Thursday, April 30, 2009

Garden updates and escape artists

We got the garden almost completely done. I still need to add a low edging barrier at the ends of the aisles so that the rocks stay in and don't end up in the grass. We obviously still need to do some planting as well. See all the little plants at the far end? See how everything is nicely growing? Yeah...that was yesterday. Today, it's different. Read on and you'll learn why...


This is the area of the row garden that I hoed (is that a word?) and then covered with composted manure. It's ready for planting this coming weekend.

This is where my main herb garden will go. Or at least, where my initial one will be....I may have to expand to a sunnier area eventually. We will be adding a gate at the top of the steps and a fence pretty much at the front of this photo to keep the dogs out (they are the reason there is nothing else growing here anymore!).

Our potato experiment - growing potatoes in a garbage can! (holes drilled in the bottom for drainage).

Our garlic - doing very well. I'm excited! (I didn't check to see if its still there after today's little episode. I certainly hope so!

This is the 'early' apple tree. It was the first to ripen last year and now we see why...it's in full bloom before most of the other trees have any blossoms at all. Gorgeous!

This is Pepe. He's generally the instigator and likely the goat at fault for today's garden debacle.

And this is Oreo (at 4 weeks old). He probably didn't start the problem, but he definitely contributed to it.

My husband got home from a business trip today around 5 pm. He calls me at work and asks what happened to the garden. As I had just toured it this morning, I had no idea what he was talking about. I did see some evidence that our stupid cat is using the dirt as a litter box, but he usually doesn't disturb sprouted/growing plants. My H said that there were plants eaten, dug up, pulled out, etc. Small footprints in just about every box, too. I had no idea what to tell him but we were both ready to blame the cat.

I get home from work about an hour and a half later, and he says he knows what happened. Apparently, he spoke to our neighbors. I had told them that he was out of town for a few days, so when they saw our goats roaming our property, they thought something was wrong. They managed to get Sass back to the goat pen, only to find that the gate was still securely latched! We think that the kids managed to slip under the lower part of the gate and once they were out, mom had to follow along. She must have squeezed her big body out of the gate! Wherever Sass goes, Buddy has to follow - so now all 4 goats were free to roam. The only obvious damage was to the new plants in the garden. They destroyed about half our strawberries, most of the kale, some of the collards and all the celeriac leaves. They did not touch the celery (no surprise - they won't eat it when we offer it to them!) or the peas (thank goodness). The kids left footprints everywhere, so we think we'll need to resow all the seeds we planted, too. What a pain! I am glad that it happened now while we still have time to replant, though. We are super pleased that our neighbors took it upon themselves to help us out. I'm going to bake them something yummy as a thank you and take that to them with a fresh container of goat's milk this weekend.

This weekend's todo list? Neuter the kids, replant the garden, and rethink the goat gate!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cast-iron fun and my herbal future

The cast-iron cornbread pan - would make great banana bread as well, I think!

So over the weekend when we had to make the trip to go pick up our CSA share, we decided that a quick spin through the Joe's sporting goods store was a good idea. They are going out of business, so we figured they might have some good deals. They carry a little of everything (from guns to camping gear, to athletic shoes, to generators to motorcycles) and I can't help but wonder if half their business problem might have been an inability to commit to one customer base! Anyway, we got this cool cornbread cast iron pan for cheap. It came with a mix which is what you see in the photo, but also some yummy sounding recipes. We do have corn meal in the pantry, but we are both looking forward to creating our own meal from our own corn next fall. When we do, we'll make sure to pull out this pan and whip up a delicious batch!

Of course, fresh cornbread goes GREAT with farm fresh eggs and a little bit of thick sliced pepper bacon from organic, grass-fed, local pigs. It was a yummy breakfast indeed - missing only some fresh berries (only a few months away!).



Farmfresh breakfast! Eggs from our girls, fresh baked cornbread and thick sliced pepper bacon from our CSA share. YUM!

