Monday, January 30, 2012

Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE)

CAE Results Jan. 2012

We are pleased to share with you our results of the whole herd CAE testing for 2012.  This is our 7th year of NEGATIVE!  It is always nice to have this confirmation right before kidding begins.  We test this time of year, every year.

CAE is a disease of goats that can be very debilitating on several fronts.  The most commonly seen effects are arthritis and hard udder.  Click the links below for a full explanation of this preventable, but transmissible, disease.  We fully recognize that not all positive goats exhibit symptoms.  It is however, a disease you do not want in your herd.  When purchasing animals, demand testing!!!
http://www.vet.uga.edu/VPP/clerk/logan/index.php
http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts_waddl/caefaq.aspx

Our first goats had this virus.  It was not disclosed.  It was not until we had let our kids nurse that we found out.  This was heartbreaking and devastating news.  It took us a couple of years to break the cycle for prevention and eradication in our herd.  Many tears were shed.  Many dollars were spent.  Many sleepless nights were spent in the barn.  My next post will be to describe our method of prevention & eradication.
Tara-Still Miss Her

Tara's Udder at age 5 or 6

Foxey-Beatufiul & Milky

Here are two of the original does we had to cull.  I do have their genetics in my offspring however.

Baby Goats......Arriving Soon!!

Eliza-due soon
It's that season again-Spring kidding.  Our kidding calendar is posted, supplies are procured, barns will be cleaned & sanitized this week, then let the birthing begin.  We will start out with a frenzy of baby goat cuteness.  It is a busy season, short on sleep, short on good meals, and largely unpredictable.

Joe Zell's Triplets
It is also a time of baby goat cuteness, the miracle of birth, and a time for all of us to pull together around here.  Our does give birth as naturally as possible. While we do attend almost every delivery, the doe does it all on her own if all is normal.  If not, she will be assisted as necessary.  On rare occasion, we even have to call the vet.  Trust me, we know how lucky we are to have large animal vets who make farm calls.

A Little Extra Warmth
 We let the kids nurse their dams for the initial newborn period.  This promotes bonding, lets the kids feed on demand for the life sustaining colostrum and warm milk.  It also helps promote the natural hormones for the Mom which are important to her well-being after delivery.

After the initial newborn period, the kids are bottle fed, then graduated to the "bucket". This is a group feeder for up to 10 kids at a time.  It is really cute seeing their little wagging tails as they feed so vigorously.

Sofie Helps Babysit & Shares Toys!

A Warm Ride
Baby Goats Feeding
Each kid and each doe gets individualized attention here. Our goal is Healthy Mom, Healthy Babies. We have a really good track record, and aim to continue that.

We are still accepting pre-orders for kids.  We sell doelings, bucklings(must have paid deposit), and wethers.  We provide education, instruction, and moral support for the duration of your goading life.  So give us a call!  We would love to help you in choosing a "just right" baby goat for you and your lifestyle.
CAE Free herd.  All tested Jan. 2012.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Topaz "The Crown Jewel"

As we end the DHIA year, there is one more little LaMancha dairy goat who deserves recognition.  Our little Topaz.  She is another remarkable attribute to the herd here.  Her year ending records are:

DIM  327 days (she was milked once a day for the past couple of months)
3640 # milk
Butterfat 3.76
Protein  2.99

At 305 days she had milked 3580 lbs. of milk.

Sorry I don't have a current photo.  I'll have to rectify that.  And yes, we kept her daughter this year.  Her name is Jewels.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Our Goat "Ditto"


Ditto in her Sweatshirt
I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Ditto the Milky Way LaMancha.  
This doe just got dried off after milking through for 3 seasons!!!  OMG what is not to love?  She is personality plus, not afraid of much, loves spoiling and pampering, and demands special treats!  Well, she earns it!  She would have kept going, I am convinced.  She got dried off for owner convenience really.  Milking one goat once a day lost its' appeal in the snowstorm last week.  I will come to regret this in a day or so when I have to resort to store milk for my coffee.  For 3 seasons now, she has milked twice a day in the peak season, and once a day during the winter.  She was not bred of course.  When the others came back up on the stand for twice a day, so did she.
DHIA records show:
661 days in milk
5060 lbs. of milk                                
3.61 Butterfat
3.24 Protein

Ditto is almost 6 years old finishing her third season, and has not had a dry year.  She was initially milked through because she has so much milk she was having trouble keeping her body condition.  We thought a break might do her good.  Well, it did.  She looks great.  Who knows how long she could have milked?  Right now she is pretty upset with me for not bringing her up!

