Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Baby book, baby goats, and maple sap
Included on the cover is an endorsement from Mother Earth News, because the book has been selected to become a part of their Wiser Living Series, and I could not be prouder. It is really exciting to have such a great magazine put their stamp on my book.
Now I just have to keep waiting for these seven goats to have their babies. Three are at day 147 and four are at day 146. We've never had a goat go past day 151, so as each day passes, I worry about having more than one in labor at a time. At least I have heat lamps in each of the four kidding pens, and the temperatures are not supposed to go much below the twenties for the rest of the week. I counted my goat towels today, however, and there are only seven. It usually takes one or two towels to get each baby dry. I wouldn't be too worried except that we seem to be having an unusually high number of quads this year, and Coco has had quads the last two years, and four of the goats out there have had triplets in the past, so this could get interesting. I usually spend about two hours with the kids after they're born, then it will take a couple hours to wash the towels, so this could work -- if there are at least a few hours between births.
So, why did I put myself in this crazy situation, you ask? Well, when a goat is in heat, you have to ask yourself if you want to breed her to kid in five months, or do you want to wait for her to come into heat again in three weeks. Considering that I have seven more due in two to three weeks, I'm glad I decided to breed these seven when I did. It should be warmer in three weeks, but I can't imagine how I'd feel if I have ten or twelve goats due in a short period of time. Seven is chaotic enough.
We collected twelve and a half gallons of sap over the weekend, and we spent most of Sunday and Monday boiling it down. Around nine, Monday night, Mike put up our first three pints of syrup, but the weather was too cold today and yesterday for the sap to flow. As soon as it warms up a little during the day, that will add another interesting dimension to our lives.