It was the coldest morning so far this winter on the farm. We woke up to 16 degree weather here in East Tennessee in the Smokies. We still have Lil Bean our bottle baby goat in the house so we opted to stay inside a while to let the temperature rise.
Thankfully it looks like the weather starting today will be warmer and not down in the 20s. It appears we will be having temperatures in the 40s during the days and 30s at night. So, that is fine for our critters in the barns.
As I headed out to start the farm chores this morning I looked out my window and saw this. Do you see it?
So, I like to be around when my husband is up on a roof and steep things. It is a safety issue. I am heading out of the house to do the chores and low and behold I see my husband up on the roof working away.
I had to go out and see what was going on and the good news is the roof isn’t too steep to be concerned. And, he put the safety rails on the scaffolding. He is in the process of installing a MAJOR solar system on this building and he is putting up the racking system that will support the solar panels. We will blog on this ongoing project. This system will be able to take our house and shop off the grid in a major way and also allow our well for all the farm’s water to be off grid.
We already have the chicken coop (for the winter light) and livestock barn off grid with a smaller solar system for those buildings.
I am really looking forward to having our entire farm running on alternative energy.
I get to the livestock barn this morning and yes, all the water buckets were frozen again. Fortunately I had wrapped the water stand pipe with wool blankets and capped it with a bucket yesterday. So, I did have water in the barn today and didn’t have to haul it.
To my happy surprise, not only were all our baby goats doing well, but our ewe “Boonie” had a little boy, who we named “Chief”. He was doing well and nursing so that is always great news during this really cold weather. Boonie is the black ewe and Chief is the little guy behind her. We are thrilled to have another black baby because we love the dark wool for spinning. It is absolutely gorgeous.
I checked on our baby goat twin girls that were born yesterday and they were doing really well too. Greta, our Boer (their mom) is thinner than past years. I think the twins were hard on her this year during gestation. I am making sure she gets lots of supplemental grain and nutrients to get her weight back up.
The little doelings are really quite large for only being 24 hours old. I had Mike come down and help me this afternoon give them shots (both Greta and her two babies and also Boonie and her little boy). I wormed the moms and gave them both BOSE shots (selenium and vitamin E) and gave the babies the BOSE only.
Now I am sitting by the fire contemplating the rest of the week and feeling exhausted from running back and forth to the barn night and day.
As of now we have eight babies in the barn; seven goats and one lamb. We have six girls and two boys thus far.
We are expecting about three to five more lambs and two to four more kids. So, we should have 12 to 15 babies in the barn in the coming weeks.
Yes, I love this time of year. But, it makes me really tired.
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Have a blessed day!