Twins!

Mike read the most tell-tale sign of when a goat is due to kid is when the tendons on either side of the tail disappear. Scarlet was huge and looking so uncomfortable so we were checking her tendons daily. Really simple check just put your thumb on one side of her spine at just above the start of her tail and your first finger on the other side, there they are. In the last few days I could feel the tendons feeling thinner and more string-like until Sunday; they were gone. Mike checked. I checked. They were gone.

We moved her into the barn and blocked the boys out, then started checking on her every few hours. She should have kids within 24 hours. Mike and I took turns running out to the barn there was nothing going on at the last check before we went to bed. It was decided we should check on her during the night as well. I don’t know if I would call it luck, but my migraine medicine wore off in the middle of the night so I was up without an alarm to alert the kids.

It was a slow, dark walk to the barn. Everything was still. There was no wind, the frogs were silent. It was nice. Scarlet was a bit annoyed when I woke her with the creaking of the barn door. She had nothing going on. Which was just fine with me at that point.

The next morning Mike did the chores and came in to report she still had nothing going on. That was okay but making us a little nervous. According to our reading she should be having her kids at any time now and we were both going to be at work for the day. The cows I don’t worry as much about they do their thing without help. It’s not their first time in the pen and they know to get their babies up and eating. This is Scarlet’s first and we wanted to make sure it went well for everybody. At the same time there is nothing to do but wait and pray.

Mike left as usual. I got the kids ready and we were soon to go as well. I stopped by the barn on our way out just for one last check. It was really odd, the barnyard was quiet. All the animals were looking at the barn. I should have taken a picture because it was really weird. I opened the barn door and all I heard was a tiny goat voice otherwise silence.

Scarlet had one baby on the ground and slightly cleaned up and had a second sack hanging from her. I knew what that was. The cows have the same thing- pre baby comes a sack of clear liquid, then baby. I sent out a poorly typed text to my boss and daycare that Scarlet was having babies and I would be late.

It was my turn to make a call from the barn. I called Mike and told him what was going on, then practically hung up on him to take a video. I was just in time. Once the second one was out I got the little boy out of the car and he came in to see the new goats.

Somewhere in there I had managed to run to the house and get a couple old towels. I dried off the oldest one as best I could. A boy. That’s when Mike arrived. He got the little Miss out of the car while I cleaned off the second one. A girl.We were all excited.


I put down some fresh straw and Mike moved a heat lamp. It has been pretty cool and rainy. The little boy started to get worried he was going to miss lunch at daycare and wanted to get going (it was about 9:30). He climbed back into the car to impatiently wait.

Both kids were dry and walking with wobbly knees. Once we saw them both start to eat we closed up the barn and left them to settle in.

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Sweet Caroline’s Spring Run

“Sweet Care-wa-wine!” and Little Miss

I’ve got the baby in the high chair feeding him his second lunch when the phone rings.

“Hey, uh, can you come out here for a minute?”

It was Mike and it seems a fair amount of stories start this way on the farm. So I moved Boy 2 to his play seat so he won’t get into anything while I’m out, throw my boots on, grab some gloves and run out the door.

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Goat Poop is Not Raisins

I turned around just in time to see the Little Boy slide out of the wheel barrow, barefoot on the gravel driveway. The wheel barrow was clean according the wheel barrow standards; it hadn’t carried manure in a few months and had been used elsewhere in the meantime. His jeans would need to be removed before he goes into the house, mud dried between his fingers and dirt from ear to ear. “Thank God we are able to raise our children out here.” I thought as I turned back to the Little Miss who was sitting on the tractor. She’s all about cows, tractors and baby dolls right now. There she was clothes speckled with dried mud from the duck pen, sand in her ponytail that was already falling apart (again) and a face that was looks like she was eating dirt not too long ago.

I know it’s crazy to be thankful for dirt behind the ears but we are. Did you know that most people forget to wash behind their ears? Not at our house! Our kids are very involved with our outdoor work. It starts with the baby carrier in the stroller and once they can walk they are on our heels… or somewhere close by. They are always encouraged to help even when their helping is not so helpful. I’m already talking up how much fun it is to stack square bales on the hay wagon in July. They are so excited to be big enough to help with that! Yes!! They really do enjoy helping with any task at hand. Especially tasks that require a hose and/or water, the ones that can get really messy. The trick is to keep them busy allowing them to explore but not too much (if that’s possible).

