Tag Archives: babies

Spring is for Babies!

It’s baby season here on the farm!!  The finally farm babies were finally born a few days ago, so the anxiety of the farmers has gone way down, and now we just get to enjoy adorable sleepy, bouncy babies.

Baby lambs…

…so many baby lambs….

baby goats!  Caitlyn finally had her twins, a boy and a girl.

And baby chicks! These guys are mostly meat birds, an experiment here on the farm.  Looking forward to seeing how pasturing works with these guys!

Lambs

The LAST farm babies were finally born!  Lambs!  And oh, my, are they cute.

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They were both born in the night, with no difficulties.  Both singles… it appears that is the way it will be with these ladies. But, healthy, huge lambs, both ewes, so we can’t complain too much.

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The farm brims with cuteness!

Growing

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The farm blog has been a bit quiet this year, because in addition to the goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, and garden, we’ve also been growing a human!

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We are so thrilled to announce the birth of our son, Archimedes, on May 8th, 2013 at 12:30pm.  Our little Fibonacci baby!

It may be a quiet summer while we all get used to each other, but we’re still here.. just.. distracted.

Farm Born

It’s spring officially now, and everything is giving birth all at once, in a mad, crazy onslaught of flowers and labor and tiny living things.

In the last 7 days we’ve had baby turkeys arrive, both in our incubator, and courtesy of our Royal Palm turkey hens, who decided to do the communal thing and have ALL been sitting for the last month on a huge batch of 20 or so eggs.

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Healthy chicks get moved to the brooder – the hens picked a terrible place to hatch babies, on the second floor loft of the barn, so they don’t get the option of raising them because we don’t want to find out how they try to get them down from there!

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Goat kids!  We’ve had three does kid so far:  Violet, Lady, and Badger, and have 5 doelings and 2 bucklings now, in addition to the older kids we brought home on Easter.  Two does left to kid, and they are taking their time getting around to it…

Kid Rescue

Tuesday night we were out late, and came home to do chores in the dark.  We’ve been waiting for the does to start kidding, and we noticed right away that one of the yearlings, Violet, looked like she was no longer pregnant…  but we didn’t see any kids!

Right away we started to worry that as an inexperienced mother, she may have had them in the pasture and then left them there when the rest of the herd headed in for the night.  We got headlamps and flashlights and took a walk, but the back pasture is almost 15 acres of thick forest,  and although we had an inkling of where they’ve been hanging out the most, we really had no idea where to look for two tiny cat-sized goat kids in the freezing dark.  After 30 minutes or so we realized the futility of the effort and reluctantly gave them up for dead, not knowing how long they’d already been left exposed and unfed.

Wednesday morning the sun came up on a frosty morning, and I decided to take another walk in the daylight, to see if I could at least recover the bodies.  Better than leaving them for predators to discover; the last thing we want to do is encourage our local predators to think of the goats as potential meals on legs.  I took the mother with me on a lead, since she was still wailing, thinking maybe she’d remember where she left them.

Violet was pretty useless as a guide; she would dash off into the blackberries and then… eat some leaves calmly.  Then she’d start crying again and run off, only to… stop for a snack.  But just when I was about to give up and go in to change for work, I heard an unusual cry.  At first I dismissed it because it seemed way too strong to even possibly be from a day old baby goat who’d been left outside all night, but when I heard it again, I hauled Violet from her latest pile of blackberries and took her toward the sound.

As we neared the general area, Violet took off running, and calling.  And then she… ran right back to the herd and went back to eating blackberries.  Sigh.  I went along the path she’d taken anyway, and as I went past yet another pile of blackberries I heard the cry again, looked to my right, and oh my lord, up on a tiny ledge on the hill above me was a little baby goat.

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As I crawled up the hill to rescue the doeling, who actually looked fantastic considering she’d spent all night shivering in the woods, my eye happened to catch a bit of white 5 feet below, under a thicket.  Another kid??  It was dirty and crumpled up, and I worried I was going to find it dead, or worse, partially eaten.  With the doeling in my jacket to warm her up, it took me several minutes to figure out how to get into the thicket to reach the other kid.  Once I grabbed it, I could tell it was freezing cold, but, still breathing.  Into the coat it went, too.

