We keep two chickens in with the goats to help pretend they are in a herd. Goats are naturally herd animals and get sad and depressed alone. So while we were waiting for Beverly to pop out a baby goat/ buddy we put two chickens inside to keep her company. I know what you are thinking, “Chickens make eggs, right? So why is this a big deal?” The reason it’s a big deal is that these birds were small and scrawny when got them (several months ago) and are bred for meat production not egg production. Meaning, they can produce eggs, but not regularly if at all. The intention was to slaughter them once baby goats were born, but for one reason or another they have stuck around and even produced an egg. Good for them (not sure which chicken produced the egg). These two chickens probably won’t last too long as we move towards getting some proper egg-laying chicken breed, but it’s still exciting that all that feed is finally going toward something. One little egg. But I bet it will taste mighty fine with breakfast tomorrow.
Baby Goat Lal is growing up so fast! At the ripe old age of 2 weeks old she is about 6 pounds. Kids grow really fast at about a rate of 10 pounds per month. Lal was about 2 pound when she was born and 4 pounds last weekend right on track. Not only is she growing up in mere size, but almost everyday seems to learn a new trick from Mama Goat Beverly. Currently climbing, nibbling, and bulling the chickens are her new tricks- if only we could get her to do them on cue we would have a circus ready goat!
I could watch Lal perform all day, she is a source of endless amusement. While that is pretty darn great, it makes leaving her difficult- especially when I am at work all day and miss her development. She is mainly active in the morning and early afternoon so by the time I get home in the evenings she is one tired baby goat.
Starting on Friday night, Lal began sleeping outside at night with Mama Goat! Honestly, she could have started sleeping out there several days prior, but I just wasn’t ready to loss little Lal yet! She would follow me around as I cooked or cleaned, try to make friends with the cat only to have the cat run away in fear, and attempt to climb anything and everything with little luck.
Mama Goat Beverly is doing great and is officially off antibiotics! She looks so skinny to us now after giving birth and it will take some getting used to. It seems like there was a hormonal shift or something because she is a lot more skittish and reluctant to come for milking. On the flip side she now being a more attentive mother. Now that she is off antibiotics we can start consuming her milk, so today we made our first batch of goat’s milk cheese! I have dabbled in cheese making in the past, so it was not overwhelming and we used a super easy recipe. It tasted great, and we got a surprisingly large amount from the amount of milk we processed. Cannot wait to make more! Her milk is so creamy, richer and thicker then half-and-half with a smooth full flavor- not goaty at all. It will be great in my morning coffee.
Now that Lal is strong and healthy we are trying to get the goats comfortable outside their pen. Before Lal’s birth, we took Beverly on daily goat walks but has now become fearful of the greater farm. Using Lal as a hostage, we lead Beverly outside of her pen and encourage her to explore and nibble on all the spring new growth. Lal jumps, prances, and climbs all around her world making it hard to keep up with her. Luckily goats are herd animals, so we don’t need a lead for Lal, we probably don’t need one for Bev either but its good practice. Later in the season we plan on using the goats to help clear poison ivy from around the veggie fields.
I leave you with the song, “Hey Babe, Would You Like to Get Some Goats with Me” by the Carper Family Band.
I work a traditional office job during the week, which means long hours sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen. Definitely not a great fit for me or my lifestyle. However my office is situated right on the Chesapeake Bay in a quaint neighborhood giving me a great place to walk during my lunch break. PROBLEM: I want to use all of my break time outside stretching my legs and breathing non- climate controlled air, but I also need to eat a proper lunch. SOLUTION: Drinkable lunch! I concocted a batch of drinkable tomato/ gazpacho soup recipe that can be easily altered into V8 and bloody mary mix bases. When cooking, I typically think about a base recipe then what can I add to it to make it more versatile depending on what I am in the mood for, the situation, or what is available in the house. Below you will find a solid base recipe and simple steps to make it easily drinkable for lunch break walks. Additionally several suggestions to easily transform the basic recipe into all kinds of tomato based delights.
Drinkable Tomato Gazpacho Recipe:
1 Can of Tomatoes or 3 Fresh Tomatoes (I use ones canned from last summer, I can’t do store bought tomatoes anymore)
4 Stalks of Celery
1/4 Red Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Cup of Fresh Kale or Spinach
1/2 Bunch of Basil
Add for Bloody Mary Mix:
1/2 Tablespoon of Horseradish
Dash of Salt & Pepper
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
To taste Tabasco or other Hot sauce
1/2 CupPickles or Olives
Add for V8 Juice:
1/4 Bunch Parsley
Tabasco or other Hot sauce
1/2 Bell Pepper
Dash of Salt & Pepper
1/2 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- Coarsely chop all vegetables into manageable chucks.
- Place all ingredients into a food processor, blender, or large bowl for immersion blender.
- Blend, process, or puree until a coarse pulp appears about the consistency of a fine salsa.
- Place mixture into a fine meshed strainer or a colander with cheesecloth over a large bowl to capture all the dripping juice (that is the good stuff)
- Alternate between stirring and pressing the mixture to get as much juice as possible.
- Pour juice into a jar and store in refrigerator, lasts about three days before it starts to fade in flavor.
- Bring jar and straw to work and lunch is ready to go!
I know what you are thinking, What about the remaining pulp? That pulp is fantastic and can be easily used in a variety of ways. I set aside and freeze it to be used in sauces and soups literally tossing it in with rice, beans, or pasta. Plus it makes great salsa if you have some tortilla chips or a quesadilla hanging around.
Little Lal is starting to climb anything and everything including her mama Beverly and yours truly.