Sunday, February 27, 2011

Meet the new addition

We have found our farm dog!

He's a 10wk old border collie/husky mix and arrived early this morning. I wouldn't want a purebred of either breed, and a mixture has the potential to be amazing (collie energy & work ethic mixed with husky winter-hardiness & strength) or a Frankenstein-type monster.

After a nervous thirty minutes on arrival he has already walked and ran with me on the barn rounds, took two loads of garbage to the street and stuck within inches of my feet. He seems healthy, happy, and so far has a great temperament. I've got high hopes for this little fella, and now I need to decide on a name. He's going to be 'my' dog, so the responsibility falls on me. Without revealing my geek-side too much, the name Strider keeps working it's way around my head.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Milking goats

Not as easy as it sounds.

And one of our biggest challenges.  It seems like this staple food in our society, milk, is so taken for granted that we have no idea where it comes from.  I bet the majority of people don't even know that for an animal to produce milk, they first need to have a baby.  And to make babies, they need a male to mate with them.

In our attempt to be self-sufficient, we have acquired two does and two bucks.  If one of them dies, there will always be another one to do the job until baby goats come along to replace them.

We mated our does last fall with Chocolate, the oldest buck.  Gestation lasted five months and the babies were born a little over 2 weeks ago.  It is now time to milk them.

the herd with Tristan: the does in the middle, Chocolate on the right

We inspire our way of working with goats largely on Fiasco Farm.  They have a very well put together website and they have experience with goats.  They suggest to start milking when the baby goats get to 2 weeks of age.  We first have to separate the kids from the moms at night to make sure we have milk in the morning.

Our first attempts were horrible since the babies and the moms went into a frenzy once separated and the babies were locked into a pen (along with the hay feeder, that didn't help!).  An online friend proposed to leave the babies inside the pen with the moms but to put them inside a large crate.  Which we did!  Which brought peace and quiet to the barn once more!

Our first 2 attempts with morning milking were pretty pathetic.  First morning: nothing.  Second morning: less than a quarter of a cup of milk (I disappointingly gave it to the chickens).  The third morning was a bit more successful, with about half a cup of milk as a result.  It was less stressful and the milker and the milkees seemed to be getting used to the routine.

about half a cup of fresh goat milk

All in the family had a taste of the milk and were all surprised to agree that it didn't taste any different from the store bought cow's milk.  Apart from the fact that it was a bit creamier.  Gary and I had some in our coffee.  Let's hope tomorrow will bring a bit more!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Farm dog?

For the last couple of weeks I have toyed with the idea of a farm dog. I can spend weeks mulling over an idea over before deciding if it's a good one or not, and so far the farm dog is holding up pretty well.

I am outdoors for hours every day. I like the idea of a dog who would follow me into the forest, guard the livestock, sleep in the goat pasture at night, and give me an added measure of security on the farm. I think I have the time and patience to train a companion well, but it's still not a definite decision yet.

It's a shame that my call to the local SPCA was so disappointing. I don't expect them to give the dogs away for free and I fully expected to cover the costs of feed/care/medication etc. But when the lady at the SPCA told me that each female costs 'six-twenty' I thought it was ridiculously low, especially considering they have a 14wk old Shepherd/lab pup that would be ideal for me. Sadly I was right. It was not $6.20 but six hundred and twenty dollars for a pup from the SPCA. I'm shocked that anyone has ever bought a dog from them.

At least now I know I certainly wont be getting one from the SPCA.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So you want to be self-sufficient

The first thing you have to decide is... how far do you want to take it?

Is food self-sufficiency enough or does all-the-way-off-grid I-don't-want-to-see-another-Goddamn-person-ever-again sound better to you? What are your goals and where do you draw the line? Do you want to collect and filter rain-water instead of turning on the faucet or is that too much trouble? How about installing solar panels to avoid relying on the power company to ensure you have electricity? We haven't even started in on the taboo subjects such as using a composting toilet that will eventually help you to grow your own food.

Personally, I don't want to ever have to try to do it all. We're not there now and I don't think we ever will be. I think it would be a miserable existence to try and cover every single need and want yourself. We're social animals at heart and I would make a bloody awful hermit. Right now I'm happily failing to turn rabbit furs into mitten-liners. And I'll happily try to make soap from animal fat, wood ash and rainwater. It sounds like a fun skill to learn. Mart is getting pretty darned good at sewing and seems to enjoy it. But the thought of trying to do everything by ourselves... I don't even want to think about it. I would love it if bartering could return. Trading time, skills or produce with neighbors sounds like a great thing to try and bring back from those good ole days.

