Thanks for our first season!

Looking back on 2018, we can truly say it was the year it all began..

The first kids were born on the farm, 27 of them.

We finished building our dairy, we began milking our goats and then making and selling our very own cheese.

We participated in about 10 REKO-rings, several markets and events, and had lots of visitors who came to the farm, interested in seeing our newly started goat-business.

We continued improving the farm buildings by creating a storage place for our cheese.

We had help from friends, neighbors and several awesome WWOOFers.

Sweden experienced maybe the worst summer (for farmers) ever in modern age, with a drought  that lasted for over 3 months and temperatures over 30 degrees most days. We survived that!

We sold a few of our male goat kids and slaughtered 8 of them here on the farm. It was not a pleasant thing to do, we were sad to have to let them go, but take comfort in knowing the had a great life here with us.

We expanded our flock of chickens, from just a few to now having over 20 hens.

We were featured in local magazines, websites, and even got to be live on the local radio station! (see Media & press if you want to have a look or listen)

By the end of the year, we had met and even exceeded our sales goals for 2018.

All in all, it has been a year filled with joy as well as hard work. We are looking forward to 2019 and what we hope it will entail: ca 50-60 goat kids, milking around 30-35 goats, making and selling almost twice as much cheese, expanding our storage, and many other things!

New kids on the blog

Since kidding season is upon us, it is time for a presentation of our new farm inhabitants!

First out to give birth was the oldest goat, Asta, who came to us as a foster mother and leader of all the kids when we bought them. She was a little grumpy in the morning and head-butted a rooster so that he flew all over the barn. Soon after, she gave a cat what he didn’t deserve.  I put her in a box to calm down, but she showed no signs of beginning labour so I went to have breakfast. When I returned half an hour later, a beautiful little goat that we named Athena was delivered, and Asta was happy again.

Athena heating up a little under Nils jacket

After that, it was time for Iowa to take over the show. She went straight into labour, and I had just put her in a separate box before she delivered Glenn. A black and white buck, with a certain Klingon resemblance.

Claire holding the first Glenn
Claire holding the first Glenn

The day after, when we were expecting all the kids to arrive. Nobody showed up. The day after that however, Alabama greeted us in the morning with a brand new daughter by her side. We named her Artemis. She got her own box since Asta and Iowa could move together, and even if we had some problem getting the milk to flow, they soon seemed to enjoy life.

Artemis and Alabama
Artemis and Alabama

Around lunchtime, North Carolina was beginning to show signs of distress, and soon her water broke. I was watching her the entire afternoon and we shared a cup of tea.

5 hours later, she finally delivered a kid, but it had it’s head twisted in a strange way, and was dead. She had been sick a week before, refused to eat and sought solitude. We suspected ketosis/pregnancy poisoning and gave her treatments that eventually started her digestion again. That was probably the moment when the twisted kid died, and her metabolism went into overdrive, providing her with all the energy the kid would have taken.

We cleaned out and went to look after the other goats. When we where about to leave the barn, we heard a strange sound. Like from a cat or a bird. We went to see Northie one more time, and there she was, with a newborn buck who we named Glenn nr 2. That was a very happy moment.

North Carolina with Glenn 2
North Carolina with Glenn 2

The morning after, as soon as we entered the barn, we noticed something was sticking out from Delawares private parts. It turned out to be a kids head, and nothing more. The poor thing had managed to come out head first thus having caught its front legs still inside Delawares uterus. We managed to get her in to a box and then the difficult kidding began. The kid seemed ok at first, already breathing, but it felt firmly wedged in and impossible to get out even though Delaware was pushing hard. It was not looking good, and we feared for the goats life, not to mention the kid (which in this case, comes second in priority, but still, is a sad loss if there is a chance to save it). Finally, when we pretty much had given up hope, Nils managed to pull the kid out, working as a team with Delaware, who seemed to be in a lot of pain.

It turned out to be a buck, Glenn 3, and even though he was weak at first, he gained strength and turned out to be fine. He also turned out to be the largest of the bunch (so far) with a birth weight of 4.5 kg.

Delaware with her newborn buck Glenn 3
Delaware with her newborn buck Glenn 3

A difficult kidding before breakfast, phew! After breakfast, I went out to the barn again only to find Maine with two newborn babies. Unfortunately only one of them was alive and on its feet, a buck. The other one was lying with its head in a strange angle and was not breathing and did not respond to my efforts to animate it. This is very sad of course, but there was nothing more to do then to direct attention toward the living kid and take care of its mother.

So began the twin kiddings. Soon after Maine, South Carolina went in to labour and we helped her just a little as she delivered two female goats which we named Selene (the light brown one) and Spio (the dark one).

South Carolina with Spio and Selene
South Carolina with Spio and Selene

After lunch, one of our dearest and most intelligent goats, Indiana, began telling us it was time for her to have her kids. The whole thing went very smoothly and the kids were very quick to get on their feet and find the teats. She had a super pretty grey buck, Glenn 4, and a light brown goat, Ino, and soon got to move in with Southie and her twins.

Anna, Ino and Glenn 4
Anna, Ino and Glenn 4

So that was a wrap for that day! 10 new kids had arrived in total and about half the goats had given birth.

Sunday morning Oregon went into labour and did a prefect job with two babies, a light brown goat – Oizys, and a dark buck, Glenn 5.

Oregon with Glenn 5
Oregon with Glenn 5
Oizys
Oizys

About an hour later, one of the white goats, Utah, decided it was time to take off into the woods. Since we prefer to watch over the kidding in case of complications, Nils had to lure her back inside with some grain, and after another hour or so, she gave birth to a lovely white little female goat we named Urania and a darker, grey buck – Glenn no 6.

Utah with Urania and Glenn 6
Utah with Urania and Glenn 6

Last one out this day was Arizona who gave life to two female goats, it went well and we named them Asteria (the dark one) and Aphrodite (the light one).

Arizona with Asteria and Aphrodite