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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Babies and babies

It's strange how motherhood can inspire.  Emily and Sanuba are fascinated by Bea's kid.  Bea, of course, hasn't yet let them near her, so I've let them and the horses go out to the pasture and closed the gate behind them.  Bea still won't come out.  She did come as far as the barn door, and little Heartbreak (for that's what she is) jumps and hops everywhere.  What a difference a few days makes!  She's so cute.  It breaks my heart that she's not breeding material.  It always seems worse when it's a doe.  I expect to cull the males. You can only have so many breeding males, but every female is a potential breeder.  This defect is genetic, and a hard decision has to be made eventually.

Beatrice has perked right up in the past few days.  Today she scarfed down a huge quantity of hay, and she's been gobbling any comfrey I offer her.  Carrots and sweet potato?  Yum, yum!  Her milk production is increasing.  Even with the kid nursing, she's giving me 1/2 gallon of milk per day.  It's a real challenge to milk with a kid jumping on and off the stanchion.

And then there are the geese.  One goose has been setting for most of the month, and hatched out 6 goslings the same day Heartbreak was born.  The other goose has been putzing around, laying eggs for two months, and ignoring them.  Every now and then I'd take a few so we didn't have a mountain of goose eggs sitting there, but she just wasn't interested in setting.  Until the first goose hatched those goslings.  Within two days, the other goose was setting.

I watched as the geese headed down to the little farm pond mid-pasture.  One gosline fell into a little hole and couldn't get out.  It wasn't very deep--maybe 6 inches or so, but he's only about 4 inches tall.  What a little trooper!  He kept jumping up until he finally made it to the top, and off they went.

The goats and horses are fascinated with those little balls of fuzz, and ignore all the hissing and wing beating and outstretched necks of the goose and ganders.  They're not like the geese that were on the farm when I was a child.  My grandmother's gander ran at us and bit...hard.  These geese are pikers compared to those.  No horse or goat would have come within yards of the goslings back then.

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