Friday, December 31, 2010
We are on the edge of our seats waiting for UDiamond to kid. We call her Diamond and she is a Diva. She is a Uni Daughter sired by Galaxy. She will be two in February and she is bagged up and ready to kid by Mr General. Her udder is really nice already and she is such a beautiful doe. This breeding is bringing together Eclipse, Tiger and Uni. Mr General is line bred on Eclipse and has produced very consistent wide rears and beautiful toplines. Diamond is already perfect and really is spectacular when she is clipped up with her golden, glistening coat. We just need to verify her greatness in the milk pail. She knows she is special and struts her stuff like the queen she is. She is a sweet heart and loves her mom...
Mr General's first daughters as yearlings will be kidding in 2011. Galloway is bagging up (BOB and Jr Doe), Brat's daughter by Mr General, Rosa, and several others. Pay Off is just starting to bag up by Mr General son, Mr Marine. One daughter out of Silver by Mr General has kidded, but she is very small (snow granddaughter) and her udder is good, but not spectacular. She kidded before a year old and was a triplet. She had a single doe who is so fat she can hardly walk. I plan on milking her a bit to see how much she is producing, but will wait until next year to see what she can really do in the milk pail. The baby doe is beautiful and we will grow her out a bit to see how she matures. Both the mom and baby are very friendly and the baby pesky. It is neat how some goats are just friendly and seek out attention, while others prefer to stay at a distance and just watch you...
Have a Great New Year and be safe!!!
Friday, December 24, 2010
It is Christmas Eve and we are working to milk the girls and get everyone ready for the Christmas Holiday. We want to thank all our Clients and Customers for a wonderful 2010. We could not have accomplished our goals without your support. Thank You Everyone!!
We plan to work even harder for 2011 and bring you more GOATS THAT MILK and sheep and goat products of outstanding quality.
Since our Blogger does not seem to give a darn about the picture upload not working, we are not sure what to do. We may just do a monthly newsletter to let folks know what is happening. We have so many folks who enjoy our blog, but if we can no longer up load pictures... It is of little value. Especally since I love to photograph everything and let folks see through my eyes...
We appreciate you all and want to wish you a Merry Christmas and an even better New Year for 2011!!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Time moves to fast for me... Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas Season is upon us. Our weather went from warm to cold again and we are checking for snotty noses on our young kids. Extra bedding and full bellies keep the babies warm.
We are preparing to go on DHIR (Dairy Herd Improvement Registry) Test and working out the many details. Once we get going, things will sort themselves out. We have been milking with the Capralite Machine, which has been wonderful, once a day, until the kids are weaned. We will milk twice a day once the kids are weaned. We are milking 8 does now, until several others freshen. We have several kids who are half bottle babies. What does that mean?? We are milking mom in the morning and if she has triplets, we need to bottle them to keep the kids from attacking mom and biting teats while they fight for a teat. We have a couple of kids who have just decided they want some bottle too and show up for a snack. This tames the kids, but gives us the flexibity to not have to bottle them while at work. The kids have mom during the day, until moms are locked up at night for morning milking.
The fresh Nigerian milk is wonderful and the cheese even better. The yield of cheese, with the Nigerians, compared to the Nubian is almost double. Nigerians have more milk fat and protein. The smaller teats of the Nigerian makes it difficult to hand milk. My hands are large and shot from hand milking. My Nubian Ariel is hand milked because she has large teats and it takes just a few minutes to milk her. We will be the FIRST and ONLY Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Herd on DHI test in Alabama!
As our does freshen, we will milk them and decide who to keep and who to move on. These does will be used to milking both with a machine and by hand. We do have a waiting list for milk stand trained goats. If you are interested in a home milker, let us know and we will add you to the list. These will not be record breaking producers, but will give enough milk for the average family. Some may even end up quite nice down the road if one continues to milk them. The more you milk your goats, the more milk they will produce. The less you milk, the less they produce.
It looks like the blogger photo insertion is not working, so we will cut this short and add photos at another time. I have some great shots of Oldesouth Blue Alexa's second freshening udder. It is really nice and she is milking over a pound and a half once a day. She may just qualify for her star this year. We will wait and see. The cold weather has the girls giving less milk. They milk the best at about 50 to 70 degrees. I think this will ease up once the girls get used to the colder weather.
