A World of Unique Character and Natural Beauty

Island Farm: Spring Kids

July 30, 2012      Author : Doreen Cabot    Category: Community      0 Comment(s)

Farmer Doreen Cabot supplements mothersʼ milk with bottle feeds for her Katahdin Hair sheep, contributing to a very busy spring. -- Photo by Kate Hotchkiss Taylor

Another season of birthing kids and lambs has passed at our farm on North Haven island. Twenty-eight lambs and twenty-one kids can be seen running leaps and bounds over the fields at Foggy Meadows Farm. New mothers cry out as they try to keep track of their babies while seasoned ewes and does keep on nibbling grass without a care.

Of Foggy Meadows Farm sheep Doreen Cabot says “Katahdins shed so we don't need to shear them. They are highly parasite resistant and their meat is mild.” -- Photo by Kate Hotchkiss Taylor

Lazarus -- Photo by Sam Cabot

Farming on an island can be challenging, especially during birthing season. The nearest vet is miles away and not always available during a crisis. We rely on our neighbors and our own instincts to help with difficult deliveries. Our greatest challenge this spring was keeping a little triplet lamb alive after being born breech and not breathing. Lazarus arrived without a whimper. He was lifeless and could not suck for over twenty-four hours. With help from our neighbor and YouTube we learned how to stomach tube milk into him until he learned to suck a bottle. His mother immediately rejected him and to this day has not recognized him. Lazarus was raised from the dead, thus justly named. He spent a few days wandering around in our house wearing a Pamper. He especially enjoyed lying on the couch watching television. Today Laz lives at the barn but often comes to the house for visits.

Just like the year before, Lottie gave birth to quadruplets. Bonding to her first right away, and the others taking three more hours to deliver, this Mom favored the first born so much Doreen ended up bottle feeding the other three. Lottie lost over 40 pounds in one day! -- Photos by Kate Hotchkiss Taylor

The joys of farming come from affection given to us by our animals every day. Lambs and kids nibble on our clothing until we stop to give them attention. They squeal with joy when they hear our voices. Of course, most of the time, we know they are hoping to get a snack instead of a pat on their heads.

One of the Foggy Meadows Farm Moms and her happy-go- lucky kid. Says Cabot, “Boer goats are a meat goat. We do not milk them. They are high in protein and very lean. The meat is not marbled. It is highly digestible.” -- Photo by Kate Hotchkiss Taylor

-- Photos by Kate Hotchkiss Taylor

North Haven Community School Middle Schoolers (left to right) Adam Murphy, Caleb Mao, and Tristan Carrier enjoy the kids on a Sunday -- Photo by Kate Hotchkiss Taylor

Island visitors ask how we can eat our animals after being so attached to them. I like to think that we take the best care of them that we can and later it is their turn to take care of us. We provide them the best nourishment and love that we can. It is a difficult day to send them to the slaughter house.

Many tears are shed but the memories of their affection abounds. They nourish our bodies and souls. North Haven is a perfect place to raise natural meat. Island lamb was famous many generations ago. Today we offer our lamb and chevon for sale at our little farm store. It is just as delightful as it was in our grandparentsʼ day. We welcome visitors to meet our animals to witness the love they give and receive.

-- Photo by Kate Hotchkiss Taylor

Doreen Brown Cabot lives on North Haven island in Maine with her husband Sam. Together, they raise Boer goats and Katahdin sheep at Foggy Meadows Farm, one of five farms on the island.
They have three grown children and four grandchildren that live on the island with their families. Their dog, a Welsh Corgi, Flossie, loves the farm animals.
Doreen enjoys watercolor painting, rug hooking, knitting, gardening, and family life on the island. Their farm is open daily: 3 Amesbury Point Road, North Haven, ME 04853, Sam & Doreen Cabot, 867-4625 (Please call first in case the Cabots are out in the barns or fields.)

-- Photo by Kate Hotchkiss Taylor

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