But it is a good idea to know how to cover the basics for yourself and I'm feeling pretty confident about that. Food, water, shelter, heating/cooling, entertainment. Lose any one of those and your life becomes miserable in a hurry. And yet most of us rely on people and corporations that we do not know, nor trust, to provide it for us.

For example, we have a rooster that I want to see on my dinner plate instead of letting him reigning over another day of terror in the barn. Munching on his juicy breast would be a little slice of heaven compared to another day of coop door stand-offs and the constant risk of a lightening-swift strike to my calves. But without him we'll never get chicks. The current batch of hens will get old and die. So long fresh eggs. Bye-bye future roast chickens. If you want to replace those old hens with new chicks without outside input, well, you need a rooster and all that that entails. Sure you could buy more chicks every couple of years from the feed store, but that's not really being self-sufficient, is it? And how are you going to feed the chicks if they're not raised by a momma hen, are you going to buy chick-mash too? Those are just a couple of examples of the hundreds of decisions you need to make on a daily basis, and if you're not careful you unconsciously fall back on the idea that someone else will take care of it.

It is certainly easier to put all of your responsibilities on someone else. Installing that rain-water catchment system takes time, research, sweat and money. Not to mention it can look bloody ugly if you don't care about the aesthetics. Digging a well or hauling buckets from the river is even tougher. Yet relying on either the power company to keep your well-pump running, or the water company to keep their system in working order means you can forget all about it. You give them full control over your access to clean water, which sounds nothing short of crazy to me.

So, you want to be self-sufficient do ya? How far do you want to take it?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's quiet out here

A few people have told me that they are wondering whether they would enjoy this lifestyle, and a conversation on one of the forums I frequent suggested that I should talk about the day-to-day goings on around here, to give people an idea of what this lifestyle is all about.

I was working on a 'day in the life' post but it's already 2000 words and I'm only upto 8am... it needs some editing before I can post it.

So instead, I thought I would talk about the silence and solitude of country living. Some days out in the forest I can stop to take a look around the silence is so profound you have to clear your throat to make sure you haven't gone deaf. And then there is the knowledge that you can scream and nobody will come to help because, well, you're in the middle of nowhere. It can be intimidating at first and takes some getting used to. I have seen far too many horror movies to be comfortable in the forest without checking over my shoulder for the inevitable redneck axe murderer or man-eating chipmunk. I know he's not there. But I grew up on this stuff and it's not an easy fear to let go of. A twisted ankle or one of those bloody chipmunks and you may never be seen again.

Watch out for chipmunks. They're evil

It happens with morning and evening barn chores too. There are no street lights out here. With cloud cover it becomes so dark that you can barely see your hand in front of your face and on a clear night the stars cause the snow to glow and the shadows to darken. Coyotes and wolves howl. You think about the bear scat you found out on the trails. The dogs are barking at something and you don't know what is out there.

What comes out when the sun goes down?

One of the reasons JC was looking to buy a place in the country is that he wanted to be able to cook on his bbq without a neighbor poking his head over the fence and asking how his day went. Well he picked a good place, because when the closest house is a 1/4 mile away and a trip to get milk takes almost an hour, that really isn't a concern here.

This is a gift I can give to my kids while I work on my own issues. They will learn to respect nature, without fearing it. Because it gets quiet out here, real quiet. You have to be confident in your own abilities and you have to be able to enjoy your own company. Otherwise, living here will turn you into a nervous wreck.

Why I feel stupid this morning....

Or.... How to do laundry in a sustainable way when you live in a cold climate

I just couldn't choose between the two titles.

I do still own a washing machine but I don't own a dryer.  I've survived the debate with every single family member.  "No, even if you give me your dryer, I don't want it.  Yes, I have a space in my bathroom for it, and yes, I'd rather put something else in there.  The seldom used cat litter box is in there and I'm happy like this."

The reason why I feel stupid this morning ?  Because my clothes pegs have been left outside in crazy weather conditions for the past 3 days.  They are frozen together in a compact mix of ice and snow.

