Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

They Just Couldn't Wait

Given our schedule and the weather, I've always tried to end kidding season by Christmas and resume after the PASA conference. Last year was a disaster due to some clandestine visits to the open doe her from Jessica's show buck while I was away in Burlington, VT earlier in the summer. Kidding season started during Farm Show week which was also blisteringly bitter cold. Nothing worse than having to use a digging iron to chip frozen dead kids out of the mud.

So when breeding season rolled around, I kept all intact males under lock & key until the day came that would ensure kids would not begin to arrive until I returned home from State College. Or so I thought.....

Well, this time is wasn't the buck getting loose. It was a doe. Hershey was the bellwether that the battery charging the electric netting needed recharged. She ended up in the barn with her face in the feed sack. Instead of dragging her back down to the pasture along with a fresh battery I tossed her in the buck pen for a whole 15 minutes thinking what are the chances she's in heat and will actually get bred. And if she does, I should make it home from the conference a day or two before she pops. Yeah...right.

So on Sunday as I was sitting down to brunch prior to heading home my mobile phone rang. "I thought we weren't supposed to have any kids yet," Ralph said. And then he held out his phone so I could hear the telltale sound of a newborn kid. Damn.

Fortunately, the weather had warmed up and the birth of the twins was effortless to an experienced doe with excellent mothering instincts. I came home to a buck and a doe. In another week or two, the real kidding season should begin.

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