Thursday 21 March 2019

Milking Coal

Our small black nanny, Coal, is two years old but this year she was pregnant for the first time. As she rejected her babies, we are hand raising them. We also started milking her on the day she gave birth to ensure the babies had a supply of their mother's milk. Milking her started off as a two person job but she is gradually getting used to it and yesterday I milked her alone for the first time.

We have now stopped feeding the babies Coal's milk and have started using it ourselves. The babies are being fed on commercially produced lambs' milk. Coal's milk output is gradually rising. She is quite a small animal so we are not expecting her to produce a milk lake. When we first milked her, we got about a quarter of a litre. Yesterday we got over half a litre. She will continue to increase production in the weeks ahead.

Cheese making activities are on the horizon.

Reintroducing the kids to the flock

We kept the baby goats at our house for a couple of days to make sure the one that was ill was fully recovered. When she was back in good health, we took both back to the goat paddock to be with the others. It is important that they are with the other animals in their early days so that they can build up a natural resistance to any illnesses and diseases naturally occurring in the local environment. Both very quickly fitted in well with the flock.

Taking the kids to the vet

Two days after the baby goats were born, I was concerned about the health of one of them. So we took both to the vet. The black nanny had the runs and was running a temperature so she was given antibiotics and some electrolytes. I'm pleased to report that she recovered quickly and is now in fine health.

What to do when a nanny rejects her babies

Coal, one of our nannies, had two babies recently. The good news is that the babies are both nannies. And to add to the good news, both are in excellent health. The bad news is that they were both rejected by Coal after they were born. So we have had to hand raise them. It also forced us to milk Coal straight away as the babies need the milk of the mother immediately for the anti-bodies it contains. Without this milk, they are much more vulnerable to illness.

The video shows how we dealt with the birth and the first day of being surrogate mother.

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Goat feast

Michael, one of the allotment holes on the Whinnies, recently cut back his overgrown privet hedge. The result was a feast for the goats! Privet is one of the few bits of greenery available to feed to the goats during the winter.

Tuesday 5 March 2019

Just born

baby goats Mar 19 (1)

Coal, our small, black nanny, has just had 2 babies, both girls.

baby goats Mar 19 (3)

Sunday 3 March 2019

Blackberry gin

blackberry gin Mar 19

Other than saying "drink responsibly", I have no further words to describe this blackberry gin I sampled last night, which I first made in September last year.

Friday 1 March 2019

Bean soup

bean soup Feb 19

I did a search through of the contents of one of our freezers and found a 5 year old bag of broad beans and a 4 year old bag of runner beans. They made a rather pleasant soup.