Monday got off to quite an interesting start. We do CSA deliveries on Monday, so its always a busy day. As a I walked down to the back pasture at daybreak to feed the pigs, I was thinking about all the gardens I had to pick and wondering if I’d get it all done before it started raining.
When I got to the back pasture, to my surprise I saw that our goat Blondie had kidded. According to my records she wasn’t due. Either my records were wrong or one of our male kids bred her when she was in the pasture where we keep the nannies with kids. Either way, she had twin kids while in the breeding pasture.
The first thing I had to do was get her separated from our buck Johnny. For whatever weird reason, Johnny was in the mood for love. Blondie, having just given birth, did not share his sentiment. Luckily I was able to move Johnny into the shed and lock him in. Then I picked up the kids and began trying to lure Blondie into the other pasture. She followed me and I was able to her into the correct pasture and get the gate shut. So far so good. As I carried the kids toward the barn (probably about a quarter of a mile), she followed closely behind me and I began to think everything was going to go smoothly. But Joey (our Great Pyrennes guard dog) spotted me and must have assumed I was playing a game. He ran over and began chasing an already spooked Blondie. She panicked and ran to the back of the pasture. So I had to start all over again.
I scolded Joey so he kept his distance the second time. Once again I made it about halfway to the barn without incident. Then Rowan, our horse, got into the act. For some bizarre reason he came charging over, bucking and kicking. Blondie freaked out, of course, and Rowan chased her around the pasture a bit. Meanwhile, I’ve got two screaming kids in my arms while I’m yelling at Rowan and trying to get him to settle down. He eventually tired of his game and once again I was at square one.
The third time was a charm, I suppose. I made it to the barn, with Blondie trailing. By now it was raining. As I led Blondie into a stall, Joey spotted an opportunity. With me distracted, he dashed out of the open stall door.
When Joey gets out of the pasture he’s very difficult to catch. Because he isn’t trained to leave the chickens alone so it’s important to get him back in the fence as quickly as possible. I chased him around a while, in the rain, but eventually caught him. Then I had to drag him by his collar about a hundred yards. He’s a very large dog. That was not an easy task.
But I got it done. Finally everyone was where they belonged.
By then it was pouring rain.
Of course circumstances prevented me from getting any pictures of all this. Here’s a shot of Blondie and her kids, taken much later in the day. I named the female kid Yoko.
Here’s Blondie and family the next day.
I doubt I’ll ever forget the day Blondie was born. It was one of the craziest days we’ve ever had on the farm. For any interested, that story is HERE.
I got all the gardens picked, in the rain, and we put together a nice share for our members–featuring turnip greens, spinach, collards, kale, mustard greens, swiss chard, peppers, eggs and garlic.
When we got back from delivering it, it was nearly dusk and time to feed the pigs again. As I was returning from doind that I noticed a buzzard in the pasture. I’ve come to know that usually doesn’t mean anything in the pasture has died. It almost always means a goat has kidded. The buzzard comes for the after-birth (I realize that may be a little more detail than y’all want, but it’s the truth and an important indicator). So and went to check it out and sure enough we had another baby. Blondie’s mother Sheena had delivered a big strapping boy.
He looked great, so I saw no reason to move them to the barn.
Before coming in I took a minute to watch our crowd of kids playing king of the hill.
Quite a day.
I really do love this life.
P.S. Our second podcast episode (White Flint Farmcast) is now out and can be accessed through the icon in the right hand column of this screen (or through iTunes, Libysyn and elsewhere). I’d love feedback, comments, suggestions, questions, criticism, etc.