Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thanksgiving is near...

As Thanksgiving approaches, Mr Paul tells me we are going to have one of the Tom Turkeys for dinner.  I can not eat either one of them and they would dress out at a huge weight.  Who is going to eat all that turkey?  We still have turkey and ham vacuum packed from last year.  That was my excuse for not killing my beautiful Turkeys.  The one below is suppose to be a Royal Palm.  But he has some tan on him as well.  His build is lighter then the Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey.  The Palm and his hen can roost on the gates.  The Bronze Turkeys are to big to fly or even roost up high and sleep on the ground with the guardian dogs.

This is the group of Toms, pictured below.  You can see the difference in size and width of the two different breeds.

 Another shot of the three Toms.  The Broad Breasted Bronze Turkeys are molting and still growing new tail feathers.  The Royal Palm in the back is a younger Tom, probably 3 months younger then the big boys.
My favorite Tom is this one to the right.  He looks like he has apples hanging.  They are very tame and will let you pet them and will come running up to you like a herd of dinosaurs.  Tom is still bringing in new tail feathers and wing feathers.  He will be really beautiful next year when he has a beard.

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.

We have finally made the decision to bite the bullet and go for the Capralite Milker from Furney Register.  We considered a reworked cow milker from a fella on EBay who collects the old bellie cow milkers and retro fits them for goats with a reworked pump.  The price was half of a new milker, but upon further questioning the fella, he did not respond to emails.  That, to me, was a good indication of after the purchase service.  It would really suck if it was junk and I would have to pay for the new milker anyway.

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 went to the Peanut Festival at Dothan, Alabama and our Oldesouth Girls did very well. We came home with Grand and Reserve Senior and JR does and Brat took Best of Breed. She had just freshened two days prior to the show and is milked out in her picture.
We are done showing for this year and will put together a calender for next year shows. We are also planning linear appraisals (Physical Evaluations of each goat) for our herd and young stock. ADGA does rounds in the fall to Alabama, but most of my herd is dry during that time. We will either milk into that time, change breeding dates or do a special session.  Still considering options to get it all done.

Blue Amber, daughter of Oldesouth Blue Alexa won Reserve Champion Jr Doe.  She is a lovely doe like her mother and she is pregnant as well.

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.
More later... it has been a busy week and need to go drain my Chevre cheese.