Tuesday night I got home and had plans on watching my one TV obsession. I don't know why, but I just love watching The Biggest Loser. I think I like seeing all these people really transform their lives. I don't normally like reality TV at all, but this one has me hooked. Anyway, it wasn't on because of the basketball finals (the blazers are in it, so that's what we get to watch) so I opted to find something more productive to do. I finally got my Dad's b-day present packed up and sent off (sorry it's so late, Dad!), I got a couple of jars of blackberry jam sent to my mom, and I started some more seeds.

Seedstarting on the stove top (just for the photo). I love using the papertowel rolls because they make transplanting so easy, but I felt I ought to reuse the other containers as well.

I used some of the soil mix left-over from the weekend garden marathon. I mixed it with water in the wheelbarrow in the garage (it was rainy and cold last night) and then filled all the extra containers I had laying around from the first round of started seeds. I set it all in a box from the garden center and then diagrammed it in my notebook. Then I planted numerous types of winter squash, some summer squash, okra, a couple of types of melons, some lettuce, marigolds, sunflowers and nasturtiums. I moved the whole lot into the greenhouse first thing this morning. It always feels so good planting seeds...like getting a fresh start.

Lately I've been doing a lot of reading about herbs. It started out as a small research project to decide what to put in my herb garden, but it's blossomed from there. While I have a good idea of what cooking herbs I want to plant, I didn't really know what other types of herbs were useful. As I've been researching making my own herbal remedies, herbal cleaners, and herbal/floral potpourri, I'm really finding it fascinating. The herbal wormer and herbal healing salve that I get from Molly's Herbals is working wonders for the goats, dogs and myself (I used the healing salve on a healing cold sore and was stunned at how quickly my skin recovered!). I really find myself wanting to learn more, so I am seriously considering signing up for a course or two. There are quite a few alternative medicine programs in my area (not surprising considering the 'alternative' nature of my state!). I've been researching what's available and trying to decide when the best time would be for me to sign up. It sounds like a good 'winter' project for me, but at the same time, I'd like to be able to apply what I learn in the here and now as things are growing. But, I do think it would help to have some of my own experience growing things before starting. There is still so much information for me to read on my own that I expect that I'll hold off on the class for a little while longer. Either way, I'm excited about this. It's such a fun topic!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Independence Days Challenge

We've joined a 'challenge' that I've read about in the past, but decided to do something about this year. Based on Carla Emery's ideas, this is a challenge to do something, every day, towards your own independence. It doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be earth shattering...it just has to be progress. Do it and record it...this will allow us to see forward momentum and that's something that is not only priceless, but reassuring. Anyway, you can read more about this challenge at Sharon's blog in my side bar (Casaubon's Book - great blog, by the way!).

I'm going to do a weekly recap on Mondays but since I only signed up today, this week is a day late:

1. Plant something - Gosh - where to begin with this? We planted quite a bit this past week. For seeds: spinach, peas, mustard and kohlrabi. For transplants: broccoli, cauliflower, celery, celeriac, onions, strawberries and cabbage. I also transplanted some daisys from our neighbors yard to ours.

2. Harvest something – not much to harvest just yet. I do hope to grab some cherry and apple blossoms for drying this evening.

3. Preserve something – I dried 3 lbs of asparagus and 2 lbs of carrots in the dehydrator this weekend. Unfortunately, this was purchased produce, but preservation is preservation.

4. Reduce waste – Daily recycling is a habit for us so I'm going to have to come up with additional ways to do this. Oh! We did discover that the defrosted milk (that is permanently seperated into solids and liquid) is great chicken food. They LOVE the solids, so instead of tossing it out, it is slowly getting fed to the chickens. That's reducing waste, right?

5. Preparation and Storage - We actually made a big run to Costco this week. We stocked up on lots of basics (things we don't grow ourselves). I always feel good when the pantry gets plumped up after a good re-stocking! We also had our grass-fed beef & pork CSA pickup this past weekend, so we are well stocked with meat again.

