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It’s not all butterflies and kittens

I get it. From the outside our farm may look like a petting zoo. I post pictures of goat kids, puppies, kittens, bunnies… If it’s cute and furry, we probably have it. But it’s not all butterflies and kittens here.

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A year ago today I was out farm hunting and stumbled across this place. It met almost all of our criteria and came with a farm-load of work. To be honest, I really had no idea how much work really goes into a farm – but I do now!

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We have been here almost a year and we’re already officially legal to sell our goat milk and eggs! But with that comes long hours, never a day off, and no naps! Most days I wake before my children after being up most of the night nursing our youngest. I try to at least get the animals let out before my husband leaves for work, and start milking once my girls are awake. I work a “real job” 3 days a week to pay for animal feed and other farm essentials. And on those days, I am often doing chores after the girls are in bed.

untitled-31Today while mending fences (a never ending task), rotating shifts with my other half, a huge white puppy escaped. I had to slide down 10 feet into a creek to get near him and beg for him to come back to me. Luckily I found the hole from which he escaped and patched it. Although things ended well, containment is a constant worry here.

untitled-30I work through illness and nasty weather because the animals can’t wait, and I’m in bed before 10 every night for a reason. So when I have no idea what is on television at night, that is why. I am beyond grateful for the farm friends I’ve met over the last few years. They inspire and support me on a daily, and sometimes even an hourly basis. There are days when I want to call it quits, when wine will never take the edge off, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

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I dream of making this farm my full time job. Working outside everyday with my girls and actually making some money from it. But on difficult days I have to remind myself why I am doing this, because it is not for the faint of heart.

Thank goodness I take photographs of everything. They renew my passion and remind me of my ultimate goals – a sustainable life and an unforgettable childhood for my girls!

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Twins!

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!

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We bought a Farm . . . a real one!

Some of you may not realize where our name, The Tucker Farm, came from. For the last 8 years we lived on 3/4 of an acre in a suburban town called Tucker. I crammed as many animals as I could onto that tiny lot!

After becoming pregnant with our second child we knew it was time to move to a REAL farm! I imagine you are picturing a pristine pasture full of flowers wrapped in a perfect fence. That’s not quite what we bought, but I know we will get there!

Moving Day!

Settling in . . .

Next up . . . the work begins!