Monday, January 31, 2011

Part-Time Goat Milker Needed

We have an opening for a part-time goat milker here on the farm.  This person will be required to milk every Saturday, both morning and evening milkings.  Other shifts will be available, to be decided among milking crew, once established. Prefer experience, but will consider training the right person. The position is seasonal and starts late March or early April, and ends somewhere around the end of September-October.

This is a great opportunity to participate in a small, personal, Grade A Goat Dairy.  Must be at least 18 and speak fluent English. 

Contact:  Rhonda 360-202-2436

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cheesemaker Apprenticeship

We are offering a free, 2 day cheesemaker apprenticeship opportunity here on the farm.  This is for an aspiring cheesemaker between the ages of 18 and 30.   The recipient will work side by side with an experienced and passionate cheesemaker.  You will meet the goats, the milk, the farm, and of course the cheese.


Woman of LaMancha
At Gothberg Farms we love making cheese!  We love sharing what we do!  We love young folks who may aspire to be a cheesemaker.  Of course 2 days won't make you a cheesemaker, but it will give you a feel for this amazing craft.

Application Criteria:

1.  Must be between the ages of 18 and 30.

2.  Submit an essay on why you may want to be a cheesemaker and what led you to that thought.

3.  Attach a resume or some chronology about your life up to this point.

4.  Applications must be received no later than 5pm February 25, 2011.

There is no fee for this apprenticeship.

Transportation costs are the sole responsibility of the recipient.  Housing may be provided if needed.

We are strictly a no smoking, no drugs, no pets allowed farm.

Submit applications to:

rhonda@gothbergfarms.com

or:  15203 Sunset Road
      Bow WA 98232

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pre-Kidding Preparations

With kidding due to start here in about a month, there are some preparations I consider routine and beneficial.  Over my few years of herdsmanship I have found if I do these few simple things-the does and kids just do better overall.  I include all the goats on the farm at this time-does, dry does, bucks, and any wethers in this routine. I want to stress this is MY routine that has worked well for ME. Consult your own veterinarian for your own herd.  I am NOT a vet.

Vaccines

CDT   Clostridium Types C & D and Tetanus
Each animal gets this. It is to prevent the above diseases. I happen to use the BarVac brand, and with that brand, I give each animal a 2cc injection, regardless of weight.

Pregnant Warner

BoSe    Selenium and Vitamin E
Our soils in the Pacific NW are selenium deficient, so I give selenium injections twice a year.  It is a mixed Selenium/Vitamin E solution.  The Vitamin E is a carrier for Selenium absorption and utilization.

NOTE: Do NOT give this in areas where Selenium is adequate. Check with your vet. This requires a vet prescription to obtain it.

Lack of Selenium tends to contribute to very thick amniotic sacs in my observations.

OK, so far I have drawn up and given 74 shots!!!!  I am a nurse. Yes, I draw up each one with a new sterile needle and syringe.

Deworming
This generally seems like a good time to administer deworming meds if indicated.  The does are dry now and any withhold times can be easily adhered to.  We always far exceed any withhold times here anyway.

If indicated, I will use either Cydectin pour on or Ivermection cattle injectible, but give the dose by mouth.  This means I draw up the required amount of Ivermectin with needle and syringe and then REMOVE the needle and squirt the med into the animals mouth.

The Cydectin pour on should be used only as a pour on.  I know some folks give it orally and this is extremely dangerous.  DO NOT give a pour on by mouth!!!

Check with your vet for dosages and withhold times.

I have tried the herbal dewormers and was not all satisfied with them.

My first and best approach is prevention.  This is accomplished by pasture rotation, clean bedding, and generally overall healthy animals who seldom need deworming.

Goats Enjoying a Sunny New Years Day

Hoof Trimming
Maggi & Eliza
I like to get this done before they are too big to comfortably stand on three feet.  We trim here about every 2 months, year around.  Our farrier, Maggi Holbert, is the BEST!  She works with animals just as naturally and easily as she breathes in and out.

CAE Testing
We have been negative for 5+ years now.  We test annually, just prior to kidding.


Maggi the Farrier

Next Steps
Every pen will get fresh sand added as needed. Walls in the main barn will be scrubbed, cobwebs removed, window sills dusted, etc.  In the kid barn, the walls and floors will be scrubbed and sanitized.  Buckets, feeders, and tubs are scrubbed with soapy water.

Kidding supplies will be rounded up and packed into the barn for easy, retrievable access.  This includes:
clean towels (lots of them), hair dryer, extension cord, Betadine scrub, short and long exam gloves, iodine for navel cords, feed sacks to open for kids to be dried on, an 18 inch double clip tether to secure a doe if need be, flashlight batteries are changed out.

This year I am seriously investigating a barn camera system.  Those cold, late night checks are getting harder by the year!