Monday, May 2, 2011

April is already past...

We have been very busy getting the Milking Parlor set up and finally going.  It took a bit of time to train the girls to the new space as well.  They have to step up three times to get onto the milking stand.  Ariel, my one large goat (Nubian) had the roughest time.  She is long and has to step up just right with her head down to get into the stanchion.  The milk stand has a stanchion for small goats and Ariel has adapted to it.  I do have a taller stanchion, but it is to tall for my yearling nigerians to reach the feed bucket.  Ariel then has to come off the stand, swing around to come down the step ups.  She has been doing great, but was a bit scared at first.  She is up pretty high for me to milk standing up.  It took some apple flavored treats to convince her she was not going to be eaten.

 Clean room is pictured left.
 Milking area with machine.  The goats enter from the right and step up 3 levels to the stand.  They are then the perfect height to clean and milk while standing in comfort.
 UDiamond is pictured to the left showing the Milking Parlor in action.

The small goats got into the routine quickly because they like to climb on things anyway.  So the higher the better for the little Diva's.  Everyone comes into the Parlor one at a time except, of course Brat.  Yeah, we are still putting up with her.  She is last and after you go out to get her, she runs into the parlor and jumps up where she is suppose to go.  Always has to be a Drama Queen & act stupid.

So far we have 3 goats who have qualified for stars with several others very close.  Of course nothing is official until the lactation ends and the results are submitted and approved by the Goat Associations. Even Ariel is close and milking quite well.  Her last test was 8.1 pounds.  She is a Nubian now, not a Nigerian.  My top Nigerian is UDiamond who milked 4.1 pounds on her last test as a first freshener.  Alexa's sister Babette, who I need to get a good photo of, milked 4 pounds on her first test, raising triplet sons sired by Fairlea Jean Louis *S.

The photo to the right is Oldesouth Babette.  She is not clipped, but her udder can be seen fairly well.  She has a lovely fore udder too.  She is pictured at the Goat & Sheep Expo in March where she was on display with her triplet sons.

We attended a couple of Goat Shows.  One in South Carolina at Teena's Farm and another at Carrolton, Ga.  We were so busy showing, I did not get but a few decent pictures.  Arlene and I showed.  Our young Jr Buck, Lost Valley PG Superb *S won Grand Champion Jr buck in one show and Reserve Champion Jr Buck in the other show.  Sunra took 2 first places and we had several 2nd, 3rds, etc with some stiff competition.  UDiamond took 3rd and 2nds in both shows, with her class being one of the largest.  Each show we attend, we get better at presenting our goats and move up the line.

I guess I was having an off day and my photo's were blurry and had to dump most of them.  Oldesouth Sweet Mocha is pictured in her Jr Doe class.  Look at her beautiful topline and dairy character.  The photo above shows how wide she is in the rear as well.

We are preparing for sheep shearing this up coming weekend.  We hope to get most of them done.  We shear on a stand and I do it.  I tried hiring a pro, or so he called himself.  He did not do an acceptable job and cut off a teat and cut a penis on one of my rams.  Of course he tried to blame his incompetence on my sheep.  Sorry my sheep have teats and male genitals that were in your way...  NOT!  Why can I shear the entire herd and everyone was still in tact when it was over?  It does not take that much time to be careful and do a good job.  The Icelandic's especally must be smoothly shorn with no chunks left to felt and ruin the new fleece coming up underneath.  The photo below is what a group of yearling Cheviots looked like after that IDIOT was done with them.  Not only were they cut up, but look at the chunks of wool left... (a picture is worth a thousand words...)

We were lucky to be missed by the Tornado's that hit Tuskaloosa, Alabama.  We are thankful and are praying for the folks who have lost loved ones and property.  It was terrifying to watch the Tornado live on the news as it was hitting Tuskaloosa with the weather woman frantic for people to take cover.  We were at the hospital monitoring the news while working to make sure our patients were safe if we needed to move folks to interior areas.