6. Build Community Food Systems - I gave 2.5 dozen eggs to our neighbor in exchange for some clippings off her rosemary bush and some daisys.

7. Eat the Food - I used some of my neighbors rosemary and some store-bought garlic to make a flavored marinade for some of that CSA meat. And we also enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of home raised eggs with CSA pepper bacon on Sunday. YUM!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Gardening


I love this tree. It's some type of willow and it's just gorgeous when it blooms in the spring.

So much is blooming and growing around the farm! I'll take my camera out this evening (if it's not raining) and try to get some new photos. Spring is really a beautiful season. It's particularly exciting for us as we see things popping up that we have never seen before (this is our first spring in this house).

This weekend was a busy one. We had a goal of getting the garden done so that we could get lots of things transplanted outside. Time is running out on some of the spring veggies, so we didn't want to delay. I don't have updated pictures yet, but we got the balance of the garden boxes completed. We now have 5 boxes, comprising 200 square feet of gardening space. This 200 sf, took 120 cubic feet of soil to fill. This soil was 'made' by mixing peat moss, compost and pumice/vermiculite. To fill all the newly expanded boxes, we went and got a truckload of compost from a local nursery. Unfortunately (both for us and for our little truck), neither I nor the girl at the register, were confident enough in our calculations. For whatever reason, I was thinking that a cubic yard is equal to 9 cubic feet and so I used that to make our calculations. It wasn't until we got home that I realized that we had purchased 54 cubic feet of compost instead of the needed 18. Ooops. Now we have some compost to ammend the row garden area as well. See, I was planning ahead! ;-)

With a lot of sweat and hard labor, the soil got mixed and loaded into the boxes. The last truckload of river rock got filled into the aisles between the boxes. Part of the row garden area got hand weeded and then covered with some of the extra compost. The rest of the garden will be done as the week progresses and that huge pile of aged dairy poo sitting in our yard will eventually dwindle.

We planted brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, more spinach, mustard greens, kohlrabi, a few left over onions, kale, celery, celeriac, a few more strawberries, chinese cabbage, and more peas. Tonight I'll be starting melon, multiple types of winter squash, and pumpkins. Next week, lettuce and carrots get planted. We are also planning out the row garden area. This will house predominantly, potatoes, corn and beans...but also some tomatoes, some green beans, some lettuce or other greens (in the shade of the bean trellis) and probably some winter squash. Right now, our greenhouse is full of tomatoes, peppers and some early started melons (in pots). We also have our two dwarf citrus trees out there and they are doing really well (navel orange and meyer lemon).

I'm pretty sure that we are making a classic mistake in that there is little doubt in my mind that we are overdoing this. I know that come late summer and early fall we will be innundated with fruits and veggies. Somehow, in the dark of early spring, that is just too hard to comprehend so we over-plant. At least this year, I hope to have family visiting in the summer. They get to help us harvest AND eat our bounty! Anyone else up for a visit? I'm sure the apple harvest could use more hands (and mouths). :-)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Goat Babies in Action


video

These are slightly aged videos (a couple of weeks old) but it's getting increasingly difficult to get photos or videos of the kids as they get bigger. They just don't hold still! Just about the only time they hold still for a second or two is when they are peeing...so not good video material, right?

The above one is why using cattle panels to fence in baby goats is useless. Live and learn.

The below video is Pepe's first successful attempt at climbing and balancing on the cinder block. Now, of course, he's capable of leaping up onto mom's back...or the waist high table, or the milking stand, or us...(as evidenced below). When you listen to it, turn down the sound or you'll get an earful of me laughing as Oreo climbs onto me while I was video taping his brother!

I'll try getting some more updated shots this evening if I can. They sure are cute little guys!

video




Rick with both babies on his lap while mom looks on - he is their favorite jungle gym and they will choose to climb on him over all other humans.

