Saturday Barn Report

We are very happy to see the sun today after a couple of very soggy days!   Rainy days make milking particularly challenging because the milking ladies travel up a lane from the hoop house to the milking parlor and go into a holding pen next to the creamery after milking.  This helps us make sure we have milked all 44 does.  Nubians hate the rain and when it is raining, we have to go down to the hoop house and drag up four goats and then release them back to the hoop house, keeping close track of who has been milked.  It adds physical effort and enormous time to the process.

The milking ladies are half way through their lactation so the milk flow is almost at peak.  We are making vats and vats of cheese and all our storage coolers are overflowing!  Farmer’s markets have been slow to start with poor weather (rain, cold, extreme heat) causing poor attendance and cancellations.   We expect it to pick up in the coming weeks as the summer really starts.

When it isn’t raining, the goats have been able to go out to pasture for three to four hours a day.  Moving them out and bringing them to new browse has been so much fun.  The fresh air and exercise is good for them and their manure gets naturally spread through the fields and woods.  The vegetation is very lush right now.  The only drawback has been the cicadas that seem to hang on everything.  The goats seem unfazed, eating around the bugs.

On the other hand, the chickens and ducks have been feasting on the cicadas.  Each morning, when released from their houses, they barrel down to the most concentrated populations (usually around our oldest trees) and eat like crazy.  It’s been a week since we have needed to refill their grain supply.

All in all it has been a fine start to summer.  We look forward to seeing you at market!

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