Today was a day I had not been looking forward to. Orion left us and moved to his new home with Kathy and Spencer. I am quite proud of our little Orion and know he will have a great life at his new home making all kinds of wonderful new babies! I will miss his sweet cuddles though :( Good luck sweet Orion! (I'll come visit you!)
So it is official, apparently I am capable of selling off my wonderful babies!
Yesterday, Geordon and I went to the Schomberg Spring Fair to take part in our very first goat show! We took Carmela and Maisie to compete and had a great day! We learned a great deal and met some wonderful people there who are also goat fanatics! Both of our girls did great as they didn't know what to expect anymore than I did! Carmela placed 2nd in her class and placed 3rd overall in her division. Maisie placed 3rd in her class. Both girls were beautiful and turned a lot of heads! Several people asked to have their pictures taken with the girls and they really seemed to enjoy all the attention. We now know better what to expect next weekend when we attend our first big show in Brooklin, ON. We plan to bring Cassi out for that one as well and as I can't show two goats at once, Geordon will have to show one as well! I am looking forward to seeing how the girls stack up against other Nigerians as there should be some there!
At the end of the day, the girls were exhausted from all the attention and celebrity! They both enjoyed a very comfortable nap together.
Yesterday we drove the Campbellford to Bashert Farms where our friends were caring for and housing our new buckling for us during his quarantine. José was imported from New Mexico and has travelled a long way to get to us. We are very excited to have him here with us as he is moonspotted and will hopefully pass that gene onto his offspring. He is still only a few months old and has much growing and filling out to do before he is ready to start breeding. We look forward to watching him grow!
We started weaning Orion and Cassi last night. The first night went well actually with minimal crying. The babies sure were hungry this morning though and quickly enjoyed a very large breakfast with their mom once they were reunited! With the first night past us, I am sure we can continue to work through this difficult process with them. Cassi especially needs to seperate
from Bonnie as she is becoming as wild as her Mom which we just can`t have. We want her to become as friendly and easy to handle as the rest of the herd so while she is being weaned we will continue to work on her handling. We hope to show her as well in the months ahead! Orion is being prepared to leave for his new home in the next week or so. We will miss him here but know he will have a very important job where he is going.
The May long weekend is here already and Geordon and I are busy getting so much stuff done around here! Goat show season starts for us next weekend with the Schomberg Spring Fair. We are planning on showing Carmela and Maisie there next weekend - if we don't chicken out that is! Today, the girls got their hair cuts so they will be ready to dazzle the judges! What a difference in Carmela! She really is a beauty and I forsee her doing really well there next weekend. Maisie it seems, under all that hair, is a tiny wee little doeling! She actually looks more like a lamb running around right now. Neither one seemed to mind getting clipped too much. I think they both feel a lot better now that they can stay cooler!
In other news, we go to see Debbie and Shane at Bashert Farms tomorrow to pick up our new buckling that was imported from New Mexico! We are really excited to be bringing him home finally! It will also be wonderful to finally meet Debbie and Shane after all these months of dealing goats and never having met in person yet! Pictures of our Prairie Wood's Noway José will come soon!
Alright, some of you may be wondering why we are now here and not at Milky Way Meadows, so let me start there. The Canadian Livestock Records Corporation (CLRC) informed me that there was already a registered goat breeder in Canada - in BC that was registered under the name Milky Way and as such we wouldn't be able to register our herd with our intended theme. We made the decision to change our name as we were just getting started anyways - no harm done. We came up with the name Sky River Meadows through another "help name the..." type contest on facebook. I am unsure who came up with the idea but to whomever it was - thank you! We actually like this name a great deal more than Milky Way! So that is why we are now here.
So, now to get everyone up to speed! So our new babies out of Bonnie - Cassi and Orion are doing wonderfully! They are now six weeks old and Orion has been sold and will be going to his new home soon. I am really happy about how friendly and sociable he has become. Little Cassi is a bit tough to catch but when you do she is so snuggly! I think she will continue to settle down as she becomes ready to be weaned. The rest of our herd is doing great. Carmela is very pregnant and will be due in July. Dixie never did catch with her breeding so we will try her again this fall for spring babies next year. Lucy and Mimi have both grown into lovely little doelings and are thriving. Bonnie has been a great Mom and is even calming down quite a bit to the point where I can touch her on occasion when she isn't tied! All of our boys - Billie included are also doing really well. We have started shearing and the goats that have been done so far are looking much cleaner and happier without all that winter hair.