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With two trembling goat kids in my jacket, I hiked back to where Violet was calmly eating with the herd, and hauled her out of a blackberry bush down to some flat ground.  I put the stronger doeling up to her teats and she started to suckle right away – the little buckling was not strong enough to stand on his own, so he stayed warm in my jacket while I let his sister get some colostrum.  And then we took the long hike up to the barn again, dragging the reluctant teenage mother along behind me.

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Little buckling came into the house with me to warm up: he got warm milk, a hot pad, a warm bath, and repeat until the inside of his mouth was no longer an ice cube.  After a few hours he could sort of stand on his own, and I brought him back to the barn for some socializing with his mom and sister.

He spent the first night in the house with us, to make sure he stayed warm enough and fed, but when he woke us up the next morning crying for milk, we decided he was strong enough to be back on his own!

Not quite how we pictured our first kidding on the farm, but we’re so relieved it was successful, even though it appears we now have another bottle baby to feed for the next month.

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Our adorable little runt baby, in Talina’s arms, meeting Pippin for the first time — Pippins head is as big as the buckling!

Pasture Chicks

Pictures don’t turn out well in the brooder, because of the dark barn and the red heat lamps, but, as you can see, we’ve added new babies to the mix!  It’s hard to believe that our now-four-week-old chicks are SO HUGE, compared to the new babies we added this evening.

We’ve added 10 Marans, who lay very dark chocolate brown eggs, and 5 white egg layers, since the contrast will be fun!  Luckily everyone seems to be getting along well.  Just a few more weeks for the first batch, and they can head out onto the pasture without a heat lamp soon!  Very excited to see them growing so much.

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Spring is Here!

One of our farm goals this year is to continue to improve our pastures.  Pastured chickens can contribute a great deal towards this goal, so this year we are experimenting by planning to raise about 50.  And so… chicks!

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We built a brooder in an unused stall in the barn, leveraging an old chicken run donated by our friends Joe and Courtney.  Raising the chicks in the barn will mean a LOT less mess in the house this time around.

Our first arrival was an order of 25 chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery – mostly Ameraucanas, but also a mix of fun breeds.  We hope to be able to sell some of the birds as laying pullets once they reach 5 months old – and in the meantime they will do us the favor of working on our thatched pastures.

Chick Update

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The chicks are growing so fast… they’re already breaking away from Mama!  They are so small they fit right through the barnyard fencing.

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You can see oh the little owlet chick that the wing feathers are starting to grow out already.  The black chick seems to be a day or so behind, and this young, they are growing so fast that it’s obvious every day that the other three area ahead of it!

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The chicks are world travelers these days, spending most of the day out with their mama in the barnyard.  They are incredibly brave when it comes to surviving feeding time under the feed bucket, too, although they know to run for safe ground during the first few crazy minutes.

It’s so fun watching these guys grow… and bonus that we know we don’t have to muck out the guest bathroom when they’re done!

We’ve had a broody hen since mid-August, sitting on several fertile eggs (well, what we hoped were fertile, since we’ve never had Verence’s fertility verified).  She’s been a somewhat haphazzard mom, once even spending an entire night sleeping in the wrong (empty!) nest box while her charges cooled off on their own next door.  But, I’d read online that eggs can withstand that kind of treatment, so, we decided to let her sit out the full 21+ days, just in case.  And now we’re so glad we did!  Thursday night we went to put the ladies to bed, and mama hopped down to get some food and water for herself.  Just then,  Talina heard a peeping in the nest box! We looked in and, tada!

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One adorable yellow fluffy chick, and another on it’s way out (upper left white egg)!

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When I checked on them this morning, the sibling had made it’s way out – here they are eating out of my hand (after mama said it was okay, of course).

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So. Freaking. Cute.

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And there’s a third!  This one is all black.  I think this is not an Amaraucana like the other two are, but since mama hasn’t moved yet, we can’t be certain which egg it hatched from.

Here’s hoping they aren’t all roosters!