With the end of summer comes stocking up for winter. So here are a few pics of Vince and Mikey raking hay. This is their most favorite job on the farm…getting to play with tractors. The boys and their toys!
We always stock the barn with as much hay as possible. The entire top floor of our barn is filled to the rafters with square bales of hay. Then we round bale the rest of our fields. We have found over the past couple of years that when you think you have enough hay for a year, double it, then you are ready for winter. This leave extra hay for extremely cold nights and the few extra goats I always seem to purchase (even though I say I am not buying anymore). And yes, I feed my girls all the hay they want to eat when it is cold and they are pregnant. And yes, I know that I don’t have to but no one will ever say that my guys and gals aren’t well fed.
Speaking of buying goats, I just purchased a new Nubian yearling. She is due to kid in September with Snubians (Nubian/Saanen cross). So how did I end up with a new lady?
This past weekend I went “home” to Lancaster County for a family wedding. My niece just got married (this also made me realize I am getting old). Anyway, Todd Biddle of Royal Colors Saanens allowed me to barrow a Saanen buck from him for the breeding season. Todd’s herd is in Lancaster County, so I figured I would pick up the buck on my way back home from the wedding. (yes, only I would go to a wedding and come back home with a buck in full rut.)
So while at Todd’s, I take a look at his one token Nubian doe. She is a yearling, bred for September to one of his Saanen bucks, and would be great to take to the Pa Farm Show since she will be in milk. Katie and I take a look at her, fall in love, and load her into the back of the truck. Katie now has a beautiful milking yearling to take to the Pa Farm Show in January and I will have a doe in milk out of season to keep the soap business running and us with fresh milk over the winter.
On another note, Vince and I are taking an Artificial Insemination class next month. He recently just purchased me a semen tank, and AI kit, and several straws of semen as well. This is my anniversary gift. Something is seriously wrong when your husband buys you goat semen for your 14th wedding anniversary and you are happy about it. It is either weird or kinky…or maybe a little of both.
Clover, my best doe, will be AI’dat our class with Cream of Kansas’ Jambalaya semen that Vince purchased. I also have semen from Cream of Kansas’ BN Tumba, Kastdemur Royal Scoundrel, and Mosaic’s Eu Gene. I am like a kid in a candy store with this new breeding option. It just opens up so many doors and options to you. It allows you to breed to wonderful bucks without having to feed them, house them, and care for them. And lets face it, I can buy $100 of semen instead of paying $1,500 for the buck. Plus, I can use a buck on a doe even though he has passed away.
On another note, my long time girlfriend Bonnie is coming for a visit! This is the ultimate big city girl. We became friends while working together when I lived in Philadelphia. She was born, raised, and has lived her entire life in the City of Brotherly Love. I remember when she came to my wedding, all she kept saying was how “way out in the country you are” and “I stopped and took pictures of real live cows”. I have been trying to get her out of the city for years…18 years anyway. Bonnie took me to the hospital when I went into labor with Joey. I remember her coming to the house to drive me there. She rubbed my leg and I gave her a mean glare and said “don’t touch me”! She said she knew right then and there, this was the real thing. Anyway, I am so excited to spend some time with my old friend and to show the city girl what farm life is like. I’ll have to get pictures of her milking a goat!
So things are good…The barn is filled with hay, Katie has a new Nubian doe who I can’t wait to see her show, I have a new Saada buck and new Royal Colors buck to breed some of my girls to, I’m learning Artificial Insemination, and a blast from the past friend is coming for a visit.