Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Catching Up

Wow!  It has been a long time since anyone has posted anything about our experiment.  Here's the brief run down:

Bought more goats, now at 8
Milking goats
Lost some people
Milking goats
Cleaning the machine at the farm
Milking goats
Getting Hay
Milking goats

The weather is turning into Autumn so the temperature is dropping a bit which is a time we all look forward to as it means we are getting close to drying up the goats and taking a break.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Planning for the Future

We have sold all of the baby goats that we were planning to sell.  We are keeping two, a boy and a girl.    The boy we are keeping in order to have a breeder on hand instead of having to round one up each year.  One of the members has some family that has some area that we will be able to keep it so that we won't have to have it mixing with the females while they are milking.  He will remain 'out to pasture' until his specialized skills are needed.

The female, one of us will take home and keep until next breeding season, when we will add her to the milking herd.  She is a white Saanen, which seem to give the most volume of milk, so that should increase our production.

We have also added several families to the Coop.  They are each taking a milking time.  Some of them travel quite a distance so I'm hoping they are really liking the milk or else they are wasting their time.  Nevertheless, I'm happy to have them aboard.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Milk Machine Cleaning

We are looking at changing the way we clean our milking machine and handle the pass-off from family to family.  Currently, we milk the goats, take the machine home to hand clean it, then drop it off to the person doing the milking the next day.  We are experimenting with leaving the machine at the farm so we don't have to keep doing the pass-off. 

We have cleared out an area near the milking stands which has a gate to keep the goats out.  We will have a few buckets and cleaner there.  Once we are done with the milking, we will empty the machine into our own container, and fill up one bucket with water and cleaner(we use Clorox) and the other with clean water.  We can then use the pump to suck the water through the machine.  Swish it around to make sure we don't miss any spots, then dump it out and repeat the process with the rinse water.  We will then hang it up to dry.  Some of us have set up a drying station with curtains and covers to keep any dust/insects/racoons out of the machine while it is drying. 

Way back at the beginning I used the pump to clean the machine and it goes through the water lickity split.  If this turns out to do a satisfactory cleaning job, it will cut more time off the milking process.  Which is always a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Once more into the Breach

It has been some time since anyone has posted anything, but that is mostly because life is pretty quiet during the wintertime with the goats.  We get them pregnant during the winter so there isn't any milking going on.  Which means that it is quick trip to feed them only.  We've had our minions doing that feeding after their school so it has been quite a while since I have been over to the farm.

The last month has been somewhat exciting as all the goats have delivered their babies.  We had some hard luck with the first few birthings.  We lost several of the baby goats which we think might be because of some of the cold weather we had during this time.

We also had our Spring cleanup which was very needed due to all the buildup of muck in the manger area.  I don't quite know why all the goats love to go to the bathroom where they eat, but that seems to be where they all do their business.  Things are much nicer now.

The goats are still nursing their babies so we are only milking them lightly, not getting much milk from them.  They should be getting old enough to wean pretty soon and we'll start selling them off and going into full milk production.

But until then, we'll enjoy having them around the farm.