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January is always a time of reflection and planning around the farm. This past year has been such a big one for us in so many ways, it’s good to take a step back and see what we’ve accomplished and what we still have to achieve.
Our herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats continues to be our primary focus here at the farm. The past year we’ve participated in our first Linear Appraisal, and our first year on milk test through ADGA. These were big goals for us, and I’m really proud that we’ve accomplished that, and pleased with all of the knowledge we’ve gained by participating in these programs. We are already signed up to do Linear Appraisal and milk test for the coming year. We hope to use what we’ve learned to continue to better our herd and out management practices.
Our herd is topping out at 29 goats right now after some fantastic additions this past year. We will probably be making some tough cuts in the spring so we can continue to keep our herd at a manageable level. We also hope to expand our goat housing and pasture space to continue to keep our goats as healthy and happy as possible.
This will be our biggest kidding season ever. This brings a lot of excitement and some worry as well. There will be a lot of sleepless nights on the farm this spring. My goal is to try to live stream a few births on FB – I’ve seen a few other farms do it and I’ve really enjoyed watching along. There are a lot of breedings we’re really excited about, and I can’t wait to be swimming in baby goats once again.
Our chicken flock continues to stay large and diverse, and we’ll be hatching chicks in the spring as always. Some of our gals are getting on in years, and we’ll need to add some new hens this year. I would like to expand their coop and get their area of the barn looking nicer in general.
We continue to be on the fence about the ducks. They’re just so messy! Hoping our attitude will change in the spring when they begin laying. After some suggestions from a friend of ours who has raised and loved her ducks for years, we will most likely be moving their area and restructure it for better drainage. Here’s to hoping with a little work we can learn to love them.
We hope to raise our first batch of meat birds this spring. We’ve had a friend raising them for us the past few seasons, and we think we’re ready to do a round of our own.
We’ve had nothing but bad luck with the bees the past few years, and this year was no different. Our lovely drought kept them from putting away enough honey for the winter, and we’re not sure how they’ll fare. Honestly, I’m tired of buying bee packages and never getting any honey yield in return.
Ah the garden. This past year, was such a major failure with the drought that I just had to call it a loss and give up. It was really depressing, but I couldn’t risk running my well dry to keep up with it when I have so much livestock depending on that water supply.
This year, I’m going to knock it out of the park if it kills each and every one of us. I will have a flourishing, Eden-esque garden of plenty, and I will put away enough food to have plenty of vegetables for winter. The key will be making sure I get the help I need, as I can’t keep up with such a huge plot solo. I have a few ideas in the works, including sharing some garden space in order to get some weeding and watering help. In the meantime, I’ll be starting seedlings soon and plotting grandiose trellises of cucumbers, and giant, towering mounds of potatoes. Here’s to a bountiful year!