Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mossy walnuts

"Mossy Walnuts" 15" x 22"

I wish I had a more efficient way to photograph my own paintings. I do have photographer friends who are willing to help, but the logistics are hard for me. This painting was finished on my vacation, in between kiddings :)  This photo gives some good detail but does not give justice to the true color.  I used a LOT of prismacolor pencil in this, which makes it more challenging to photograph. It's companion painting is almost finished too:) I may not be able to let go of this one.

Goat update:
All does and kids seem to be doing fine! I had a wicked cold/flu last week which prevented the disbudding adventure I had planned. So, although our intentions were good, the kids from this year will have horns :/

All is well at FiddleSong Farm....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

...the bad with the good...

Buck ~ FiddleSong Pilgrim

Buck ~ FiddleSong Stuck in Reverse

So after our traumatic delivery with Honey, I expected Whimsy's kidding to be a walk in the park. OMG. BOTH of these bucklings came out backwards! I had to pull so hard on Pilgrim that I was sure all his little bones were broken. Then, if that wasn't hard enough, here comes Stuck in Reverse.  He was trying to come out tail first!! Now, Whimsy is my smallest doe who had no trouble delivering her first batch of kids. But this time I literally had to reach inside her poor little rear entry area, push that big kid back inside, find the legs and pull them up and out.  THEN my trusty side kick Rick, who I would not be able to survive without, had to pull that big kid out the rest of the way. The kids are both fine and Whimsy is doing fine, too.

That was Monday. 

Saturday, I was hearing my doe Zipporah crying out in the back hill area. I thought she sounded like she was in season. So I went out there to check on her, and guess what?  SHE is pregnant!  Huh?  Friday, she didn't have anything in her udder. She showed NO signs of pregancy at all.  And actually I was disappointed about that because she has extra nice kids. So I look her over and decide, well the timing is right on if she did take when I bred her. So I brought her in and gave her a nice clean area inside the barn, just in case. She seemed to be going along fine, and I was trying to stay away as long as possible.  (She tries to sneak her kids out without anyone knowing.) OK, I decide, Zip has freshened three times, this should be easy.  WRONG AGAIN.  Zip labored all night without success and died this morning. As hard as I tried, I could not help her. I am so sad.

...sometimes life on a farm is very hard....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Welcome little one...

Meet "FiddleSong Bond"

Little Bond was born early Friday morning, April 6. Here is her mother Honey's story:

Honey was on the for sale list last summer. 
I had a few calls, but nobody was interested in a doe with horns. Honey is a bully, which means she is a doe with more goat status than the others~high on the "butting order." AND she has some wicked sharp horns. In her defense, she never offered to butt me or Rick, just the other goats. I didn't want her. When Honey came into season in the fall, I had my buck Fiddler breed her, thinking maybe I could sell her as a bred doe, or as a fresh doe after kidding. But I was really busy, and didn't get around to listing her for sale again.
As Honey's kidding date grew nearer, she started developing a nice udder. I thought she should kid around April 15th, so imagine how surprised I was when Rick rushed in early Friday saying "You have babies in the barn!"  AHHHH! 
Little Bond was the first kid born and the largest. She was wet, but looked alert, so I turned my attention to Honey.  Honey must have worked a long time to have her first kid, because her second kid, a buckling, was born dead. I HATE to lose a kid! Honey started pushing again, and I watched as she delivered a little brown doe.  The poor little thing was barely alive, and although I rubbed her and worked to get her going, I think she had breathed fluid. She never gained any strength and died in about an hour.

The hardest lesson to learn on the farm: sometimes little ones aren't supposed to live.
Mother Nature chooses. 

I was so sad. I was feeling like a total failure. Why was I doing this? Maybe I would not breed any more does. Maybe I would sell them all except a couple of favorites.
 Then the unexpected happened. As I sat in the fresh, clean straw, rubbing the tiny doeling Bond dry, Honey stood near me, her sharp horns six inches from my face. She talked to and licked her baby, and gazed up into my eyes as if to say,
"Isn't she just gorgeous, Ma?" 

Honey turns out to be an exceptional doe. She is an attentive and loving mother, she is trusting and easy to handle.  She stands like a statue when milked.  I couldn't ask for more.

"Honey milk" at FiddleSong Farm....all is well :)