Who’s Who at the Fiber Farm (Part 1)

Since so many of you are watching the lambcam I thought you might like to know a bit more about the mamas-to-be. 

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This is Hannah. Hannah and her twin Martin were my first two goats and my first bottle babies. We bred Hannah for the first time last year and she gave us a beautiful buckling named Mint. I was a bit worried that she wouldn’t make a very good mama; her mama rejected her after all, and she’s a bit spoiled, but my fears were unfounded. She took great care of Mint and he is one of our biggest and healthiest yearlings. I’m hoping for a doeling out of Hannah this year. I happen to think Hannah looks like Julia Roberts but I understand I am in the minority on this.

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This is Astrid. She is easily distinguished by her reverse parentheses horns. We bought Astrid with five other nanny goats. She was the smallest and the youngest and the others picked on her mercilessly. All that changed when she had her first kid, Kit Kat. Astrid turned feirce when it came to protecting her baby and the other nannies started to respect her. We’ve bred Astrid twice and gotten big, healthy singles out of her both times. (Kit Kat is a 2-year-old buck and Tansy is a yearling doe.) Astrid is the best mama we have.

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Jane is the only one of our animals that I don’t really like. She is kind of mean and a little scary. She growls at me when I’m in the pen and has nipped at me once or twice. Besides the black racing stripes on her horns, you can usually pick out Jane because she is built like a Corgie. She’s a normal sized goat with impossibly short legs. Two years ago Jane gave us buckling twins, one of whom, Peppermint Patty, we still have on the farm. PP is a fine buck and will probably be used for breeding next year. Last year Jane didn’t get bred but she is definitely pregnant this year and I expect twins out of her.

 

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Of the non-bottle babies, Nanny McPhee is my favorite. She is a sweet, sweet nanny goat. She’s very small and fine boned. Last year, poor Nanny McPhee’s baby, Parsley, died after one day. It was McPhee’s first baby and she spent days searching around the barn for him after he died. I really want a healthy kid for McPhee this year.

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If there was a “Best Horns” contest on our farm, Agnes would win it hands down! Here’s the side view. 

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Her horns curl around into a That Girl hairdo. Agnes is a nice goat- not overly friendly but never mean to me or the other nannies. Last year was our first with Agnes and she gave birth to twins, a buckling and a doeling. Agnes and Linda spend a lot of time together.

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Olivia is easily recognized by her distinctive handle bar horns and the fact that she is usually seen bullying the other goats. She is also bossy with me. Here’s my favorite picture of Olivia from last Christmas.

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The first year we bred Olivia she had a single doeling that she refused to take care of. It was her first baby, so we figured we give her another chance. Last year she gave birth to twins- a doeling and a buckling- and she refused to take care of the buckling. I hand raised Bay Leaf and I absolutely adore that kid, but this year, Olivia is raising all her own babies if it kills me.

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I’ll post more of the ladies tomorrow. In the meantime, I though you might want to see what the nursery looks like from the other side. The lambcam is mounted on the wooden run in she in the corner. There are also three smaller yurts just for the kids located in the only corner you can’t see in this photo. Two or three of the yearling kids fit in them at a time but right now Sweet William has them all to himself.

29 Comments

  1. Sally Smith (indigoindy on Rav)

    April 1, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Oh, thank you so much! I love seeing the pictures of the “girls”! I have to say that I am learning so much!

  2. Echoing a big thank you for the run down on the girls and their pen. It’s nice to get the total picture of it after watching for the last week. Horns are the key in identifying them! Now we know what’s out of view and the scraping noises are goats rubbing against the shed or rummaging around in there.

  3. Susie, if you don’t mind me asking, where did those splendiferous yurts come from? Way, way awesome.

    • Susan

      April 1, 2009 at 4:02 pm

      You can ask me anything Cindy! They are called Calf Nurseries and they’re made by a company called Polydome. You can buy directly from them but they are in Indianan or some place like that and shipping was outrageous. They found me a local dealer in Haverhill MA and I got them (including delivery) for around $900 for three of them. The animals love them- they stay warm in the winter- and they hold lots of animals.

  4. This is really great to have a way of identifying “our girls,” and to get the big picture of the pen. You are so thoughtful, Susie. Thank you.

  5. Love the Who’s Who! Thanks so much.
    …any new pictures of Martha? :)

  6. Janet (ricochetred on Ravelry)

    April 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you, Susie, not only for the names-with-faces, but also for the mini-biographies. I used to raise Nubian dairy goats and, if I’d had an audience back then (blogs weren’t invented yet), I could’ve gone on and on about each and every one of them. :-)

  7. Thanks so much for the introductions. I can’t wait for Part 2. This me reminds me of my favorite children’s book that I used to read to my girls when they were little. I think it is called “The Animals on Maple Hill Farm” or something very close to that. It intros all the animals with detail and humor. They all had names and personalities, as of course yours do, also.

