Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Introducing: Cashew, the newest baby goat

I always feel like I'm jinxing something by naming a farm animal, but yesterday morning we were blessed with a newborn baby goat. Raisinet gave birth to little Cashew during the early morning of the 14th (just hours after Mother's Day!) and both mother and baby are doing fine.

5-hour-old Cashew
It's unusual for goats (especially Pygmies and Nigerian Dwarves) to give birth to only one kid, but we're glad to have her. Unfortunately, it seems that the geese scared Raisinet away from her first-time motherly duties as they cleaned Cashew off, so the mother seemed more scared of the baby than anything. We've taken to bottle-feeding the baby in the mean time, which is not exactly a bad thing because it means that the baby will get used to human contact and not be skittish around us, and it means we can milk Raisinet (if she'd let us go by her). Of course, we would have liked to let her feed from momma for the first week, but we're left with no choice now.

We've also had a new addition (or 8!) of baby bunnies at the beginning of the month. My tried-and-true female breeding rabbit had 9 (!!!) babies, but unfortunately, one of them didn't make it because a mother rabbit only has 8 teats. In that situation, it's usually better to see if they can pull through rather than trying to bottle feed it (because you already have 8, and how will you tell which one isn't getting milk from her mother?), but we're happy that this mother rabbit has consistently given us huge litters every time.

I've finally developed a system for breeding the rabbits. I alternate between two mothers each month, breeding them on the first of the month, then preparing the nest box on the 27th or so. It seems to work out well and it assures that we have a new litter every month. Now to buy more cages...

The pigs seem to finally understand that barbed wire hurts and they haven't tried to escape since last week. They're also tearing up their small paddock are quite well, although I doubt that the two of them will be able to do the whole 1/16th of an acre by the fall. They're concentrating on one corner for now.

And finally, if you haven't seen this movie yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's called "Fresh" and it's probably the best movie I've seen to date that describes the reasoning behind why I do this. One of the main people in the documentary talks about marrying helpful modern technology and old-fashioned natural methods of farming, and that's exactly what I believe in. Definitely check this movie out if you're interested in this blog.

But before I go, I leave you with a short video featuring the geese. They fascinate me.
video

3 comments:

  1. Fresh is great indeed. I do not have kids but if I did they would get the scared straight treatment of a drug center and also the joy of a trip to a modern day chicken farm. Scary stuff.

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  2. I'm happy to hear that the pigs are being nice! (And the fence doing its job!). And that baby Cashew is so cute! Kudos for feeding it yourselves!

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