Saturday Barn Report February 8, 2014

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It has been a week of snow storms and ice.  We are having a real winter after many years of mild ones.

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However, the hoop house keeps the goats warm and toasty.  The deep manure pack composts at the bottom and warms the hoop house to typically twenty degrees higher than outside temperatures.  In the morning when I go in for my baby check, my glasses steam up as well as the lens in my camera.

This past week, Faith, one of keepers from 2013, was the first of the yearlings to kid and easily delivered a sweet doeling while lying in Cara’s lap.  She has been slowly adjusting to the twice a day milking routine.  We are milking 33 does which has been providing enough milk to run the vat nearly every day as well as meet raw milk sales and keep all of us at Edgwick Farm in raw milk as well.   Ten does are due to kid before next Saturday and we are anxiously watching them and restlessly waiting.  The remaining five kid in April.

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This year’s keepers, our 8 doelings, are growing fast and full of energy.  They are nibbling at hay and tasting grain but much prefer their thrice daily bottles.  We are very appreciative of our volunteers who come to the farm each day despite terrible weather to help Cara with feeding of these girls.

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Faith’s doeling came into the house after a few days because the bigger girls were picking on her and stressing her out.  She quickly took over the house as her own, bleating to be let out of her playpen anytime she knew a human was around.  She went to a farm in Staasburg yesterday and joined Bess’s twins Jack and Jill.

The chickens and ducks have been tolerating the weather.  We empty the fall leaf bags outside the coop to give them something to walk on and some entertainment in scratching them about.  Except for little Ruby, the dogs are in their glory with the deep snow.

We have started making our more difficult hard cheeses, with multiple batches of Funny Child, our goat tomme.  Dan will start washing the wheels today with Newburgh Brewery brown ale and then we will age it until the summer markets start.  We have only nine wheels left in the cave of this popular cheese.

Tours started a week ago and have been popular but challenging with the snow and ice.  The broad smiles on everyone’s faces are so wonderful to see when the groups come back from meeting the animals for their cheese and milk tastings in the viewing room with us.  I have a personal sense of satisfaction every time I hear remark how clean everything is.

Thank you for supporting our farm!

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