Hey my friends, todays post might be a bit different than the usual ones we share. While this post does have a bit to do with the farm life we are growing here at Twelve On Main, it also has a bit to do with hope. We all needed a win as of late, and we got one. Well, actually, we got two. Two Nigerian dwarf baby goats.
If you have been following along on Facebook or Instagram, you may know that we have been patiently awaiting the arrival of some very precious packages. Our sweet little Nigerian Dwarf doe Callie was due to have babies. This being her first pregnancy, I was very nervous and went through all the scenarios in my head of what could go wrong. We also made sure to have all those unpleasant conversations with the kids(especially my daughter who has raised these goats) that there was a chance the mom or babies could die.
That is life on a farm. If you have live stock, you also have dead stock. That may seem like a harsh way to look at it, but it is very much the reality.
We don’t like to look at it that way, and try to see life in all its glory. Our farm animals are pretty much part of the family too. We spend a lot of time with them. We treat them like pets and they are gentle and friendly.
Over the past couple months, with all that has been going on, we have been trying to hold on to those small and simple things that bring us joy….something that seems to be hard to come by in todays current climate.
Last year at this time, something in me decided it was time to get chickens and goats. In all the years we have been married, I have never wanted any farm animals. I didn’t ever even think about it as an option. But, suddenly, it was all I could think about. We needed them in our lives.
Once year later, I can see why. I can see the blessing and benefits they have brought to our little backyard farm. We not have eggs, the option for milk, and new learning experiences for our kids daily. It has been amazing to see what adding these farm animals to our farm have done for my kids. They have learned so much about compassion for animals, how to take care of them, and even the boring stuff like feeding them is a learning experience for them.
Last December we had a friends billy goat come visit the farm for a month, and he did not waste any time getting our sweet girl Callie pregnant. Goats gestation period is from 145-155 days. It worked out nicely that she would be due in May, a nice warm month, with pleasant weather.
With all the closures and downtime, my kids have been able to really get involved in the animals lives. Had they still been in school, I am doubtful they would have spent much time with them, but when you can hang with your friends, you hand with the goats 😂 .
For the past week, we have been on goat watch 24/7. I knew it was happening soon, but this was the first goat birth on the farm. I was unsure, uneasy, and nervous about what could happen.
When I came out in the morning to check on the goats, I noticed Callie was being super vocal, acted really uncomfortable and was quite restless.
After watching her for a bit, I decided it was time I lock her up in her stall to keep her safe and so that I could keep a better eye on her.
I went about my daily activities, routinely checking on her. Sometimes I would sit with her, at the beginning she was very vocal about me being in the pen with her. She wanted me to stay. If I left, she would panic and bellow for a long time. So I would take a break from tilling the garden and watering the plants just to sit with her.
It was honestly an incredible experience. I loved the fact that she wanted me there. She trusted me enough to be there.
As the day wore on, she became silent. Of all the goat births I have seen, I don’t think I have ever seen one that didn’t scream through the delivery.
I began to worry that she wasn’t progressing. She was quiet. She laid down, and seem to sleep in between each contraction. I was kind of unnerved by it, because its not what I was expecting. She was calm.
At about 5 in the evening I went to check one more time before dinner and she was laying down. I came in and sat with her. I was still unsure about her progress, so I texted by brother in law to come give me some advice(he has birthed a good amount of his own goats).
Funny enough though, she was done before he made it over.
Suddenly she was ready! She began pushing. I have ready that it could take up to 30 minutes to push a baby out,. I checked the time so that I could be aware.
Not even 5 minutes into pushing, she had delivered her first little boy. My daughter showed up right before he was born and stayed for the rest of the time.
I handed the baby over to momma as soon as he was out, and as she began cleaning him, she was suddenly pushing another baby out. I couldn’t believe how fast that happened~
This time the baby came breech! But she pushed him our without any issues.
We were so thrilled about having two babies. Both boys. If you know goats, you kind of hope for girls, for many reasons. But, we are so thrilled regardless and cant wait to see what happens with these boys. We may end up keeping them both as wethers, or we may sell one as a buckling.
But no matter what, they will be loved while on our farm and go to those I know will love and care for them too.
The title of this post “A Glimmer of Hope on the Farm” was titled this for a couple reasons.
Life right now is hard. It just is period. I think we are all trying to find joy in the small things. Something I have been focusing on lately is finding hope, to be hopeful, and be filled with hope for the future.
These may seem like two adorable Nigerian dwarf baby goats(and yes they certainly are that!) but for our family, and for many others that have massaged me, they have been a light. They have been a glimmer of hope in an uncertain world. They are a confirmation that life keeps moving on. Things can and will get better. Things can also still be hard and uncertain. But if you have hope, you can navigate those hard times just a bit better, and I am trying really hard to do that.
These Nigerian dwarf baby goats are a bright spot in my kids lives right now. Daily, they feel uncertain, afraid, sad, and a bit incomplete. When things are hard, its a blessing to have something so small brighten your day and give you something to look forward to. If you know anything about Nigerian dwarf baby goats, it is that they can brighten up any day with their jumps and cute little whines.
The Lord knew we needed these sweet little Nigerian dwarf baby goats in our lives right now. He knew we needed a win. He knew we needed them to arrive safely. We are so thrilled about the future of our little wanna be farm. We cant wait to see what the future brings. We have a bright spot to focus on, and that is a tender mercy for us in these weird times.
I know this isn’t a regular DIY or recipe post, but I have been feeling like it needed to be shared. Its a simple part of our life that has brought so much life to our little corner of the world.