Friday, November 11, 2011
The floor boards still need to be nailed down and the 2x6 evaporator needs to be installed into its final location and smokestack installed as well.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The news of a babies arrival is always exciting. That time that we wait the excitement grows in anticipation! We were lucky enough to be part of this birthing process! The boys and I all took part and didn't miss a beat! We are so very lucky to have these amazing experiences.....our children are even more lucky to experience the circle of life at this age......we agree that learning about this amazing circle is helping our children become strong well rounded individuals. How many three year olds do you know that can say that they helped to deliver lambs. Those of you who are lucky enough to have raised animals know what I mean. Life is so dear to us all yet we don't always know how to handle the challenges that it throws at us. We feel that raising these amazing animals with our children is going to better ready them for all different nooks and crannies of life both big and small.
Kizzy was a second time mom the other day! We are thrilled to introduce you all to her three babies! Two ewe lambs and one ram! Kizzy is a wonderful kind and caring mama! Sheep are very tender hearted as this photo well shows and motherhood falls into place without a second though it seems. we have not yet named these little ones but will keep you posted as we come up with them! keep any eye out for more baby updates!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
The Ram pen (once a Billy Goat pen) is getting reworked as well. Right now it's a very closed up space and the hay drop is too high for the sheep. It will be opened up more for light, and made a little bigger for all the Rams to fit much more comfortably. I can't wait to see how it will be when it's done. The return date for Billy the Finn Ram is in late Feb so the pen will be finished by then.
The barn is really coming together for us and all of our farm family! If you get the chance to come and see it please stop in!
Friday, January 28, 2011
Today I'm posting sad news as have to tell you all that Puzzle, when purchased her was very ill unbeknownst to us. As many of you know we happily brought home our first ever dairy goat and were thrilled to have stared out herd.
We knew upon arrival at the "farm" that if we chose to take Puzzle that she would be a type of rescue project for us. We are a little known for that and I have to admit Puzzle has taught us a major lesson, one that was very important to for me to learn, "you can't save everything". She was underfeed, majorly, her coat was a mess and she had sad eyes. We thought we were doing the right thing as we loaded her up and headed home.
As we got Puzzle settled in her new home inside out of the cold, cozy with more hay then she knew what to do with and a fresh bed of straw, water at any time that she would want it and grain, which was a big difference from the cracked corn that she was eating when we met her.....She was shy but friendly.
With in a couple of days we knew that she wasn't "right" . She had come from a small herd and was currently on her own until we knew that she wasn't sick. We did let our two new Alpines visit with her in hopes of perking her up but they were not allowed to stay with her for any extended time and honestly she paid them no mind. I had a friend of mine who is a farmer come to look at her....she noticed that she was doing loads of teeth grinding and that she seemed to not care to have her hind legs touched. I called the vet right away!
We are very lucky here to have a large animals vet that works as a team and they are very good with goats and sheep as well. This is wonderful for us and I know many people find themselves with a large animal vet that deals mainly with cows and horses. After looking her over closely and checking on the babies she informed me that her fever was 105* and her worm load was crazy high. She feared then that it was Meningeal worm. This worm is a rotten little thing......It comes from white tail deer who happily pass it along in their droppings for all the snails and slugs to then eat and if goats or sheep and other animals as well happen to consume them while out in the field the problems begin. There hardly ever is a happy ending. It takes many meds and if the animal lives there is often some permanent damage to the brain and spine.
I got the run down on the signs, the meds and the road ahead of us. I worked around the clock. I made more trips then I have ever made threw out the nights to the barn......Suddenly we found her in labor......She wasn't due until late March/early April. I was thankful that I had been studying and quizzing myself on delivering the lamb for the past month. I was as ready as I was going to be and just hoped that their bodies were enough like sheep that I was doing what I needed to. A quick call to the vet was made and she informed me that I would probably have to do all the delivering since she was far to weak.
