Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The rest of the babies are here!

My second doe, Dory, finally kidded today!  Triplets!  Two girls and one boy.  The first one I picked up was the boy, and I was worried that we were going to end up with all boys this year!  Two are dark brown, and one (in front) is a gorgeous gray-brown (that one is a girl).  If I were keeping one, I'd keep her, but we've already decided not to keep any this year.

So the new babies are now in the "growing room", and the two older babies are in the room with the bunnies.  They will now have access to go in and out, during the day, anyway.  That small paddock is closed off from the rest of the pasture, for now.

Milking & feeding are going to be VERY busy for the next few days to a week. Tonight: milked Dory (the one who just gave birth); also gave her a pedicure (trimmed her nails) and gave her some wormer & some vitamin paste (Vitamin E & Selenium). Took the colostrum into the house, filtered it & filled 3 bottles, washed the bucket & strainer, then fed the 3 new babies. Came back in to make fresh bottles & fed the other 2 (now about 2.5 weeks old). Then I did food & water for the bunnies, then the chickens, gathered the eggs, and locked them in for the night. Then went back & milked Snowball, the other doe; came back to the house to filter and put away the milk.
I have to milk the two goats separately for the next 3 or 4 days, until we're past the colostrum stage. The babies will have to be fed separately as there are 5 of them, and I only have 3 bottles. The new babies will be fed 3 times a day for the first week or so (until they're drinking a whole bottle at each feeding). That also ensures that they're getting the colostrum, and I can monitor how much & how well they are drinking.

Friday, June 12, 2015


Snowball finally gave us two babies on June 8 (Monday).  Both are  boys; it does appear to be a boy year.  The people from whom we bought our buckling (who is not yet home) had a large percentage of boys this year as well.

The one on the left is Tuvok, the one on the right is Neelix.  Tuvok is actually almost white (very, very pale fawn if you look closely) and Neelix is almost a butterscotch color - reminiscent of Snowball's mom, who was named Wheat.  

Right now they are bottle-fed three times a day.  Until this morning I was making the bottles up with 8 ounces of milk, and they weren't quite finishing them.  Yesterday they showed great gains in both bottle-feeding ability and appetite.  They finished their 8 ounce bottles rapidly and with gusto, for both the afternoon and evening feedings.  This morning I made two 12-ounce bottles, and they finished them quickly.  For the next couple of days I'll do three 12-ounce feedings a day, then switch to twice-a-day full-bottle (16-ounce plus) feedings.

Still waiting on Dory, the brown doe, to kid.  Snowball is doing great on the milking stand - from one and a half to two quarts at a time, on twice-a-day milkings, just a few days after kidding.  And she's so well-behaved on the milking stand.  This is her second freshening, and she's definitely a keeper.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Every now and then...

We did not have our grandson for most of the day today.  I'm usually surprised how much I can get done without the extra help from a toddler.

I finished plying one bobbin today, using up about 2/3 of the spun singles.  The third bobbin of singles has already been wound into a center-pull ball; when I ran out of one bobbin of singles, I joined on the ball.  When I run out of the second bobbin of singles I'll continue plying from the outside strand of the ball.

I've already started the second Akerworks bobbin (which is orange).

I had thought I'd bought the Honeybuns blend (75% CVM, 15% mohair, 10% angora) at Rhinebeck in 2013, but in looking through previous blog posts it turns out I bought this during the Wool Arts Tour, also in October of that year.

Hubby and I went out this morning and picked up this wheel.  This was a Craigslist find, at a good price.  It doesn't have a distaff, or a separate lazy kate, but did come with six bobbins.  The other parts can be replaced if I want; I don't actually need them.

It is a Kromski Mazurka wheel, with a manufacture date of July 14, 2009 (or, as written on the underside of the wheel, 14.07.2009)

I'm going to set this one up to spin thicker and leave the Matchless set up for lace weight spinning.  The Matchless, btw, has a manufacture date of 05-01-07.  I recently found out that the Schacht Matchless wheels had a bunch of design changes in 2012; I'm glad mine was made prior to those changes.  Some of the changes are great (I love the new tension mechanism!) and some are not so great (I don't like the change to the treadle hinges).  I guess most people prefer what they're already accustomed to.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Finished my angora-blend roving tonight!  Well, I finished spinning the singles anyway.  I am now plying, onto one of the two Akerworks bobbins I bought last year.

I bought two of these - one purple, one orange, in different "spoke" patterns.  They have a smaller core, so I should be able to fit quite a bit onto it.  I have three bobbins - one from each bag of roving.  I used my ball winder to wind the second one into a center-pull ball.  I'm starting my two-ply with the first and third bobbins, and will finish off with the second one, ending by plying the inside and the outside of the center-pull ball together.

No baby goats from our girls yet.  I'm hoping they are just waiting until school gets out (end of next week) to make it easier on me!  I can't wait for our new boy to come home, though!

Speaking of boys, our grandson is getting very busy lately.  Tomorrow I have to pick up doorknob covers; he can now open doors for himself, so I need at least 3 doorknob covers - one for the cellar door, one for the bathroom door, and one for the main entry door.  Yesterday I also built a "safe corner" for my spinning wheels with two metal baby gates, along with some string, velcro, and duct tape.

Should keep my wheels safe, and keep me from yelling at him for touching them!  One of his balls is currently trapped behind the gates.  (The spinning wheel is in use, as he is visiting with his mom overnight.)

And this is a picture I took yesterday in Manchester - a nice pattern on the side of a building!  This would be a lovely quilt idea.