We woke up this morning to a snowy, frozen world. It started with the doors of my vehicle being frozen shut, and I had to find a way in so I could drag out several bags of feed because the barrels were empty. When I finally made it up the hill, I found the latch to the front door of the goat barn frozen, along with one of the gate latches. Luckily I had another way in so I could deliver feed and water, and milk Miss Alita. The animals didn't seem to mind, and were happy to see me as always.
After a week of living in the house due to zero temperatures, I tried to return the triplets to their mom. This would have made things a little easier on the farmer, since separation has meant twice a day milking in the frigid weather and bottle feeding several times per day. Unfortunately, the kids clung to their new mom (me) and Alita was over raising babies and wanted nothing to do with them. She is a great mom, so this was my fault for keeping them apart too long. Back to the house and milking routine we went. Don't get me wrong, we love having the babies with us, and they seem to love it too.
They have a safe, warm pen in the basement, and plenty of time to run and play. Its nearly impossible to get a good picture of them!
One of these lucky little girls now has a wonderful home at Moody Blue Stables in Ashland, Ky. It always makes us happy to see our babies go to a great home!
Another year has come and gone. 2017 went out with a bang with the birth of triplet doelings from Alita and below normal freezing temperatures. We are back to bundling up like mummies, hauling water and breaking ice morning and evening. In spite of complaints from Alita and John, the babies are spending a few nights in the house due to the cold and learning to eat from a bottle.
Its always fun to reflect on the past year, to remember our blessings and all we have learned and accomplished along the way. We continue to slowly check things off the list, but somehow the list continues to grow.
It will soon be one year since we switched to soy free chicken feed. Our chickens are healthy and thriving on the mix, and we plan to continue along this path. It does require some creativity to ensure they have a balanced diet and plenty of protein. This is not as much of a challenge during the warmer months because they have access to natural sources such as bugs and worms. In winter, we give them plenty of meal worm treats and add organic fish meal to the mix.
2017 was a year of bucklings here at TRF. We had five does give birth to eleven kids, and only four were doelings. We kept Autumn, and brought in our sweet Diva to the herd. Maybe 2018 will be different, since we are starting out with 3 girls.
Construction projects for the year consisted of installing two stock tanks on the hilltop, tearing down the old sheep shed, moving the hay tent and building a new area for the boy goats. The old sheep housing spot was cleared for a future pond.
2017 was a good year for the garlic crop. Many were sold, and some were replanted for next year.
Baby goats meant plenty of milk, caramel sauce, cheese and soap.
We hosted a kids with farm animal photo shoot, attended our first 'farmers market' as a vendor, and held our first soap making class.
We are thankful for another year of doing what we love, learning new things and sharing along the way. My goal for the coming year is to 'make things easier' as much as possible for living on the side of a hill. Thank you for sharing our adventures. Happy New Year!
My name is Christy Franklin.