On Tuesday we had our first goat birth on the farm! She was born to one of our Nubian first fresheners, Tijeras. (A first freshener is a goat that has not previously kidded). We weren't expecting her arrival until today so you can imagine our surprise when we found a perfectly dry and fuzzy baby goat in the pasture next to Tijeras when we went to check on the herd in the afternoon! Izzy our LGD was right there with her, protecting the baby and mama and giving the little baby a few licks here and there.
It is almost time!
Ever since we bred the goats this past October, I've been counting down to their due dates. The anticipation has increased many fold since drying them off early in January. For the past few months our schedule has been wildly different than our previous days on the farm. My twice a day treks out into the pasture to collect the herd and intimate one-on-one milking time with each goat has been reduced to our once daily visit when we check on the herd, give fresh water, and feed hay, sprouted grains and minerals. The luxury of drinking the milk from our own herd and eating the cheese we make from it has been suspended until our goats are back in milk this Spring. The return of these enjoyable pieces of our farm life will be accompanied by something I'm looking forward to just as much as the milk (maybe more) - baby goats!
Since we milk seasonally (March/April through December/January), there are 2-3 months where we don't have any of our own milk. No milk for coffee, no milk for cheese, none for our cereal, etc. Of course, all of the milk we drink is raw, unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk, and we'd like to continue drinking raw milk even when our goats are not lactating.
If you haven't noticed, we're a bit obsessed with our farm animals here at Little Seed. They're not just animals to us - they're our herd! They feed us, they make us laugh (and cry), they're our close companions, and the first thing we think about when we wake up.
2012 was an incredible year for us. One blog post can't do the whole thing justice, but I'll take a stab at a quick summary.