Me with Pepe on my back. I'd squatted down to look at something Oreo was doing and Pepe took the opportunity to jump on my back! Let's hope they give up this habit once they are full grown or there are going to be a lot of sore humans around! ;-)


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Garden Progress

This is what our 'field of boxes' looked like last year after our initial planting.

This is what they looked like as I began the long, tiring process of moving them this spring. You can see how the grass was a problem at the edges - it spilled over into the boxes pretty badly as well.

This is what they look like now - about 75% of the way completed. The first three boxes have all been planted (peas, spinach and strawberries).

Last year, we planted 8 square foot gardening boxes and about 1/3 of our row garden area. This year, that's changing. We didn't plant as much as we wanted to last year because we got into the house late in the growing season, and really ran out of time to plant and still hope to get harvest before winter. Mid-July is waaaayyyy too late to be planting when you live this far north (cold winters or not - you run out of daylight before the plants mature!).

We also had a real problem with keeping the grass in the pathways between the boxes under control (despite my planning the aisles the width of two lawn mower passes). The aisles were too wide as well, creating a lot of wasted space. This year, I planned out how I wanted them to be arranged and the best way to make the move (it's not easy since they have only weedcloth on the bottoms) before tackling the task. We also liked how the base of our greenhouse turned out so well that we decided that we wanted to use river rock in the walkways. This will allow water to still soak into the ground, but it will discourage the grass and make foot travel to the boxes easy.

We still need a couple of loads of rock and to mix up some more soil before we are complete, but it's coming along nicely. I also will need to reinstall the trellises, but that's quick and easy. They are currently all stored in our shed and installing them means only to insert 1/2 inch rebar into the ground in the right locations and then to drop the trellis over the rebar (the trellises use 1/2 inch electrical conduit for their frames).

This area is parallel to our row garden area in which we've only planted potatoes and garlic so far. The row garden area will also house some beans, corn, some winter squash, and the quinoa. We may also duplicate some of the other items we have set up for the boxes just to see which items do best in which location. I purposely wanted these boxes to be in the same general area as the row garden because depending on what the future holds, we may eventually want to fence them both in to keep the chickens out (currently the chickens only free-range in the goat area to keep them safe from the neighbors dogs). Luckily (knock on wood), we don't have a deer problem like so many of our neighbors do. We think that the 8 foot buffalo fence that surrounds us on two sides and the 6 ft privacy fence on the third side really discourages them. Four dogs in our two acres (between ours and our neighbors) and a road where nighttime speeds exceed 70 mph - and we are pretty well protected from deer as long as there are other more easily ravaged gardens to keep them happy. ;-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A quick hello!

Our cherry trees are blooming!


I just wanted to drop in and say a quick 'hello!'. Last week (the day after my last post, actually) I was assigned a new part at work that is beating me down. Another member of my group couldn't meet the demands, so they gave it to me. Ugh. It's been keeping me hopping, that's for sure.

This past weekend we finally got our new fridge and oven (yay for being more energy efficient!!) and we started the massive project of reworking our garden beds. This entails weeding them, shoveling out the soil, relocating them, shoveling the soil back in and adding more, building new boxes and filling those with soil (which is mixed using peat moss, compost and pumice), and laying a ton of weed cloth. Lastly, the aisles between the boxes are getting filled with large river rock, so we have to get one truck load at a time and shovel that into it's respective places. We did this on Sunday (mostly) in the POURING rain. Literally, downpouring almost the whole time we were out there! We got it almost done before we had to call it quits and try to dry off. At least we can now get our onion sets planted and many of our seedlings now have a place to go when we get to plant them this coming weekend. I did take photos - but they are still in the camera (well, no 'afters' yet since it was raining too hard).

The goat babies are doing well. Tomorrow we start milking Sass for our own use (we will share with the babies for the next 6 weeks and then they get weaned). I'm just thrilled that we got a nice sturdy shelf installed in the goat shed (out of goat reach) so that we have a place to store the brush, the goat wipes and any other misc. items. The silliest little things make me happy! ;-)

I promise to post more later this week once I've had a chance to catch up.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Bees move in!

