As you might have guessed if you’ve been reading my blog, I’m a bit spring-dazed at the moment! Here’s another happy spring knitting moment to make your heart sing!
Here in the Portland where winter is dark and rainy and seems to inhabit our very souls. The only thing I’m really good for in winter time is knitting, crafting, making fires in the living room, and drinking hot chocolate made from goat’s milk.
So when Spring is finally here, we crawl out of our caves, cower in the sunlight for a while, our hands over our eyes, and marvel at the fact that there is life outside our own houses. When we finally are able to see past the brightness, we find that we are surrounded by a world full of newness. Flowers bloom everywhere- trees, fields, beds, hedgerows, and in between the cracks in the sidewalk. In our gardens, plants begin to grow and we are able to eat fresh salads again. And for goat owners everywhere, spring means the return of baby goats to our lives.
I am part of a goat milking cooperative in NE Portland. We have 3 goats, one of which is in milk right now. They are Mini La Mancha goats, which means that they are a cross between a the full-size La Mancha milking breed and the miniature Nigerian Dwarf milking breed. They are all family, a momma and two daughters from different years. They are the sweetest, most friendly creatures I’ve ever met! At least twice a week I go over to their house to play with them, milk their matriarch, Darlin’, and feed and water them. Sometimes, I take them for walks around the neighborhood so that they can get fresh greens to eat. They’re quite famous in the neighborhood, and there must be thousands of pictures of them out on walks on computers and cameras all over portland. They are loving, curious, and sensitive creatures. As you can tell, I LOVE my goats!
Well, this weekend, while I was off galavanting along the Oregon coast, our pregnant momma, Callie, gave birth to her first kids! And they are the cutest things I have ever seen!
They are a boy, with the long ears (Nigerian Dwarf genes) and a little girl with short La Mancha ears. As of this morning when I took these pictures, they are 3 days old!
At this morning’s milking, when I went to put the babies out of the birthing pen/ milking stall so that I could milk their grandmother, Darlin’, they started jumping around, hopping over the rocks, and running around the yard with the chickens and their aunt, Lil’ Kim. But despite the warmness of the morning, they were both shivering slightly. I picked them up, snuggling them to stay warm, but I can’t just hold them all day! Which reminded me of something I have heard about, something that sounds possibly cuter than little baby sweaters– baby goat sweaters…
…yes I did write that.
Fias Co Farms, a reputable milking goat husbandry website, recommends that when baby goats are born when it is still cold, that they need a bit more warmth until they have their first layer of baby fat. So they designed THESE!
The pictures on the website are complete with goat sweater instructions. Oh my oh my, I think I’ve got to make some for my goats! What if I made them and put goats on their goat sweaters! Ideas abound… I’m thinking acrylic wool for maximum wear and washing. I’m thinking kelley green for land, blue for sky, and white for clouds, and little frolicking goats.
Do let me know if you all want to see more goat pictures! But for now, I’ll leave you with a video Eric and I took a few years back from the first few minutes of our baby goat’s first time outside. And they start hopping around! They were about 5 days old…
You have to go to Vimeo to check it out, but its definitely worth it!