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Shady Oak Farm

Shady Oak Farm Shady Oak Farm is a heritage farm located in North Iowa. Our goal is to be a part of our community by educating and offering experiences of our farm life.

Operating as usual

Getting pictures of the goats can be tricky but occasionally I can snap a few worth sharing! We still have a few babies ...
05/11/2022

Getting pictures of the goats can be tricky but occasionally I can snap a few worth sharing! We still have a few babies available so feel free to message me if you see one you think you're interested in!

All the does and babies enjoyed the warmer weather and the evening cool down today.
05/10/2022

All the does and babies enjoyed the warmer weather and the evening cool down today.

Happy Mother's Day to all! Grateful for all the mothers on the farm who play a big role in the success of Shady Oak and ...
05/09/2022

Happy Mother's Day to all! Grateful for all the mothers on the farm who play a big role in the success of Shady Oak and especially for our own mothers!
Photo of first time mamma, Tula, with her little buckling by her side. We lost Tula's dam two years ago and I'm so happy that Tula picked up the strong mothering instinct her dam had. ❤

First time mama, Evie, taking a break to chew some cud and let her triplets nurse.  She's a mini LaMancha and has caught...
05/05/2022

First time mama, Evie, taking a break to chew some cud and let her triplets nurse. She's a mini LaMancha and has caught on to being a mom so well.

🙈Oh Windy you poor girl.  She looks like she could float away like a balloon....she's due in a little over 4 weeks.  As ...
05/05/2022

🙈Oh Windy you poor girl. She looks like she could float away like a balloon....she's due in a little over 4 weeks. As big as she looks, my guess she has no more than 3 kids. She has had 4 and 5 in the past, but she as she ages she continues to stay a bit larger all year round.

05/03/2022
Happy little babies

Missed these guys (and the farm) while I was out of town for a few days. They are so much fun!! 😍

Love these ladies!!
05/03/2022

Love these ladies!!

Shady Oak Farm always knocks it out of the park with amazing smelling soaps. She really nailed it this time with these beautiful colors and floral patterns!!

Getting some labeling done for LoLa’s Plants & Gifts season opener this Saturday! If you've never been to their cute sho...
04/27/2022

Getting some labeling done for LoLa’s Plants & Gifts season opener this Saturday! If you've never been to their cute shop, you have to check them out!!

Remember that smiley little baby I posted about awhile ago?  I'm starting to think she knows she's a head turner.... it ...
04/24/2022

Remember that smiley little baby I posted about awhile ago? I'm starting to think she knows she's a head turner.... it seems as if she knows when the camera is out. 😍😍

04/22/2022
Babies

Each night the dams are separated from their kids. The kids get to practice some independence and herd life with other kids. Last night we enjoyed the weather and started teaching the kids to follow me. Soon the bottle babies will be joining this little group!

The boys enjoyed the beautiful weather today. 🌞
04/22/2022

The boys enjoyed the beautiful weather today. 🌞

Ruth sure has pretty babies 😍
04/18/2022

Ruth sure has pretty babies 😍

Trying to update the website today with available kids so going through photos and came across this one of Beverly's doe...
04/17/2022

Trying to update the website today with available kids so going through photos and came across this one of Beverly's doeling. How cute is this picture? I really love my solid does and this is one of my favorite colors too.... I do not need to keep this one but dang I really like her! She should make someone a solid little milker too. Both her and her brother are available - her brother is polled.

Happy Easter from the Shady Oak Farm critters!
04/17/2022

Happy Easter from the Shady Oak Farm critters!

A man's best friend. A farmer's best hand.Little farm dog hanging out with some of her farm friends.
04/15/2022

A man's best friend.
A farmer's best hand.

Little farm dog hanging out with some of her farm friends.

We're so fortunate that Ava takes time out of her busy schedule to cuddle kids! It can be hard to give all of the babies...
04/14/2022

We're so fortunate that Ava takes time out of her busy schedule to cuddle kids! It can be hard to give all of the babies the time they deserve so volunteer kid cuddlers are worth their weight in gold here!
Ava had quite the triple decker kid stack with Evies 3 mini LaMancha babies. It was impossible to get a picture of the top baby sitting still so this was the best I could do.
Both the white and black/white doelings are available.

