Thursday, May 27, 2010

Getting back to Normal

It has been a  while since our last update but there has been quite a bit of activity within the Commune in the past while.  We have finally sold off all the LaManchas(short eared) goats!!  Hurrah for that.  We have 3 new Nubians (a bit redundant there), 1 of which we are milking, 1 just had a baby, and the last is supposed to be pregnant but she doesn't look like it.  Not sure if we got ripped off on her or not, time will tell. 

Now while the baby LaMancha's were kinda cute, they don't really compare to the cuteness of the Nubians babies.  I would never have thought that ears make that much of a difference, but they surely do.
With getting rid of all the LaMancha's the farm seems quite a bit more empty and the milking times seem less like a circus than before.  Our milk production has been pretty good, consistently over 40lbs, a few drops below every now and then, but the 6 goats that are currently being milked are doing better than this time last year.  If it remains at this production level, we may get rid of the 2 Nubians we are currently not milking; the new Mom and the Not-Sure-If-She-Is-Pregnant one.

Our other new Nubian is a dark chocolate brown and gives a lot of milk.  One odd thing about her is that if you touch her, she immediately starts to lean against where she is being touched.  The first time I milked her I had her up on the stand and my shoulder was just barely rubbing against her side as I put the milkers on.  She started leaning into me and I gave way a little, she just kept leaning and nearly leaned herself right off the side of the stand.  I've learned to not touch her when milking her anymore, but if I do need to move her, I just put my hand on her side in the direction I want her to move and she starts leaning.  When she is where I need her to be, I just remove my hand.  Interesting conditioned response she has learned.

The white Saanen that had the bad udder took a turn for the worse.  Her udder just didn't get better, and eventually it seemed to split open or something.  Some sort of protuberance has burst through the udder wall.  It is quite disgusting looking, kind of like in Alien when the implanted egg finally hatches and rips it's way out of the guys chest. We're not sure what to do about it, but we suspect that her milk days are over.

We are losing one of our new families that started milking with us a few months ago.  They have some other things happening and goat ranching is not something they can do right now.  That means that we are going to either have to find a replacement, or start rotating the extra day as we did before.  I'm hoping we can find someone to fill their spot.

This is quite a commitment and responsibility that someone takes on when they get involved in something like this.  As I've stated before, I've got respect for those that do this full time for a living.  This once a week is more than I enjoy most times.  But in an emergency/tragedy/disaster, we'll be able to drink some nice warm goat milk, which is more than many will be able to do.