We are in the final countdown!! I just told Mazy that she just needs to hold on to her kids for only 9 more days. She's not due until the 16th, but she doesn't need to wait that long. I can't wait that long.
With kidding season right around the corner, I am trying to get my affairs in order. I have ordered & received extra towels, id bands, vaccines, nipples ( in case I have to bottle-feed any kids), Tattoo letters, a dis-budding iron & extra minerals. I'm trying to think about last year & what I would need for this year. What would make things go easier? What was terrible that I can change or make better?
As the days tick by, I remember poor Mazy's plight last year with the Pneumonia, Ketosis, little late Lilly, poor feet & then all over again. I keep checking in on her. Constantly wringing my hands. Playing scenarios in my mind. What if....? What can I do differently? Is it the feed? The minerals? The weather? The hay? What? What could possibly cause a problem? What can I do about it?
These are the things that keep me awake. I read & re-read books & articles on goat health & nutrition. Natural care. Organic methods. Old-fashioned remedies. New & improved scientific ways. Which is the best? Does anyone know? I would really like to know.
I have decided that I want to farm simply. What does that look like? Well, here's my view on it. Low input. Minimal grains. The less grain I have to feed the goats the better. I don't plan on starving them. I want to feed them how God designed a ruminant to eat, with forage & browse. That means hay, forbs (a flowering plant other than grass, think weeds), shrubs, bushes & trees. With the help from a friend, we will be farming the farm! Making our own hay & alfalfa. This will be a great help & cost savings. Not to mention not having to worry about where I'm going to get the hay from & is it going to be good hay without mold.
A really good mineral blend is needed. Goats require lots of minerals. They should be getting them from the plants they eat. Our soil is semi-depleted of minerals that they need. Plants get the minerals from the soil. Boosting the micro-activity of our land in a priority for me. The better the dirt, the better the plants.
Seeding their pasture with weeds & herbs. Yep, weeds. Goats are master weed eaters. I really want to know who declared weeds bad? What's wrong with a dandelion? Or chickweed? Or milkweed? Goats can't eat milkweed. It's poisonous to them. It is the food for monarch butterflies. Without them, who would pollinate flowers & be a delight to gaze at?
As time ticks away, I will be checking things off my lists to get done in the next week & a half. After that 1st kid is delivered, I will preoccupied at the barn. Luckily I will have my kids with me. They adore baby goats!! I'm sure they will be all to happy to help with the babies. I do hope that my children never lose that wonder of the miracle of birth & will always want to be by my side when a new life is about to emerge.