Sunday, April 25, 2010

Goat Swap #2

We were so pleased by our acquisition of Dulcinea for the price of "2 bucks" (being 2 useless-to-us-bucklings) that we thought about doing it again. But this time the price was greater... and a tug on our heart too.

Our first goats were Annabelle and Fudge, a mother daughter duo acquired in 2007. We had recently traded Annabelle for Copper, our breeding buck, because she needed a good retirement home. That left us with Fudge and her daughter, Noel, the first goat, the first anything, born on this property. Realizing the vast difference in milk production between the goat breeds, we decided to take the plunge. Fudge and Noel, pictured, were traded for another mother-daughter duo.

Meet Helen and Doby. Helen is 3/4 Nubian, 1/4 Lamancha and Doby is 5/8 Lamancha and 3/8 Nubian. They were acquired from the same previous owner as Dulcinea so we knew we were getting good stock. Helen is, like Dulci, in her first lactation and was giving 1 gallon a day! The owner then kicked her out onto a large paddock with the rest of her milking does and the shock of leaving the cushioned life of a kidding pen shocked her. She dropped a bunch of weight and her production too. She's gained weight since coming to us where our paddock is always small and we have no such luxury as a kidding pen. She also went into heat just last week so her due date is September 19th... sound familiar???
Doby (because she looks like a Doberman Pinscher) is almost 3 months old (I think). We gave little farm girl the job of bottle feeding her. It was a great fit. We recently weened her and she's doing well though still follows the girl around like a puppy.

So all in all, this has been a happy change. It was sad to see Fudge and Noel go, but we've been good about drowning our sorrows in goat milk. We've been getting between 3 quarts to a gallon a day still. When milk stock piles we make yogurt. When the yogurt stock piles, we make cream cheese. Then last week we ordered some more cheese making supplies. We got some cultures for buttermilk, kefir and necessary ingredients for mozzerella and ricotta. Mozzerella is on the to-do list today, but this may be too lazy of a Sunday for something that new. We shall see.

And just for the record, we still have Copper, our Nigerian Dwarf breeding buck. He's so sweet and small enough to not be a problem that we're not inclined to upsize him. We're in this for the milk and a dairy goat's udder knows nothing about the size of the baby coming out. We'll truly have mutt goats on our hands, but mutts can still be cute and that's all anyone seems to care about around here.

And another note, this all took place in early March... yes, I'm behind. You have no idea.

No comments:

Post a Comment