2017 New Arrivals …..

 We were so excited for Faith to arrive the second week of April .  The weather was thankfully perfect, because it didn’t take but thirty minutes before we were chasing across our neighbor’s yard.  Our daughter was walking Faith on the leadline when Faith was spooked by one of our chickens.  Faith may be small, but she is mighty.  She dragged Ella a few feet, before Ella dropped the lead line and the chase was on. We didn’t realize how fast cows are, especially young ones!   The sellers were really nice and helped us finally corner Faith near a ravine  at the neighbor’s house about a mile away.   Needless to say, our next project is going to be some perimeter fencing for our property to keep all our quick  critters on our property.

 

We lost a few nice Marans and needed some good meat chickens, so we invested in 25 new chicks this year.  We decided to go with Delawares this year, as they are a heritage breed known for their good meat and their egg laying abilities. Kids will be putting together a meat pen this year for 4H and hoping this time they will make it to fair.  We tried Freedom Ranger’s last year and they maxed out a few weeks before fair and couldn’t walk, so we had to butcher them earlier than planned.  These Delawares are meant to be dual purpose, so we’re hoping make for better meat birds come fair time.  

Our daughter’s Satin Angora  Buck, “Blizzard” took Best of Breed at the Colorado State Convention in Gunnison, Colorado.  While our son’s Holland Lop Buck, “Justice” took a nice 2nd at the Holland Lop Specialty Show against many beautiful Holland’s.  

Stay tuned, as we are anticipating a nice litter of Holland’s and Satin Angora’s in the coming weeks.  

 

 

Spring has arrived!!

Jedi is doing awesome, but was very lonely.  We found out that the kids are not able to show bucks in 4H, so we decided to purchase a couple nice unrelated does to show and breed to in the future.  We looking at showing Jedi at some American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) shows, later in the year.  Ray a darling little Red Roan and her sister, Aspen were three weeks old when they came to us, just a week older than Jedi.

 

 Now, we have three beautiful bottle babies

who come from excellent milking lines with amazing conformation to boot.  

The goat kids are doing well and Jedi is so happy to have friends his own age.

 Although, he’ll be leaving in a few weeks to his own  separate shelter.  He will have a darling little Southdown Babydoll Ram lamb that will join him in April.  Unfortunately, bucks can be physically mature at 2 -3 months. and don’t want Jedi breeding so early.  We’ll be waiting until the fall to breed him to the older girls we have here, in hopes of some Nubian goat kids in the early spring of 2018. 

Santi our Maremma Livestock Guardian is 6 months now and all puppy, but has already filled out to over 60lbs.

 We realized that Santi really needed a playmate and a companion when guarding.  Guardian dogs work best in pairs, so I contacted a “Code of Ethics” breeder in Minnesota who was known for Maremma’s with excellent health, conformation, and temperment.  We wanted to make sure the foundation of our Maremma breeding program would be from quality and health tested lines.  Our prayers were answered when the breeder informed us another buyer just withdrew their deposit on a breeding female and that a puppy was available for us.  Within a week, “Selah” joined our family.  

She has been such a blessing!  She has a wonderful personality, cautious and yet so friendly.  Willing and ready to learn, always under foot and loves to just hang out with animals or people.  We couldn’t be more pleased with her and Santi is sure glad to have someone to romp around with, although Selah still has some growing to do.  

Selah climbs all over him and they take turns diving off straw bales, they are having a blast together.  Praying they will not only be great friends, but also wonderful guardians of our herd.  

With all our new additions, we had to think about expanding our shelters.  Ken has been working hard to complete fencing for all the girls that will be moving to the main barn, our two Southdown Babydolls and 5 Nubian Goats.  

While the 2 boys (sheep and goat) will move to the smaller shed, just down the hill.  I know the girls will love the new space and room to spread out, plus we’ll have a stall just for birthing too.  

All these new babies, we can definitely tell Spring is in the air.  The weather has been unseasonably warm and among all the busyness we are just now planning out our garden for the season.  The kids and I took time to plant some seeds, in hopes they’ll be ready to plant in another few weeks when the garden is ready.

 Even Selah wanted to help  plant seeds…..

Such a busy time of year! Keep and eye out for photos of the arrival of our  Mini Jersey and newest little lamb to join the farm and some surprise additions coming in June for Father’s Day!

 

Our goat herd is growing…..

