Our happy goats give healthy milk!
Fall of 2016 has the girls bred and finally in the front pasture. The summer was dry and they do not have lush grass but they have plenty of hay like forage, trees and weeds to work on.
The cream on the top of this milk in this half gallon jar shows why I love the Nubian and mini Nubians! This sat in the fridge for 2 days before I took this photo. Rich, creamy milk for butter, cheese and drinking!
Some people like to dry lot their goats to keep them parasite free. I guess I go to the extreme opposite by letting a few paddocks grow very tall and thick for the goats to browse on. If I can open a different area on a rotational basis then they have plenty to eat and still have low parasite counts.
This is October and everything was still nice and green. The above 2 photos are in the back pasture and the photo to the left is my backyard. The goats are hard to spot but they are in there eating as much as they can. This is during a very bad drought, too.
In order to keep up with the parasite loads in the farm animals, I do regular fecal checks on them. My many years working as a vet tech are coming in very handy on the farm. And being old school, it doesn't take me but a minute to run through each slide and know if I need to deworm an animal and what I should deworm them with for the parasite(s) they might have.
The girls are so good to come when I call them. Pepper and her daughter, Wren are such lovely girls. Sweet, gentle and easy going. Nubians and mini Nubians are wonderful for my farm!
Both of these girls were bred to Dooley this year. Wren is just boarding here until her new home is ready and she is going to give her new owners some beautiful kids. Pepper has not been bred to Dooley before but she was ready and willing and that is a cross that was asked for by Wrens' new owner so I let them breed. Dooley has never had any problems servicing his ladies.
Noah was slow to get going, though he knew what to do and was certainly old enough at 10 months but it took him 2 days with Sophia to really get going with her.
Sophia has been bred to 3 different bucks now and she has always given me excellent offspring. I was really wanting full Nubians from her to cross back with Dooley again. Noah will hopefully give this third kidding his beauty and dairy capacity.
Though Noah has grown a lot sicne I got him, he has a lot more to grow and mature. For a Nubian, he is just a baby yet.
By November, the back paddock was gone. There were 9 goats and sheep on it and with no rain for more than 3 months, there was nothing left. The girls had some hay, they were given time in other paddocks to graze but at night I put them back in this more secure paddock with the dog. Of course, treats aplenty with fall fruits!
The bucks were still in full rut and were less enthusiastic about all the extras they were given every day.
Mongo and Axel also enjoyed the fall treats. Pumpkins, apples, squash etc.
Dooley has been such a great boy in so many ways. I really love how easy he is to handle, he is good with other animals, he is an excellent breeder and I can put him in over grown areas tied out for a few hours to help trim back the weeds. I get many compliments on how he doesn't scream and carry on when people come to visit. Though I do caution he has that rut odor going on but I still love on him. I don't mind too much.
So now that breeding season is over I have the 3 bucks in the back pasture since I can feed 3 boys hay easier than the bigger herd of does and sheep.
Due the end of March is Sophia bred to Noah, while Dooley bred Pepper, Pippa, Misty and Wren.
Spicey did not get a girl this year as I see how Pippa milks out next year. I know from Java having produced Misty that he was an excellent choice and hope that my other bucks continue to prove out for me. Pedigrees can tell some of it but body shape helps me decide, too.
Mongo is living in the back paddock with the boys this fall. I am more worried about predators from the woods than from my front pasture. And Axel is able to get into the front pasture if anything goes amiss with the does or sheep.
Wren and her little "sister", Sky. They will be headed for their new home home soon to help another family with their dairy needs. Sky is a mini Nubian from another friend of mine that is just staying here until the new home is completed. Sky is too small and young yet to be bred but Wren will hopefully kid well for them next spring!
The girls out on the dry pasture. Though we started getting rains in November, it was too late and everything was dry. Bob, the wether is out with the girls, too. He helped me check for any late heat cycles that may have been missed.
Page 4 of my goat adventures!
Axel has been wonderful as a LGD! Good with the goats and watchful over the entire farm.
I put the bucks back in the front pasture with the does for a few months during winter since everyone was just eating pasture and hay at that point. They stayed with them until the end of January and then had to move back to the back paddock so the does could get all their special diets for kidding season.
The new milk shed is coming along. I am grateful my friends helped me get it this far. I have the wood to do more but am slow working on it now. Too many priority projects. It needs to be finished by the end of March so I don't have long!
You can barely see the top of the milk shed in this photo. The weeds in the front pasture are so tall!
Snow pushed the weeds down for a few days but once melted, it was all back up again. There is a lot that the goats and sheep won't eat so I will get more lime out and possibly reseed next fall.
Goats hate wet and definitely hate the snow. They were so happy to be in the unfinished milk shed.
Bob, the wether is always telling me I do not feed enough grain or treats. He is such a chow hound!
Pepper had her buck kid first this year. He was raised here until 8 weeks old and then went to his new home for breeding purposes. His sire is Dooley.
Next up was Sophia. She had her kids on my Birthday again. She is getting good at that!
Sophia gave me two girls by Noah! I kept this lovely girl on the left and named her Willow. The other little girl was called Paint and went to her new home when she was 3 months old.
The funny part was while Sophia was giving birth to her girls, then her oldest daughter, Misty went into labor out in the pasture and had hers!
And to top it all off, Misty had these kids, a buck and a doe, on MY birthday and HERS! She was born 2 years ago on that day, as well.
This is Minna, a daughter of Dooley. She is being retained as an F2 mini Nubian. Misty has been sold.
And finally, Pippa had her son. He was sold and went to his new home at 8 weeks old. Pippa also went to a new home though she was a pleasure to milk while she was here part ofd the summer. Pippa is out of Siophia and Spicey. I wanted to see what kind of udder Spicey put on his daughters and he did not disappoint! Pippa has a glorious soft uidder with lovely teats.