Another reason why I feel stupid ?  Because I forgot to start my washing first thing this morning.  If you want to be able to dry your clothes outside in -20, it has to be in the sun as much as possible.  My clothes line is attached to a big pine tree.  From 11 am onwards, my wash is hanging in the shade.

clothes in the sun, around 8:30 am (nice view isn't it ?)
But this way of doing laundry still requires energy that we don't generate ourselves.  I still use my washing machine almost daily. We bought it while I was pregnant, so it's about 5 years old.  I still hope to use it until it dies and then my dream is to have a setup like Sally's.
On the right side, you can see the plunger, upside down, resting on a wringer.  These are the actual washing tools.  No electricity involved.  Pure arm grease. We don't own any of these tools yet, but they're next in line on the wish-list.

So instead of putting a wash on, and hiring a babysitter to go to the gym, you actually get to exercise, in the comfort of your home, while saving money on electricity bills.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Over a HUNDRED views today!!!

Where are all of you guys coming from ?

Are you enjoying our blog ?  Will you come back ?

Anything special you'd like us to talk about ?

Since last night, our number of views has gone through the roof, and we have to say, it feels really nice.

Research, planning and experience

It never ends.

I don't like to complain because it doesn't change or help anything. I try to keep the mentality that it is what is it. But if I were to complain about anything, it would be our lack of previous homesteading experience.

There is so much to learn that it gets overwhelming at times, but it is what it is, and we give it our best.

Some people are raised in this lifestyle and gain knowledge and skills as they grow, though their numbers are diminishing. There are those that have entered this lifestyle gradually, mastering a skill before moving onto something new. And there are those like us that have dived right in and are sprinting to try and keep up.

Eight months and two days ago we arrived here in a jam-packed U-Haul truck having never grown or canned a vegetable, owned or cared for any livestock. The learning curve has been steep and we're nowhere near fully self-sufficient yet. It is the goal, and we're getting closer with each passing day. And I even believe that if we were cut off from the rest of the world tomorrow, we could probably make a good go at it. Probably. And 'probably' isn't really a word to inspire confidence, is it?

Can you give apples to goats or pear to rabbits? How do you milk a goat? When the roof of the barn is finally leaking so much that it may as well be open air, how do we build a chicken coop/rabbit tractor/goat pen? Are there any guidelines to handling compost? What type of wood makes good firewood and how long does it take to dry? Is there a correct technique to use and sharpen an axe or saw and how should you care for your tools? How do you prune an apple tree/tan a rabbit skin/butcher a goat/can meat/collect and filter rainwater...

You get the idea. We know most of the answers to the above questions, but every single day has us flicking through homesteading books or coming online to research something new. We're becoming jack-of-all-trades and over time we may even master a few of them.

Mart has taken on the task of ensuring the home runs smoothly. Anything that needs doing around the house... ask Mart. On top of that she is raising the kids and on top of that she's also taken on the immense job of learning as much as possible about gardening. When and what to plant, when to harvest, how to care for the plants, seed saving, canning... she says her mind is working overtime already, that trying to research or plan the larger, non day-to-day jobs is impossible. That's where we differ. I simply can't turn my mind off. I am constantly wondering about how to smoke meat, how to build a storage shed from harvested pine logs and a thousand other homesteading skills that used to be common knowledge for people living this kind of lifestyle.

We do have a lot of books. Books like The Self-Sufficient Life and How To Live It and Back To Basics have helped us greatly. But if the last eight months have taught us anything it is that reading how to do something and actually being able to do it are very, very different things. First-hand practical knowledge is key. So I would like to make a little offer here. If anyone out there would like to come and either teach us something, or learn from us, please get in touch. The trading of work, time, produce and skills is something that we have sadly lost, and it's yet another one of those old-timer things that I would love to bring back.

It is very, very hard to transition to this lifestyle right now. It will only get harder over time as the knowledge fades and money becomes tighter. But we are absolute proof that with a big chunk of luck and a lot of hardwork, anyone can do this if they want to. Because something that I can say about this lifestyle with authority is... it feels right. It feels true. This is a good way to live, raise a family, and raise kids, and I know that because it simply feels right.

I'm sorry if it sounded like I complained at all, it wasn't my intention, because for the very few downsides that I can see regarding what we are trying to do, I wouldn't have it any other way. Except for a little more experience.

