Friday, May 18, 2018

May 2018 My Little Milk Maids!

Many mornings I have three little Milk Maid helpers!

Learning how to milk a goat is not an easy task- but with practice it doesn't take long to get the hang of it. 

Ivory is our Saanen/Alpine mix doe.  She is very patient with the girls as they learn.  She holds pretty still as long as her feed bucket is filled with grain.  Grain is a goat's candy! 

Even my youngest wants her turn but her hands are too small to squeeze correctly.  She is still determined to try!  If the udder is not gently pinched at the top the milk will go back up instead of out- and that does not feel good for the goat and she will kick and let you know you are doing it wrong. 
Watch out! She is going to kick the bucket!!!

 We saved most of the milk today because I guessed what was about to happen and took the bucket away just in time.  We give Ivory a bit more grain (because she deserves it for putting up with children trying to milk her)  and my oldest daughter takes over and can get a pretty good stream going.

Ivory gives about a gallon a day right now.  Two quarts in the morning and two at night.  It is a lot of hard work- for her and for us.
I'm very happy to tell you we've finally got SWEET MILK!  No more nasty buck milk.  We moved the stinky billys across the property so they cannot come in contact with the females.  We also increased our goat's alfalfa consumption.  Something worked and I couldn't be more pleased!   We will take this milk in the house, filter it and immediately put it in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.  The faster it chills, the sweeter it will taste. 
The milk is sweet, but not nearly as sweet as the cute helpers I had this morning!  They are my true pride and joy.

All Done!


May 2018 Chicken's Scratching and Goats Grazing!

We are LOVING the Green of Spring!  I let the goats out in the chicken pasture today and they just loved nibbling on the trees, weeds and all the new blooming vegetation. 

Daisy and Honey still stick close to each other.  Daisy is pregnant right now and just barely starting to show.  Honey is her kid from last year.

 Daisy is not due until June.  She has another month to go!

Honey has to settle for the shrubs.

A Legbar doesn't like the goats so close...she scrambles away through the tall grass looking for her flock.

Her flock is actually in the goat pen...scratching through spilled hay for the bugs that like to hide underneath.  Hickory, one of our Bucks, watches the birds.

Lots of bulbs have blossomed this last week.  I love it!

April 2018 Foster Puppies get the Goat's Milk!

Ivory and Ebony require milking twice a day right now.  Unfortunately we are not enjoying the milk because it has an off taste to it.  I'm trying to figure out why the taste is so awful.  It could be the weeds in bloom, or the use of a different brand of feed, or just the fact that the does are right next to the buck pen.  When does are too close to bucks they can produce a hormone that taints the milk with a "Bucky" flavor that is just nasty! 

The milk is not wasting however.  I'm pouring it on my garden to get great tomatoes and using most for Puppies!  Yes- cute little dachshund mix foster puppies!  We baby sat them for a week-end and have been giving extra milk to the foster family since to give to the pups.  It may be nasty for us- but the pups sure seem to enjoy it! 

Here the 7 pups are drinking goat's milk while their mom watches from her safe perch.

Mom can we keep one?  Or two or three or four???

I can you resist???

April 2018: Ivori's Kids Find a New Home

My girls named the two white bucklings Target and Ozzy.  They are white and adorable and SO BIG compared to the Nigerian Dwarf kids we are use to.  Ivori, their mom, is an Alpine Saanen mix, and we bought her bred so these kids are from a large goat buck as well.  
  We kept these boys for just one week.  Once again I wanted to keep them longer just to enjoy them, but babies sell so well I just didn't dare keep them longer for fear of missing out on a sale. Plus if they accidently bred with any of my Nigerian Dwarf girls it would be life-threatening for the doe!  Little Arrow was bucky at just one week old!  I didn't want to risk it with these boys. 

 Both boys went together and the family that picked them up was so excited!  They will be good weed eaters and pets (both wethers) to two little children and their parents.  The mother kept snuggling the baby buck I put in her arms and calling him hers.  I was pleased he was going to a nice home.

I will miss them!  I wish one was a doe so I could have kept her longer.

Llama Goat! 

Here the little bucks are following their mom around the yard looking for the best grass and weeds.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

April 2018 Ivori has Twins!!

 What does Baseball and Birthing Baby Goats have in common?  Well we were on our way to my daughters baseball practice when I called my goats from my house to make sure Ivori wasn't having her kids.  Usually I call and all the goats come out of the goat shed and call back to me.  But on this day, Ivori didn't make an appearance.  I called again.  No Ivori. 

My girls were already in the car waiting to leave but I had to check on Ivori, so I dashed out to see where she was.  She was in the barn, the bubble of the first kid sticking out but not yet born! 

I called my girls out of the van, and they came running.  All three were present as Ivori dropped her sweet bucklings.   The girls helped clean them off and both had no complications and stood immediately to greet momma and get their first milk. 

Because they were doing so well we loaded in the car to catch the rest of the practice- only to get there and realize we didn't think this through very well.  We were covered in birth and smelled of it too.  Ha ha!  Try cleaning that off with baby wipes! 

April 2018 Bunnies!

 We picked up two new Bunnies for a 4-H project this year.  My oldest daughter choose the black bunny and my middle girl chose the while one.  The black one is pretty, but nervous.  Her name is Raven.  The white one loves attention and is named Aven.  The girls will take care of them and get them all tamed up and use to handling so they can show well. 

March 2018 Baby Goat Updates! Juneau and Arrow

These two babies grew very fast and both found homes within a couple of weeks.   Arrow went first and I was sad to see him go.  I didn't get to spend enough time with my baby!   But we couldn't keep another buck, so we needed him to go while he was still small and cute.  Juneau went a week later. 

Here Arrow is meeting and challenging Blossom.  He showed her the "buck" lip and know I believe that some kids are born ready to breed! 

Before Juneau left he made friends with a foster dog we had named, Boe.  The two would follow each other around whenever I let them.  Juneau was hungry for company after Arrow was sold, so he gladly accepted Boe as a friend.

It was hard to say Good-Bye to Juneau when they came to pick him up.  My girls snuggled him one last time!

Here Daisy is smelling Juneau.  She is expecting herself- so I think she was just checking- to make sure he wasn't hers.  She still has 3 months to go in this photo.