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baby goats colorado
Country Living, Simple Living

Baby Goat Labor and Birth (Round Two)

Mama #2 (Tootsie) finally had her babies!

It was at least a 9 hour labor, with a couple of those being pushing. There IS a video of a birth in this post, so if that kind of thing makes you queasy, just skip over it :)

When I (Hannah) came home from work one day last week and went out to the barn to feed everyone, Tootsie wasn’t interested in getting up or eating, which is weird because goats are highly motivated by food. After Ryan got home from work, we pretty much hung out in the barn all.night.long. Because that’s what you do when you don’t have a tv and your goat is in labor.

goat labor and birth


goat labor and birth


goat labor and birth



We actually invited a friend over and had front row seats (heater and hot tea provided).


goat birth


It probably would have been better for mama for us to leave the barn, and let her labor in peace. Once we left (after midnight) she progressed fairly quickly and was pushing within 20-30 minutes.

The first baby (Holly)  had some trouble and mama couldn’t push her out all the way. Her head came out like normal, but her legs were tangled and she was stuck. Both Ryan and I tried to untangle and pull her out manually.


goat labor and birth


After about 30 minutes, Ryan was finally able to get her out safely.

Mama got busy cleaning her up before the next round of pushing.

newborn goat


Birth Video



She pushed Annie out much easier than Holly. After she cleaned both of them off (we helped a little bit, as you can see from the steam in the video, it was a chilly night in the teens) they were both trying to nurse her.

Being newbies, we thought we were through the hard part, but we have since been told (and experienced) that when goat kids have a traumatic birth, they often have issues nursing and eating. Annie caught on pretty quickly, with little direction. Holly on the other hand was struggling.

It was 3am by this point and we both had jobs to be at in less than 4 hours, so we went to bed hoping they would figure it out by sunrise. But Holly really struggled that entire day to eat. I milked several tablespoons of colostrum from Tootsie within the first few hours and manually fed it to Holly, but she wasn’t interested in learning how to nurse.

After leaving mama and babies for the first day and a half to try to figure everything out on their own, Holly was not doing well at all and we realized that we needed to start bottle feeding if she was going to make it.


baby goat bottle fed


baby goat bottle fed


baby goat bottle fed


This actually proved to be much harder than we thought. She (as pictures above show) was willing to take the bottle for the first day. After that, she wasn’t interested in eating at all. We were forced to hold her down and basically squirt milk down her throat every few hours while she squirmed and cried loudly.

Since she was so weak and refusing to eat, we decided it was best for her to stay inside at night so that we could wake up and feed her and also because the temperature was still dipping into the teens. So, all of a sudden, it appeared that we had a pet goat. Which was adorable, but not exactly what we were looking for in raising goats.


goat in a diaper


baby goat



I (Hannah) took her to work with me for almost a week while we would repeat the “torture sessions” of feeding every few hours.


baby goat


goat in a diaper


She was getting stronger, but this only meant that she had more strength to fight back when we were trying to feed her.

We were also adding coconut oil, antibiotics (her eyes were infected from her traumatic birth), and electrolytes to her milk every 8 hours or so, to give her an extra boost that she seemed to need.

Finally, I turned to google and in true millennial form typed in, “my goat won’t take a”. We’d tried everything suggested, except blindfolding the baby to feed her. So, I tried it.

And it worked.

blindfold baby goat


After she figured this out, we were able to leave her in the barn with the goats in the daytime, and feed her a few times in the mornings and evenings while we were home. Much more manageable than bringing a baby goat in a diaper to work.

Since then, she’s quickly progressed to no blindfold, and last night she actually nursed (with some assistance) willingly for the first time! She still needs more time to remember (and be guided) towards her mama for milk, but we’re pretty confident that she’ll get there.

This has been quite the learning experience for both of us and we’re grateful. This is why we bought a farm.

It’s also been slightly terrifying to realize how exhausting taking care of a baby is – a goat baby, not even a human who is more demanding and potentially more complicated than a goat! But it was awesome to work together to problem solve and take care of a tiny thing together.

We’ll continue to keep you update on all the goats well being, and our sanity in the process :)

Thanks for reading!




Country Living, Simple Living

A Week on The Farm

We lost a goat last week.



Corky, our “special” wether, died sometime during the night and Ryan found him in the barn.

