Monday, April 8, 2013

Our Goats Move into Their New Home

I wanted to have great news to report of sales, Sales, SALES from the event at Tractor Supply Company last Saturday, but nature had other plans. Sean and I got ourselves up and at it early. By 7 am our fantastic new, green truck was packed full to bursting with a crate of seven annoyed roosters, the portable pen Sean constructed to show them in, an inventory of Scent Shots, our home-made soaps, our Farm Chick Chic Rope Scarves and Necklaces with their adorable clips, my mosaic Eggshell Pendants and banners, tables, displays... all the things I thought I would need for this- our very first event. The event which should have run until 2 pm, lasted until 11 am. We lasted slightly less than that. With the wind whipping at 20 miles an hour and the temperatures hovering in the 30's, our spot on the shady side of TSC's parking area was unsheltered and unbearable. Visions of my newly designed and freshly purchased banner and canopy tent flying away to land in a broken, tangled mess mingled with the fear of our jewelry, scent tarts, and other products suffering the same fate. Vendors with trucks and trailers loaded with chickens, turkeys, pigs and more, sold their items from still-packed vehicles until it was clear that Mother Nature had won this round. I consoled myself with the purchase of a dozen new day-old pullet chicks; six White Leghorns and six additional Rhode Island Reds. That gives us a total of 17 new hens for this year, all of whom should begin laying eggs in August.

Undaunted, we view this as a trial run for packing our wares, which all traveled beautifully and returned home safely. We have a craft show to participate in this coming Saturday. This one takes place inside, so we are much more confident that the weather and wind will be far less worrisome.

Saturday was not a complete loss. Being home earlier than anticipated meant more time to get much needed work completed around the farm. Sean and Daddy Dale installed new rails to the pig yard and I coaxed Ebony and Patches back down over the hill to their regular home. They did not appreciate the work we put into making it comfy for them until their grain was eaten and they had a chance to look around. I think they recognized it well enough. It took no time for them to bury themselves under a fresh bale of hay in the back corner of their shelter and settle in for a nice, long snooze.

Piggies moved, Sean cleaned out their stall in the barn. Our pigs are such clean animals. Despite what you might have read about foul smells and the like, pigs are really easy to keep and like to be clean. Sean had only one load of refuse to remove, all piled neatly by the pigs themselves into one corner. It took just a few minutes to have the stall completely cleaned and ready for some of the goats to occupy it. I know I will get some well meaning comments and concerned emails about immediately moving in animals after moving out different ones. Those comments and concerns can be well-founded because of the potential of contracting a disease or worms and parasites. But, several factors led to our choosing to do this move anyway. First, the does are already being treated for worms and parasites. Having just kidded, it is our practice to routinely worm our does after they do. Besides the several reputable sources in books, online articles, and the advice of our trusted vet, our personal experience has led us to choose to worm our does after they kid. Secondly, as much as I enjoy my little bundles of fur, I could not abide one more day of living with seven of our goats inside our house, basement or not! They had to go to the barn. Since that was the case, they needed a safe place to be in the barn. The former pig stall was it.

It was no easy task to move the goat mommas to the outdoors. They had become fully accustomed to their cushy digs and were reluctant to move back into the barn. We thought the easiest way to coax them to follow us up the stairs and outside was to simply carry their kids away. They noticed us taking their young away with us, but beyond a bevy of frantic, repeated callings of "meeeeh!", they were unwilling to follow. We settled the four confused kids in the stall, closed the door and tried plan B. This consisted of grain in a bucket. That got Rachel and Leah's attention. They followed Sean with little hassle to get to the grain he had to offer. However, Ruby had grown so fond of being pampered, even grain would not convince her it was time to move out. Sean ended up carrying her upstairs and outside.

I am happy to report that all of the animal inhabitants of Lally Broch Farm are now safely and happily living where they will for the rest of the year. Eventually, the does and their kids will join the main herd and come winter, for our convenience, the piggies will once again live in the barn.

Thanks for stopping in for a visit.
Sean and Sonja ♥


  1. I am sorry about the bad weather. At least you have your wares all ready for your next show. I am glad ya'll like the truck. I enjoyed the video, Haddie is sweet jumping into your lap!!

  2. That was a fun video. I THOUGHT I heard the voice of Dale in the background, or should I say, the LAUGH. The goats look almost as happy as you are to be back in the barn.


  3. Sorry your event didn't turn out as you'd hoped. I couldn't last in that weather either! I hope the next one is much better. And like you said, at least it was a trial run so you are prepared for the next one.

    That video is so cute. The kids are just adorable! And I love how that one just jumped right up in your lap. So sweet!