First Baby Born at Sassafras Farm


Yesterday evening, I was getting ready to start grilling out hamburgers and hot dogs for the kids when I heard some godawful hollering from the goat yard.

Nobody complains more loudly about having a baby than 1) a human or 2) a goat.

It’s five months to the week since I moved to Sassafras Farm. Fanta had to have gotten pregnant within a few days of the move. Even as I was settling in here, the first baby was conceived.

The other day when I was at Stringtown Rising, I couldn’t help but notice how big and healthy the four-year-old peach tree looked there. You know, compared to the peach tree stick I planted here recently. Sometimes this whole starting over thing is really hard. Six months ago, I couldn’t imagine this farm or imagine living anywhere but where I was. The future looked dark, and too long. Today, the future looks bright, and too short. I’m afraid I won’t live long enough to enjoy everything that is before me.

If you keep going through life’s dark tunnels, one day the world will open up. It always does. You just have to keep going.

And sometimes a peach tree stick is better than a four-year-old peach tree.

I had been expecting the goats to have babies long before now. I thought Cookie Doe was bred when I got her, and as for the rest of them, I figured they’d be having babies by February at the latest. Goats can breed any time, but they tend to be active in the fall. (Similar to sheep. They can breed any time, but they most often seem to breed in the fall–even if they’re together all the time.) I was watching the goats carefully for a long time, then finally got to where I was like, they’re NEVER going to have babies, and I stopped paying any attention to their udders or their bellies.

Which means you go out to grill a hamburger one day and there’s a baby goat. It was up and at ’em within an hour.

Fanta just had the one. (Really.) It’s common for goats to have one baby their first time out then generally they will have two after that. They can have as many as three or four at a time, though that is less common. Fanta had two last year on her first time, so maybe she was taking a break after over-achieving on her maiden voyage.

Having just been smacked upside the head, I checked out everyone else. Nutmeg, Clover, and Sprite may be pregnant, but if they are, they don’t look due any minute. Cookie Doe is another thing. She’s quite bagged up. I think she’s finally really going to have babies!

Within days, I’d guess. I’ll be keeping a close eye on her now.

Meanwhile, I ran the rest of the goats into the front barn yard, leaving Fanta and baby alone in the goat yard for now. (And got Chloe out of there. She was trying to help Fanta by cleaning up the afterbirth. Ick. And Fanta wasn’t really appreciating the assistance.)

The baby looks like quite the little Mr. Pibb clone with the dark brown coat, white belly bands, black socks, and black stripe down the back. This one is a purebred Fainter. I picked her up and took a look-see. I believe it’s a girl, but don’t quote me on that. I’m not known for my sexing ability immediately after birth.

There is something very satisfying about the first baby born here. Just another layer of my stamp on this farm. We. Are. Here. It’s solidifying. Whether it’s planting a tree, putting up white pickets, or creating a business in the studio, it’s all about moving forward. Life goes on.

New trees reach for the skies, and new babies fall out of their mamas.

Hello, world.


  1. MissPat says:

    How precious ! I can’t wait to hear what her/his name is going to be. There is something so sweet and endearing about babies. :sun:

  2. nursemary says:

    She is adorable Suzanne! Congratulations all around.

    I understand the joy you feel. Our ranch was an abandoned eyesore for most of it’s 40+ years until we bought it 18 months ago. We had a large pond put in and we were told it would blend in to the ecosystem within a year. It now has cattails at the banks, small fish swimming, frogs hopping in and out, a pair of Mallards call it home and Canada geese are daily visitors. I call them our friends from Canada. Yesterday a pair came out of the tall grass with 5 new babies in tow and brought them to the water for their first swim. I was nearly overcome with joy. This is our place now. We made it a place where native fauna want to be. It is no longer home to the dens of coyotes who hung out in the overgrown blackberries and falling down barn and terrorized the neighbor’s animals. The coyotes moved out when we moved in. There is no other place I would rather be. I have gotten nothing done but video tape and photograph our new “little” friends from Canada.

    Will look forward to pictures of that little cutie as she grows, Can’t wait for the frolicking and playing video. I need to find a stud service for my fainter girls. We need some babies to mark our territory now!


  3. Gwen says:

    aawww, how adorable, just got to love the little beeeeeh 🙂

  4. MissyinWV says:

    She is so Adorable! Congratulations on your new baby. And Congratulations on a new life that you love!

  5. Chickenlady62 says:

    Gotta love it when life gives you good surprises every now and then! The wee one is just adorable. :heart: You’re definately moving onward and upward !

  6. Teri says:

    Congratulations all the way around!

  7. JeannieL says:

    Awww…so cute!!! You’re gonna have more babies than you know what to do with soon…..

  8. Rah says:

    Awww, congratulations! She IS kind of a marker of your new life. Maybe her new name will reflect that. I always love the names you choose for them. Miss (?) SassyPants?

  9. quinn says:

    Congrats to the mamagoat!

    Here is a link to the best picture ever for identifying baby goat gender – scroll down for the side-by-side comparison:

    Loads of good info on goats.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Yes, I’ve seen the fiascofarm page before about sexing, and it IS the best I’ve ever seen and what finally helped me make sense of sexing baby goats. That’s why I believe this one is a girl. But I never quite trust myself until I check about 10 times, LOL. I checked again this morning and I still think it’s a girl.