And if you're interested in cuddling kids, feel free to send me a message!!

Miss Beverly's 2F udder.  She's is my smallest doe so her capacity isn't as great as my other does. However,  I am so ha...
04/13/2022

Miss Beverly's 2F udder. She's is my smallest doe so her capacity isn't as great as my other does. However, I am so happy with the improvements I see on her udder. Her sire, Houdini, was added to the herd to improve teat size and placement as well as attachments, which I think he has done on this doe.
Beverly was bred to Zipper who will certainly continue improving teat size, placement and attachments but should also produce some solid deep bodied does with more capacity and production. His Jr doeling is already showing that.
Both of her kids are available.

This warm weather means we can slowly start transitioning mammas and their babies outside.  It is a little dramatic at f...
04/10/2022

This warm weather means we can slowly start transitioning mammas and their babies outside. It is a little dramatic at first as the babies are learning some independence and mammas are ready to get out and do some browsing. The drama makes it a bit difficult to snap pictures so I wasn't able to get many good ones. Hopefully I can get some better ones soon but it sure felt nice getting everyone out and about!

Had two of my favorite little visitors yesterday.  Madison and Avery do such a great job staying calm around the kids an...
04/10/2022

Had two of my favorite little visitors yesterday. Madison and Avery do such a great job staying calm around the kids and not being afraid of the mammas, even if some of them are just as tall or taller than them! And they even posed for the camera! 🥰

One of my favorite parts of raising these guys is watching them grow and mature to be mothers.  Miss Tula turns 2 this m...
04/07/2022

One of my favorite parts of raising these guys is watching them grow and mature to be mothers. Miss Tula turns 2 this month. She is a first freshener this spring with triplets. I always love being present for all of the births on the farm, but watching a goat that was born and raised on the farm become a mother for the first time is one of the most rewarding experiences. She had a textbook perfect birth, took to her kids like she had done this before and had a very promising prefreshening udder. I'm excited to see her fill this weekend. And wasn't she the cutest baby? She grew into those ears a bit. 🥰

As anticipated, March was a crazy blur of a month.  As most of you know, we had 17 new kids born on the farm throughout ...
04/06/2022

As anticipated, March was a crazy blur of a month. As most of you know, we had 17 new kids born on the farm throughout the month. 3 are bottle babies, 1 lives with mom but is a part time bottle baby as he's a runt, and the rest are with their dam. And although these sweet babes are a lot of fun, they create a lot of extra work around the farm. The kids being born is usually the easiest part. Now we start things like
👉Milking dams in the morning. This includes rotating dams between living with their kids during the day and in the big doe pen during the nights. Cleaning the milking equipment, splitting up bottles for bottle babies, lots and lots of washing milk jars, equipment, etc.
👉At about 1 week of age, horned kids get disbudded. But each morning and evening I examine the kids who I think are polled to ensure they aren't actually horned. Disbudding at the right time is imperative to the success of the procedure.
👉Now that does are milking and providing for their kids, they are eating a lot more and drinking a lot more. So there are a lot of water hauls, hay hauling and more grain loading.
👉Most of our kids are dam raised, which means they require extra cuddles. Now this sounds like a fun job, and it is...but it is time consuming with 13 kids that need cuddles each day (throw in the 4 that get bottles because I just can't not cuddle them and you have 17). This is important so that the kids stay friendly and are comfortable around people. Lucky for me I have some extra helpers here and there for this, but most days it's just another task on the to do list.
👉And then you throw in things like additional kid care (vaccines, tattoos, etc), you also have things such as: trying to take some time to get photos of kids for ads, responding to messages inquiring about available kids, scheduling visits for prospective buyers and taking time out of your evenings or weekends to show buyers your herd, etc.
👉And there's more....like extra laundry, stalls to clean, registering kids, note taking, etc. I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

I say all of this as I know that I have not been as responsive to others. I haven't even thought about soap making in the month of March and haven't touched my camera or software for fun card making, etc. I know that some want to come visit to see the cute little babies, and I promise I will get in touch with you. But as a caretaker of these precious animals, their care is my number one priority. This is also a business and I do my best to treat it as such. And don't forget that I work a full time job Monday - Friday outside of the farm (lucky for me, that is another passion of mine... I truly get the best of both worlds).

