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Homestead Happenings March 2019

Homestead Happenings March 2019

We are so excited that Spring is here!

The past month has been filled with lots of baby goats. As of the time I'm writing this newsletter, there have been 151 Alpine baby goats born. So far it is a doe year, with the breakdown at 82 doelings to 69 bucklings!

63 Alpine Moms have delivered and there are 29 that are left to deliver. That assumes all 29 of them are pregnant, which is unlikely since we often have a few that don't get bred. We haven't run pregnancy tests yet. We will probably just wait til the very end and if there are any that we are unsure about, we'll run a pregnancy test then.

Baby goats

Jade and Timber

We had 3 sets of quads this year from Teal, Secret, and Mermaid. While delivering quads is not something we want to have happen because it can be harder on the mom, it is a sign that our goats are well taken care of, and that makes us very happy since we work so hard to care for all of the goats! The average Alpine will deliver 2-3 babies, so it's always fun and unexpected when we have a set of quads.

Hewitt with Baby Goats

Baby Goats

The Nigerian Dwarf Mamas have also started delivering. We bred 15 Nigerians for April and so far 5 of them have freshened.

We were thrilled when Crescendo delivered quintuplets! All five of them are alive and all five of them are healthy. Crescendo is also doing great. There are three girls and two boys amongst them. Nigerian Dwarfs tend to have more babies than the Alpines, but this is the first time we've ever had quints and it was very exciting.

Quintuplet Nigerian Dwarf Baby Goats

Clancy

We've only had the Nigerian Dwarf goats for about three years. And while there are a lot of similarities to the Alpines (they are goats after all), there are also a lot of differences. Having healthy quintuplets is a sign that we are doing a great job in managing the health of the Nigerians and that makes me super happy.

Baby Goats

Baby Goats

Another big change to happen on the farm is the addition of quite a lot of concrete. We have talked about getting more concrete for behind the Nigerian barn for about three years. It is our original barn which means that goats have been on the land behind the barn for six years now.

Finished concrete

working on concrete

We work hard to rotate our pastures so that the pastures are given a chance to rest so that worms and other parasites don't build up and cause health issues for the goats. But it is next to impossible to rotate the area right behind the barn.

We haven't done it before this time because concrete is expensive, but even though we hadn't saved up enough money to do the concrete, it was time. We had another relatively warm winter (which means not a lot of worms were killed off) and we felt we couldn't put it off any longer for the health of the goats.

Lucky and his crew did an amazing job! Greyden got to help out with a lot of the work as well.

Greyden making forms

Greyden laying mesh

We're really pleased with the results. The pregnant goats are very happy with it (especially after being locked in the barn while the work was being done) and the extra concrete helps us achieve our goal of having the happiest, healthiest goats possible.

Landon continues to grow and entertain the whole family. He and Jim have been having fun together. They got to be twins one day (Jim hardly ever wears a blue hat so it was unusual they matched). And they've been sharing "coffee time" in the mornings.

Landon and Jim twins

coffee time with Landon

We've also been able to get some garden work done. We've spent hours pruning the blackberries. They are so prolific they take over everywhere!

Blackberries

Cabbage Plants

We've put in cold weather seeds such as peas, spinach, kale, lettuce, and arugula. We've planted potatoes, broccoli and cabbage (I'm skipping cauliflower and brussel sprouts this year). We've topped off most of the beds with compost. We're very excited to show everyone in the gardening class how to take care of their own gardens!

Rhubarb

Chives

Early Plum Blossom

The rhubarb and chives are coming up. Many of the trees are starting to bud. We even found an early blossom on a plum tree. Spring has definitely arrived in Indiana! As we celebrate this time of natural renewal, we hope you will join our family in also celebrating the risen Christ Jesus. The farm in April is a fantastic reminder of the new life that is possible in Him!
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