His mama had a heart defect and we knew this was a possibility when we got him so not a HUGE surprise, but still slightly sad to not see his awkward, happy face around the farm anymore.

We had planned on butchering him for meat this past fall, but after we got Kosher (our breeding buck), we decided to keep Corky around a little bit longer to be a companion to Kosher.

Corky and Lilly also had a cute relationship. Even when we separated the boys from the girls, Lilly and Corky would always “talk” to each other.

goats homestead


So now, we’ve had to figure out what to do with a dead animal on the farm. (Ryan mostly because my pregnant, queasy stomach can’t handle too much these days) We’ve lost chickens in the past few months at various stages of development, and we have 6 acres and LOTS of birds and small rodents in the area, so we’ve opted to use the disposal by natural compost method. So, we did the same with Corky. Ryan skinned him, as he had a very soft, beautiful pelt and we plan on hanging it in our living room.

If feels weird and at the same time, normal, to be having to deal with things like this. After all, we do live on a farm and this is definitely part of what we signed up for.



“Pretty sure they won’t find me here….”



This week we also had an egg bound duck (although we had no idea what was going on at first).

The first day we found the hen unable to get up in the chicken coop, squirming uncomfortably. At first, we thought that she was just laying an egg, as we had yet to actually SEE a duck lay. The next morning, she was running around with all the other ducks, just fine. Then we found her again, at the same time of day, in the same position (unable to move). After calling our neighbor and doing some research we thought that she might either be (A) be egg bound, (B) broken back from the drakes mounting her outside of water.


We took her inside, let her sit in a warm bath, injected olive oil in her mouth and duct, and set her in a box in the living room.

In the morning, she had passed the egg and was good as new! At least, that’s what we’re hoping…We also plan to purchase a swimming pool of some kind so that the ducks have more room to be in water. They currently have a large watering bucket that 2-3 of them can fit in, but after learning that they mate in water, we’d like them to have more space to do this so that the hens backs don’t break from them attempting to mate on land.


My sister and her friend from TX came to visit this week also. It was great to see her and visit for a bit. She’s studying Early Childhood Ed. at UUTyler and also runs track there.



Ryan was also in a car accident this week that could have been horrible. Another truck hit his work truck going 75mph. Luckly, he only has a strained shoulder and sprained finger, as has doctor’s orders to take it easy for awhile. Guess that means I’ll be getting the chicken feed this week, huh? ;-) I’m just so thankful that he’s still around.


We also found out this week that we’re having a SON!

baby corson

He’s since decided to up his motion in utero and has started kicking me constantly. I don’t mind :)


& that was our week. Here’s to the weekend and sunny, warm weather!


baby goats
Country Living, Simple Living

Baby Goats (Round One) & Duck Eggs

We had an exciting weekend, one of the first really warm few days that we’ve had up here in the mountains.

Our first round of baby goats were born last week! Clarence (brown male) and Heidi (white female). Mama Lilly did awesome and did the entire birth by herself. We came out in the morning to feed them, and the babies were already cleaned off and nursing great! We couldn’t have hoped for a better first experience for breeding and birthing animals. Second Mama Tootsie is due in 2-3 weeks (we estimate) and are currently feeding both moms an absurd amount of hay and grain so they can take care of their babies.

We’re looking forward to the girls milk production being back to “normal” as we let them dry up a few months ago to prepare for the births. Going to start making cheeses and caramels again – hoping to sell some at our local farmer’s market this summer!

Also, our birds finally started laying eggs! The same day that we found the babies, we found about a dozen eggs. Half chicken, half duck. The week after that we found up to 15 each day! Naturally, we decided to have an omelette party to deal with this problem. We’ve since found several regular customers who will help us keep this egg issue under control.

I’ve also since learned about the nutritional value of duck eggs:

  • they have more albumen (great for baking)
  • more Omega 3 fatty acids
  • they are an alkaline producing food (cancer cannot grow)
  • six times the amount of vitamin D
  • twice the amount of vitamin A
  • twice the cholesterol (good or bad depending on the latest research)
  • higher in calories
  • twice as high in mono unsaturated fat
  • Stay fresher, longer because of the thicker shell

Overall, duck eggs have twice the nutritional value of a chicken egg, which is awesome for BOTH of us (Ryan, because of his chicken egg intolerance, and me for  extra nutrients & fat during my pregnancy).

Here are some sweet pictures of the kids and their mama during their first week.