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Tales of the Pregnant Farmer: The Gloves Are On Top

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Baby

All the due dates had past and I was thoroughly annoyed that baby was late as well as being incredibly uncomfortable. By chance the midwives were in town and said they would stop up and check on baby and I. Molly offered some herbs that were known to get labor going quickly. It didn’t take me long to decide that “yes, I would love to give them a try.” Black and blue cohash thinned down with some others. With the herbs came a strict warning that I was to let them know if anything happened because they are super potent and work quickly and I work quickly anyways as we found out with the Little Miss.  

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Tales of the Pregnant Farmer: Nesting Theory

When asked when I’m due my usual response is “sometime between now and the county fair.” This is sometimes taken as sarcasm, unfortunately I’m serious. This time around I was given four due dates depending on who I talked to. An average “safe delivery” time can be two weeks before or after the due date, which means I have/had about eight weeks of “any day now”. So the no “real” due date answer seems to shock and/or annoy the person asking when. Hmm. How about Mama? Think about how annoying it is to politely answer that for eight weeks or longer?! Not to mention the weeks of comments of “how big you’re getting!” (that’s not a compliment no matter how you try.) The only acceptable thing to say about a pregnant ladies size is “you look great!” FYI.

All that complaining aside, life doesn’t stop because of it. I still mow the lawn each week and do what I can to help with yard work, gardening and so on. It takes a lot longer to get anything done, but it does get done. In an attempt to get this baby out I thought I’d give “nesting” a try. Pretty sure I didn’t do much for nesting with the other two. I didn’t really have time, nor did I slow down as much as I have this time. I washed the baby clothes the last time I had everything dug out of the kid’s closet to put away the out grown and get the next box of hand-me-downs. The house is picked up… I wouldn’t say clean, but picked up. Wash the floors during nap and by the next snack time they’re sticky.

Nesting it is. It was worth a try anyways.

The ducks really only need enough water to dunk their heads but they make such a mess splashing and end up wasting all their drinking water doing so. I had put a rubber feed dish in the run to give them something a little more to splash in. It worked… kinda. They emptied that and the drinking water. The days are warming up considerably and if I want this year’s chicks (who live with the ducks right now) to have water the ducks needed something more again. I think.

When they were in the house we had them in a small kiddie pool. The kids loved it. It was fun but it didn’t take long for them to outgrow the space and make the house smell like a chicken coop. It was time for them to move out. After the flock was in the coop the pool went outside to be stored until the next batch of chicks would grace the kitchen.

Well, my “nesting mother duck” came out and those ducks needed a pond of sorts. I dug out the pool, hauled it to the outside run and scrubbed it out quite nicely… I’m not sure why. It stayed clean about as long as a freshly washed kitchen floor. A short piece of fence post scrap was set by the edge in case someone needed a step in and I began filling the “pond”. While I was watching my handy work fill, Mike brought over the four-wheeler and wagon so I could get the coop cleaned too. I’m not sure what he thought when he saw my project but he didn’t object at least.

Happy Ducks
Happy Ducks

“I’m going to go up to Erica Lane and meet Uncle Greg in a bit. I’ll be back in after while.” Mike headed out of the run. By that time I had just about finished cleaning the mud out of the waterer. As I went to leave the pen and shut off the water I had a little bit of an issue… He locked me in.

Yep.

Stuck.

The hook and eye lock on the outside was too low for me to reach over and unhook. I’d like to think I could still fit through the turkey door in the other pen but once again that wouldn’t do much good because their door was closed with a hook and eye inside the feed room. The idea of trying to climb over the fence…well even I knew that wasn’t going to happen today. The landing might have knocked the baby loose which would’ve been helpful I guess. Luck was on my side this time. I remembered I had my phone with me because I didn’t want to miss my Uncle’s call.

“Hello?”

“Hi. I promise I won’t leave the yard if you let me out of the duck pen!”

“What?”

“Please? You locked me in when you left.”

(Short silence. Then laughter.) “I’ll be right over.”

Only on our farm would mama get locked in the duck pen on the 4th of July.

Once allowed out, I got the whole coop cleaned quite nicely. The ducks were swimming in the new pond. The Ladies were happy with their fresh bedding and watermelon rinds. The nesting boxes are all cleaned and ready for fresh eggs. Baby’s still not here… So much for the “nesting” theory.

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