Broken foot or no broken foot, life on the farm marches stolidly forward.
The snow melted and turned to rain. The chickens are laying again, all but poor bedraggled Mama Chicken who didn’t start molting until months after the rest of them. The ducks, of course, never stopped laying and I’m still desperately trying to find people who want to take my duck eggs. I’d love to sell them, but at this point I’d settle for thrusting them at unsuspecting strangers and running away before they realize what’s happening. I have a lot of duck eggs.
Sometimes though, it’s not so stolid. Sometimes this life can march with more of a bound, and a maa-ing, and the wag of a tail.
Yes, it’s true! The timing probably couldn’t have been any worse, but we added three Nubian goat doelings to the farmstead last weekend!
The girls are about 9 months old, sisters, and sweet as pie. We got them from some friends who decided that they wanted to downsize their farm obligations so that they could start a family. They had mentioned to us a while ago that they were thinking of re-homing them, but when they asked us last Saturday if we were ready for them, we were caught pretty unaware! We weren’t really ready for them, but that didn’t stop us from bringing them home anyway.
Clover, Leafling and Fiddle are living in the greenhouse at the moment, because as you might remember we have absolutely no fencing or barns or shelters of any other kind for them. We put up some cattle panels to keep them out of our planting areas and away from the plastic walls, threw some shavings on the ground and called it good. The goats seem to like it fine, although I’m sure they’re as antsy to get outside as I am to get them there.
Honestly, it’s all very exciting. Honestly, it’s hard for me to believe it’s really real. We have goats!
But really honestly, I have no idea what we’re doing with three goats.
I mean, obviously I’ve wanted goats for longer than I can remember. They’ve been a part of my farm plan since the beginning. But since I’m being honest with you, and with myself, I will admit that the goats are really more frivolous farm pets than anything else right now. No question we’ll be putting their manure straight into the garden and, mixed with the chicken manure already out there, it will break down into some great fertilizer by the time we’re ready to plant out some of our heavier-feeding crops!
But our other plans for the goats are rather vague at the moment. We want to be able to move them around the farm to forage in the fields. It would be great to use them to clear out undergrowth in some forested areas. We’re thinking about breeding them in the fall, and maybe selling the kids (the ones we don’t keep, anyway!) to make a little side income for the farm. And of course we’ve always been interested in using the milk to make soaps and cheeses. Will we actually do any of that this year? I don’t honestly know.
But if push comes to shove, I suppose we’re okay with them being just glorified backyard pets for the moment.
There’s just no denying that these goatlings are more adorable than is good for us!