Disclaimer - I know very little about bees. We have a couple of books, and I plan to educate myself eventually, but since this is my husband's project, he's the expert right now. With his reseach and a lot of help from Ruhl Bee Suppy, he's quickly getting up to speed. Anyway, in lieu of a wordy post, here are a few illustrative photos.

The hive/box with a few frames removed (I'm sure there are more correct terms than 'hive/box' and 'frame' but whatever) and the bees awaiting installation in their new home.


10,000 Italian bees with a queen in there somewhere...



My husband in his 'bee suit' spraying sugar water on the bees to calm them before putting them in the hive.


The bees in the hive. Sorry about the quality of photo - but I was standing pretty far away at this point and using the silly little zoom lens on my point and shoot camera. It was also getting dark, so it's hard to see the bees flying around.

Since these photos were taken, my huband has reduced the size of the boxes. He's taken out the bottom one because apparently that's too much space for so few bees and they get confused. We can't have confused bees, can we?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beekeeping


This is a photo from the Ruhl Bees site. That's the company from which we are getting our bees!

Beekeeping was one of those things that we felt was a good idea as we move towards self-sustainability. Not only are are bees a great way to provide a ready made healthy home sweetener, but they are essential for garden and orchard pollinization. We have so many blooming fruit trees that we felt it was a good idea to supplement the native Mason/Orchard bees with honey bees.

This one is Rick's baby. While I don't have issues with bees (I'm afraid of wasps and hornets), I also haven't had time to research them like he has. He made the variety choice, ordred all the equipment, and is on his way to pick them up this afternoon. We ordered our bees from Ruhl Bee Supply which is not only a 111 year old company - but local to us here in Oregon. http://www.ruhlbeesupply.com/

My only experience with bees in any quanity was when I was a kid. We lived in Topsfield, MA in a 100+ year old home. The front of the house was flanked with two huge hives built within the walls of the house. Random bee stings were a fact of life. I have two distinct memories of that time related to the bees. One was of my little brother waking up at night after it had been raining like mad crying because his bed was wet. My mother told him to 'move to a dry spot' thinking that he'd been the one to wet it. What a surprise to discover the next morning that his whole bed was pretty much wet with water and diluted honey! The rain was leaking through the walls and it ran right down his window shade and into his bed. Poor kid! My other memory involved the third floor. This house had a ton of rooms, most of which were not used by our little family of 4. There was an entire third floor of bedrooms (and presumably a bathroom, but I don't remember) that we pretty much kept closed off. I had a big doll house that I used to play with that was housed up there at one point. Anyway, I don't know why I was up there, but I remember standing in the doorway to one of the bedrooms staring in awe at the hundreds (or more likely thousands) of dead or dying bees lying everywere. It was like something that nightmares are made of!

Anyway, we hope that our bees will give us happy memories in the years to come. Once Rick gets the hive set up, I'll make sure to take some photos to share.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring planting continues

My favorite plum tree - blooming already!

Spring is HERE! We have baby goats, flowering trees...and planted seeds as proof. I had so many little updates after all our hard work last weekend that I decided to do one big 'picture post' to cover them.

So last weekend we got a lot done around the homestead. I was off Thurs & Fri and between those two days and a weekend with only a little rain, we were able to be very productive. First off, we finally got those codling moths out into the apple trees. I still need to make a few more, but we are pretty well covered now.


Codling moth traps hanging in our apple trees.


