Yesterday Brandon got back from the farmers market and went out to check on the animals. He found Holstein dead ,she was the second of our 3 original goats to die this year, she was 14. It looks like she lay down to sleep and that was it. She was quite a character and many people who visited the farm can attest to being marked by Holstein. She would rub her head and lips against you,marking you as hers. One time when we had some surveying done on the property all 3 of the goats were removing things from the surveyors pockets, luckily he was use to farm animals and largely ignored them.
The 3 goats came as a group to the farm in 2001 and all were 2 years old. We learned why the first day that you needed a 5 wire electric fence and not just 3 wires……….more escapes that day than we could count,so up went the other 2 wires.
Our remaining 5 goats are lead by Pinkie who is the last of the original 3 and she is 14 yrs old, her daughter Ring is 8yrs old, Brownie’s daughter Pixie is 10 yrs old and Holsteins 2 daughters (in order of age), Nimari who is 11 yrs old and her sister Ocher who is 10.
We will miss Holstein’s Mohawk(hair ridge on her back), her ears and her voice
We have gotten one field of 5 wire fence electrified and are in the process of putting up permanent wire fencing around the property to replace the old 5 wire fencing . We will run 5 wire fence and electronet in the new areas that have not yet been open to the animals. We have been pounding posts ,hitting rocks and resetting the post,next rolling out the fence and getting it tight then securing it to the posts. We still have along way to go!
Sunday we starting letting the chickens out of the hen house to free range. I found 12 eggs in the lamb hay feeder this morning and only 4 eggs in the hen house. We still put the girls back in the hen house at night for protection from predators but not all 22 chickens end up in the hen house. Some just don’t get it and are enjoying their freedom……….hopefully they won’t get eaten .
Lettuce will be planted in the greenhouse this weekend and we should soon see the asparagus coming up! Our bottle baby lamb is down to 1 bottle a day and is 22 lbs,she should be fully weaned in another 2 weeks.
The chickens are busy laying brown. white,pastel pink,green and an occasional pastel blue or yellow eggs.
Our girls like to lay 2 1/4, 2 1/2 and 2 3/4 oz eggs. But you have to realize that a large egg (farm or store bought) is 2 oz ,but our girls just don’t get it, they are a group of over achievers !
We have been very lucky with lambing and the weather this year. So far we have 11 lambs and only 1 bottle baby (her name is Blizzard), but she isn’t an orphan ,her mother is really good, but she has a pushy brother and isn’t getting enough to eat ,so I supplement her with a bottle 4 times a day.
The snow has melted a bit from the last storm and the animals are able to get out of the barn ,which makes the donkey very happy. She gets a little antsy when she is stuck in the barn with all the mothers,babies,goats and chickens as she has to be very careful where she walks. The chicken’s don’t like the snow,so they are jumping from the barn floor to a sheep back and then down to ground where the hay is spread out. Some of the sheep don’t like to be ridden by the chickens, but the minute a chicken starts pecking at hay seeds or grain in their winter coats the sheep stop and become very still. They love to be groomed by the chickens, their eyes close and their heads drop down ,but then the chicken moves on and the grooming is over.
Don’t forget we love to have our egg cartons back (especially the Jumbo size) so we can refill them. If you return any of our canning jars we will give you .50 cents off your next purchase of any of our canned goods!
I don’t know why blowing snow and large snow piles seem to stimulate the ewes to give birth,but we are on a roll and having deliveries every 2-3 days. Luckily we have had no rejections or bottle lambs so far, but we are prepared and I think that our dog Cooper would love to have another bottle baby in the house for him to watch over.
So today’s deliveries were as follows:
Our second oldest ewe Tamale delivered twins this morning. the ram lamb is named Nemo and the ewe lamb is named Blizzard.Our second delivery was by the ewe named Marsh and her big ewe lamb is named Grass.
Don’t forget once the roads are clear, you can come visit(call first, please),we have eggs,full meat freezers and lots of tasty preserved foods!
On Monday morning January 21st we had twin girl lambs born to our ewe named Mertz,we
named the girls Liberty and Freedom. Normally we give ewe lambs names related to their mother’s name but because of the holiday on Monday the names we gave the lambs were appropriate.
Brownie passed away today and yes you guessed it she was brown. My best memory of Brownie will be from July of 2002 when she was pregnant and she would stand in the door of the barn waiting for the first apples to fall off the tree. When an apple would fall down she would waddle out to eat the apple and then she would stand starring up at the branches of the tree,hoping another would fall. After a bit when no other apples fell she would waddle back to the shade of the barn to wait for another apple to fall.
Brownie was one of our three Nubian/Boar cross Does that were the first animals we brought to our property.She was a very personable goat. When I was depressed after my car accident in 2004 I would go down into the barn and cry on her,she would rub her face against mine and then bite my nose, that would stop the crying. we will miss her!
Our chickens are working hard and producing 16-20 eggs a day. We have 3 varieties of egg layers and
they produce eggs of different colors. Your box could contain white, brown or pastel colored eggs. We also have 6 meat birds in the hen house and they produce light brown eggs.
We still have lamb, plus very nice beef and pork roasts. There are still some whole chickens left. To compliment your meal we have a variety of condiments ,jams,jellies,relish and pickles .
Remember if you have any questions about cuts,cooking or anything about what we produce, just ask,we will be glad to help you!
If you need a special house warming or hostess gift let us help you with a custom basket or gift certificate! If you call or email us before our Friday or Saturday market we can have the basket ready for your gift card!
I love turkey, but after cooking it, making stock and eating it for 3 days, it is time for a change…maybe chicken? Well we didn’t eat chicken, I have to admit we had Atlantic scallops tonight, tomorrow I will be finishing the turkey broth and will most likely have leftover turkey,gravy and more roasted Brussels sprouts.
At today’s Contoocook Winter Market I got some more Brussels sprouts on the stalk that I will be blanching and freezing tomorrow. I love being able to preserve(freeze,dry,can or store) local produce for later use, it makes my trips to the grocery store less stressful and less expensive knowing I have a well stocked larder.
The traffic at the market was pretty good considering the market was held on the Saturday after the biggest family holiday we celebrate in this country.
Don’t forget Winter markets provide you with lots of choices in winter veggies, stored crops, meat ,preserved foods , bread and prepared foods!
Come on down to the market!