Hugs Mandatory aAfter Milking
This is a doe who carries a genetic trait for affection.  She will not exit the milk stand with out her daily hug!  This is not a joke.  And she will not hug new milkers until she trusts them.  Always trust the instincts of a goat!  Her mother, my all time favorite goat, Same As (daughter of Paradigm) did the same thing.  Hugs!  Sadly Same As passed away a few years ago. I still miss her.

Same As-The Goat

Luckily we get to choose who we keep here.  Yes, milk is important, as is health and vigor.  But we have a solid base there (thankfully).  So often those who's kids get kept are based somewhat on personality traits.  The Same As line is powerful here.  And with many good reasons.  The heritage from Lucky Star goats is strong, admired, healthy, and milky.



Same As-the Grand Dam


Carbon Copy "Lounging" on the Wall
And the line continues.  Another herd favorite is Carbon Copy and her twin sister FAX (beginning to see how we name here?).  They are personality plus and their daughters keep the traits too.  It is this kind of almost silly stuff to many folks that keeps us going here.  Every goat here is known by their personality and individual traits. We simply would not have it any other way.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Finale Friday (With Wine)

It has been a semi-eventful few days.  Weather has been the focus around here.  Snow, the first of the season, more than we are used to, more challenging, and then Ice Storms across much of our region to wreak havoc with us Pacific Ocean proximity dwellers.  We only got about 8 inches here at the farm, but for some reason it just was not met with the usual exuberance.  This kind of weather event, this time of year, for us, is really more of an inconvenience than anything, the truth be told.  Goat chores take 2-3 times as long to accomplish, the "commute" to the barn can be a challenge (remember the fake hip of a few years ago?).  But not to be forgotten, we are NOT in active kidding season yet, so hey, Thank the Snow Gods.  Bring it on now, and how about we just skip February altogether???  That is slated to be a very prolific kidding time frame.

For tonight we have chosen to repeat a wine from a previous post.  The wine is "Weather Report" from Peter's Cellars in Mattawa, WA.  This is an '08 Cab.  Not quite as fully developed as we might hope, but perfectly enjoyable and a really good accompaniment to the cheese/meat/bread selections for the evening.

Gothberg Farms Goat Cheese, Salumi Meats, Breadfarm Bread
The meat is from Salumi Cured Meats in Seattle.  This is the current favorite.  It is made with mole, chocolate, cinnamon, ancho and chipotle peppers, and of course, The Pig.  OK, so to a Native Texan, what's not to love???  The cheeses chosen are our own, Gothberg Farms Woman of LaMancha and Caprino Romano, both raw milk cheeses aged over one year.  The Woman is our 'strongest' cheese.  The beautiful rind is an olive oil/smoked paprika cured delight.  The Caprino Romano is pure flavor and a season favorite.  It is fabulous as a table cheese and also works quite well for cooking or enhancing your favorite foods.  The flavors tend to explode when heated, so you should try it if you are lucky enough to be able to find some.  Then there is the bread, yes, the bread.  The choice is the Miche from the Breadfarm.  This is a favorite with pretty much anything but for this meat/cheese/wine board it was perfect!  Just the right amount of everything to enhance but not overpower any flavors.

The wine and meats were from our beloved Slough Food in Edison, WA.  We love absolutely everything about John and his shop.

So next time the Weather Report is challenging you, come see us in Edison for this fine Friday Finale Supper.  We are pretty sure you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Making a Pound of Goats' Cheese

 You Need a Barn/Dairy
Any rough ideas what it takes to make a pound of goats' cheese?  I get this question quite often.  Here are some very general responses, all of which would have to be seriously adjusted for your operation size, scope, scale, location, minimum wage, etc.

1.   Must have Drive, Passion, Ambition, Determination, and a love of good food.

2.  You need a ship load of cash (&/or credit) because a boat load simply is not enough.

3.  You will need a barn/dairy, and dairy goats
(start with at least $100,000 here)

4.  You will need a way to milk the goats
Yep, Twice a Day
(start with $2000 here-will depend on the system/size/etc.  Can go over $50,000 too.)

5.  A way to store/cool/refrigerate the milk ($500 and up, WAY up depending on volume)

6.  Feed for the goats (this is about $2 per goat per day and climbing by the week)

7.  Labor to make it all happen.  This will depend on your area, how many employees, & minimum wage reference for your state.  We average about $20/hour here when all the government taxes get added.  I sure wish all of that could go to the employees.

