Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
Wow. How on earth did I manage to disappear for over a month?! Well, they do say that time flies when you're having fun, so we'll go with that.
Summer is always the craziest, busiest time here at Goat Song Farm. I am a full time (small) farmer, so my days are filled with things that need to be done here on the property. June was spent in agony, waiting for Metty to kid (remember? Her due date was May 23rd!), and preparing to butcher this year's batch of meat chickens. I raise the typical cornish crosses (but plan on trying some alternative breeds soon) and sell them to local customers. This year was pretty hectic as helping hands were short and I had over 100 birds to butcher in a day. I used to work at a nearby processing facility in which I would butcher around 500 birds every day, so I'm used to the work involved. But still, it's a lot of work and it was a long day...
July 2nd was the official chicken butchering day, and I was looking forward to relaxing on the 3rd and doing absolutely NOTHING for just one day. Haha, silly me. Metty kidded on the 3rd. Apparently we had an "Oops" on just when Metty was bred; she was already pregnant when I bought her, so I had no choice but to trust the previous owner on when she had her date with the buck, and by his calculations she should have been due on or around May 23rd. Not July 3rd. My guess is that Metty didn't settle on the first try and during another cycle, Mr. Buck must have bred her through the fence. Either way, the birth was fast and easy and she had two healthy bucklings! The "boys" are Mini-Nubians (dam is Nubian, sire is Nigerian Dwarf) and I must admit that they are quite adorable with their over sized ears that don't quite flop down.
Next up to kid is Ivy, who is due on the 21st of July. She looks more than ready, so I'm keeping a close eye on her. This girl has a bit of a story behind her, as I can't even count how many times I have toyed with the thought of selling her in the past. She was so gangly and steep-rumped at a yearling and two-year old that I almost regretted ever buying her. Her udder was lovely, but she had very little fore udder to her, and she just didn't seem to be an animal that I needed in my growing herd. Thankfully, I never actually posted her for sale. She is now four years old and I am just flabbergasted at how much she has changed. In short, she is gorgeous, and I've had people beg to buy her. She is long, elegant and level, her udder has filled out and she finally got that fore udder extension that she's been lacking. Be still my beating heart! She was bred to a top quality Nubian buck so I am just about shaking with excitement to see how her kids turn out!
Other news on the home front is that I have another new doe coming soon (second week of August) who is another Purebred Nubian (Shammy's and Lakeshore bloodlines!!), and I got a Jersey cow recently!
Wait a minute, a cow? What is a goat herder like me doing with a cow?
Oh, ahem, that's one more piece of news: Goat Song Farm is now officially given the full title of "Goat Song Farm & DAIRY"!! I am now running a raw milk micro dairy! Whoop, whoop! Having a micro dairy has long been a dream of mine, and I decided that this 2012 year would be THE year to get that ball rolling. I have a strong foundation set with the goats, and my breeding plans/goals are laid out (breeding for Nubians that will milk 2000+ lbs. per 305 day lactations), and now the first cow is here. "Mattie" is a purebred, registered Jersey who is tested A2/A2, and is pregnant and due in February! I was so grateful to also get a milking machine with this girl; I love hand milking my goats, but when it comes to cows I really want a machine. At her peak, Mattie milks 8 gallons every day; I don't know about you, but I don't really want to be hand milking that much! Oy!
Running the dairy is proving to be an incredible amount of work and time to make sure everything stays clean and the animals are as healthy as possible, but I am so happy doing this. Folks, this is a dream come true for this farm girl turned dairy maid. And the story is just beginning...