Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Little Dobers

As I alluded in another post, Doby kidded about midnight on April 21st.  She didn't make a peep.  I knew something was up because Angel started making this excited, confused whimper noise.  I went out and there was a sweet little blue-eyed buckling, pictured with Farmer Girl.  I let them stay together until morning.

Doby's done really well on the stand.  She gives a little over half a gallon a day.  While that's not stellar, she's still quite small.  But even still, we made a decision to move her on.

You see, we have friends who wanted to get into dairying.  It's difficult to find dairy goats around here.  We figured out that if we let them have Doby, it would open up a space in our pasture for a different goat- one we could get pregnant now and make sure to have us in milk through the winter.  And Doby's a good beginner goat.  She doesn't have a testy attitude.  She's sweet and lovable and totally people-friendly.  And not giving a ton of milk means the hands can those unused muscles good and strong before having to milk out a gallon at a sitting.  My first few days of milking after a dry spell always leaves me with cramping, sore hands.

So our friends prepared their milking stand and got their milking supplies and we delivered Doby to them last weekend.  Their Alpha-goat, a bossy female pygmy, did not much care for the addition at first, but it sounds like everyone is starting to settle in and find their groove... though Doby will not be able to lounge in empty hay baskets anymore.

And we found our replacement already!  She's a 1 yr old pure Nubian.  She spent most of her days at a school before going home with a student.  That student's mom is now looking to decrease the number of mouths she's feeding.  We're getting her tested for CAE (a contagious disease similar to Johnnes in cows) and the results of that test will be available Friday.  If she comes back negative, Sunday afternoon we'll drive out to pick her up.  She'll immediately go in with Copper meaning she'll kid in October or November.  That's about the time Dulci will get pregnant, kidding in March or April.  And we'll get Helen pregnant in March or April for kidding in August or September.   And thus never have a day without fresh milk! 

And also never have a day without milking!  But that's another reason we were so keen on helping our friends get a good start in dairying... we can milk for each other!  Either family can now go away for a few days and the others are fully equipped to cover those missed milkings.  Its a huge relief to know we won't have to dry off our goats just to go to a family reunion.  Instead we'll just truck those goats to their house and they get an abundance of milk for cheese-making!  We haven't been  away from home more than 14 hours in well over a year.  Not that we're going to run off on vacation... but its nice to know we could!

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