Monday, April 6, 2009

Our New Kids

Some of our goats finally kidded. The whole family witnessed the birth of one goat. She delivered three kids. For homeschooling, biology does not get any better. The kids where amazed at how a baby comes out. However, they where also disgusted when she starts to lick them clean. It was a big ordeal that day. It was 0 degrees outside, and we were so afraid they would freeze to death. We found the mother goat in labor. We decided to drag her across the property and bring her to our sun porch. After they were all delivered, we took them all to a cozy room in one of our barns. Later that day, the kids went to check on the other goats and another one had delivered four kids. One died shortly after being born. We also moved her to the same room. There is still another pregnant goat left. She was very upset to see her friends go. So, we put her in the room too! After a few days, we moved them all back to their big barn and pasture. Unfortunately, another kid died. He was very small at birth and just was not strong enough. He was my favorite and was the cutest one. As the week progressed, we noticed that one goat had a very hard udder and she looked in pain. The kids and I loaded her up in the back of the van and took her to the vet. He said she had an infection and needed medicine. He said she would need help feeding her babies. We have had to bottle feed some of them to help her out. They are so friendly because of this and the kids love to go in the pasture to play with them. It has been a month now and there is still a third goat to deliver. The goats are nice, but they are not dairy goats. Therefore, there is not enough for us to milk them. They are meat goats. We are not much for eating goats. We prefer sheep for eating. I suppose we will keep a few as pets and then sell the rest. It has been a wonderful experience raising these animals.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chickens, Ducks, Geese and Their Eggs

Some of our animals have really interesting behavior.My children are making so many observations and learning so much! Our geese are probably the most interesting in their behavior. When we first got them, the girl goose(also called a goose. The boy is called a gander)
laid an egg right in the middle of the barn. The kids found it and at first glance was not sure what it was because it was so large. Well, it was very cold weather, and she laid it in the middle of everything. So,we decided to eat it. It has a milder taste than the chicken egg, and the white part is very transparent. I was not to crazy about eating it, but my kids where very excited to try.

After eating a couple of the goose eggs, she started laying her eggs in the chicken nesting box. Well, the chickens do not like the geese because they are mean and always bite them. So, revenge is in order. They would peck her eggs open and eat them. Well, a week later, she decides to make a nest in my basement window. There are decorative rocks around the house there. She has pulled all the rocks in there and made a nest. We brought her some hay and she pulled it in there too. She also seems to be pulling her feathers out and using them. This is still not the safest place. She sometimes gets up in the early morning when it is dark and she eats. At this time, something is crawling in there and stealing an egg. So far, two have disappeared this way. Another time, I was organizing the basement, and I saw a chicken in the window instead of the goose. The chickens had got in there and where pecking an egg and eating it. They must still want their revenge. Finally, she seems to be settling in there. We have three eggs in the window, and she only gets off of them once in a day in the late afternoon. Before she started laying her eggs, the male goose was so aggressive. Now, he spends his days alone while she sits on her nest. He is very quite now and does not say much. However, if we go look at her she starts honking, and he comes running and hissing at us. There is a picture here of him, and he is so funny!

Another egg story we have is our attempt to hatch eggs in the incubator. We have goose, duck, and chicken eggs in the incubator. I am hopeful they will all hatch, but it is entirely experimental at this point. The other picture is the eggs in the nesting box. Everyone favors one box, and everyone is laying their eggs in it. There is both duck and chicken eggs. They seem to be laying good. but no one sits on them. So, they where ice cold. Well, I just collected them and took them inside for eating. We tried the duck egg too. The same as the goose egg. I was not thrilled about eating it and prefer chicken eggs only!