Then we set about using the rope hand-held chain saw that I ordered to remove a few high branches. Our neighbor to the south lives on a very, overgrown piece of land. The trees are super tall and a couple of them had HUGE branches that hung over and shaded one of our apple trees. We wanted to cut them down, but they were so high, they were well out of reach of our ladder. Even a ladder combined with a chainsaw on a pole might not have been enough. So I searched online and found the nifty little tool we used. http://www.cspoutdoors.com/higlimropcha.html

While I've seen lots of people complaining about this tool, it worked great for us. One branch split before we'd sawed all the way through, but it was not 100% heathy to begin with...the other branch worked great. One of us sawed while the other pulled on a rope tied further out on the branch to keep it from falling directly onto the apple tree. I can't wait to see how this tree produces now that it'll get some sun!

The tree we were trying to help is circled in blue...and the branches we cut in red. If you click on the photo - you can see it larger.



Then we went to work in the garden. With the hay I cleaned out of the goat shed, we mulched the berry brambles.


With some extra compost we had, we 'fed' the grape vines.



Then I moved one of the square foot gardening boxes. I have created a plan to move almost all of them eventually. I want to move them closer together, add another row, and then put down mulch or gravel on the walkways inbetween. Having to mow that grass is a pain and I was annoyed at how much grass started growing in the boxes. I think we'll be better off getting rid of a lot of it. Anyway, I planted in the one box that will remain where it is and then I moved one more box so that I could plant there as well. I planted 5 different kinds of peas (snap peas, snow peas and peas that you shell) and three different kinds of spinach in the boxes. I also left space to plant more next week so that we stagger the harvest a bit.

The boxes in the middle of the move. Only the one in the foreground has changed so far - it moved to the left to make room for another box next to it.


The box where I have spinach and peas planted. The 4 squares that look a little drier than the others is where I'll plant more spinach next week.


Rick set about planting our potatoes. We did two garbage cans full of them (which I will post more about later) and one long row in the row garden area. Rick dug that row last weekend (while the ground was wet and reasonably soft). He then planted multiple types of potatoes (Yukon golds, russets, red, etc). We even planted a few potatoes that we'd grown last year (as an experiment). We did it differently (and in a different area) than last year. Instead of planting them in the ground and mounding dirt on top of them, he dug a trench, losened the bottom soil and then planted them in it. Then, as they grow, we'll cover them with the soil we dug out of the trench. I can't wait to see how it all works!

Rick planting potatoes in his beautifully dug trench.

The full trench - after all the potatoes have been planted. Sweet potatoes will go elsewhere (it's too early for them).


Lastly, we spent a little time taking stock of all that is growing in our greenhouse. This coming weekend, I'll be planting more tomatoes (starts) and a few other things to supplement what we've already got going. Our tomatoes from the first planting are doing really, really well. I hope we can get them into the ground before they start fruiting!!

Our mish-mash of plantings. Every time I see this shelf, I think 'a rag-tag fugitive fleet' from the introduction to the original Battlestar Galatica. I don't watch the new verision - I wonder if they use the same line?

Our first tomato seedlings - now almost full plants. How cool is that?


Lastly, just because they are so darn cute...another goat baby photo. This is Sass taking care of Oreo and ...wait for it... Pepe (after Pepe Le Pew). Both boys are getting playful and curious already. I forsee a full time job of keeping track of those guys in our near future!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Goat babies are here!

Meet the two newest additions to our herd (for now)!

What a night!

Sass was bleeting all day on Monday, so we knew we were close. She was constantly changing positions and barely stood or sat still all day. As it got dark, we made a point of checking on her every 30-45 minutes. By 11:30 pm, we decided to try and get some sleep since she hadn't gone into full on labor yet. We had the baby monitor in the bedroom and I remember asking Rick what sounds he thought we ought to be alert to. He said, loud bleating. Not 2 minutes later, the loud bleating started! I told him to stay in bed and that I'd let him know when she was going into labor. Sure enough, I was out there maybe 10 minutes and she laid down and started to push. I told Rick to come out and grab the 'kidding kit' on his way.

