckling.

This is Sweetheart. 

Sweetheart is "Caramel Sunday" colored.

This is Valentino!
Valentino has a red head, but dargker red spots on his neck, leg and foot.

Lola's bag is over full so ClaireAnna milked her out a little.

One full quart of beautiful goat's milk.