  10. wildcat says:

    What a cutie pie! Since she is the first baby to be born at Sassafras Farm her name should be Sassy. :yes:

  11. Karen Patrick says:

    That might just be the cutest thing I have ever seen! Congrats, Grandma!

  12. twiggityNDgoats says:

    Congratulations on the new little one. She’s cute!

  13. Chic says:

    Congratulations on the new addition to your farm Suzanne! What a sweetheart and what beautiful markings! A lot has happened in your life in the last 6 months…look how you’ve ‘grown’ and now your little farm is growing too. I’ll be watching for your pictures and video’s as she/he grows ;). Have a wonderful weekend.

  14. pamplemousse says:

    Such a healthy looking baby… what a great surprise! Congratulations!

  15. copgrrl says:

    Wonderful!!! The joys of new life. Congratulations!

  16. easygoinglady says:

    oh, how adorable :sun:

  17. Remudamom says:

    S/he is darling. I think you should name her Liberty!!

  18. Gardengirl1 says:

    What a beautiful baby “she” is ! I am looking forward to hearing more about her ! Congratulations on your 1st Sassafras Farm baby! 🙂 Looks like the sun is shining down on you in this new adventure! :sun: :fairy:

  19. CATRAY44 says:

    Congratulations! How fun and such a blessing!

  20. Ms.Becky says:

    what an awesome, beautiful post Suzanne. She’s adorable, and will always be special as the first-born at Sassafras Farm. congratulations.

  21. Barbee says:

    I have read blogs and websites of livestock farmers who use livestock guard dogs that live with the animals they guard. Some of the men said they let the dog eat the afterbirth, so, that is not unusual. But, if it upset Fanta, I would move Cloe, too.

  22. bonita says:

    There couldn’t be a cuter, more tangible, metaphor for/affirmation of your new beginnings. Multiple congratulations.

  23. CarrieJ says:

    Hello back you little cutie! Read my husband this post and we had a long talk about all the changes that occur in life and how you never really know what is going to happen, but when you look back you know there was a reason for it. Awesome!

  24. Joell says:

    How precious, congratulations.

  25. mds9 says:

    “her maiden voyage”
    Nice turn of phrase. I love your writing.
    Thank you

  26. whaledancer says:

    That baby is just too darned cute! I hope she’s a girl so you can keep her.

  27. amateisgal says:

    Oh Suzanne, I am SO happy for you. What a cutie! This post is absolutely positive and uplifting. You are in a much better place and it’s a true blessing!

  28. zshawn says:

    I suggest the name Sassy for the new addition! and yes, a peach tree stick at a happy place is better than one filled with peaches at an unhappy one.

  29. princessvanessa says:

    The baby goatie has such pretty coloring. I remember you saying that you are not planning on growing your fainter herd; will you be selling this “papered purebred Fainter” when she is a little older? If so, she should sell quickly because of the coloring and markings.

  30. MelW says:

    How adorable. :woof: Here’s to new beginnings! I’d call her Sassy. Congratulations!

  31. NancyL says:

    New Baby Goatie is so adorable, she/he takes my breath away!!!

    Nancy (Goatless in Iowa)

  32. cabynfevr says:

    What a cutie! Suzanne, this post had a “Tara”, “Scarlett O’Hara” feel to me and I even got teary eyed. Congrats to you and your forward momentum!

  33. Stick Horse Cowgirls says:

    It’s a good omen, Suzanne. New life–a new beginning and lots of HOPE! The farm is beautiful and I hope I can visit someday at one of your events!

  34. tmavraides says:

    I am so happy for you. I mean all of it, the new life new farm and now new babies who are natives to your new farm. I couldn’t be happier for you. You path seems happy and bright, I hope it stays that way for years and years to comes.

  35. Jen says:

    Such a beautiful baby! I can’t wait to hear her name. :o)

  36. outbackfarm says:

    Beautiful post. And beautiful little kid. I do believe from the angle I saw that she has a little doeling. I have to do a lot of checking and feeling on my kids too just to make sure. I actually got 2 doe kids this year!!! Did you hear me hollering way up there? I was quite the happy farmgirl here in Ga.

    I just really loved this post. Something about new life and do-overs. You certainly do deserve all you have right now. I so look forward to seeing all that’s going on there on your farm these days. And I hope there are many more kids to come!

  37. Debbie in PA says:

    Oh how adorable! And what a precious surprise!

  38. Miss Judy says:

    I’m with wildcat…Sassy is a cute name.

  39. shirley T says:

    That is the cutst kid EVER!!! I would name it PIPPY after its DAD. Life really does go on.

  40. lavenderblue says:

    How wonderful! Life is good!

  41. Lajoda says:

    “and new babies fall out of their mamas”. Perfect!

  42. aprilsinohio says:

    :sheep: awesome! life is good

  43. IPlayOutsideTheBox says:

    Oh how precious!!! Best wishes!!!

  44. VictorianGirl says:

    What an adorable and precious baby. Congratulations!!

  45. Rose H says:

    Don’t know how I missed this..
    Welcome to the world sweet little one! :heart:

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