The kids are born

This morning I got up and headed to the barn in my Pajama's. It was 60 degrees F, so really warm and the sun was out. When I got there, I put the goats out and feed the bottle babies, and then went to clean Buckets pen with fresh straw. She didn't want to come out, so I checked her and she had just the slightest discharge so I knew she would kid very soon. I cleaned her pen, put lots of fresh straw down and quickly finished feeding everyone and then sat with her. She was having contractions for a while and then the kidding began. She had twins, a buckling, AND a doeling! I was so hoping for a doeling off of her. She is my favorite doe, and to be able to have a doeling off her is just so exciting.



Both kids were in the right positions, I helped with Bean, the first kid, the doeling, and once she dropped, Bucket went to cleaning and I quickly cleaned her nose and mouth and she took a big gasp of air. The buckling came quickly behind and was a lot easier for Bucket. His tongue was hanging out all the way. It's awful when they come out, they don't look alive. Then you remove all the gunk from their noses and mouth and they take that first big gasp of air and breath. My heart stops everytime. I thought she'd have a third because they were so, so, tiny. But just two tiny babies in there and she was done.

She is a wonderful mama. I got Buckets milk flowing and helped get the kids drinking for the first time since they are so wobbly and Bucket cleaned them all off well. I couldn't be happier. What a way to start the morning. I ran in the house when the kids were down and called to Kevin to bring coffee!

This evening things seemed a little off, so I sat with Bucket and the babies for a while. It seemed Bean the doeling was afraid of Bucket and Bucket seemed distressed. I soon learned what was up. Bean who is only about 8 hours old, is a little too independent for the time she's been in this world. She is just full of pee and vinegar. But she is nursing and everything is fine, just wants to explore and do her own thing. I held her and she was too adorable for words, stretching her lips and not fussing a bit. The little buckling was a little more nervous and just wanted his mama.

Kevin and I went for a quick ride to the cedar swamp and not far from the woodyard/goat yard found a fairly fresh, 1-2 day coyote kill. They took an old doe near a very popular bedding area before the cedar swamp. The teeth were almost completely worn out that's how we could tell it was a very old doe... over 5-6 years which in the wild, is old.

We found the remnants of another coyote kill from the winter back on our new road by the creek, but only fur and a few bones, it had been taken out on the ice and the creek is open now. We were sure that was Goofy, our big old doe that went missing along with her fawn earlier this winter. We were pretty sure the fawn that was killed on our pond in front of the house was Socks.

But it wasn't so. Last night after months of being away, Goofy and Socks both showed up in the yard. Safe and sound. Socks is a very, very distinctive fawn, and Goofy has been here for 5 years at least. We were thrilled to see them back and to know that they had not perished over the winter. The coyotes are coming closer and closer every night, now that the snow is almost gone and it's spring, they are hungry and make their presence more known.

We spotted a porcupine out enjoying the sunshine too, and got a good whiff of what smelled exactly like bear, that unmistakable musky, stinky, odor. We didn't spot him though back in the cedar swamp, but the smell was right.

The forest is coming alive again with smells, sights, and sounds. The Red wing blackbirds are back, the geese keep returning home. The Wild turkeys are all decked out in their beautiful colors now that they are looking for a mate. It's amazing how in the dead of winter you forget just how quiet it is. You forget until everything comes alive again in the spring and that silent air is filled up with birds singing, turkeys gobbling, frogs calling, Owls hooting. Soon the Whip-poor-wil will return and sit outside our bedroom window whipping all night long and keeping us awake as he likes to do. Oh the things to look forward to!

Sammy is doing amazing, he's getting bigger and better everyday. Except I am in big trouble, since he's decided he wants me to hold him every evening and sleep in my lap. He can get in the chair on his own too, and as soon as I sit down, there is Sammy climbing up. Kevin is hoping Sammy can go to the barn soon, and I think Sammy is planning on staying.


We ran into town today to grab a few things and one of the ladies in one of the stores whom we see once and a while, asked if we were up at the cottage for the weekend. Both Kevin and I were in our farm clothes, I had a tape measure hanging from my pants. I didn't think she was talking to us. But then I realized she thought we were cottage people because she sees us only once and a blue moon. It made me realize how little we do leave the farm, especially in winter. The only place we go is the feed store! We stopped there today also to buy more milk replacer for Izzie the calf, and a few other supplies. Our lane is in full mud mode so we are trying to stay off it as much as possible.

I made french toast the other day and I used one of our store bought eggs we had leftover and a couple of my fresh eggs from my hens. Can you believe the difference in color? It's because of the lifestyle and diet of a hen raised on a large egg farm, to one that is raised on a more natural diet. It's quite remarkable.

the orange one is our farm egg, and bright yellow is the store bought


I will get more pictures tomorrow. It's been a very long and very busy day! But it's been a great day :)

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