I pulled on my glove and got set up. She didn't complain, and didn't' stain.....one baby was out and what I would have thought of as about the right size for the age. Another was on it's way....I helped out a little with that one and is was just so tiny.....stroking her head as she chewed away at hay, very unfazed. I was crying. Telling her how sorry I was as these tiny pink lifeless babies arrived. There was a little bit of a break before number three. Suddenly a gush and out it started....and then, stuck. This one was the bigger of at three and the heart break worsened as I then had to step in, and it was clearly kicking. Thankful my wonderful husband was by my since reminding me that not all things can be saved.
Puzzle never stood again after this.....she was eating find, no longer had a fever, drinking but her hind quarters seemed to no longer function. I called the vet again and did as she advised more strong meds, reposition her a couple of times a day and do some nerve testing. She felt that the worms may have done to much damage but wanted to try one more round of meds. Still nothing. I did a little research on my own and talked to a couple people about sling building. Rob fashioned a great one to her but alas nothing changed and again I called the vet.
This was her last visit to Puzzle. She later informed me that she (not the first vet that came to the house as there is a team of them) knew of the location that she came from and that she was very disappointed that she had been sold and without proper information. She stated that she had a history of treating her. This sadden me and yet, I knew that we had given her a wonderful home for the short time that we had her here at Bakers Acres.
I have learned so very much from this. First off again, I can NOT save everything. I've learned many more questions to ask about current and past health and how they were raised, what foods they eat, where they graze and how to take a good look at their coloring, external body temp, coat texture, smell, feet and teeth. I've become a master of taking an animals temp and giving shots. I also had a heartbreaking lesson in loss, of our animal and of her kids. We however have not given up and although the lessons that I've learned were hard and not ideal to say the least they have made me a better herd/flock owner and hobby farm operator and I'm grateful for that.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Tyce a 4 week old buckling
The farm is located in Mexico NY where currently is very much snow country. I really wanted to make it to their farm to see just how they have it set up, run it, and of course see all the goats that they had for sale. We really had wanted to get there a week or more ago but with the weather and Puzzle not mention our own colds getting there seemed to be a problem. Friday the realization that the sling wasn't changing the condition of her we decided to make plans for Saturday afternoon it was time to lesson the blow and show our boys and ourselves a farm that took pride in the way that they raise their animals and care of them. We headed out!
I need to back up for just a moment to tell you that my two older boys had pockets full of money ready for the trip. After seeing the babies that were for sale they saw two that they really thought would be wonderful to bring home. This was their own money and we felt that this would be a wonderful start for them.
All of us loaded into the truck and off we went. As we neared the farm Rob and I decided that if either of us had any doubt of the care of the animals we would walk away. After all that we had been going threw with Puzzle we weren't going to risk bringing home another sick animal. To my delight it was the kind of farm that you hope you are lucky enough to visit, learn from and bring home animals from!
Jinglebell meeting Baxter for the first time.
Jinglebell-Bryce just fell in love with the name!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
We are very happy to welcome Ruby of Hut on the Hill located in New Woodstock to our farm. She is actually the mom to my first sheep Kizzy and Grandmother to Oreo (Kizzy's baby). We now really have an extended family. We are so very please to have her! If you look closely at this photo that was taking during a past lambing by her previous owner she is wonderfully loving! She has a sweet face with eyes that look as if they are wearing eye liner and the most beautifully soft pink nose ever!
She is a purebred Finn Ewe that is expecting. We are so very thrilled to add to our sheep. Our Finn are extremely loving and social. They can be nervous with stranger but warm up to you quickly. All of our Finn love to be pet and talked to which is wonderful since our boys are in the pens loving them up non-stop!
Ruby has a wonderful history of throwing multiples and her top number is 5 lambs at once! WOW! I'm hoping for 3 because I personally feel that is more about the moms being able to care for them and not feel stretched to thin. This however isn't something that we can control. Finns are know for "litters" of babies at a time. I believe that world record is 9! Wow! Can you imagine!? I'm going to be very happy if everyone is healthy! Our first babies we will be expecting from the mid to end of March! Please be sure to check back with us from time to time for updates on the mama's as the excitement grows with our lambing season approaching!