Be looking for another post in a few weeks with Baby Goats, Round Two!


baby goats


baby goats


baby goats


baby goat


farm fresh eggs


farm fresh eggs


Linking up with Leigh Kramer

Country Living, Eating Simple, Simple Living

Life with Goats

When we closed on our house at the end of June, we had no idea we were going to have goats by the end of the week.

Well, sort of.

We had been looking for some male goats to eat our 6.5 acres of very high brush (since we didn’t have and didn’t plan on getting a lawn mower). But when a local goat expert said she was selling some of her milking goats, we were super interested.

Now, just so you have a good idea about the level of experience we are talking about; before this photo, I’d never milked anything in my life.

hannah corson goat milking


I was a little nervous about potentially having goats because there was just SO much unknown for this city girl. However, after getting some brief milking lessons, tips on how to save money on goat feed (post to come on details of this, if you’re interested), and where to buy hay – we felt much more confident. I think that much of this was because our goat mentor made it seem super attainable. She didn’t have a huge list of organic materials that the goats just needed to have to enjoy a long, healthy life. She didn’t have a whole list of criticisms of what “other goat owners do”…  you know the kind of criticism that makes you feel like you’ll never be able to do anything right?

Nope. Instead she shared money saving techniques and tricks, and contacts for buying hay – and most importantly, encouragement: “You got this!” Which was the biggest thing that we both (me especially) needed to hear; that this thing we were just jumping into blindly, that it was totally do-able. That doesn’t mean we’ve done everything perfectly, but we’re learning (reading books, listening to podcasts, & asking a lot of questions) and the goats are still alive and milking!

Here are some photos from the past few months


goats on a homestead

goats on a homestead

milking goats

goat feed

goat milk goat barn goats homestead


Here are some things that we & neighbors have made from the goats milk so far:

  • Mozzarella cheese (plain, garlic & onion, and pepperjack)
  • Yogurt
  •  Cardamom ICE CREAM (so.good.)
  • Ricotta
  • Cajeta carmel
  • Homemade Fudge
  • Feed for chickens (super high protein is great for our little pullets)
  • Used it in baking in place of cow milk


Something slightly magical (yes, I said magical) happened when I first milked these animals. I got SO pumped about having our own homestead, taking large steps towards being self-sustaining. There is something so invigorating about taking care of your animals, and they in turn take care of you. Whether that is through milk, meat, or fiber. I’m learning so much through taking care of these animals.


the restoring simple homestead goats
Country Living, Eating Simple, Simple Living

Life on the Homestead

Working full time and taking care of 50 animals takes quite a bit of time – but seriously loving every minute. Until I can update again, I’ll share a brief overview of whats been going on around the homestead.

– Made some Elderberry Ginger Syrup

– Experimented with making a high altitude adjusted Chocolate Beet Cake

– Learned how to save money and make our own goat feed

– Still learning about raising pullets

– Watching ducks make a massive mess everyday in their food & water

– Making reusable “utter wipes” for the goat milking

– Canning summer fruits and veggies

– Visits from family

– Homemade yogurt

– Using the dehydrator more often to preserve summer goods

– Goat cheese making

– Sourdough successes



Processing Homestead Life

After moving around and having constant change for the past few years, its been really great to have some routine and structure. Milking every morning and evening, feeding animals, making cheese and sourdough, finally being able to actually throw away moving boxes (!!!) and settle in. It’s been kind of crazy how fast all this has happened. It’s such a different life than what we were living before – and such a refreshing change. I don’t think I realized how absolutely peaceful living on a homestead, taking care of animals, and being SO busy with things that I love doing, was going to be. In the craziness of what our world & culture looks like these days, this verse describes perfectly what we sense God is calling us to and what we find joy in:

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, and to work with your hands, so you may win the respect of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone”

We also have the most amazing neighbors ever. I’m serious. I can’t even tell you everything that they’ve done for us in helping us get going – not only are they pros at homesteading, they are just really fun people and we are super blessed to have great friends living just down the road. You should follow them here or here.

I also have to brag on the husband a little bit – he’s been working extremely hard over the past few months at work & sacrificing time spent on the farm, so that we can actually have this place. #imlucky

I hope to have time to post more updates with recipes, photos, and stories – but for now I’ll leave you with this quote from Abraham Lincoln

“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.”


Linking up with Leigh Kramer