We have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first second generation Sky River Meadows babies and our Cassi has finally given birth to her first kids - gorgeous twin boys! Both are blue eyed and very striking. Sadly neither of them inherited their Sire's wattles but they are still perfect even without them! It was so surreal delivering Cassi's babies in the same stall where I delivered her into the world a year ago. We have decided to retain Cosmos - the black and white buckling for future breeding purposes and Galaxy - the grey and white has been sold to Brydson Acres Nigerians. Cassi is a very attentive and dedicated mother and has the most adorable little udder!
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 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.
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.
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”
- Anatole France