Say Hello, George

Meet George, the Nubian Buck.  George is going to be busy over the next few weeks.  He has been chosen to be the sire of our next crop of goats.  We are very excited about his great coloring.

Our friends, the Burks, have allowed George to come stay at our place.  The gestation period in goats is 5 months.  In one week from getting George, all of our does have come into heat.  If you are wondering how I know… Mostly I know because I know how my goats behave and its easy to tell the difference.  Just picture a classy mature lady who suddenly begins to act like a teenager with no raising letting her hormones get the best of her trying desperately to get the attention of the star football player.  Now to be certain we will keep George in with the does for another 21 days, the time it takes for does to come into heat again.  So, if the goats are bred the first week in December, the babies will be born the first week in May.

I usually like for the kids to arrive in January or February, but this year I didn’t get all my business together so we are just now getting a buck.  Really, it is not a big deal, I have a Nubian, Julia, in milk now and she will take care of us through the spring.  Then we will have 4 does in milk come May.

Because of our doelings that were born last spring, we will breed again in April.  This will give us kids in September and 3 more does in milk for the winter.  I like this plan because then I will never have down time waiting on babies to be born.  We will have fresh milk year round!

I thought that milking every day would be a real drag, but to my surprise I really like it.  There is something so grounding about being in the barn early in the morning.  When I first get in there, all the animals are talking and reminding me that they are hungry.  So, I feed the kids their Alfalfa, the pig his pig grower and the show goats their show feed.  Next, I put the oats in the feeder and get Julia.  She hops up on the stand all by herself and goes to eating.  As I am milking, all is quiet and I can get to milking.  While I am milking, I can hear all the barn residents munching away.  That, my friend, is a very soothing sound.  For a few moments there is peace.  Add to the munching the milk squirting into the pail, and all is right.  It is very rewarding and I have come to look forward to my “chores”.

See what I mean about color?  George is awesome.

A land that flows with milk…..

There is a lot of excitement around the farm.  Given the time of the year, you might think it has to do with Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And all though the holidays to bring lots of cheer, the excitement right centers around a creamy white liquid….
We have raw milk again!
Since the summer was so hot, I stopped milking in August.  This means we have been buying store bought milk for a couple of months.  No one has been really crazy about this fact.  The kids have been making a lot of noise about the obvious deficiencies of the processed milk.  So, while my current milk does are with a buck so that they will kid in the spring and give milk again, I have been looking for a goat in milk to purchase to give us milk today!
How can you not LOVE a face like that?
Although I love my Saanen milk goats, I have been fazing them out.  You see, Saanens are an Alpine breed- as in the Swiss Alps.  So while they come with a genetic disposition to tolerate very cold winters and all that comes with it, they do not have a genetic disposition to handle a Texas summer.  It was a hard choice, Saanens have these cute ears that poke out from their heads like airplane wings, they have been a very sweet tempered breed, and their babies are CUTE!  I am a little surprised at how much I like their look given they are solid white.  Usually I am not a girl who goes for solid white.  You won’t find a white wall in my home- yellow, blue, green, – but no white.  But I love those goats.  I have kept one, Sapphire.  My birthday is in September and my kids bought me the little goat for my birthday a few years back.  I simply won’t milk her in the summer.
Happily, I found a new milk goat last weekend.  A lovely lady had her Nubian doe and her 3 doe babies up for sale.  After Third Monday McKinney, we picked her and the girls up on our way home.  I love, love, love this goat.  She milks so easy and is so sweet.  The only problem is that her name is Windy and given that my sister’s name is also Windy this could create some confusion in future blog posts.  I love roses and am leaning towards Julia Child.  The rose of this name is gorgeous and yellow and I love watching “The French Chef”, so this seems to be a good choice.
My new milker!
I am so happy to be milking again!