Last year we attended the Rockton World's Fair for the first time on Thanksgiving weekend to check out the alpaca show there. It turns out Rockton also has a great goat show! This year we decided to take our girls all the way to Rockton to compete and they did not disappoint us! Donna came home with AOP Grand Champion and AOP Best Udder while Maisie came home with AOP Reserve Champion. All of our girls did really well and showed off their breed beautifully. We were very excited for our Maisie though as it was her first time back in the show ring since Brooklin due to a tumour she developed on her shoulder. She underwent surgery to have it removed and fortunately the tumour was benign. Maisie was finally healed and ready to complete again - even though you can see the scar on her shoulder still.
Rockton holds a wonderful fair if you are ever looking for something fun to do with the whole family on the Thanksgiving weekend. It is well worth the drive!
Our next and final fair of the season is the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto which incidentally this year is also the host for the East National Dairy Goat show. We will be there on site from November 1-3 and will be competing in the ring on November 2nd.
The Brooklin Spring Fair is one of our favourite shows to attend and is a wonderful start to our show season. This year was no exception! Our Asia won AOP Jr. Reserve Champion, which her mom Maisie won last year! Even more wonderful was that Maisie won AOP Reserve Sr. Champion and AOP Reserve Grand Champion! We are so impressed with Maisie's first freshening udder as were many other breeders at Brooklin. She has great potential in upcoming years and we hope that she passes her amazing udder off to her daughters.
I can't believe it has been over 4 months since my last post! It honestly feels like it has been years since my last entry as our lives have ben caught up in so much turmoil these last few months. So many changes have occurred in our lives - both good and bad and I will do my best to update everyone!
I guess I will start with the addition of Rosie to our herd. We took Rosie in as a foster from the OSPCA and after a short time decided to add her permanently to our herd. Rosie has a very ugly history which I will not share here but we are happy to report she is now very happy in her new home. She is showing improvements every day and is finally able to be without her winter jacket full time now that the weather is warmer and her hair is growing back in. Rosie loves food and treats and seems to be very fascinated with watching birds! She loves all the new babies that keep arriving and is often playing with them! We have grown to love Rosie in a very short time and are happy that she can live out her days with us here.
The worst part of the last few months has been dealing with the loss of a friend. Lindsay was tragically taken from all of us on April 5, 2013. She was the victim of a horrible and senseless murder at the hands of her ex boyfriend. Lindsay and I were in the same degree program at Nipissing U and she was supposed to be graduating with our class this June. She was a special woman who was always able to find the positive in every situation and took on life with such a zest that those who knew her couldn't help but be inspired by her! She will be forever missed but never forgotten. RIP sweet angel. ♥
Babies are arriving! So far we have 8 babies born and all are healthy and vigorous! CC blessed us with two beautiful boys - Apollo and Merak. Bonnie also had two boys - Titan and Moon Pi. Maisie gave birth to two beautiful babies - Asia and Hercules. We are retaining both of them. Lucy also blessed us with a girl and a boy - Aurora and Argus. The next four girls to kid are Donna, Dixie, Carmela and Mimi. They are due starting the 5th of May!
Any guesses on how many babies our Carmela is carrying? She is seriously as big as a house! She was big last year - but not this BIG! Last year she had twin boys.
The weather so far this year has been very frustrating. Extreme changes in temperature followed by snow, then rain, then more snow is making life very difficult. The end of April saw us dealing with the worst flood we have ever faced here! We had to evacuate the goats to different farms just to keep them all safe and dry. It made life even more stressful as so many roads in the area were closed due to wash outs. It was a challenge just to get to around everywhere. We are happy to report though that we all made it through and our house was not damaged in the flood. We were very fortunate considering how many others in the area lost everything. Now that the water has gone back down we are dealing with repairs to our fences and the cleanup of everything that washed in our yard. it could have been so much worse!
I guess the best news of all is that I have finally finished school! Through everything that's gone on in the last month I am not exactly sure how I managed, but I did! No more exams, papers or terrible reading assignments for this girl! At least for awhile anyways! I would still like to go on to grad school at some point but for the next year at least I will be taking the time to refocus and get centered again. There is plenty of time to go back to school again later! For now it is just so hard to believe that after 4 years I have finally earned my degree! I definitely need to celebrate but will do so when things aren't so busy around here!
I have a hard time believing how much time has passed since I was last able to post on here. September was SOO long ago and a great deal has been happening here since that time. I will do my best to give an accurate and full update here but this may take some time and afew more posts as well to get it all in. School has been particularly brutal on me this term and hasn't given me an ounce of free space to really focus on the farm all that much and that includes keeping this blog and website updated. Doing an honours year is a great thing but extremely tough as well but I know all the hard work will pay off. The good news is that I will be officially graduating in June and will have plenty of time at that point to keep this dream going! This post is bound to be a long one as I fill in all the holes from the last few months.
