Critters have been joining our farm left and right around here.  All of them were planned and expected, and we are loving the idea of living on a “real” farm.

In early June, our last Alpine doe, Faith, delivered an adorable little buckling.  Our former buck Stallion is the sire, and the little guy is built on the stockier side, just like his sister Joy.  I knew Faith was in labor, and I checked her regularly through the day and night as we were working around the farm.  I wound up being so exhausted from all the work I’d been doing that day though, that I missed the actual birth.  I showed up about 15 minutes late, to find Faith drying him off.  Oh well.  She had delivered around 5 in the morning, which meant I got to check on him, make sure he nursed, and then I went back to bed.  We are proud to have “Pride” as our first little goat baby born on Red Gate Farm.

Faith with new son, Pride

Faith with new son, Pride

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For now, I am planning to use Pride to breed Caramel and Mocha this fall.  All my goats are now officially related to Stallion, and those 2 does are the two most distantly related.  I have been thrilled with the genetics coming out of crosses with Stallion’s genetics, so I am going to try that, but then that’s it.  I have to find a new line if I decide to breed the other girls this fall.  We’ll see what happens.

In addition, if you recall back around Christmas, S and I gave JR a bird cage with the understanding that if he earned his money and proved responsible, we would allow him to fulfill a long-time wish to buy pet birds after we moved.  JR waited patiently.  I helped him do some research on breeds, and he decided he wanted cockatiels.  Once we got moved in, I started watching Craigslist for him.  I quickly became discouraged for him when sellers refused to talk to a child.  I found it so sad.  JR did great asking his questions, making calls, but one guy went so far as to just hang up on him.  I tried to intervene on that one, but for the most part, I wanted JR to have the experience with this.  Eventually, we found a hobbyist with a pair of hand-raised 1 year old babies–a male and female for a fair price.  It was still expensive, so JR and I discussed the risks of using his hard-earned money, but he really wanted to go for it.  So he did, and now JR is the proud owner of 2 beautiful and sweet little cockatiels.

JR playing with Neptune and Cindy.

JR playing with Neptune and Cindy.

We’ve had them about a week now.  They are still settling in.  There is no denying that our house can get a little loud and chaotic, so we are trying to give them plenty of time to adjust and feel safe.  JR has been working diligently with them, though, to politely step up on his finger and not be afraid.  He offers them different treats throughout the day as he tries to figure out their favorites.  His hard work is paying off, and they are beginning to trust us more and more.  Yesterday, for the first time, they “asked” to be let out of the cage.  I think we are about to see their real personalities emerge, as they settle in.  They are becoming more vocal and playful, and just generally seeming more at peace.  The little male already mimics sounds and whistles, which is fun.  JR is hoping to teach him a few words.

We have several other new additions to the farm, but I will show those in another post later.  Time to go do some house cleaning!

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