Kidding has begun in earnest! (Is that sentence an oxymoron?)
We’ll be updating this page almost daily to record every single new birth at Beekman 1802 Farm this year. Kidding season lasts from February till May, with a few breaks in between for Farmer John to catch his breath.
For those who may not be familiar with how John expertly manages his herd, he selects two or three bucks to breed most of the 120+ does from September to November. Then the does get a nice winter maternity break when they can all relax and enjoy their pregnancy in the warm comfort of the barn, without being milked. Although this means we can’t produce our famous Blaak Cheese or other milk products during the winter months, this period of collective rest improves their health, (and John’s too!) as well as the quality of the milk.
Then, beginning in mid-February, all heck breaks loose. We expect over 200 kids this year. When the kids begin arriving, not only do they need to be bottle fed, but the mothers begin milking again as well. This is Farmer John’s busiest season. He also rises in the middle of the (short) night to check on any births in progress.
Of course we can’t keep all of the kids. Farmer John is selective in his choices, deciding which female kids to keep based on whose mothers produced the most milk the previous year (as well as other factors.) The males and remaining females get sold, generally to other farmers and those looking for pets. If you’re interested in purchasing a kid from Farmer John, send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll forward your message to him.
Enjoy the photos of this year’s kids! (You’ll notice that the names of the female kids all begin with the first initial of their mother’s name. That’s to help John keep track of lineage.)