Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Broken Families

The baby goats are at the point where we are trying to sell them off. Within the first few hours we got a buyer for one of them. She was going to get a boy goat, but little Trident, a female and friendliest of the bunch, kept nuzzling her legs until the lady said that she needed to get her instead. We're hoping that the rest sell as quickly.  We are going to start weaning them from their mothers next week as well as de-horn (disbud in goateese) them this week.

In other news, we are having 2 other families try out milking the goats to see if it is something they are willing to commit some time to.  This would bring the number of milkers up to 7, 1 for each day of the week, which works out really well for everyone involved.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Preparedness Fair

Our area had a Preparedness Fair a while back and one of us put together a booth to show what we have been doing. There was some good information on the benefits of Goat Milk(we'll add these to this blog) and some details of how our group is handling the duties. There were several people who expressed some interest in our group. I think we are going to let some of them give it a go to see if it is something they would have some commitment to.

Expanding our Interests

In addition to these goats, most everyone in our group is coming together to try out hog raising. We're not too sure how well it is going to work out but we have the highest hope for a harvest of ham and bacon in the fall. Some of us spent some time earlier this week getting a shelter and fence put up, and then last night we met and did more to complete it and also moved the pigs to their new home(they had been staying in the small shelter where we first had the goats). There is some final work to be done before it is as we have envisioned, but it is mostly complete.

We are running some electrical fence around both the inside(to keep the pigs in) and outside(to keep predators out) and that is the piece that is taking some tweaking to get complete.

As a kid we had pigs and they stank to high heavens, so luckily the location we have is up on top of a mountain outside of town. I'm hoping this works out well, ham and bacon win out over goat milk every time.

Frolicing Friends

Now that all the goat kids are up and active it is easy to see why people buy baby goats. They are pretty fun to watch running around on their spindly little legs, exploring their new homes. It seems like most of them got the shape of their heads from the Billy Goat we had we had earlier, which is to be expected.

They do seem to get tired pretty quickly but when they start growing a little more I'm sure that they will get past that. They are all nursing off their mothers. Some were worried about that for a bit, but nature knows what it is doing and all is well.

Baby Goats!

There hasn't been much activity for the past few months as the goats were no longer milking. But now that winter is coming to a close and all the goats are having their kids, things are starting to pick up. Our first nanny goat to give birth lost all 3 babies. We're not sure what happened as they were found after the fact, but since then there has been much more concern and attentiveness by the group. Over the last 3 weeks, all the pregnant goats have delivered. So we now have 13 baby goats running around.

Here are a couple pictures of the second goat to give birth. It was a regular festival-like atmosphere. She had 3 babies in about 30 minutes. Most of the kids seemed pretty fascinated by the whole process.

Here is the actual birth of the first goat.

The group has been spending a good amount of time with the animals, making sure that they are all ok, feeding well, and just generally having fun with the baby goats. We are hand milking the goat that lost her kids and plan to start weaning all the others in another week or two. We hear that it takes about 2 weeks and then we should be able to move them to a bottle. At approximately 4 weeks they start eating real food, at least that is about how long it took last time. We are still new to this goat ranching stuff, but with 1 year under out belts we are learning.

I'm not looking forward to starting to fully milk them again, but some have been really missing having the fresh, cold, goat milk to drink.