rachels.haven's Journal

rachels.haven

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Since I guess we got them Saturday it's official by now. Last week I spent all my "spare" time building a goat fence around a mini-shed my husband built, gathering supplies and ordering stuff, then on Saturday we went and picked up a 2 year old, ADGA registered nigerian dwarf doe in milk and a doeling. Now I just need to get over this annoying cold and send in the transfer/registration papers, contemplate becoming a member of ADGA, and take pictures to show on here. I tried to go out and get some just now, but my 3 year old commandeered the camera, so now I have a lot of artsy pictures of sun lit leaves and trees silhouetted against the sky and his brother and maybe one of the garage door...but no goats. Probably why 3 year old photographers aren't the norm.

The doe in milk still doesn't love being milked by me, but my husband put together a milk stand out of scrap wood on Sunday (goat was over full) and with the help of milk stand ties on her feet I got her emptied. I don't think I'm hurting her, but she really loves to kick and stand in buckets if allowed. At one point she was behaving so badly that I just put an empty bucket in front of her and milked onto the ground and she got everything but her udder in it (handy). That's why we use ties/hobbles and revised the hand piece a little. She's giving about 2 cups a day, but that varies because I think the doeling, even though it's not hers and is between 8 and 10 weeks, is being allowed to nurse. I'll accept that for now I guess. They don't eat as much as I thought they would, and that worries me. Their pen is mostly brush so I guess they're probably eating that, but I expected them to eat more alfalfa pellets, alfalfa hay, and grain and they don't eat much of any of that. Maybe the TSC compressed bales are not to their liking. My rabbits never liked them. We'll see. I'm anxiously waiting for my hay guy to make some delicious smelling first cutting hay, but it's raining almost every day to every other day lately, so I'm going to have to be patient. Third cutting is my favorite, but I'll get that in the fall. I'd take about 40 bales of that just to lay in if I had another excuse.

Honestly, I was expecting goatier milk. My husband loves the milk, but I kind of like it slightly...mustier? Maybe with more character? The milk that we do get mostly just tastes like ice cream. Darn...ice cream milk. Who could complain about that? DH's already joked about needing more milk and therefore more milking does. I think I'd like more experience before we get any more, maybe even just breed these and retain the doelings. Things are awfully simple with just the two. I'd rather things grow slowly...Kind of like the speed I get pictures up here...
 

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Congrats on your new additions. I'm glad that your DH loves the milk. I'm actually kind of surprised to hear you (or anyone) say they "prefer" "goatier" milk... :hide I mean that just does not compute for me... All I ever hear is complaints when it doesn't taste the same as cow's milk... :idunnoI too love the smell of fresh cut/baled quality hay :love Have patience with your doe... she'll settle down with time and practice. My daily milker has 2 years experience and still sometimes kicks crap in the bucket or dumps the milk... It happens... I've milked her out on the ground due to that happening as well. And she's a full sized Lamancha... :(
 

rachels.haven

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Thanks! and oh goodness, and that would be a big kick comparatively (Lamancha's are one of the more pretty looking goats, IMO though-something about those eyes).

In regards to the flavor, I wish people wouldn't assume it would taste like cows milk. It's not cow milk. At least the stuff my goat makes even has a different mouth feel than cow's milk. Unfortunately one of my boys will drink the carton flavored $5/quart store goat milk stuff but doesn't like the nigerian milk we're getting straight. I like the carton stuff too, so I understand where he's coming from, but not enough to pass on the fresh stuff. The other flavors in the milk are kind of fun. They're not necessary, but fun.

And you're right. My doe is getting better I think. This evening I loosened the ties so she had more slack and her feet stayed planted, didn't pull tight, and she didn't mess with the bucket. That's a little victory, but it makes me happy.

Thanks again.
 

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It would be interesting to know what breed of goat is producing the stuff you get at the store. Though it may not matter, might just be the added flavor your son likes. Guess you need to started "flavoring" the milk from your goat.
 

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rachels.haven

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Yep, they're working on it. Once the pen stuff gets stripped down and if we haven't gotten it cleared yet, I've got my eye on the area in front of the pen as a temporary run expansion. More T posts and fencing! But behind the pen is where I really want to expand into for a permanent pen. It's wooded to the point I could hide my HOUSE (and a good chunk of the front yard) back there. I'm not sure what my little goats can do back there considering how high they'd have to stack goats up on eachother to reach the majority of the foliage, but they will at least have shade and can feel free to strip bark off trees to girdle and kill as many as possible. We've also been throwing brush into the pen to have it professionally stripped already.

Meanwhile I'm shocked at how little grain and hay these guys have been eating. I thought their sweet goat food would never loose it's appeal and would be like candy, and alfalfa pellets and hay always smell so rich I want to eat them but I guess they're getting enough browse they're satisfied. My chickens and ducks are more expensive to feed on a daily basis so far. Makes me want...more goats :duc. Maybe fewer chickens. :ep
 

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:yuckyuck:lol: goat math? :hide:oops: I've taken to going to smaller trees and bending them over so the canopy is down near the ground within easy reach of the goats. I basically get trampled with goats trying to get as much as they can and trying to beat each other out to the best bites...
 
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