In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine


Renovations, mass cleaning, and the little goat that could

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday started off at our usual time- typically I like to try to sleep in a little on the weekends just because I can- but not this time.  Kyle and I hit the sack around 8-8:30 the night before after an exhausting day of working on what will be our new laundry room so it was pretty easy getting up around 5:30-6 am.  I wasn't disappointed, though.  Feeling well-rested is all I ask for, and there is nothing like a busy day of physical labor to help with that.

We decided to start work on the bathroom/laundry room right off.  Kyle started wiring the 220 plug for the dryer and the plug for the washer and I installed the new drywall under the windows where we had ripped into the wall the day before to make a little more room for the appliances.  I made a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs (eight of our lovely home-grown ones thankyouverymuch).  Before we knew it the time was 11:00 and we decided it would probably be best to wait to hook up the water pipes on a day where we had more time to deal with disaster- just in case.  So, with a few hours to kill before heading to Plainfield for May's 'date' with a handsome buck we decided it was time to tackle some house cleaning.

I mentioned before that when I arrived home from work on Friday our house was in shambles.  Well, this wasn't entirely due to the work that Guy (my father-in-law) and Kyle did that day.  To be perfectly honest we had about 10 contractor bags of crap that needed to leave the hallway from when we demo'd the guest bedroom.  Also, there was about two or three weeks worth of demolition dust/dirt that had accumulated all over the floor upstairs.  Finally, because of our kitchen plumbing problems (and a little bit of sheer laziness) we hadn't done dishes in a couple days so the kitchen was already a little disasterous.  Kyle and his Dad really only contributed to the mess in the dining room, living room, and kitchen.

But, enough of the inventory of messy-ness.  I just wanted to convey to you exactly what kind of 'mess' we were dealing with when I tell you that it took a good two hours to get the house cleaned up again.  (And we didn't even touch the kitchen.)

Right around 2 pm my Mom arrived to accompany us to Plainfield where we were going to have May bred.  My Mom absolutely loves going to the breeder's farm- although this is probably the first time she's left there without buying a new goat.  So, we piled up into her Jeep (three people and two goats would be a little crammed in my little Scion) and headed out.  Although it was a scheduled breeding for May we decided to bring Chutney along because you never want to leave a goat by itself- they are too social to really go solo. 

The whole way down May stood in the back, calmly looking out the windows.  Chutney on the otherhand was completely bizarre!  As soon as we got her in the Jeep she was shaking and bleating.  I was a little worried about her, she usually handles car rides better than our dogs do, so this was unusual for her.  After a few minutes the shaking stopped, but she continued to cry.  For over an hour our little girl made the funniest noises I have ever heard- she literally 'buzzed'.

We arrived at the breeders and we brought the girls out of the car- I decided to bring Chutney out just so she wouldn't stress out being by herself in the Jeep.  May was walked on a leash over to where the buck, Rosasharns Ukko (who's dam is Rosasharns Uni- wellknown for her milk production in the NDG world), was waiting impatiently with his tongue sticking out the side of his mouth like he was trying to attract her with his sense of humor.  Almost immediately it was clear that May wanted nothing to do with him.  Her tail was glued down to her rear-end and she wouldn't even think about getting friendly with the handsome buck who was wooing her.

As I stood by holding on to Chutney it was becoming increasingly obvious that she was acting a heck of a lot more receptive than May.  I practically had to hold the little thing back as we waited for May to change her mind.  The breeder confirmed our suspicions- Chutney was certainly in heat.  She was eight months old and Sharon, our breeder, let us know that she had grown enough to be bred- so we decided to let nature take its course.  The buck was more than happy to switch does- and it was over in a few scant seconds.  After servicing our little doe twice, Ukko was walked back to his pen with the other boys and we brought our girls back to the Jeep.

We paid Sharon for Ukko's services, admired Chutney's Mom (who is still milking by the way) and some new babies that were being dropped off from another customer to be sold, and then we were off.

Today Chutney was still smelling of the buck she visited yesterday- although I have to admit that it isn't nearly as offensive as many people claim it to be (perhaps the cold weather is helping to tone it down)- and May is still not looking like she is in heat.  Hopefully we can catch her in heat soon as I'd really like to have her bred no later than mid-January, even that is really pushing my preferred kidding date.

So.  It was an exciting day.  Now we're keeping an eye on Chutney to be sure she doesn't go back in to heat, just in case the breeding didn't take.  But hopefully all went well and we'll be seeing our first official Senesac babies here on the farm.  I guess I'd better start getting my kidding and milking supplies in order!  Yippy!!

On a completely seperate note: we are up to 165 eggs collected this month.  We've sold three dozen, given away about four or five dozen, and will be selling another two dozen later this week.


  1. Donna Mae Says:
  2. Acutally I HAVE gone there once without buying a goat, the first time we went ...:o) And this time so that makes twice! But it is an awesome place to visit!

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. Dear Melissa, Sounds like you're on your way with Chutney! Funny how things work out. I love reading your blog. So much I didn't know was going on. I'll have to check in more often! Love, Deb