A day in the life of the farmer's wife

Potentially a very boring post but let's wait and see...

First of all let's take a minute to talk about the viewing on this blog going through the roof.  Well...compared to our regular views.  Don't know what happened there but someone somewhere must be talking about us.  And if we generate interest in other people then our friends and family, then it's just great !

So to all the newcomers, welcome to our Blog!  And now, back to my post about my every day chores.

First thing that happens: husband wakes up with the alarm clock at 6:15 and I stay in bed a bit more...
He's the one that goes out to feed the livestock so he needs his early dose of coffee.

We have 4 year old twins.  By 7 o'clock, one of them is getting dressed in winter attire to go to the barn with my husband.  The other one stays home with me to prepare breakfast.  They switch every day...

The rest of the day, well...try to imagine a middle class housewife from the 50's.  It looks a bit like that.  We don't own a dryer or a dishwasher.  So I have to manage the dishes, I have to get fully dressed to hang the clothes outside on a clear day.  I bake bread, stay around home with the kids.  I prepare meals from scratch, I manage the chicken food...  Every morning, we try to bring to the chickens a fair amount of leftovers form our kitchen.  Same with the rabbits.  I like for them to have something else than pellets from the feed store.  So I make sure they get apple peels, carrot peels, stuff like that.

So basically, I stay in my pyjamas until I feel like getting properly dressed.  Some days I have to go to the city with my uncle.  He's quadriplegic and he has frequent appointments in the city.  So part of the work we have to do for him to pay the rent involves driving him around.  I also bring him dinner every day.  At the same time, I check his blood sugar, give him insulin, etc.  So while I'm out around dinner time, I visit the livestock and make sure everybody is in for the night and everybody has dinner.  Every evening, I go back around 7:30 and help my uncle into bed.  I'm back home at 8:30.

The routine changes constantly.  With the seasons, with our kids getting older...  They've started learning to read and write, so I have to make time for teaching them those things.  In the summer, I have the garden to manage and we have loads of projects that Gary and I are working on around the land.  But right now, while Gary is out hauling wood, chopping wood, shoveling snow, I mostly manage the house chores and "work" for my uncle.

I must be forgetting loads of things but let's leave it there for now.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Heading for home...

My firewood set up

I just posted this over on Sustainable Country and I thought it was worth sharing here.

So, here's my set-up.

From left to right: Gransfors Bruks American felling axe, Iltis Oxhead 6lb splitting axe, Bahco Laplander folding saw, Woodman's Pal, and a 30' cheapo Bowsaw up top

And my sled

 Not in the photo: Garden cart, 24' cheapo bowsaw with replacement blades for both bowsaws, 24' bucksaw with spare blades that breaks down to fit it it's own handle (will be kept in the BOB for now), spare axe handles, a growing collection of sharpening stones and mill files and a variety of old axe heads, saws and machetes that I hope I'll never need.

I'm approaching everything that I buy as though I'll never be able to find a replacement and it will have to last my lifetime as well as my kids. I'm trying to buy quality tools that I can learn how to use and care for properly. It is intimidating but these tools are just as important as a shovel and fork up here.

So far the whole set-up (garden cart excluded as it's for much more than just firewood though it will haul a crap-load of wood for me) has set me back more than $500. I probably could have found it cheaper but I was in a bit of a rush to acquire everything in a short amount of time.

Obviously I don't try to carry it all on each trip. Usually I'll take the GB and Woodman's Pal on a trip to fell the tree and clear a trail, then return with the bowsaw to buck the logs. The Bahco is for stripping branches from the logs and clearing any trails that the Woodman's Pal would struggle with, as well as undercutting any logs that need it when the bowsaw can't get underneath.

My splitting station is right in the yard and close to the woodpile so I don't need to haul the Iltis out on the trails, which is nice.

Woodpile pics
It's from the summer so it's bigger than that now but I'm not trudging over there for a photo now! This is a row of pine at the back, the beginnings of birch at the front. It's probably for firepits though I'm hoping to sell it to any campers we might get this summer. I need to move the birch forward to the edge of the deck to give it a bit more sun and air. That is, if I can keep the goats from knocking it over.

This is the other goat deck. The stack is birch only, 16" deep, 11' long and will level out at 5' high.

Half a cord fits under our deck too.