So, THANK YOU all who have been patient and understanding with me as I transition into this season. Each year, I am learning my seasons.... when my focus is on kidding, soap making, or something else. Each year this all gets a little bit easier as I learn to anticipate my transitions into a new season. Things will slow down a bit the end of May when kids start going to their new homes, but we will be right back at in June with 4 more does due to kid. It's an ebb and flow all year long and I am loving the journey.

Miss Clara and her little doelings are just the cutest together.  ❤
04/03/2022

Miss Clara and her little doelings are just the cutest together. ❤

If you're looking for something to do, check out the Winnebago County fair fundraiser tonight.  Lots of cool auction ite...
04/02/2022

If you're looking for something to do, check out the Winnebago County fair fundraiser tonight. Lots of cool auction items including a gift box of our soap!

2F miss Ruth during this morning's milking.  She is 25 days fresh. I've been pulling kids at night and milking her in th...
04/02/2022

2F miss Ruth during this morning's milking. She is 25 days fresh. I've been pulling kids at night and milking her in the morning for a week now but was free handing her with kids on her 24x7 for a few weeks. I'm really loving this doe.... I didn't milk her last year as a FF but didn't have to train her for the stand... she just did it like she was bred to do. Falling more in love with the LaMancha breed every day.

Not only did Evie and Rocky give me triplet doelings this past weekend, but they also decided to give me one in each col...
03/29/2022

Not only did Evie and Rocky give me triplet doelings this past weekend, but they also decided to give me one in each color 😉
These 3 little ladies will be available. Their dam is our first mini Mancha and sire is our buck, Rocky. Two with gopher ears and one with erect ears. I have such a soft spot for any of my LaMancha cross babies ❤ They are incredibly hardy and once again are proving to be pretty low maintenance. Can't wait to see Evie's udder!

Pro to raising dairy goats: fresh milk. Con to raising dairy goats: disbudding kids.  Started milking two does this morn...
03/27/2022

Pro to raising dairy goats: fresh milk.
Con to raising dairy goats: disbudding kids.

Started milking two does this morning. Farmer fail... I didn't realize Clara's babies are only nursing from one side of her udder so the other side is basically dried up. 🤦‍♀️

Also had a couple babies to disbud. I still remember the first time I did it on my own about 5 years ago. I cried so much. I still dread doing it but each year it gets a bit easier and I get better at it. When I first got into goats, I thought I'd hire someone to do it. Then I quickly discovered no one near me knows how (at least at that time)... I was able to find someone semi close to me to teach me and do my very first kids on the farm. After that it was all me. Some days I wake up knowing it's disbudding day and really wish I just had someone to hire out ( I have to make sure I'm in the right frame of mind to get it done efficiently). But in the long run I'm grateful I have been able to learn to do it myself.

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Mount Valley Township
Forest City, IA
50436

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Multitasking on the Farm

One of our favorite things about working towards being a horse powered farm, is that we get to work and play at the same time. Our first does are due to kid the end of March and we need to get prepared. Today was a nice warm, sunny day here which means it was a good day to clean out the kidding pen. We also got a nice snow yesterday, which means it is a good day to get the sled out. Well, why not use the sled to haul some bedding out? Getting our work done with play!

We are thankful we get to enjoy our farm while working on it. There’s always work to be done, but it doesn’t really feel like a job to us when we love doing it. It leaves us feeling satisfied mentally and physically. The bonding time spent between us as husband and wife as well as with our animals is something we just can’t recreate elsewhere. Don’t forget - if you ever want to come out for a visit, let us know! These animals like to bond with other people too! :)

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Shady Oak Farm always knocks it out of the park with amazing smelling soaps. She really nailed it this time with these beautiful colors and floral patterns!!
Guess what we just got?!? New Goat Milk Soap from Shady Oak Farm ! 🥳 Soap Flakes! Shave Soap! New Scents! ❤Limited Quantities Available! Shop downtown Forest City this Saturday for the annual Holiday Hop 😎 Open extended hours 10am to 5pm! #rejuvenateboutique #hometowncreationsfc #northiowa #winetasting #downtownfc #forestcityia #forestcityiowa #shoplocal #SupportSmallBusiness #goatmilksoap
We absolutely loved our visit to the farm! Thank you for having us! ❤️ 🐐