8.  Add in licenses, inspections, registrations, regulations......

This will get you goat's milk.  Current cost of production is about $15 per gallon of milk collected.  OK, we do feed quite well and pay our employees well, but we think they all deserve it and are well worth it.

OH, you wanted to make CHEESE!!!  Well then.........For starters, it takes about 1 gallon of milk to make one pound of cheese. Ready, Set, GO!

9.  Add in your dairy facility and equipment ($50,000 ++++.  Depends on your volume and scale)

10.  Cheesemaking supplies (about $4000+++ per year-volume dependent)

11.  Cheesemaker Labor (yep, $20/hr, area dependent)

Creative Storage
12.  Places to store and age the cheese (easily $5000)3





OH, you wanted to SELL the cheese!!!!!!!

13.  More regulators, farmers markets, fees, tolls, taxes--hefty bills here.

Love Our Market Customers
14.  A vehicle to deliver and go to markets in.  Add in fuel, insurance, etc.

15.  Employee labor (yep, back to that $20/hr)

16.  Farmers markets tent, coolers, table props ($400 minimally)

Even if you are doing the chores and markets yourself, aren't you worth at least what you pay your employees?  You are!  But sadly, we don't (aka generally can't) pay it that way.

So why do we keep coming back year after year?  See Item #1.  It is a lifestyle choice we just feel compelled to do.

Goats' Milk Cheeses
 So now, you tell me...What is that Pound of Goats' Cheese Worth??

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Labor & Delivery Farm Style

Essential Delivery Supplies
Every Labor and Delivery nurse knows you must have your most needed supplies at hand as you anticipate a delivery.  It is no different here on the farm.

Here are the "Frequently Used Items" I keep with me at all times.  The clean red feed pail is loaded with these items and hooked over the fence of the pen I am working in.  I never have to go far to find what I need.  Additionally, my pockets are loaded with both kinds of gloves at all times.  I use the short gloves for whatever I may need to do but never go further than about a finger length into the goat.  Anytime I go in for any reason, I put a little Betadine scrub on the glove first. The longer gloves are used much less often, but are required anytime you go beyond the cervix.  A clean glove is ALWAYS used!  Some like J-lube or another variety of lube.  Use what you like.  I've had excellent outcomes with this.  The short (about 18 inches) double snap lead is also essential.  I keep one of these in my other pocket.  I am frequently alone at kidding (it happens in the middle of the night in rotten weather, right?).  With this snap I can quickly secure the doe to a fence if I need her cooperation and she feels otherwise.  All does here wear dog-type collars so 'Snap' is pretty easily accomplished.

The Tuck's pads are a comfort measure if there is any tearing or excessive swelling.  Use one per doe and be sure to wipe from the inside outward.

Immediate Newborn Supplies/Gothberg Farms

Almost every delivery here is attended.  Not all are assisted, but most are witnessed.  We do not hesitate to assist if the need arises.  Not shown here is a clean feed sack.  We cut them open and kids are delivered onto the inside of a clean feed sack whenever possible.  When the kid is on the ground, the face/nostrils are quickly wiped with the clean, dry towel.  This is to remove birthing secretions we don't want inhaled.  A quick pass is made in the mouth with a finger too.  This is probably not necessary, but old habits are hard to break.  They are towel dried a bit,  navels are dipped with Iodine, then they are placed up by Mom.   For dipping navels, we use a 35mm film canister.  I've recently heard of using the outer plastic coverings from some syringes.  This is an excellent idea. Since we have multiple births as a rule here, the doe is generally still down starting to push out the next one (remember we had quintuplets last year!). When she has licked them a bit, we turn the hair dryer on low, let the does sniff it for approval, then crank it up and dry the kid.  It takes about 2-3 towels per kid here.  Wet towels get cold very fast!  Kidding almost always takes place in crummy weather in nw WA.  The kid is then placed back up by the doe for more bonding.  As soon as the kid is up and the doe is up and looking for her treats, nursing commences.  We test annually for CAE here and have been negative for 6 years.  Kids would never be allowed to nurse without recent testing results.

The shirt is a newborn sized shirt from the thrift store.  If a kid is cold stressed at all, they get a clean shirt to  help hold in some heat.  This year we are also going to try some small dog blanket coats,  I'll let you know how that goes.  Be vigilant with the shirts on!  The bucks get wet underneath from urine and need frequent changes.  Usually a few hours is all that's needed, it at all.