  8. Hannah definitely looks like Julia Roberts.

  9. Wonderful introductions! At the Festival last year, I didn’t really appreciate the horns as much as this rundown does.
    Let’s hear it for nursing nannies! Hoo rah

  10. Nice to meet you ladies. Thanks for the tour!

    Perhaps Jane is grumpy because her mama told her she would be the belle of the farm with her perfectly curled, racing striped horns and–alas–forgot to tell her that manners count more than looks! Maybe we could send her to a nanny finishing school or something….

  11. Now I know who the bully in the crowd is. I have really been enjoying the antics of all of them. Wish they would hurry up and start having babies.

  12. Thankyou, that was excellent!

  13. This is really informative. I love knowing how to ID them, if they get close enough to the camera. How many nannies are in the pen?

  14. Stupid question – will the girls get more aggressive with each other before they have their babies or will be nice to each other and then just kind of go off on their own? Also, will they instinctively know to go in the yurts or if a spot looks good outside to give birth then will they plop right down and start birthing?

    I hope I don’t sound too ignorant but I don’t know anything about this subject and it’s fun learning.

    Carol

    • Susan

      April 1, 2009 at 6:34 pm

      There are no stupid questions, Carol. Every nanny is different when it come to kidding. Some get more aggressive and other become very affectionate with each other. They do tend to go off on their own when they are close to kidding but never into the yurt. You have to remember that they are very hot in their fleece. Even in 40 degree weather at night they are panting! So when they have their babies it never occurs to them that it’s too cold for the little ones.

  15. Thank you for taking the time out to post these. I wondered how you could tell the difference between your girls – just goes to show what a city slicker I am. Who knew there was that much horn diversity!

  16. Thanks for posting this! I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t recognize all the ladies by sight. And seeing the “other angle” on the pen is great! I have a better idea of the size/layout now.

    Are all sixteen of the pregnant nanny goats in the pen right now? The most I’ve ever counted on camera is 8 or 9. Or do they all hang out in that invisible corner?

  17. Hi Susie, I am afraid to ask, but how is Nanny Goat Linda doing? I know you mentioned that she was older for a nanny goat and I have had her on my mind.

  18. oh how wonderful to get acquainted
    thanks susan
    for the beautiful photos and expose’
    very very very enjoyable
    lots of love
    rona

  19. Thanks for the Polydome info, Susie – verrrry interesting. I’m going to look for the most local source. A dairy near me uses those mini calf huts. Maybe they replace theirs sometimes…. maybe they’ll order new ones and I can glom onto their order… hmmmm… I’m thinking ‘sheep shed.’

  20. These magnificent bios made my day! I hope that these ladies will have some nice kids to look after very soon.

    And I do think that Linda could bear a resemblance to Julia Roberts (she has the same lips and eyes), but Julia Roberts’ ears aren’t so large and askew as Lindas’!

  21. I totally agree with you on the Julia Roberts thing- I’ve always seen that.

    LOVE this, by the way! Do more!

  22. Thank you, Susan. I am so far away, I know it is unlikely that I will see your flock in person, but it is lovely to see pictures and have your descriptions. And the Lambcam! So GREAT!

  23. Just “Priceless”!! I almost had a “nervous breakdown” yesterday, because I couldn’t get on line to see the girls… (I was afraid of the computer virus…)

    Would LOVE to help bottle feed them if required….PLEASE!!! I only live 8mins.away..

    Thanks for the sneek-peek..
    Kathleen

  24. Trisha M (tmspinner on Rav)

    April 2, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Thank you so much for sharing with us. I love peeking in and checking on everyone. Its nice to see who’s who and hear a bit about them. Thanks for taking the time. Question?? how come not close up shots of Linda, I do hope she is okay.

  25. Hannah DOES look like Julia Roberts! It’s her mouth and facial expression. Good call.

  26. I love the pictures and personality descriptions. Poor Jane, she’s probably just angry and jealous of the other girls’ lovely long legs! He, he. I’m hoping you’ll give me (us) a little info about the “goat speak” such as yearling, kid, doeling, buckling, nanny, etc., other than the obvious boy and girl. Thanks for the pictures…

  27. Thank you so much Susan for helping us know the girls. Wow what crazy horns some have. You do such a great job keeping us all in the loop.

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