We both sat there with her for about 30 minutes when we felt that it may go on for awhile. Contractions were pretty far apart, so we didn't think she was 'serious' yet. I told Rick to go get some sleep and that I'd call him when something happened. Two hours later, I went inside to use the bathroom and check the clock. When I realized it had been 2 hours, I checked some of my internet sources to make sure this was still ok. They all said that if it was going on that long with no apparent progress, something was wrong. I also read that if the initial discharge was red (and not typical amber colored) that there may be a dead kid involved. Ugh. I was worried.

I woke up (he wasn't really sleeping) Rick and sent him out there while I scrubbed up. When I got back out to the goat shed, I saw what I thought was a nose poking out. It was furry - and goats are supposed to be born feet first, so whether it was a nose or a butt...it wasn't good. I 'went in' and discovered that it was definitely a butt. I had to push it back in and turn it around so that it could be born. Unfortunately, this was the first baby, so there was no room inside (the others were obviously still in there!). My lack of skills didn't help matters, either. Rick started to get really concerned. He was starting to worry that we were going to lose Sass and the babies. As much as I didn't know what I was doing, I was determined that we'd get it straightened out and at the very least, save Sass. While I stood there with goat goo up to my elbows, Rick ran inside to check photos of a breach birth to verify that we were doing the right thing. We were, so we set about getting this to work. Just as I was about to give up and let Rick take a shot at this, Sass managed to deliver the baby in it's new position - shoulders/head first. While we were cleaning up that baby and getting it in front of Sass, she delivered the second one. This one came out backward (which is fine) and was out in a flash. We had both babies sitting before Sass so that she could clean them, and we helped dry them off. It was a real mess, actually.

We then got each kid to nurse a little. It's best to get the colostrum into them as early as possible. Since they seemed willing, we helped them find the teet and they both took a good drink. While this was going on, Sass started contracting again. We expected to see the afterbirth, but when I saw fur, I knew there was another baby on the way. This one was kind of coming out backwards, but there was only one foot. The other leg was not where it was supposed to be! As she pushed, this baby slipped all the way out and I saw immediately that it was not viable. It was somewhat contorted and the head kind of had a dent in it. I immediately wrapped it up and took it away for fear of upsetting Sass (if goats do that kind of thing). She quickly returned her focus to her existing babies, so I don't think it was a problem.

By 4:30 am, we were ready to leave Sass to bond with her new babies. We gathered up all our stuff and headed inside to shower. About an hour later, we checked on them, and everything was fine. We noticed that they were still a little damp, so we pulled out the hairdryer again and dried them off completely:

Rick using a hairdryer to dry off the goat babies about 3 hours after they were born.

At this point, Sass was pretty much falling asleep on her feet. Rick gave Sass some grain, helped the kids nurse one more time, and then we left them all to take naps while we called the vet for an antibiotic recommendation and located a good dog 'igloo' for the kids to sleep in/play on. Sass needs antibiotics to protect her from infection after our little 'intimate' experience.

And, about 4 hours later, we saw them poking their heads out of the goat shed, so we went to hang out with them. The goat baby #2 is very, very inquisitive. He is going to be a terror! Goat baby #1 seems to be a little calmer. Both are super cute and very friendly. Both are also boys. We've named baby #2 Oreo after his father since he looks a lot like him. Baby #2 still doesn't have a name. Considering that we have a cat named Kitty, we may need help with coming up with a good name! We had hoped to have a girl or two that we would keep as part of our milking herd, but we didn't plan on keeping any boys. One of them is already promised to the family that we get our grass-fed beef from - they want a goat for a pet. We are not yet sure of the fate of the second one, but we are considering keeping him around as a playmate for Buddy. We'll see.

This is Oreo (goat baby #2)...the younger brother and the one that is already shaping up to be extremely mischievous!

This is goat baby #1 until we come up with a better name for him. His coloring reminds me of both cookies and cream ice cream AND a reverse skunk - but neither observation calls forth a good name for a boy (if he were a girl, he'd be either Cookie or Flower!).

Proud (and tired!) momma with her two boys. Good job, Sass...you've done good!