If you had your money on Ruth going into labor before me, you are a winner! Ruth gave birth to twins on Saturday, June 13th, a doeling & buckling.

DSC_8795This was our first kidding at The Tucker Farm! I have been reading about goat labor non-stop and getting advice from fellow goat owners for weeks now, trying to prep myself for any possible issues that could arise. I’m lucky enough to have a lot of experienced friends close by that were on call to be goat doulas. I had been watching Ruth for the typical signs of impending labor, such as, her udder getting really full and her ligaments disappearing. But these things were never obvious to me, even on the day of labor.

On Saturday morning I let all the animals out into the pasture as usual. Ruth came out of her stall but didn’t follow us up to the pasture. Since it’s been 90 degrees here and she waddled as much as I do, I was not going to force her out. So I led her back to her stall and gave her fresh water and made sure she had plenty of hay for the day. My husband, toddler and I then went off to run errands.

We returned around lunchtime and I wandered down to the barn to check on things. Much to my surprise, I found this!

Unfortunately, I missed her actual labor. The kids were very wet when I found them and Ruth had just started passing the afterbirth, so it must have been quick. Mama Ruth is an experienced Mama and an excellent one at that. I’m thankful that in our journey to be more sustainable she made things a bit easier.

What’s amazing about kids to me is that they are already “kidding” around at only 24 hours old! Quite different from puppies & kittens. Nothing is better than watching kids play!

We look forward to watching Mama Ruth raise her kids and can’t wait to finally have our own goat milk! Believe it or not, we didn’t just get goats to be pets and weed whackers, but we got them for milk! Both my daughter and I are unable to drink cow milk, so we’ve been buying goat milk from a local dairy for a few years. Of course in order to have milk, you must also have kids.  We have another doe, Pepper, due in August . . . so more kids to come!


Little Barn of Horrors

The first time I saw the barn was in the middle of winter, when Atlanta actually had a rare dusting of snow on the ground. Despite the fact the property sat vacant for years, and that the barn was filthy, I was still drawn to its charm.


The water line had been cut, the stalls were growing plants, rat poop was piled high – but it had so much potential.  We were oblivious, however, to the horrors that awaited us in the barn.

It started with a few ancient carcasses.  Eh, no biggie, at least they were fully dead.  Then we found the half eaten rabbit that was very fresh – a bit more concerning.  Then came the 5 foot rat snake.  OK, he’s a good snake, we let that slide (or slither)… even though I wanted to crawl out of my skin.  We learned very fast not to leave anything laying around or a mama rat would make a nest in it.  But to top it all off, once Spring arrived we discovered the property is crawling with poison ivy!  Thankfully the goats love it!

We thought to ourselves, this is what we signed up for, this is the farm life. Things at the house weren’t perfect either.  Our master shower leaked into the basement, the HVAC broke, the furnace exhaust pipe fell through to the basement, much of the basement flooded from a storm, and the collection of spiders down there would be the ideal cast for a Stephen King mini series.  But then the real horror reared it’s ugly head…  We were playing host to a family of Copperhead snakes!

The copperheads live under the feed room concrete slab.  For weeks my toddler and I had been walking over the threshold where they hang out midday.  So far we have been able to remove 1 of them, but we know there are a few more.  Our copperhead story is not over yet, so don’t worry, I will keep you posted.

Today the barn is full of life and houses the animals we have grown to love.  Our daughter yells “BARN!” every morning before heading down for chores.  It’s hard to imagine all the horrors we’ve dealt with and are still dealing with when I look at the old barn.  Nonetheless, it remains my favorite place.



Next up . . . predator losses & barn cats!



It Takes a Village to Raise a Farm

Our next human family member is due in a few months so we had to dive right into getting the farm ready.  The only way I can manage a farm and family is by having a streamlined routine everyday.  This means proper fencing, safe housing, and an efficient barn/feeding routine.  We had none of these things when we moved in.

When we moved in, our barn roof leaked, the fencing was ancient, there was no dog yard, and of course no routine.  Fortunately, our “village” of friends offered to lend a hand.  We are lucky enough to have friends and family that have trucks, ladders, tractors, experience, and most importantly, the willingness to help us!

Next up . . . little barn of horrors