Stone & Thistle Farm in East Meredith is knee-deep in baby goats these days, as its latest blog post shows with lots of adorable pictures (including the one above). This means that, because many of the farm's goats aren't exactly the best mothers, the farm kitchen plays host to a rotating cast of kids:
Kidding season is in full swing. The first kid goats were born in February’s subzero temperatures. Unless we were at the freshening, some of them did not make it. We also lost a few ear tips from the cold. We have 20 females and 20 males on the ground with ten more does to freshen. All of the yet-to-freshen does are yearlings and we need to pay special attention when they are freshening. We breed for milk production not mothering skills and some of the yearlings are downright bad mothers. They freshen and walk away from the kid(s) without cleaning them and getting them on their feet. After such a painful ordeal, they can’t imagine that there is more “work” to do like making sure their kids are on their feet and nursing. So we have to be in the barn to swoop them up, dry them off and bring them inside for warmth and their first bottles. At any time, there is one to ten goats in my kitchen.
Tom and Denise Warren of Stone & Thistle Farm will be talking about the joys of "freshening" season this Wednesday on WIOX with Tara Collins of the Watershed Agricultural Council. For more info, see the WAC's post about the show here.