This one’s a girl!

Princess Buttercup, not to be outdone by Princess Ariel, had her kid last night! BC has always been something of a party night goat, so she waited until almost midnight to give birth to Princess Leia, which forced Abigail and I to check her out by flashlight. At least this time I was somewhat prepared; I spent the previous afternoon laboriously crafting a door to the goat’s bedroom, so that Buttercup would have her own separate nursery area. Gene was at work, so what would have taken him approximately five minutes to do took me almost two hours. Part of the problem is I can’t really hold power tools effectively any more, but the bigger problem was I didn’t feel like finding a tape measure so I eyeballed how big the door should be to cover the hole in the shed wall. Shockingly, I had to recut it four times, on the big scary table saw no less. You think I would have learned my lesson and measured where to hang the hinges, but you’d be wrong. Another half an hour and multiple screw holes later, I pronounced it good enough. Gene can fix it on his day off, but for now at least it keeps curious goats and sheep out of the nursery area.

Wesley and Leia get along well, but the same can’t be said of the two new mamas. The very first thing they did when I let them out this morning was check out each other’s nursery area, presumably to make sure the other one wasn’t situated in more posh quarters. When the two found themselves in the same nursery, another headbutting competition ensued. Sometimes it seems like I’m running a daycare, rather than a farm. It doesn’t matter that each goat mama gets her very own water bucket, her very own scoop of grain, and her very own pile of hay. The other goat’s provisions always seem fresher and tastier somehow. I’ll be glad when the wee ones are big enough to go back into the pasture with Woolimina and Fiona, because between the two nurseries in the front and Broody Mama’s nest in the back, we’re running out of room in the old coop to store the feed and tools.

I’m really excited to see how many of the eggs in Broody Mama’s latest clutch hatch. This time I was careful to only give her eggs laid on the same day, so the odds are pretty good that most of them should be viable. Gene said I could only let her sit on five, so of course she’s sitting on a pile of ten; I figured what he meant was he wanted five chicks, so I figured ten eggs would help achieve that goal. Between Broody Mama’s clutch and the 24 eggs in the new incubator, Gene wanted to know just what I planned to do with all those chicks. I told him that was really more his problem, since he’s the construction half of this enterprise. To take our farm to the next level, obviously he needs to build another brooding box area. I’m glad he asked, though – that means he’s trying to plan ahead.

I would put them all in the garage brooding box, but that’s currently full of 20 two-week-old baby chicks. Eight of them are ours, and the other twelve we’re fostering for Abigail. This time we opted to put little pink bracelet bands around her twelve, since last time I fostered her chicks I cried when it was time to give them back. For some reason, Abigail is convinced that accessorizing them will make it easier to hand them over when the time comes. She can give them pedicures, necklaces, and tiny little tiaras – I’m still gonna cry when they go to their new home.

Hopefully having potentially 34 newly hatched chicks will help mitigate that loss. Plus, I put two Pekin eggs in with the chick eggs in the incubator, and there’s nothing more cheerful than fluffy yellow ducklings. All the survivors of the Minkacolypse are doing pretty well, considering the amount of chewing they took. Two of them, Topsy and One Eyed Willy, still have a fair amount of recuperating to do. I went through the Duck Mansion area and added all sorts of accessibility upgrades, including a big pile of swim rocks in the pond to make it easier to get out. I’m still helping Topsy with her physical therapy, and putting her in the pond daily for guided swims. She seems to be walking a little better now, but she still tires easily. I’ve added a covered patio area to Gene’s ever expanding to-do list, because I want her to have a dry place to nap come the rainy season. He also needs to figure out some way to heat the pond, because last year got pretty cold. Now that we’re in the therapy duck business, we have a certain standard to uphold. 

 

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