It’s been a while since I posted about our farm, but when you read the following, you’ll understand why.
Dennis and I are a perfect pair. We both love baby animals, which is sometimes a blessing and sometimes not.
Our last foray to look at baby animals ended with us bringing two two-month-old Katahdin sheep home in the back of the Murano. (They are doing awesome, by the way.)
I am happy to announce we have learned our lesson…
We bought a truck.
It took a while to convince me it was time, but we finally traded in our Murano for a brand new GMC SLT. So far, I’m loving it.
And, that means we can bring home even more babies.
Case in point…
A couple of weeks we brought home these guys. Meet Jack Straw and Stella Blue our two new Nigerian Dwarf Goats. They are brother and sister so needless to say, poor old Jack will become a wether (that’s code for castrated male, but we don’t say that too loud around him).
Stella, on the other hand, will be our breeding doe. Both have blue eyes and are very sweet and are being fed via bottle. Which means that we have to go out every six or so hours and feed the wee ones a bottle of milk. (I thought I was way past bottle feeding…)
I have to admit; they are the cutest things I have ever seen on this great green earth. In fact, they are so darn cute we bought a third. He doesn’t have a name yet and won’t be home until mid-May, but he is a very handsome buckling who happens to come from a line that was bred to be naturally polled. (That’s code for no horns.) If we could get babies who were handsome, blue-eyed and naturally polled, well let’s just say these cute little things could also add a bit of decent income to the farm.
Our hope is to also have milk to use for goat cheese and goat milk soap. Both fetch a good price and I like both, so it is a win/win. Since we’ll only have one doe in milk next year, we will look for a second doe at that time to add to our herd.
From the same person we bought the buckling from, we are also buying a ram. He is a very handsome fellow and as long as he remains well behaved, he will be a good breeding ram and not become lamb chops. He’ll be coming home mid-May with the buckling. This should be an interesting trip. At least we have the truck!
Then we picked up our baby chicks! Who doesn’t love to go to their local grain store to peak at the chicks, right? I had ordered eight Rhode Island Reds and the person we ordered from threw in two Black Star Sex Links. So, now we have ten chicks living in my den.
All this means work…lots of work. Hence the reason I haven’t written much.
We are in the process of building a chicken coop and eventually we would like to build a separate barn on our property for the goats and sheep. Right now they are in the barn that is attached to the house, which works great on cold and rainy/snowy days, but eventually they will need to go elsewhere.
Dennis, who has never really been around farm animals before, is a bit overwhelmed with all the new critters. I have promised to stop bringing new ones home until we get settled with this group. But I do have other interests. For example:
Indian Runner Ducks: The lady we are buying the ram and buckling from raises several heritage breeds. Heritage breed farm animals are animals that were once widely raised and bred but whose numbers are now decreasing and are close to disappearing. These ducks fall into this category. Dennis is not a fan of ducks or geese, but I am interested in giving it a try if I can create a nice enough area for them.
Geese: The great thing about geese is that they are protective and will chase away predators. That goes for humans, too. They are still better than roosters who are not only mean (there are exceptions to this rule, but few) and have those little spurs on their legs that leave nasty bruises on your ankles. (Ask me how I know.)
Other Chickens: Ten chickens is never enough and quite frankly when it comes to chickens there isn’t any difference between ten and twenty as long as you have the right size coop. As I am learning more about heritage breeds, I wouldn’t mind trying out some of these more unusual birds to see how they do. Finding birds that are disease resistant, are prolific layers and can handle the harsh New England winters isn’t easy.
For now we have our hands full. Dennis is very busy with his design business so getting him to build our farm website is slow going. Once it is up and running I can direct you over there to learn more about our farm.
In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted on life on a New Hampshire farm.
Oh, and it appears spring has arrived just in time for summer.