Friday, May 21, 2010

How to Show Clip a Nigerian Goat

I have had several folks ask me how I clip my goats.  I personally hate to see naked goats.  If one clips a goat with a 10 or 15 blade, they are naked.  My suggestion is invest in some combs and clip with a comb.  I wish I could get some combs for my sheep shears to control the length of cut with them in the fall.

Anyway, I use a 10 or 15 blade and depending on the time of year, either a 1/8th, 1/4th or 1/2 inch comb.  If it is fall, I use the longer combs so the goats do not get cold, but the hair is trimmed short and looks neat.  Baby goats have a tendency to be hairy and Bucks, well, we know about the mohawk thing they have.  Buck Nigerians have a huge Mohawk along their back, which they can make stand up when they want to look the "tough guy" part.  The bucks also need to have the front legs trimmed, which can be saturated in pee pee in the fall.  I suggest washing the stinky boys and allowing the hair to dry.  If you just clip off the pee pee, there is major clipper trauma and grundgy dull blades.  Bucks usually need a bath first, but the does are very clean and usually do not need a bath before clipping.
In the late spring and summer, I clip with a 10 blade with a 1/8th inch comb.  This leaves a nice, smooth clip and enough hair to make the animal slick and pretty and cover them so they do not get sun burned.  With this clip they can go graze and be a regular goat without being shut up until they grow back enough to not get sun burned.  Yes, a goat can get sunburned, even the dark skinned ones...  I like to use just the clippers without a comb for the hooves and legs and around the head.  Do not forget to clip out the ears so the tattoos can be easily seen.

I have an example of a non clipped goat above who is Oldesouth Galloway.  She is in the raw with her baby coat trying to shed out and the rough looking apparance.  One can see her topline and that she is nice, but she looks coarse and could have more dairy character.  Dairy character is basically refinement.  After clipping, Galloway is a new woman.  She is clean and her dairy character stands out to impress.  I used a # 10 blade and a 1/8th inch comb to clip her.  The entire body is clipped and the legs and hooves are done without the comb.  We leave the little poof for the tail and this baby girl is ready for the show...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The summer is coming to fast...

It has warmed up to quickly.  Today it will be in the high 80s to 90 with high humidity.  Yesterday I was off and clipped up 3 Nigerian does I plan to show in a couple of weeks in Georgia.  Galloway, a young doe, sired by Mr General really stands out in the group.  She was dam raised, out of Oldesouth Annie Oakley and not as friendly as I would like, but Wow, she is nice.  We named her Galloway because she is belted like a Belted Galloway cow.

We are taking Mr General and a young buck sired by Mr General out of Thundersnow.  I had planned on taking Black Panther, a son of Brat, but he is to hard to handle right now and needs more training and taming.  He is a brat boy to say the least.  We really need to bottle feed all our kids and this would not be a problem.  The time factor really limits who we can bottle feed.  Some goats, even though dam raised just decide to be tame.  Thundersnows kids are that way and even her grand daughter has decided to be tame.  Sometimes it depends on the dam and how tame she is, other times, who knows.  I have had a couple of bottle babies who grew up to be not tame, so go figure... Flash was a bottle buck who never was real tame and Blake, a nubian was the same way.  But most of the time, the bottle babies are very tame and a down right pain in the neck.

Oldesouth Alexa has really turned out nice and her daughter by Mr General is very nice as well.  I clipped Alexa, Galloway and UDiamond yesterday to see what they looked like under the fur.  Wow, Alexa is nice for a yearling.  Her sister Babette is really nice as well, but not as friendly.  She may be better then Alexa, just stand offish.  I choose the easier to handle goats and went with Alexa.  We will work with Babette for later down the road and Babette's  daughter is for sale on the website:

The picture to the right is Alexa and her daughter
by Mr General.  His signature is his topline and width of body.  Mr General is line bred on Eclipse who is a fantastic doe.  We had Mr General flown in from up
north almost 2 years ago as a kid.  His first kids will
be freshening hopefully this fall.

The picture to the left is of Alexa's daughter by Mr General.  She is blue eyed like her mom with a beautiful front and lovely wide rear.  He has produced some really nice kids.  I have had a hard time parting with any of them.
I have to show everyone a picture of my PIA dog, Grizzly II.  I had Grizzly I, also a Jack Russel for 8 years before he decided to get himself killed by not lisening...  Something Jack Russels have a hard time doing.  Grizzly II is no different and I am surprized he has lived this long.  I think he will be 3 years this August.  The cute factor goes a long ways with dogs.  He is cute and is good with cats, goats, sheep and even chickens.  He has raised countless baby goats and a lamb.  He was raised with a cat and even though some folks say Jack Russels can not be trained to not kill, he is the exception.  My Grizzly I was good as well and I have taken the time to train him from a pup to leave things alone and not chase chickens or cats, etc...  Both my
Jacks have been great family dogs and can even herd to some extent.

Grizzly II is short legged, has all his teeth and has been a good natured little guy.  We do offer him for stud on occation to select females for $250.  We do not breed the short legged Jacks, but Grizzly II does sire pups on occation.  We are looking for a nice female Jack of quality and good disposition for the future.  Let us know of possible canidates...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spring continues through a new eye...

I am so excited.  I have worn out two Olympus digital cameras and when my sister came to visit from Texas, noticed the great photo's her camera took.  Wow, the clarity of the kids (human) playing was fantastic.  It was a Nikon D60 camera.  My Nikon was delivered Tuesday and the on line site at Nikon has instruction and video demonstrations for the cameras.  I am ready to shoot by the time the Camera arrives.  It is a Nikon D3000.  It is in a kit and has the 55-200mm zoom lens as well.  The picture to the left is Blake (nubian buck) looking at me looking at him.  Look how clear the photo is.

Wow...  no delay in the picture snap or blurry baby goat pictures.  Look at the baby blue eyed Nigerian to the right.

I want to revamp the web site and get some good udder shots of my dairy goats.  I really want to get some nice lamb shots playing in the field.  The zoom lens should work great for that as well as the faster shutter speed.  I am not a pro photographer, but have learned a bit over the years.  My son Tim when he raced bicycles was a great challenge.  My 45mm Cannon took great pictures, but it uses film, which as we all know is so expensive to process and put on a disk for editing.  Not only that, only 20% of the shots are worth keeping, no matter how good you are.

Action shots look great too.  Below is Thundersnow's daughter sired by Mr General.
We plan on milking a couple of Icelandic Sheep as well this spring to make some Sheep Milk Soap.  We will use it with our Goat Milk Soap formula and compare the two.  Have to include a picture of The Trump, one of our Icelandic Rams.  His horns are spectacular.  This photo was taken in the shade of one of the Pecan trees.

We have some nice Nigerian Dwarf Kids For Sale and a couple of adults as well.  We are reducing the herd a bit to allow us room to keep more young stock.  Check out the Goat Sales Page to see what is available.  The new camera will help catch some better pictures to give everyone a better idea of what we have to offer.  Goats and kids are tough to photograph.  Look at blue eyed Dawn to the left.  She is a bit pregnant.  She is For Sale, bred to Mr. General.

Ultram is shown with his beautiful hornset.  He is a two year old Icelandic ram.  He is shown after shearing.

The ewe below is Mini Long Tail.  I love the way the photo's are turning out.
The photo below is of my horse, Joe.  He is a quarter horse from a cutting horse background.  He will be 5 this June and is a big beautiful, sweet gelding.

We can not forget a picture of Brutus.  He is our bull and he sure has filled out.  We will see his first calves next January.  I hope everyone has enjoyed the photos and we will be working on updating our farm website with new and better photography.