We are going to move in another large storage shed type building to make into a milking Parlor and clean up area. It will be heated and cooled and have hot & cold running water. It will be a joy to milk, no matter the weather. It will not be Grade A or anything, but comfortable for us and the girls. We won't have the water dripping on our heads either. When we have frost on the metal buildings, as soon as the sun comes up and it begins to thaw, it is like a rain forest dripping on us. It is absolutely miserable...
Enough for now...
Sunday, November 14, 2010
The weather keeps fluctuating from Hot to Cold and we have had some frost. With the hot and cold fluctuations, the young kids get snotty noses. We have to watch closely or we can loose a baby or two to pneumonia. We have a bunch of kids at the moment.
The last blog had Annie Oakley very pregnant and she had quad bucks. Two will be offered as bucks and Annie has one heck of an udder this year. Then things really got going and Thundersnow, Silver Queen, Brat, AnnaLynn, Sweet Caroline, Onyx, and then Amber Blue kidded within days of each other. We had the lambing pens full of goat moms with kids. They sure are handy and recommend them for kidding or lambing. They fold up and can be stacked alongside a building when not in use. Will get pictures of everyone For Sale on the Goat Sales Page shortly.
Furney from Capralite is a character and even answers his own phone when you call him. We received the machine and called Furney and he talked us through the set up and was fantastic. I highly recommend him and the machine has been working great. I am milking ten Nigerian does in the morning. Their kids are a bit over 2 weeks of age. I have one, Amber Blue who was being hand milked and was trained to the stand when we received the machine. She is a first freshener and is taking to the machine well. She is a daughter of Butter and we hope to get her miking like her mom who has given half a gallon when she first freshened. The other does are still getting used to the whole thing and of course we have Brat in the line up. Actually she is doing well, not throwing herself on the ground anymore... I am milking Blue as well and her baby is ready to wean. Blue is used to being hand milked and does not mind the machine at all.
Alexa, Brat, AnnaLynn, and Sweet Caroline are milking the best so Far. We are working the details out to go on test DHIA in January 2011. Our Alabama DHIA is out of Auburn and we are working on details to become certified DHIA testers and arrange verification testing through our Alabama DHIA. I was more then thrilled to learn we even had an Alabama DHIA!!
We have also made arrangements for a couple of One Day Milk Tests in January and February. It is amazing how the girls are improving with their milk in just a weekend of machine milking. I have some Chevre cheese going as I am typing and will drain it when I finish this blog... Nigerian Milk is so rich and creamy, it makes spectacular cheese.
We will have pictures of the new babies shortly and will post the For Sale pictures as well. The babies are all together and it is difficult to get pictures with out help to hold each kid to take a good picture of them, rather then a group of gangsters running around like a herd of bratty baby goats.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Have checked on Annie Oakley twice, she is huge. She is clipped up to go to a couple of shows, thinking she would kid prior to the show. But she is holding out and is way to pregnant to stress at a show. She has been left home. Annie herself is a quintuplet. She had a single her first freshening, a beautiful doe, Oldesouth Galloway. She looks like she has at least quads this time...
Monday, October 18, 2010
This is Saxon to the left. His fleece was awsome this year. Clean and sooo soft. He has a golden color to his white wool. It reminds me of the golden fleece fable. When the sun hits it just right, his fleece will glisen in the sunlight.
My older ewe, Angie had a decent fleece, nothing to brag about. But we had to reshear her from the half assed job the pro did, so she did not produce a long enough fleece this year. But, she made it through the summer and is a great old gal.
The picture to the right are some ram lambs sired by The Trump. They show the main Icelandic colors, Black in the front, morrit in the middle and white at the rear.
We sheared 27 sheep, mostly Icelandics. My son, Tim and I sheared 13 in one day and I did the lambs and the rams after he went back to New Mexico. He is in the Air Force. We also sheared several Shetland lambs, harvesting the best lamb wool in the fall. Now the shetlands will be sheared once a year, in the spring. The Trump has a thick beautiful fleece, but it is not as soft as Snow man and Saxon.
