New Goat, New Sweater

It has been a surprisingly busy month, with travel plans, spring chores, band concerts, and prepping for new animals in the barnyard. We were waiting for a stretch of dry weather to bring home the new goat, but it never came. It has warmed a bit, so on Monday we went to fetch Noah home to the farm.

It has been a bit anxious for me because I was watching how the other animals acted towards him and to see if they would welcome him into the herd. It was no surprise that the other goat asserted himself as the top of the hierarchy, being considerably larger and heavier than everyone else, with those big horns to reinforce the point. What surprised me was that the sheep also pushed him around and butted him out of their way if he seemed to be approaching something they thought should be theirs. I very gradually introduced him, first through the fence, then to spend part of the day together, then all day with access to the barn, and finally to spend the night outside with the rest of the herd.

Step One, sniffing each other through the fence

I drove home after 10 pm from band practice and passed by the barn to see if Noah had been allowed into the goat shed for the night, but was surprised when my headlights lit up a scene of the big goat and what looked like one of the sheep standing out in the rain. That isn’t like Eddy — he hates getting wet! I did not see Noah, so I steeled myself to let them all work it out and went home to bed.

This morning I snuck out early to see what was what. I saw a sheep and Eddy looking out the shed door and window, and as they crept out into the drizzle, I saw everyone but Noah. I worried that he might have been forced out to lie in the mud all night and feared the worst. Then, at last, he peeked his little head out from the shed door and joined the rest of the family standing by the food troughs, waiting for breakfast. We did it!!

So, one potential crisis averted, and on to the next. The lambs have been reserved and will be ready to leave their mommas in May. They are the cutest ever! I asked for some who would likely have a variety of colors when they mature, so these beauties look like little panda bears. I’m thinking “Mandy” and “Pandy”, what do you think?

I plan to follow the same strategy for introducing them to the flock, except a lot more slowly because I want a chance to get them bonded to me before I release them. By the time they arrive, the shearer will have come and made all the mature animals much smaller and less formidable.

First year wool sweater

Last of all, in preparation for the new batch of wool and mohair (and pygora) I used up the wool from last year and made that sweater I was designing. I am happy with it except that the colors did not come out quite as I’d hoped. I still like the colors though, and the sweater fits well. I feel like I am getting the hang of this. The next big fiber project is to do a trial run of an 8-shaft double weave pattern on my loom. For non-weavers this is meaningless but I’ll explain later. We are getting ready to travel for a week and there is still much to do to get everything wrapped up and secured for our absence. How did I ever fill my days before becoming a hobby farmer?

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
This entry was posted in Farm, Farm Animals, Fiber crafts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New Goat, New Sweater

  1. JustI says:

    Wow, nice sweater! Great job with introducing Noah. It’s always good to have everyone getting along. Can’t wait to see you bringing home Mandy and Pandy. I like the names 🙂

  2. Patsy Porco says:

    You are incredibly talented! I want to live with you in a post-apocalyptic world. You would survive and thrive, even!

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