Saturday, August 17, 2013

Meet Elsie; Chicken Babies; and Getting Ready for Spring!

I've been flat out lately, with uni work and our family making the adjustment to having Nath home full time! It's a great adjustment to have to make, but an adjustment nonetheless.We have a new family rhythm now that we are all getting used to. We are loving having Nath at home, though! The kids have taken it in their stride, as if it has been this way all along, and Brannen particularly is loving 'helping' Dad do everything from cutting wood to weeding gardens. He loves putting his boots on just like Dad and puffs his little chest out as if to say, "Right, lets get on with it then!"

Elsie is the little one in the front.

One of the biggest things to report is, we now have our goat! She is being agisted at a friend's property until we get back from Bali, mainly because our goat run isn't built yet, but she has company there so she is happy. She is pregnant, hopefully with twins. This is her first pregnancy - she is only eleven months old. We named her Elsie and she is a Saanen x Boer. Saanen goats are good milkers, and Boers are good eaters, so we are hoping for the best of both worlds! She isn't the goat we were planning on getting, for a number of reasons, but she is a sweet little thing and we are very happy. I have been holding off writing this, as the lovely Jessie from Rabid Little Hippy and her family have just gone through the grief of their goat Anna kidding two stillborn kids. Such a sad story and even though there was nothing they could do I will be watching anxiously for the safe arrival of our babies.

Our silky hen became clucky a number of weeks ago, and now that we have a rooster, I thought I would leave a clutch of eggs under her and see what happened. None of the eggs she set were hers, she stole them all from the other chooks, and ended up with nine under her. A few weeks down the track we were very excited to welcome six new chicks into our lives. They look largely like crosses between Plymouth Rocks and Australorps, so I am very happy.

Silky and her brood.

Spring is just around the corner, I can see blossom buds beginning on some of our fruit trees and our blueberry bush is flowering. So many bees are visiting our garden and the birdsong is lovely. It's time to get organised for spring planting so tomorrow I am propagating seedlings from seed into toilet rolls and putting them into our greenhouse, to give them a head start over the end of winter, so they will be ready to plant when the warmer weather decides to stay. Tomatoes, chilli, salad greens, sunflowers... I am excited! This is a great time of the year in the garden, when we can really get into maximising garden bed space and eating from what we grow as much as possible.


Hope everyone is enjoying the first flushes of spring (or autumn, or fall, depending on where you live!)

9 comments:

  1. There is no reason for your lovely Elsie not to birth perfectly healthy kids. Don't forget that Anna had some pretty severe malnourishment to contend with too (she is missing teeth and had struggled in her free-range situation before coming to us, already pregnant and hence was unable to sustain the pregnancy any longer). If you haven't already got a copy, I can't recommend Pat Coleby's "Natural goat care" highly enough. She lists some great minerals to add to her feed as our soils here in Australia aren't the most mineral rich and hence goat fodder will rarely contain all it needs to. She also outlines what a goat or buck should be eating at their stage in life - kid, in kid, not in kid, in milk etc. It also outlines illnesses, how to treat them (Vitamin C is the magic medicine above all medicines) and also great info on showing, breeding, birthing and more.
    I am so envious of you having your husband home full-time. This is something we may work towards in the future, and it makes complete sense to. I mean, most fathers get to see their kids in the evenings and weekends only due to work/school. We hope and plan to homeschool so if my husband was home he would be a direct and constant influence on their lives. Surely having Dad be a part of the day, at least in the after school onwards part is how nature intended?
    Spring is some time off here yet. Our last frost date is officially the first week in November although we saw frosts in December last year. Still, ít's close enough here now that it's time to plant seeds to get them ready for planting. Isn't the first touch of Spring just the most wonderful thing in the garden?! :)

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    1. Hi Jessie,
      I've been searching for that book secondhand, think I might have to buy it for myself for Christmas :) It sounds like a fantastic book. How's Anna going now?
      Homeschooling is something we thought long and hard about too (and I still do when I am frustrated with the school!) but we opted to send them to the local primary school. They both love it, and it's a nice little school so by and large I'm happy. A few things bother me, but I think a few things would bother me about homeschooling, there's no perfect solution. But I will be watching your journey with great interest, hope it goes well!!!

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  2. Little Elsie looks like a sweetie. You must be looking forward to that fresh milk.
    x

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    1. We actually milked my friend's goat who has just kidded - she is a pure Saanen - and not only was it a lot easier than I thought it would be, but it tasted great!! We will hopefully be able to replace all our shop bought dairy with the milk she brings, and the cheese I make with it. x

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  3. Love this! So excited for you guys and all the developments, great to be able to keep an eye on it :) Love to you all xx

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  4. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! Heather.vonstjames(at)gmail.com Thanks!!

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