Our menagerie has increased by 2 and in the nick of time. We have baby goats. Snowy (named after Tintin’s dog) is 5 days old and Sweetie (who is too sweet for words) is 2 days old.
We were beginning to think that they boys weren’t going to be able to partake in calf club at school this year as the usual lambs were nigh on impossible to find this season and were really expensive to buy. Besides we didn’t want to keep them – just love them, teach them a couple of tricks, wean them, parade them about at school and hopefully win a ribbon and then give them back to the farmer who knows how do the real farming thing.
The date for handing in the registration forms was looming and there wasn’t a lamb or animal in sight. Some of the local schools have increasing numbers of “townies” attending and so it isn’t possible for all kids to participate and have opened the day up to domestic animals and pets. A friend was telling me yesterday of a kid that took along a water snail – the kind that lives on the side of a gold fish tank! Our school is still proudly rural and calves, lambs and goats are being lovingly raised by enthusiastic kids and weary parents all across the community as we speak.
As the close off date got closer and closer the boys were beginning to realise they were going to miss out, when a wonderful friend went out of her way to source some goats for us. As word spread – it turned out it wasn’t just us she helped out and has managed to find homes for at least a couple of dozen! That’s a couple of dozen pairs of happy kids matched up!!
So these cute little additions have spent the afternoon being lavished with cuddles and settling into their new home in hay strewn chicken coop! At this stage they are about the same size as the chickens! I’m not entirely sure the chickens were that impressed with their new roommates but it’s warm in there and fully fenced!
Spring must be well and truly in the air, as these aren’t the only imminent arrivals at our place. Brandy the escape artist chicken has settled down just outside the coop with a clutch of about 15 eggs which should hatch in about two and a half weeks. It’s not the first time she has tried to have a secret uneaten family, but so far they only offspring she has managed to raise is a young chap that unfortunately needs to “fly the coop.” He’s a bit of a handful for his family – challenging his father’s authority and terrorising his poor aunts – luckily mum is off keeping the eggs warm or who knows what would happen!
I also have babies in the greenhouse with tomatoes, melons and Sweet Williams pushing through the soil. It’s not a 100% strike rate yet – but it’s still early days and still very exciting. I must get onto planting the next round of seeds so everyone is at the optimum conditions when they go into the patch on that magic Labour weekend in at the end of October.
Come again soon – spring is in the air and life is good.
Sarah the Gardener : o )