Let's start with the amazing picture posted above! This painting entitled "Canadian Goatic" was lovingly painted by Geordon's neices Natalie and Jessica and given to us as a Christmas gift. We just had to show it off here! The girls did a wonderful job at not only capturing us but the personality of several of our goats as well! We are thrilled and honoured to have received such an amazing and thoughtful gift. Thanks girls! xoxoxox
One of the biggest and most absent bits of news I guess on here would be our attendance at the 2012 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair as exhibitors this year. We did attend and compete at the Royal this past November and it was a memorable experience for sure and one that we look forward to repeating year after year. Carmela, Maisie, Cassi and myself spent four days at the Royal where we met some amazing people and learned so much about showing.
** I appologize for not having better photos. Geordon was being the *ahem* photographer on show day and clearly was distracted and not thinking about getting good photos.**
Carmela placed 1st in her class, Maisie and Cassi both placed 2nd in theirs. We
did not win any great awards or championships there this year but we were
completely thrilled and delighted to be there and to have any ribbons from The
Royal is an accomplishment all on its own to be proud of! Next year we will go
again and hope to do even better! We look forward to the 2013 show season!
Breeding season is wrapping up here. All of our girls are bred to their chosen mate with the exception of Cassiopeia who must wait another month or so before I breed her. Spring kiddings will begin with CC who is due first at the very end of March. Bonnie, Maisie, and Lucy will follow in April with Dixie, Carmela, Mimi and Donna all due in early May. It is sure to be a very exciting time here with kidding season! Jose was chosen to breed 5 of our does this time around and we can`t wait to see what his genetics will add to our herd. Gigalo and Shaemus have both also been used for breeding this year. We hope for many happy, healthy doelings!!
We had a beautiful autumn here this year with some amazingly warm sunny days which allowed for us to enjoy many wonderful hikes with the goats. With the snow comes the end to the majority of our hiking days as the snow just gets too deep for the goats to comfortably walk in. Here are some wonderful photos of our Thanksgiving Day hike though :o)
The holidays are always a fun time here at the Meadows. We try our hardest to ensure that every Christmas is spent with an abundance of relaxation and peace, free from all the drama and stress that the holidays bring to so many. This year we spent the holidays with my dear Mama Melina and her boyfriend Red having lots of laughs, good food and making lasting memories. Our son Daniel surprised us all by proposing to his girlfriend Erica! We are excited for them as they move forward making their own life together. Here are some pictures taken over the 2012 holiday season here.
We were blessed with a happy donation of left over Christmas trees generously donated to us by our friends at Dean's Home Hardware located in Port Sydney, ON. Our goats really loved the different variety of trees they received! We also received one from the Cook family from Huntsville, ON. We are always on the look out for more so if you are in the Huntsville area and have a real tree free from tinsel and sprays then we would love to hear from you!
Well I think that sums up the important bits of what has been happening around here for the last few months. I will write another post very soon about an exciting new project I have started but will leave it for it's own post. Hint - think goat milk ice cream!! YUM! Stay tuned for more info!
From all of us at Sky River Meadows, we want to wish all the best to everyone in 2013. May blessings and happiness be in all your days to come!
Yesterday was the CGS East Nationals in Ancaster, ON. They were held at the Ancaster Fall fair and approximately 350 goats of various breeds were entered in the competition. The level of quality in animals exhibited by breeders was amazing! This was our first opportunity to compete against other nigerian dwarf goats at a show and it was a great chance for us to see how our girls compare to those of other breeders. Our Maisie, Tripping Billies Loo placed first in her class and won Jr. Reserve Champion! Cassi still struggles in the ring and according to the judge is "thick through her bones", meaning she is fat! Cassi placed 4th in her class though :) Carmela who was showing for the first time in the senior classes now that she is in milk placed 1st in her class but she was alone in it. All in all, it was still a great day. We learned a great deal about what we need to do for our girls to really shine. Now we have a few months to get them into shape for the Royal Winter Fair in November! We are still so proud of our little Maisie!!
Yesterday we spent the day at the local Bracebridge Fall Fair with some of our goats for part of the goat display. As it was for display only and there was no competition, we were able to just sit back and relax and enjoy ourselves watching people enjoying our goats. The weather was nice and sunny which brought out a lot of people to the fairgrounds. As we were limited to bringing 6 goats, we decided on bringing Dixie, Mimi, Lucy, Carmela, Maisie and Cassi. These girls are getting quite used to being at fairs and showing this year so it seemed they knew right away they were in for another long day of boredom. Lucy insisted on spending most of the day jumping from pen to pen, standing on the thin ledge between pens or just standing up and looking out at the world. People did seem to enjoy her though and the occasional gasps from people as she leaped from one pen to the next were priceless for us! The nigerian girls were continually mistaken for baby goats but everyone was dazzled by thier beautiful bright blue eyes! Next year we will have more nigerians that we will be able to bring which will hopefully show the breed off more. It was great being able to connect with people in our own area for a change though.
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.
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!
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.
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”
- Anatole France
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