As soon as I can see bare, unfrozen grass I'm planning on setting up a woodpile across the driveway from our home running the whole length of the house. I'm thinking of setting a series of concrete blocks 6ft apart with 7ft T-posts between, then stack on top. Use a couple of vertical T-posts at the ends.

I'm still learning.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dreaming of raspberries

Hauling a sled-load of fire-wood out of the forest yesterday I had my first thoughts of summer.
Raspberries. Blackberries. We have about 2-3km of berry-lined trails. Sit down on the bridge with a fishing rod and a bucket of berries. Raw carrots straight from the garden. Birds singing. Bare feet walking slowly in soft grass.

It's coming.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


We finally decided to name the kids after places we have visited, so without further ado, I give you...

The twin bucklings: Machu and Picchu!



Samara (the doeling)

Gimpy (we have never visited a place called gimpy, but we ran out of cool place names and, well, he was born with gimpy legs soooooooo...)

The gang

The hard life of a mouse hunter

Shadow having a day off

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I was right

One more buckling and a little doeling, making it 3/1 in favor of the bucks.

Right, I need a coffee...

Ready to pop

I have a feeling Abbey is getting ready to kid in the next 24 hours. She is lying down quite a bit and we have the first visible signs of goo, while she munches hay obliviously. Fingers crossed this goes as smoothly as Lydia's kidding...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Barn tour...

This was supposed to be a quick 30 second video that I would probably only post on Facebook, that's why I didn't care that I was using our cheap digital camera to film it*.

Well, it turned out a bit longer than that, those goat kids are just too damn cute! Click on the Youtube logo to watch it in Youtube with a bigger window.

*That's my way of excusing the poor video quality...

Livestock roundup

I'm feeling pretty tired and can't be bothered writing a full post, so a photo blog post will have to do. Click on each picture to open up a larger version, otherwise the captions may not make sense...

Nest-building in action... 3-4 days to go!
I cleaned the colony down to the bare concrete and rebedded once we were back to just the does. That hunk of hay between the cage and the tunnel is a slice of round bale, frozen into a half-tunnel. They love running through

This was the best I could get. All nesting boxes in use with a line forming for the runaway favorite... green milk crate!
Who wants to play 'spot the kids'? That's Abbey btw, she's due to pop any day now...
Until we finalize names I'm still using goo-ball. This is Goo-ball 1

And Goo-ball 2
Like father like sons apparently... this is how Ronin and Chocolate spend their evenings

Please excuse the dirty lens (and the dirty floor) but this is how I feed grain in the mornings. They choose to sleep in those stalls despite having an all-access pass in the barn which explains the poop. I sweep up as soon as they finish...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

We need names!

Both kids made it through their first night, which turned out to be -24C in an unheated, badly insulated barn. And they look great!

Lydia still looks a little confused about the whole 'teat-sucking' issue, but she's letting them drink and I think she'll make a great mom.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lydia's kidding: the full story

Mart left early this morning to take JC into town and would be gone for most of the day, leaving me with the kids and the farm. Usually we go into 'maintenance mode' and do the minimum amount of farm/housework to ensure I spend enough time with our kids.

Unfortunately today's 2-4cms turned into 5-10cms of sideways snow, making outdoor conditions pretty ugly. It's times like this our Motorola radios really come in handy. I can leave one at home and the kids have been taught how to use them. One press of a button and I come running. Yes Emilie did have me sprinting home once after pressing the emergency button only to inform me that she couldn't find her black horse that had "dispeared nowhere".

Anyway, maintenance mode means I head out of the house once every hour or so for around 5 minutes and I'm never more than 500 yards from home. I can cover that distance pretty quickly despite four layers of clothing so it is a very safe arrangement.

I know this part of the story will be laughed at immediately, but the livestock had been acting strange all day long. The horses, who usually stand at their bales of hay all the livelong day, were at the barn doors neighing at me through the windows. I checked their feed and water, no-one looked injured. Something was... off. The goats were acting strange too, much noisier than usual. I tried to tell myself that perhaps they could smell a wolf or bear nearby. Yeah right.

It was the noon-time visit that got my adrenaline pumping. We'd finished lunch and the kids were just sitting down to watch "Narnia 1" for a bit of down time. I headed over to the barn and Abbey was squealing like a stuck pig. I couldn't see anything wrong with her at all but Lydia wasn't around... and then I saw her legs in their stall. She was lying down. I was hoping it was kidding and not a broken leg. The hooves sticking out of her back end answered that one.

