Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Meet Huckleberry

Huckleberry is the newest member of the Iron Oak Family. We had doubts as to whether any of our does were pregnant this year. Our buckling, Timber was only five months old last fall and hardly displayed anything even remotely resembling a rut. We were sure he was simply too young to get the job done and when the tentative "due date" for the girls came and went without signs of pregnancy, we thought we would have a kidless spring.

Then about a month ago Eleanor, our smallest doe started making udders. We were shocked! Shortly after that we felt little Huckleberry kicking in his mother's womb and we were both excited that we could expect a new baby this spring.

Eleanor cleaning little Huck
Eleanor made her udders early for a first fresher. It lead us to believe that she was further along than she really was. We introduced Timber to our girls on Halloween, October 31st of last fall so her earliest "due date was approximately March 25th.

Huckleberry's daddy Timber
Huckleberry was born on May 14th around 10:30 at night. Eleanor's pin bones had been gone for about 36 hours so we knew he was coming soon. We checked her about every 2 hours that day and at 10:30 he had appeared. We completely missed the delivery!

Keeping an eye on him while we tie his umbilical chord and give him some vitamins
Eleanor is a wonderful mother. She is nursing and watching over her little one. Which is a treat for us because our does have a history of abandoning their kids. Eleanor's mother Nan, rejected her so we didn't know what to expect.

He is favoring one teat over the other so we've been keeping an eye on that. I had to milk out her one side the other night because she was engorged. I think the udder fills too full and the teat gets too large for his liking. Once she was "deflated" a bit he went for both.

We are enjoying every minute with our new little one. And Eleanor seems to be a happy and caring mother.
Abigail trying to get through the gate to her sister.

The one goat who's not thrilled with all this baby stuff is Abigail, Eleanor's sister. Eleanor and Abigail are usually two peas-in-a-pod. She threw a fit when we separated her from her sister in her late pregnancy. We tried putting them together but she's being too rough with Huckleberry.

Each day we let Abigail visit with her sister while they graze and we watch over Huckleberry for a while. We'll continue this until he's a bit bigger and can hold his own with his Aunt Abigail.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Package Bees, A Gentler Way to Install KBB

Check out my latest Keeping Backyard Bees post to learn abut a gentler way to install a package of bees into a new hive. 

Package Bees, A Gentler Way to Install

Monday, May 18, 2015


Bee photos from the week!

New hive ready for a paint job

Some mason bees took up residence in our old, empty hive

Rogue comb building

Hanging up our bated swarm box hoping to catch a hive.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dutch Village

While we were at the Tulip Time Festival we also visited Dutch Village where we learned about traditional Dutch culture like how they carve wooden shoes. We also watched a cheesemaking demonstration and sampled a 3 year old Gouda, which we promptly bought. We saw traditional Dutch dancing and costume. We saw how they make Delft pottery, carved candles and saw some antique tulip planting and harvesting equipment. For lunch we tasted real "pigs-in-a-blanket" with German sausage wrapped in puffed pastry and Dutch Apple Pie. We finished the day on Lake Michigan. We found a restaurant right on the water where we had an organic cheese platter, with an onion Cheddar, Dill Havarti and Sharp Cheddar, sausage, grapes and jalapeno jam. We also ordered a platter of Mussels in a white wine broth and goat cheese bruschetta. Our plan was to watch the sunset but there was a storm coming in and the fog was thick. We had a wonderful time!!!

Traditional wooden shoe carving

A circle of sizes to see what fits

Cheese press

Tulip bulb harvester

Delft pottery

Pottery molds

Lake Michigan