Winter solstice

Winter solstice

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Winter and all it brings...

           We are having a good old fashioned winter this year. Even though it makes for longer chores, I know everything is better off with the cold. Our goat babies are always the healthiest when born in a cold winter like this one. The other morning, it was 18 degrees below zero. This morning, however, it was 22 above when I did the milking and the chores. It felt so much warmer, but it was pelting the snow down and the wind was blowing. We have about 8 inches of snow on the ground and it is supposed to snow a few more inches today. We are expecting another "polar vortex" next week again. It cracks me up how the "Weather Channel" has to put all these names on things. It's no longer just cold or a storm, now everything has a name.
           December brought a new face to the barn in the way of a Fell Pony named Deacon. He is the sweetest thing ever and so smart. He really has "horse sense". There are less than 300 registered Fell Ponies in the United States and I am so fortunate to own one. He even came with a passport! He has bonded with the goats and sheep in an amazing way. They are learning to trust him and he is learning to put up with little critters running around his feet.
          We only bred 3 does this year and so far two have freshened. Aurora had a spotted doe and Marshmallow gave us two huge doe kids yesterday. We had to make a run for the grocery store in the morning. I knew she was in labor but thought I had time. When we got back, I ran to the barn to check on her and there were two babies on the ground. It was 4 degrees outside and I knew they would get frostbite, so Emilee (our granddaughter) grabbed one up and headed for the house and I was right behind her with the second one. We put them in front of the fire and started drying them off. It took a while to warm them up but they came around and started to cry for a bottle. One is the most beautiful red color and the other an ivory color. They are back in the barn, under a heat lamp and doing fine.
         We have baby chicks in the milkroom right now because one of our Silkie hens snuck off and started to set. When I found her, she had 15 eggs under her...way too many for her size. I took away all but 8 and she hatched out 7. They are the tiniest little things. Some are white, some yellow and 2 black. They have had a time of it, trying to stay warm. I know better than to let a hen set at this time of year but I never have the heart to stop them. Maybe someday, I'll learn.
         We also have a litter of Border Collies. Megg delivered five beautiful pups three weeks ago. Four are black and white and one is red and white, like Megg's daddy. They are the sweetest things and so smart already.
          So you can see, we are busy like always but I wouldn't have it any other way. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful winter we are having. I know I am.

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