My Real Job

While I wish I could make a living from my five ewes and their lambs, I have a day job, or maybe a day-and-night job, working at Fat Toad Farm, a goat dairy specializing in Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauce, or Cajeta.  I use my knowledge gained from handling goats to supplement my sheep-book research.

In March, however, the goats take center stage.  It’s kidding season and I’ll be assisting with 54 does birthing over 100 kids.  I could write paragraphs about this procedure, but I suspect that pictures would be much preferred.

Snoozing babies

Older kids nap in the hayfeeders.  These are mostly girls we’ll be keeping to add to the herd.  The lefthandmost kid (white with some black) displays this year’s most common color pattern.  We have a lot of her color and a lot of brown, and one black goat.

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Black goat nursingWe spent a lot of time trying to save this weak little kid pictured nursing her mother.  Ultimately, we decided that she’d be better off as a bottle kid on someone else’s farm.  She was very, very sweet, though.  All of our kids who were born alive survived this year- that’s pretty awesome.

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Swiss

Swiss had quadruplets.  Fortunately, she is an amazing mother who took expert care of each of her little kids until we found homes for all but one of them.  At the peak of kidding, we had 15 does birth about 32 kids in one day.

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The graderMeanwhile, it’s a good thing we’re busy in the barn because the mud has been EXTREME around the farm.  I haven’t left our neighborhood in about two weeks.  Our little compact car with a low clearance does not do well when the ruts are up to eight or nine inches deep.  This stretch of our road was just repaired.

In lamb news, the biggest lambs are almost too big to pick up.  The bottle lambs are weaned, much to their dismay.  Everyone seems ready for spring.  We’re shearing in about two weeks, so stay tuned for that.  It will be well-documented and photographed!

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