Meet “Jedi”

We found a very promising herd sire for our girls.  He comes from some really nice Nubians  and we’re so excited to add him to our herd. Isn’t he so striking?!  Love his coloring, he’s so flashy!  Blue Roan and Tan Trim, so handsome! 

He will be our first bottle baby, so we’ll be busy for awhile with our new baby boy! We’re scheduled to pick him up in two weeks, so exciting with all these wonderful additions to our small family farm.

If all works out, we’ll be breeding him to our girls at the end of the year.  He’s going to add some wonderful attributes to our herd.

Thank you to Brittney Carpenter of Restoration Ranch Nubians for this beautiful boy!

Jersey Girl Growing

Our Mini Jersey is growing up so fast!  She gets prettier by every picture.  I just love her long eyelashes!  Her breeders are doing an awesome job halter and lead training her.  She’s already had a visit from the vet to dehorn her and we were happy to hear that she didn’t even move.  Sounds like she’s just as sweet as she is pretty! We can’t wait to bring her home!

Our 1st Goat Breeding

We sent Abby out to be bred in hopes of a summer kidding.  This young buck comes from great milking lines and we’re excited for our first kids to be born on the farm.  Abby had triplets at her last kidding so we have an ultrasound scheduled the beginning of March to see what we’ll hopefully be expecting.

Our New Livestock Guardian

Now that we have added some darling does and entertaining ewes, we found ourselves in need of a Livestock Guardian.  We have everything from foxes, coyotes and mountain lions and had already lost a few grown Turkey’s and chickens last year and didn’t want our other animals to met the same demise.  So, after much research we decided on a Maremma Sheepdog for their natural ability to guard large flocks of livestock and it’s desire to stick with the flock.  It took us a while to locate and  find the right breeder, then it was a matter of waiting for the right puppy.  We thank Deborah Reid from Black Alder Ranch for our newest member of our family.

Santi @ 10 Weeks

Santi is our foundation Maremma boy at Swift Family Farm.  He is from excellent lines and has done an awesome job adjusting to our home.  He has really bonded with our youngest son and my husband.  

Santi @ 13 Weeks

Santi is growing fast!  He will max out at over 100lbs and 27″ tall.  A gentle giant as he just melts at the sight of you and loves to be showered with affection.  He spends his days outside getting to know the goats and sheep and sleeps with them at night.  He is learning that they are his charges and what his job is on our farm.  He’s still a puppy after all.  

We’re hoping to add a beautiful Maremma girl in the coming months as well, to care for our newest addition (Mini Jersey)  and keep Santi company.  

Christmas on the farm….

My husband surprised me with a handmade goat milking stand for Christmas.  Now to start training the goat kids!

This little heifer, a Mini Jersey Calf was my next BIG christmas present!  She will be delivered in April 2017 and is an A2/A2 calf.  She will be such a fun addition to our little farm.  We can’t wait to meet her!

New Additions….

July 15, 2016 we welcomed our first litter of Satin Angora kits.  These two darling does are our next hopefuls.  The red, “Picket” will be staying here.  While, “Katniss” the little Chestnut now lives with a wonderful young lady just down the road.

Satin Angora wool is very fine and hard to spin on its own, so we decided to add these sweet Southdown Babydoll Sheep to our farm. This is “Millie” in white and “Luna” in black.  It’s amazing how calm and friendly they are.  Even our chickens love them!  You’ll find these two sleeping in the sun with chickens perched right on top of them.  So fun!!  They love the sweet grain we feed as treats and come running whenever we’re near.  We hope to breed them the end of 2017.  

These three girls are so fun!  We’ll be trying our hand at milking, selling goat milk shares and hopefully goat milk products (soaps, lotions, etc.).  “Daisy” (on the far left) is the most agile and loves to play.  “Abby” (in the middle) is quite the magician, you can find her breaking into food bins and is quite the instigator.  Abby’s daughter, “Violet” (far right) is the sweetest of the bunch, calm and quiet and always the follower.  We’re planning our first breeding of Abby in 2017, with kids due Summer 2017. 

Interested in future goat milk shares, a Nubian kid or Southdown Babydoll Ewe or Ram?  Contact us for more information!

County Fair 2016

We had an amazing time at the 2016 county fair.  Our daughter’s Satin Angora Jr. Doe, “Mocha” took Grand Champion Purebred Rabbit at 5 months old.       While our Buff Japanese Bantams took 1st and 2nd in their classes.