Everything that I have read. All of my books. Printouts. Youtube videos. It all blurred into one. I could remember random details but not specifics. I should grab a towel... maybe she needs help getting it out now... what position should the kid hooves be in again... I'm sure we have some surgical gloves around here somewhere... my God she's noisy.

Next thing I know I'm kneeling beside her guiding the rest of the kid out. On an episode of Victorian Farm they had rubbed their lambs 'vigorously' with straw to stimulate them. Never heard of that with goats before but I figured what the hell, it was covered in gunk anyway so maybe it would be a twofer and I could clean some gunk, stimulate the kid, everyone's a winner.

Lydia was up straight away and licking the gooball's back, thighs, ass, legs, everything but the gunk-covered head, and once again I couldn't recall the definite steps I have read about so many times, so I started to pull the gunk from the kids face with my fingers, opening it's mouth and pulling the snot-like goo clear. It reminded me of Alien. In a good way.

Once the mouth and nose were cleared the kid could breathe and bleat easily. And bleat it did. The noise is not as cute as the appearance, sadly. Think of a very small, yet very real... foghorn. I took this opportunity to run to the front of the barn, grab my 'kidding bag' full of towels, rags and a box of surgical gloves. We had kept another area of the barn off limits with straw laid out ready for kidding, so I carried the kid and nudged Lydia over to the new area. Meanwhile Abbey is not amused and while I tried to say hi to her every now and again and check she wasn't goo-ing up too, she was largely ignored.

Between Lydia and I we cleaned the kid up, and watched as it got to it's knees. Then lay down. Then knees. Down. Knees. Front feet. Down. Kneesfrontfeetbackfeet. Down. Eventually it was waddling around like a good drunk should while Lydia tried to peel it's fur off with her tongue.

If you're getting bored by now, I'm very sorry but this is a ridiculously exciting thing for me and we're only halfway done. Ish. Maybe a third. I'll just keep going, shall I?

After a while of this, my jaw hurting from smiling so much, I sprint back home, make sure the kids are comfortably situated in their movie-induced coma, then sprint back to the barn again. By which time a fresh goo-ball is clearly trying to squeeze it's way past the still dangling placenta. Kid numero dos is on it's way!

I'm much more confident about this one but Lydia is standing on concrete whilst I would prefer she were lying on hay. Abbey sorted that one for me by ramming the gate, freaking Lydia out and sending her leaping onto the hay covered step while some kind of water-bomb seemed to erupt from her back end to splash on the floor I have no idea what that was about so I think I'll just ignore that bit. I'm so freaking happy she didn't give one big-ass push and send the kid out mid-air. But she didn't, and although it was clear that a kid was coming, it's orangey goo-ball was so thick that it would have been hard to tell which position it lay in, even if I could have remembered what I good position looked like.

So goo-ball two is moving much slower than goo-ball one seemed to and Lydia is standing, bleating louder than previously... it was time to help. I realize now that I did it unconsciously but I gently pulled the goo-ball out each time Lydia gave a little push and slowly, together, it came flopping out onto the hay with twice as much gunk as kid 1.

Momma seemed to ignore the new kid for a while and went straight back to cleaning her firstborn, so I stepped in again with rags and hay to clean the kid up, starting at the face and working down the body.

Sprint back home, check on the kids, sprint to the barn.

And that's about it. Placentas were cleaned up (by me). Eventually momma realized she had two kids meaning double the licking action, and boy did she go to it with enthusiasm! Both little ones have had a little milk. Every one seems healthy so far and Lydia (the one we usually call mega-alpha-bitch) seems to be turning into a great mother. I feel much more confident about goat kidding in the future. And in two weeks time, we can start to milk Lydia and say 'screw you' to store bought milk.

*In all of the excitement, when asked what sexes the kids were all I could say was 'huh?'. Mart has since confirmed that she thinks we have one of each. It's pretty dark in the back of the barn right now so confirmation can wait until tomorrow.

The mixture of fear and excitement have left me exhausted. I need a beer...

Goat kids!

Suffice to say I'm thrilled, and bloody exhausted! I was involved in the whole process which was exhilarating.

More to come over the next couple of days...