With baby goats here we have had a fairly steady stream of people coming by to see them. We love showing them off and it is good for the babies to be well socialized.
On the family front everyone is doing well. I am still sick though and have been undergoing additional procedures since my surgery to try to make me well. Nothing has really worked so far but I remain optimistic! Daniel has started dating a new girl named Erica, and we all agree that we adore her! She is great for him and we love her attitude. They also are just adorable together and she fits in nicely with everyone in the family. Welcome Erica!
We have purchased a new buckling! He will be a very important part of our herd here as he was imported from New Mexico and is a moon spotted buck! Moon spotting is highly sought after and very hard to come by in Canada. He is currently in quarantine but we hope to bring him home this weekend! We are naming him Prairie Wood's Noway José, and will call him José for short. We are very excited to have him join us!
We have decided to sell our larger animals to make more room and free up some of our time as we are so busy it is getting hard to ensure everyone is getting the attention they deserve. Brady went to his new home in McKeller, ON a few weeks ago and is doing really well there. Lynn, my beloved mare has gone to a farm in Hearst, ON to become a beginner voltige horse! I miss her terribly but know she will be wonderful there and she has gone to an excellent home. We are still hoping to find a new home for Annabelle. We are content to keep our donkeys of course but if we can find them a good home then we will let them go.
With the nice weather we are constantly outside with the herd now, letting them graze freely in the yard again. It is so relaxing just enjoying their company and watching them interact with each other, our dogs and guests.
Goat show season starts up soon for us! The first CGS sanctioned show is in Schomberg, ON on May 27th and we hope to attend and perhaps show if we can get all the paperwork in order before hand! We will hopefully be enjoying some great successes in showing this year culminating in the big show at the Royal Winter Fair in November!
Where does the time go? I can't believe we are in April already! So much has been happening around here this year, I should get to updating!
So first of all, we have welcomed our dear Maisie into our herd. Maisie finally came home only to end up living in our house! This is her pictured on the couch with Geordon her first night home. Due to flooding in the goat pens, Maisie had to stay with us as the rest of the herd was already crowded and that would make it too dangerous for her. She now thinks she is a dog! She prefers to spend her time outside with the dogs rather than the rest of the herd. She chases squirrels with them, "barks" at people who stop at the mailbox across the street with them and figures she too must be inside and with us at all times.
She was quite the escape artist when we finally put her out with the goats. I would even come home from town to find her asleep in the sun on the porch with the dogs! We have since fixed that problem! :) We adore Maisie and she is so loveable and huggable, just a tiny wee bug!
Our next amazing news is
that last night Bonnie finally gave birth to our first Nigerian Dwarf babies! She had a beautiful girl and boy. Both are black and white with blue eyes! The mostly white one is the doeling and the mostly black one is the buckling. We are thinking of naming them Cassiopeia (Cassi for short) and Orion. They are our first official Milky Way Meadows babies and as such need constellation names! The little bucking will be available for sale but we are keeping the little doe. More pictures will follow when they are dry, fluffy and bouncy!
Other new news is that on Saturday we will be going to pick up two new horses that have
been offered to us from a woman in southern Ontario. She is unable to keep them any longer and wants to ensure they go to a good home. They will be very welcome and loved here in the meadows! They are Annabella, a 6 year old Clydesdale cross and Brady, a 22 year old thoroughbred. We are excited to get them home and settled in. Pictures will follow!
We have also begun to negotiate with MTO on the purchase of our home and started looking for a new bigger farm! With all the new additions, the timing could not be better! Hopefully soon we will find the perfect place to relocate to.
So, another month has passed and I have failed to write here regularly. I think I am changing my commitment to this blog idea to one update a month. If I can do more than that will be a bonus!