When Ruby was dropped off Billy our Finn Ram that came to us from Pa and is an out cross (meaning that he is not related to any of my ewes and that was why we ended up in Pa to get a Ram as all Ram's that I could find in NY were related-this is a growing problem that I hope Billy can help with) was loaded up to make "social" call to Hut on the Hill! Mary has reported that he is "having a party" and seems to be very comfortable with the ladies that he is visiting there! I will be so very excited to see the outcome of his visit. He will be returning to us near the end of Feb. where he will be put into a newly designed pen with his buddies! I will soon post pictures of some of the changes we are in hopes of making in the barn.
There is much to be done as Spring approaches and that will lead to a busy lambing and kidding season for us here at the Farm. The excitement is running high as this will be the first year our babies will be born here!
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Even with the threat of sever cold weather around the corner and more snow in the forecast the trusses were raised today for the Sugar Shack! Rob his brother Marc and friend Matt got to work in the snow and the wind to get all eight trusses up. This was no easy feat as the trusses were dropped of at the edge of our dead end dirt road in front of house. The truck was too massive and there was to much snow to really have to much more of an option. The guys then had the daunting task of lugging them from down in front of the house up and around to the location threw the snow. They of course managed just fine!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
The next morning we approached a beautiful farm nestled into the country side. We were pleasantly greeted by Mr. and Mrs Moore and some of their 10 Children. All I can say is that it was such a breath of fresh air to see a large family that was such a wonderful working unit. They welcomed us into the the home and farm.
The Alpines that they keep and use are for a family run business Garland Goat Soap of Vermont. Please check them out at http://www.garlandgoatsoap.com/! We were very lucky to come home with two of their beautifully crafted bars. Not to mention the wonderful Raw Milk that they also sell at their farm. That of course didn't last long in our house as we here in the Baker Household go threw about 5 gallon a week. This was also a test for my boys. I felt that if they could handle drinking raw cows milk then I hoped they would be able to handle raw goats milk when the time came.
One of the Moores daughters was in charge of the goats and we were happy to meet her and hear all that she had to tell us about them. When going to a farm where animals are so well cared for to purchase animals I often wonder just how hard it is to watch them get loaded and carted away to a new farm......this is something that at some point we will have to deal with.....but I'm rushing to that yet.
This is May! She came second and looked much like her mother.
The third sister had been purchased by the families vet and her name was June!
Friday, January 7, 2011
The barn was amazing. As we walked in we were greeted by all the animals that clearly adored John and Jason. Poka Spot that is shown above was a big hit with my boys. She was nose to nose with all three of the older boys and they couldn't get enough of her.
John has a list a ready for us to choose from, names, parents, milking records tons of info that was really helpful. When it comes right down to it the boys who play a very active role in all that we do on the farm had the final say and for them it was based on looks. Stanton loved Holly since she had one horn and Bryce adored Domineak-and I know I'm killing the spelling here sorry about that. Both with wonderful colors and eager to come when called and both breed.
John and Jason were so very kind as to give us a tour of the barn. The milking room, the milk room the chicken coop....wow Jason has made some wonderful things that are so useful for the helping the barn run smoothly. They are like a well oiled team. You really should take the time to check out their websites and blogs to see all that they have done, do and how they care for their animals. In my head it what a farm looks like.
As well loaded our troops in the the truck that was pointed in the direction of VT we thanked them again, shook hands with happy smiles on our faces and talked of when we would come back to pick up the girls. As we pulled away I have to admit I was a little sad that we couldn't have stayed longer heard more stories of the work that they do and the plans that they have......I can't wait to go back.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
- Goat milk protein is more easily digested than cow milk protein
- Goat Milk Protein is known for reducing the chances of contracting diabetes and other health problems
- Naturally Homogenized
And the list goes on, these are just three that we here on the farm find to be wonderful. Not to mention all of things that you can do with the milk
- Drinking milk
- Wheel Cheese
We have yet to mention the wonderful personalities of these animals. Granted we are only getting started with goats but have found them so very lovable! They are a wonderful addition to the harmony of our farm!