Winter continues in the Rockies, but we are headed into a warmer spell where we are expecting 40sF during the day, so that will be nice. Maybe it will melt off some of this packed snow and we can have clear paths and roads for a bit until the next snow.
Final Kidding Prep
We finished up the final kidding prep and are ready for those babies to be born! We ordered a few milking supplies that we needed to replace from milking the cow. But for the most part we had the supplies we needed. We also ordered disbudding supplies (not looking forward to that part of having goat babies – but feel it is necessary).
We also have put the finishing touches on the kidding/lambing stalls, and the goats have started sleeping in them at night. We bedded them with their first layer of shavings. We will add more shavings as we get nearer to birthing, and then add straw right before they give birth.
We also decided to use the cement mixing container hay rack idea to build low-waste hay racks on the kidding/lambing stalls. Because the walls were already the 4×4 livestock panels with the thick gauge wire all we had to do was cut the hole in the top and hook them to the outside of the fence.
The person we purchased the goats from said that last year Heidi had triplets and Gretchen had quadruplets. It is too soon to tell with Gretchen since she isn’t due for another month, but Heidi is not looking very big to me. I will be surprised if she has more than twins in there. I am kind of wondering if she even has twins or if it is just a single. She still has about 2 weeks till her due date, so maybe she will widen a lot by then. This is our first time with goats, so I don’t really know – but if she was a sheep I would definitely be saying it is just a single. Do any of you readers with goat experience have a guess? Time will tell, I guess. She is starting to bag up.
Gretchen is now getting her feed in the stanchion to get her used to it. We also put a bucket under her and handle her udder while she eats. We have been doing this with Heidi a few weeks already now since she is due first.
Can’t wait to be posting about our first kids being born!
Our incubation is supposed to start later this week, but I heard from the person we are getting the hatching eggs from that the girls stopped laying and she hasn’t been able to collect any eggs. So it looks like it wont happen. But we still have chicks coming from the hatchery late February, so we will have chicks anyway. Maybe later in the year if I have a hen go broody we can put some of those hatching eggs under her.
Knitting and Sewing
I have been working on two knitting projects for a few weeks now, socks for Mtn Man made from wool from our own sheep, and a sweater for Mr. Smiles. Both are at tedious boring parts and thus I am not working on them much and progress feels incredibly slow. All the skirt sewing has also taken me away from knitting. But this week I decided to cast on a new project to give me more options of what to work on and change it up a bit. It is a dish towel knit with cotton yarn – the pattern is from Kerin Dimeler-Laurence on ravelry. I have made both crochet and knit dishcloths/dishrags before, but never dish towels. I am interested to see if I like the feel and function of it. If so, I will make myself more.
The girls and I are continuing our progress on skirts. We are done with 3 for Sunshine and 3 for me, this week we will hopefully finish a few for Little Miss. Here is my favorite that I made for myself. It lands just below my knees and will be nice for warm weather. I like the fabric, length, and that it has pockets. The pattern called for a tie waist, but my shirts cover the top of all my skirts so I figured it would be easier and more comfortable to just do an elastic waist and not have the bulk of a tie under the front of my shirt.
I have this awesome rag rug from my grandmother. It is large, about 5ftx9ft.
It is over 70 years old. My “Nana” braided it with strips of wool fabric leftover from wool skirts, jackets, and such that she had made for her family. It has lived a long and happy life and now it lives at our house and we love it. I know to some it might look shabby and the colors might seem a bit crazy, but we love the old-fashioned feel of it and we love that our Nana, who is gone from this life now, made it and used it for so long. But all the use has left it a bit ragged and fraying in spots.
We want it to continue to last, so Mtn Man, who has braided many beautiful wool rugs for our family and thus is the family braided rug expert, did a little research and figured out how to patch it. Nana also left us a bag of wool fabric scraps that we could use to patch it. So Mtn Man and Little Miss pulled out the bag of fabric and patched it. First they cut the snarled parts out.
Then they braided strips that fit the spaces and sewed them in place. There wasn’t any matching wool for the patches, so they are pretty obvious, but that is fine with me, I am just glad it is fixed and can continue to live on our floor safely for years to come.