I felt the need to do a quick update on Violet, since many of you have asked about her and what is going on. I really appreciate that you guys are actually reading and asking for updates! I promise you, I will keep you posted but nothing has happened yet. We must have totally misread her signs, but she is stable and nothing has changed. She is outside with the other girls and doing fine. We have had babies for the past two years but are still new to this and many of you have offered great tips which we appreciate. Adding to the confusion of her delivery date is the fact that we didn’t know when the “deed” occured if you know what I mean, so we have not been able to accurately track her pregnancy. Now with Daisy we have a better idea and there is also a possibility that Pansy and Rosie are preggos too. I will keep you guys posted. Thanks!
On Monday night after taking the kids to Piano Lessons and Boy Scouts, I came home and Hope and I are discussing little Violet, who is one of our younger goats and is pregnant. We have been watching her over the past few months grow and grow after our Veterinarian Dr. Slone was out and confirmed she was indeed pregnant and the ultrasound showed two goat fetuses. Yes, they have portable ultrasounds for this kind of thing. It is not unusual for Hope to ask me while she is at work in Frankfort (she took a winter position with the General Assembly just during session) how is Violet? I know what this means, I say no change, she hasn’t bagged up and her “Who Who” isn’t doing anything. “Who Who” is a term for a female’s private parts that our daughter uses and we use with her. Hope being the proper Central KY Girl she is, likes these more cordial, delicate terms for reproductive anatomy. Bagged up is referring to her udder and whether she has come into milk and checking her “Who Who” is a daily thing for us goat farmers while they are preganant as they will show various signs of approaching labor.
I don’t know how graphic you want me to get, but it involves discharge and swollen vulva which means she is dilating, to just give you a preview. Well, I guess that was pretty graphic. I can guarantee you that I never thought I would be looking at a goat’s “Who Who” on a daily basis when I graduated from the Horticulture Program at the University of Kentucky. I am supposed to be a plant guy, what happened here.
I noticed early that day that indeed these signs were starting to show, and Hope called our good friend Joy who is a long time goat breeder and has been a wealth of knowledge for us. Joy said she would stop by and check her out and she confirmed that she was indeed dilated but not in labor yet, as there were no contractions, but it wouldn’t be long.
So back to our dinner conversation about Violet, and what to do with her. We both felt with the returning Polar Vortex that it would be best to move her in. If she has the kids in this kind of cold, they will certainly get hypothermia and freeze. So after thinking I was finished for the night having fed and watered all of our menagerie earlier before piano lessons and boy scouts, I put on my Carharts and ventured back outside.
At 8:00 it was 13 degrees with a wind chill of 0. I couldn’t just move her into the garage. I had to build a pin of some sort as there are all kinds of organic fertilizers, among other things, that she doesn’t need to be getting into. So with my trusty light, a Christmas present from my brother Chris, which I was truly excited about. Yes, these are the kinds of things I get excited about. A light that I can use outside while doing these sort of crazy farm chores in the pitch dark and freezing cold. Hope reminded me that there were some extra cattle panels that I could use in the goat pin. For those of you who do not know, a cattle panel is a strong wired fence panel, that is extremely tough and versatile. I had to cut down 2 -16′ cattle panels where I had them wired up on a wall. Then I proceeded to cut the 16′ section in half (with bolt cutters, these are thick wire) and bring those inside to create an 8′ x 8′ pin that she could safely be inside of. It backs up to our John Deere Gator, which served as a good stabilizer.
I then had to get a water bowl, something for food and then hiked out to our barn (former coal house for heating old greenhouses) to get some hay for her to eat and use as bedding. I set up a heat lamp and even ran a space heater for a little while when I was in there. I didn’t run it all night, I know what a fire hazard these are, especially around some hay! Finally, I got a lead line and went out to fetch Violet. Great thing about Violet is that she is such a sweet goat and loves people, so she was easy to get on the lead line and bring out of the goat yard. Once we started getting close to the garage, she started wondering what I was doing with her but didn’t put up too much of a fight. I got her in and settled and I have to say it was quite a nice little area. Unfortunately, as soon as I left the garage, she starts her crying out ” Bahh, Bahh, Bahh!!” She is just like one of our children who wants us to sleep with her. She makes you feel horrible for leaving her, but eventually she calms down. I called Hope on the phone and she suggested I turn on the radio for her to keep her company. So I plugged in the radio and turned it on to WFPL, our local NPR affiliate. After listening to this all night, Violet would be up on world affairs and be able to discuss politics at length. Hope came over and sat with her for awhile and eventually snuck out. I think we both knew she probably wouldn’t give birth that night, which she didn’t, but it made us feel better having her in there.
So now, flash ahead to today, Friday 31st and she has still not gone into labor. Yesterday afternoon I was feeling bad about her being by herself and since it was warmer I moved her outside. She spent the night out there with the other goats and seems to be a lot happier. I went out in the middle of the night to check on her, but still no change. I will keep you posted.
OK…this is getting a little ridiculous! How many have you heard, “Hey Honey, the pet(s) need food” one time or another? In our house that is getting to be quite a common (and frequent) thing to hear now that Acorn Lane Farm Petting Zoo, which is our backyard, has grown more than we realized. It’s funny how things slip up on you and then it takes one moment of looking at things differently to realize how big something has gotten. I had just one of those moments tonight when I went out to feed our animals. We usually run out of food for the animals at different times, therefore it tempers for us how much food we really go thru at a time with this new petting zoo venture of ours. However today almost every species of animal (almost all) on our little micro farm needed food. Hope went to our local feed store in Crestwood, Crestwood Feed and Seed, and picked everything up. I had a late meeting tonight but I texted Hope and told her that I would feed when I got home, since she had the kids. She told me that the food was in the back of her Explorer. After unloading, and carrying 7 bags of feed ( 350 pounds) back to our storage area I looked at it all and said to myself, “OK this is getting ridiculous and a little out of control!” I guess that is what we get for having Chickens, Goats, Alpacas, Guineas, Ducks, Geese, Pigs, Horse and miniature Donkeys. And that’s not counting the Dog, Bees, Cats, Rabbits (currently 9 are in cages in our house, more about that at a later date) and Fish on the property! But you know what, I wouldn’t trade it for all the world. We are having so much fun and cannot wait for all of our friends to come out this spring and see all of the madness we have been up to!!
Here are some really cool design concepts for a commercial project that we are working on for a really good client. These are just the rough concepts but really give an idea of how creative our designers are with a project. These are 4 ideas for the same front entrance, and each one is completely different. Holly Smith and Brad Bard collaborated on these designs. Just wait to see the final design and the actual project installed.
The Boone Gardiner Blog is back, Jack! After a two-year sabbatical, we are back. We celebrate our 114th year in business this year and are so excited to share all of the great, new things we have going on. Stay tuned for lots of content and details on our reopening of the retail garden center, our new Acorn Lane Farm and Petting Zoo, gardening and farm lifestyle tips and of course our awesome landscape design/ build projects. Oh, yeah and a new website coming soon. We can’t wait!!
This is Earth week. Plant your own vegetable garden at home. Save money while feeding your family, fresh organic produce that doesn’t have to be shipped across the country or overseas. If you don’ have the time for your own vegetable garden support local farmers through Farmer’s Markets or CSAs.