Monday, March 28, 2016

Kidding season has started!

 Here's Frosty, he was born on March 13th to Mandy.  Then Wilma had Winnie on the 15th.  Both of them are doing really well.  They are so cute.
 Then Oreo had her twins, Oscar and Olive, on Easter Sunday.  They are doing well, considering that
it is snowy and cold out again.  They get chilled every time they come out of their little spool house to eat and move around.  Oreo is a good mom though, and is taking pretty good care of them.  I've had to give all three does some parsley to slow down the milk flow a bit.  Everyone is doing fine now.  Now the real fun begins.  there are 8 does all due in the same 3 days!  Hope they don't all go at the same time, I don't think I could handle that. :-)

I've started the annual spring clean up around here.  It's scary sometimes what shows up as the snow melts away.  It's all gone now except out in the woods in spots.  Well, we will probably wake up to a little bit of white in the morning.

I'm almost done with the combing already.  It's rather strange not having the dehairing machine now.  I'm going to have to send it off to be dehaired.  Not sure where yet.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Mills seem to come and go pretty often, so I don't even know for sure right now who is in business still.  I haven't been paying attention to that since I had the machine and was doing my own.  Guess I'll have to do some research on it now.

Well, that's it for now.  Happy Spring!  There will be more kid pictures as they come along.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Revised all that's left

I took the big multi-ounce skeins and re-skeined them into smaller more affordable ones.  Each one will make at least a nice pair of wrist warmers, or scarf, cowl, etc.   The purple skeins are still not showing their true color, which is a deep, vibrant, royal purple color.  I tried all different kinds of settings on my camera, and it still isn't showing the true color.   It's so pretty and the yarn is so soft!

I'm still waiting for Wilma to have her kid.  She's showing the signs of eminent kidding, tail is loose, ligaments are soft, udder is full, but nothing.  Tomorrow is John's birthday and I'll bet she will have it then.  He could care less about that, while I've been wanting a kid born on my birthday for 14 years.  The irony of it all.  It won't happen this year, either, none of the does are due anywhere near my birthday. Oh well, such is life....
Yesterday I strung out the hose to the water buckets and troughs for the first time.  No more bucket brigades!!  My arms and shoulders can get a rest now. ☺

The first week in April is going to be a busy one.  Most of the does are due to kid that week.  The dairy girls are, too.  Fresh milk again!!  Although since I leave the kids on their mom for 3 months, I won't be getting a lot, but any amount is good.  I usually get quite a bit the first couple of weeks (after the first week when it's still colostrum and her hormones are adjusting and the milk tastes awful) then once the kids start growing well, it drops down a lot.  Since I will have three that I'm milking this year, I'll have plenty of it anyway.  I have found a really good way to freeze the milk, too.  I use a vacuum sealer and those heavy bags for it, to seal the milk in.  I have to put the sealer up on an upside down jelly roll pan to get it higher than the bag, then put a half gallon of milk in the bag, (the amount I use to make kefir with) lay it on it's side, holding the opening up so it all doesn't spill out.  I put it in the sealer, gently push the air out, and seal it.  Then into the freezer.  The milk doesn't separate when thawed like it does when I freeze it in plastic jugs like distilled water jugs.  Plus the bags don't take up nearly as much room as the jugs do.  It's a good thing all the way around.

This coming Saturday is the Log Cabin Spin in over in Couer de' Alene (sp?) Idaho that I really, really want to go to.  But, with three does due this week sometime, two of them are due on the 18th, I doubt I'll get to go again this year.  Maybe next?  I've wanted to go for quite a few years now, and it seems there are always kids being born then.  Next year I am going to make triple sure there aren't any does bred for that time, and everything will be in order so I can finally go!   I'm not totally ruling it out for this year just yet, but it's a small chance that I'll get to go.

I hope everyone that has the daylight savings time set their clocks ahead last night.   I think I'll go take a short power nap to catch up on that lost hour ☺..........  

Thursday, March 3, 2016

These are all that's left.

These are the last remaining skeins of PNF Cashmeres hand spun yarn for this last harvest.  Each skein will make anything from a pair of wrist cuffs, to a scarf or cowl.  The two little skeins will each easily make a pair of wrist cuffs.  I'll list the prices and who's fleece they are:
The dark colored skein is from Mandy, it is so soft,  there are 2.3 oz and 214 yards. $96  A nice luxurious scarf or cowl can be made from it.  Mandy is the sweetest goat towards people, but she is quite ornery to other goats!
The off-white skein on top is from Wilma, it has 1.7 oz 160 yards and is $71.  A scarf can be made out of this skein.  Wilma is my little misfit goat.  She is small, and doesn't seem to be friends with anyone in the herd. She is going to have a baby any day, so at least she will have company now.
Below Wilma's is Misty, it's 2.4 oz and 190 yards for $100.  Misty is just one of the crowd it seems.  She doesn't stand out and tries to get along with everyone, although she can be pushy when she wants to.
The skein at an angle to the side of the little skeins is Fiddle at 2 oz 216 yards for $84.  This is Fiddle's kid fleece.  He's a buck, so the only fleece I'll ever get to use off him is this one, he's a mature boy now and stinks to high heaven.  I'll never be able to use another fleece off him.  Hopefully he will throw nice kids with his kind of fleece.  It's soft!  The kids being born this year are his first.  
The little skein on top is Sara at 1.1 oz and 89 yards for $46.  Sara is a dainty goat, and Misty's mom.  She is one of the few true white goats that I have.  Wrist cuffs can easily be made from this skein.  Oh so soft and comfortable!
Cherry and Chocolate are twins, this is their kid fleece, it's really soft!  .7oz and 79 yards for $29,  These two are the biggest pains at feeding time.  They have to be right there in the wheelbarrow as I'm trying to throw the hay out to everyone.  They are cute!
Heather has the biggest skein coming in at 3.4 oz and 274 yards for $142.  She is close to the top of the pecking order in the herd, and if you happened to see Santa's in the Barn on TV this  past holiday season, the goats used were mine.  Heather was the one who looked at the camera when the one Santa said they were ornery. :-)  She can be very pushy at times.  She's nice to people though. Just think of the generous, luxurious scarf you could make out of this, and it's so soft, you'll never want to take it off!
  The prices might seem high, but if you stop to consider the cost of feeding them for a year, the time it takes to care for them every day, plus combing the cashmere off, washing, dehairing and spinning it, this is a bargain!  I do love my goats and I feel so blessed to have the job that I do!