This beautiful little baby pictured here is of Tripping Billies Loo, our newest addition. Thanks to Bashert Farms for the use of their photo! Little Loo and her brother Boo were unexpected surprises to their farm and we just had to have this little darling! This is the same farm where we purchased our dear Carmela from. They make such wonderful beautiful babies there! Loo, who will need a new "barn name" due to us already having a Lucy, will come home in March. We are almost
certain her new name will be Maisie Loo, and we will call her Maisie :o)
rest of the animals are all doing well as are all of us. Winter has been strange
this year and although I feel cheated of my winter, I will be happy to see this
My apologies for being so bad at keeping this blog up to date. The holidays came and went here at the Meadows and I enjoyed a much needed and appreciated break. I used the time to recharge my batteries and take some quality time with my family and friends - human and
furry alike. I have to remind myself that it is OK to take time to remember why we all work so hard for the things we love and cherish. The holidays here were nice and quiet. We stayed home and kept things simple. The animals all enjoyed some Christmas treats and the mild weather. New Years was spent with some new friends celebrating with games and fun. Geordon and I are learning to let loose once in awhile and it has been fun learning to party as adults. NO hangovers though! We don't want those :) School is back in full swing again here now and it amazes me how quickly I am buried in assignments and due dates once again.
The winter weather is finally upon us with freezing temperatures and sunny skies. The goats are growing such thick coats they all just look like puff balls with feet. I feel bad for the bucks though. They don't grow the same fluffy coats and don't look nearly as warm as the females do. The babies are finally adjusting to the snow and have learned to play in it. It is fun to watch them
zipping around all the while trying to avoid any snow deeper than their little hooves. Before we know it, spring will be upon us again though and with spring comes new babies again! Bonnie should be due for kidding in early April with Dixie to follow hopefully in May. Dixie's breeding to Shaemus didn't catch the first time around so we are hopeful now that she is successfully bred again. Little wee Carmela is waiting her turn to bred. She should have no problem being bred as she seems to constantly be in heat! Her time will come late inFebruary. We are really excited to see what her kids will be like. We hope they
all get her great personality!
More than a month has passed since my last post. School this year is beyond challenging. Keeping on track has been the hardest challenge. School is now out until January 9th and I fully intend to enjoy as much of it as possible! I am not making any big plans or going anywhere
this time to ensure that I get as much downtime to recharge my batteries as possible. Health wise, I am experiencing other contributing challenges. I have been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea which basically means I stop breathing at least once a minute while I am trying to sleep - which translates into I NEVER SLEEP! No wonder I am so tired and completely drained of energy every single day. I am getting fitted for a CPAP machine that will keep me breathing while I sleep. I am not looking forward to that but at least I will be able to function again!
Everything on the farm is doing good. Both Bonnie and Dixie are bred for April kiddings which we are all looking forward to. Poor little Mimi suffered from a bout of pneumonia last month but recovered well. Both her and Lucy are doing great and growing up so much! Dixie still hasn't fully weaned them but I am sure she will in time for her new kids in the spring. Geordon and I decided we prefer to let her decide when to wean them as neither Mimi nor Lucy are being considered for sale for the time being anyways. It also gives us the opportunity to see how things develop when we are not interfering with the natural process. Sometimes I think we humans interfere with the natural flow too much and I enjoy seeing how things can thrive without us. It is a great way to stay humble and grounded.
Everyone in the family is doing well. Geordon and Daniel are both working a lot and everyone is super busy. I am not sure if I mentioned it in a previous post, but Daniel finally finished high school! We are so proud of him for sticking it out and doing it on his own. For now he is just
going to work but he is thinking about applying to George Brown College for Culinary Arts. I am sure no matter what he decides, he will do great! Alyssa has returned from school for the holidays. She came by to see us the other night. Oh how we have missed her energy around here! I am hoping to see a great deal more of her while she is here but she has many people to see and spend time with. She is still like a breath of fresh air coming into the room though. I am glad to see that school hasn't taken that out of her. She too is finding her first year at University particularly tough. Time for her to buckle down and put partying on the back burner I think :o).
Well, I am finally going to find the time to add our three new goats to the website! You can look for those updates to be coming in the next few days - or today if I find the time! Christmas is one week away and I need to seriously start getting some shopping done!
It has been almost a month since my last blog post so I thought I had best pop in to give even a small update! I have been buried deep under assignments, responsibilities, obligations and life for the past few weeks. School has been a test in patience and resilience with some of the hardest most difficult assignments to date. Family life has been hectic and my volunteer and social life ever more demanding. As I am nearing the end of my rope and ready for a week long nap, things are finally settling down again. Soon I may be able to start regular updates again!
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”
- Anatole France
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