Over on the west side of the DFW metroplex, the topography and ecology are very different - Mea's farm is a deeply wooded property, shaded by a forest of oak trees. She beamed with joy as she showed me around the farm and introduced me to each and every one of her gorgeous colored angora goats, her aloof guard llama and her uber-friendly guard livestock guardian dogs.
Mea's goats have done well in the show ring, and I was completely smitten with their little curly locks, knobby knees and budding horns. They're like little fairy creatures.
Aren't these faces incredible?
(I had to keep repeating, "I cannot have goats, I cannot have goats, I cannot have goats..." snif.)
Mea has every reason to be proud.
She's moving with her husband to Iowa for his new job, and most of the farm's residents are coming with them. Some goats will be sold before the move, and we're buying some of her experienced laying hens. This time of year it's hard to find hens already laying, so this was a big blessing for us.
We loaded them into transport crates and I took off back to my side of town - about an hour and a half away, with traffic. The ladies arrived no worse for the wear. You'll notice that one was content enough to lay and egg on the way.
As a treat, we got a pretty Rhode Island Red hen with her four chicks! This will be our first batch of momma-raised babies. A nice relief from the more labor intensive "brooding" process we've been through several times in the past. It's so fun to have babies...
The new girls easily installed in the trusty chicken tractors, and began the introductions with our resident hens. They'll live in the tractors for a few days to make sure they know where to come home to, once they are allowed to free-range.
If you haven't signed up for the Backyard Poultry 101 course Gail is teaching tomorrow here at the farm, drop me a note... we'd love to have you. Come see the new ladies!
Or come and knit and spin in the Little Red Barn - it should be a lovely day...