October 1st, Fairla Jean-Louis finally was flown in from Harvard, Mass.. After all the details, he finally arrived. He is a beautiful Nigerian Dwarf Buck and worth the effort. He is a sweet heart on top of it all and now out of isolation, having a party with the ladies. Louie, as we call him is a great little guy. I have clipped him up a bit, but his coat was so thick, he was like trying to clip a wool sheep. I did not want to clip him to short, because it is getting cold, in the high 40s at night. He was rough on the small clipper blades, but looks decent. I almost broke out The Judge (Oster Sheep Shears), we call the heavy monster clippers The Judge. But, I did not want him that closely shorn. Just wanted to see what he looked like under all that hair.
We also shaved 10 goats for the show in Montgomery and another show coming up in November at Dothan, Alabama. Of the 10, two were to pregnant to show. The does are all pregnant and have not kidded when I expected. Even Sweet Caroline has not kidded yet. We showed them dry and we came home with Grand Champion Sr and Jr doe, Reserve Champion Sr and Jr doe, and Best of breed Nigerian. We made some cash as well. We will be traveling to the Dothan Peanut Festival Goat show in November and that will be the last show of the season.
The picture to the left is UDiamond taking Reserve Jr Doe at the Alabama National Fair. UDiamond is a Diva and you can see how proud she is for her win. She is very jealous and does not like to place at the end of the line. She is a special girl and we enjoy showing her as much as she enjoys showing. She is pregnant with Mr General kids.
So while preparing goats, working with goats, etc, we also made a trip to Auburn to pick up a couple of older Nigerian Does from a friend of mine who is in nursing school. The does are older, but good does and I would like to add them to my breeding program. They are in isolation until their blood work comes back, CAE and Johnes. We had the entire herd tested again, October 6. 2010, an annual event to make sure our goats are CAE and Johne's FREE. We have a CAE negative herd and intend to keep it that way. Dr Doug Halbrook came out to draw the blood and it was sent directly to Washington State for the testing. We should hear back this week with the results. The two does missed the original testing and I hauled them to a local vet and sent their blood off as well.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
The picture below and to the right is the new Heifer calf. She is black with white on her tail and white on her belly. She is beautiful. These photos were taken from a distance with a 200 lens. Getting to close to a cow's new calf is not a good idea....
We have 10 goats to prepare for a couple of shows and the Icelandics to shear. We will be very busy the next week. Our Vet is coming out next week as well to pull blood for our annual CAE testing. We are going to test 8 sheep for OPP too.
Enough for now, must get back to work....
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The Trump is pictured above and really has a nice fleece this year.
The triplets pictured to the left are Blue's kids sired by Oldesouth Black Panther. The bucks in the fore ground are for sale.
I think the two Boer does (Hestia & Sally) will kid soon as well, my guess is the end of October, first part of November. Sweet Caroline and Blue's Daughter "AnnaLynn" are bagging up too. Thundersnow is starting to bag up (that means they are getting milk in their udders). Butter's daughter is just beginning to bag. UDiamond looks pregnant, but not bagging yet. This doe has been giving me heartburn for some time, waiting for kids and dying to see what her udder will look like. UDiamond is a Diva and struts around like a rock star. I keep asking her when she is going to have some kids and she just parades off like a queen...
Mr Paul has cut more hay and we have round baled this cutting for the cows, horses and pastured sheep for winter. We will plant rye grass on these pastures for winter grazing. We want to disc up a pasture and reseed with coastal and winter wheat. As usual, the weather has not been in favor for winter pasture. It is ether to wet or to dry.
We need to run electric and water to the new barn. We will trench to the barn and put both water and power lines into the same trench. With the days getting shorter, we will need lighting shortly.
Have been pricing and looking at different milking machines for the goats. I hope to milk 10 to 15 goats this fall and winter. We have not decided on which one yet, but will let everyone know once we freshen several does. Milking the small goats by hand is very difficult. I have been breeding for larger teats and have some who are easy to milk, but the first fresheners are still pretty small. Ariel, my Nubian is a breeze to milk with her large teats. She will be milked by hand. She is due to freshen in November. We will be doing more one day milk tests and still trying to figure out the DHI. There are several ways of doing the DHI and it is confusing.
Enough for now...