Sunday, March 22, 2015

Goat triplets! Why it is a good idea to have seven midwifes attend a goat birth...

The other day, we visited our friend Loren, who bought my goat Quasar last year.  We stopped by because we wanted to fawn over the babies that were born to a different goat a few days earlier.  Our friend Auburn was there with her two daughters.  As we bottle fed and played with the babies, Quasar shifted into active labor, so we got to be midwifes.  There were seven of us crowded into the little birthing pen - four adults and three daughters ranging from five to eleven years.  Even will all these people, the energy felt beautiful, calm and sacred.  Quasar wanted to rest on someone's lap the whole time, so we took turns comforting her.  Once her water burst, the three babies came fast and furious, and it was a good thing all of us were there to help towel the babies off, clear their breathing passages, dip umbilical cords, milk the mama to fill bottles, and feed the babies.
I don't have any close-up pictures of the newborns because I was too busy helping.  Besides, my hands were covered in slimy amniotic fluid, and I didn't want to touch my camera.  Ahem.

Here are some of the babies a couple of days later, thriving and well, with a very attentive mother.  Oh, how I love this goat!

Other news on the homestead: We are trying to capture bees.  Yep, that's right: we are thinking of adding more animals to the farm.  Here are some beehives a friend brought over, filled with honeycomb and baited with lemongrass essential oil, hopefully attracting and wooing a swarm of bees in search of a new home.  All it takes is one scouting bee who deems our place a worthwhile domicile.  Maybe it will work. Maybe not.

The pigs?  They're happy.  They are doing what pigs are supposed to do: eat, root up (and hopefully eat some) pasture, and wiggle their curly tails in ecstasy when they see us coming with a slop bucket.  They have quickly learned that humans are their friends.

We are currently incubating seven duck eggs in our friend's incubator.  We'll see what happens with that...

With all the work that has to get done in spring, we try to find balance by goofing off by the river, or to lounge on the sofa to read.
What are you doing to keep balance in spring?


  1. The newborn goats are so big! Must be a big goat breed. How do you keep your goats and pigs behind fences? I think I might have mentioned it but people/ranchers around here are big into meat goats. We have resisted the idea of getting on the bandwagon because of expensive fencing/containment issues. Pigs and goats alike. (for pigs weather is awful hot in summer). Let us know how your bee keeping works, too. People are also big into bee keeping around here. The nemesis of ranchers with pasture horses (star thistle) turns out to be a wonderful plant for bee keepers. In certain parts of our pasture we lease to beekeeping outfits and they put in 50 hives. They're big scale.

    1. We've had to train our goats and pigs to electric fence. They learn really quickly - but the wire has to be HOT all the time, otherwise they won't respect it. We use two strands of hot wire for the pigs because it's easy to move.
      For the goats, I use Premier One's net fencing. It works great!


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