See the box of multi-colored ID bands?  We use these with a Sharpie-type marker to note dam name on each kid AT BIRTH.  Our kids come out on the big side so we use the longer ones and cut to fit.  The color coding by family group really helps.

The dental floss is here just in case we had a navel cord bleeder.  Have never needed it, but faithfully keep it in the Labor and Delivery box every year.

Newborn Assistance Feeding
The kids nurse their dam for the immediate newborn period.  The does teat is cleared of the protective plug and kids are assisted to the teat as needed.  All kids get colostrum within about an hour or less.  The printed standard is within 6 hours, so be vigilant.  This is a MUST DO!  If the kid is too weak to nurse, too many kids, etc. colostrum can be milked directly into the bottle and nippled to the kid.  If they cannot suck, we have our ways!  The fresh warm colostrum is tubed into them.  Tubing can be harmful!  Be sure you know how to do this before attempting it yourself.

This is an example of the bottles we prefer and the simple tubing set up.

In addition to this we do a few more things:
1.  Each doe gets a bucket of warm water right after kidding along with a handful of raisins & peanuts, and a ration of grain.

2.  We keep oral CMPK on hand at all times.  We do not hesitate to use it during labor or in the immediate postpartum period if anything is "off" for any reason.


Goat Midwife Attire
Then comes the kidding attire for the midwife.  I'm sure you've begun to understand that kidding is a winter activity.  You have probably already understood somewhere along the way I am a Texan, born and bred.  We don't do cold climates very well.  I have evolved a kidding wardrobe like no other!  If I am out there sleeping on a straw bale with the cat and a goat, I need all the help I can find!  Which leads to a few favorites.  The first one is the quilted Roper overalls.  I love these and own them in three colors because they are warm, last a long time, and they are long enough for a 6 ft. Texas woman.  Another great find is Bogs boots.  These are the warmest, most comfortable, cutest boots I have found in a long time.  Add to this a full assortment of long underwear of varying degrees of tolerance, a favorite coat with the pockets in the right place, and gloves & hats, you are SET.

Indispensable iPhone
Another useful tool is the iPhone.  It serves so many purposes!  In addition to the vets office and cell number (OK the MOST useful function), you can surf the web, post to your blog, twitter, Facebook, look up baby names. etc while you wait for babies.  Who would have EVER known this?

Joe Zell and kids

Opal & Her Quints
It usually turns out just fine.  Be prepared.  Do your homework.  Talk with experienced goat folks.  Feel free to ask questions.  We love your comments too.  There are so many good ways of doing things.  Please share your great finds and techniques if you wish.  We love hearing from all of you.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Texas Prison Rodeo

I came across this post today and boy does it bring back some historical memories!  I attended several of these in the 70's.  It was an annual event held in October.  That also happened to be the wedding anniversary month for said first marriage.  We would get tickets each year from the local Sears & Roebuck store in old downtown Beaumont for this as a mutual present for a few years. Laughing now as I even remember we wanted Section Q-right above the bull chutes! The riders were more fearless than most rodeos.  No one was ever seriously hurt when we were there.  The announcers were really funny with quips such as "That's OK Red, you got another 99 years to try!"

Well, the rodeo outlasted the marriage.  Maybe I had another 99 years to try!

Here is post about the rodeo: http://www.tmdailypost.com/article/crime/look-back-texas-prison-rodeo

Thanks "I Love Texas" for posting this piece!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Veterinary Care on the Farm

If you have animals, you need a working relationship with a vet.  Period.  It is important you establish this relationship before you NEED them in a crisis or emergency.  Yes, they will probably help your animal in any time of need, but the more they know about you, your farm, your management style, your philosophy, etc. the better job they can do for your animal.  This extends to your household or farm pets as well as your livestock.
Dr. Peter Brown at Gothberg Farms
We are lucky here to have Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic, a good sized vet clinic that maintains a large animal component.  They still make farm calls.  In some parts of the country, you are not so lucky.  In that case, you probably need to keep a trailer or at least a truck with a camper shell (if you have an animal small enough to fit in one) for transport in a time of need.  Along this line, you also need a plan for euthanasia should the unfortunate and awful happen on your farm, with no other resource to call upon.

On our farm, we have an annual "Well Goat Check" every January.  Our vet comes out, sees the whole herd, looks at the list we have prepared for questions, evaluates & recommends on feeds, sanitation, medications, assesses for pregnancies, and draws our blood from each animal for CAE testing. (More on CAE in a post coming soon-we have been negative for 6 years now.)  Yes, of course, we could easily draw our own blood and send it off to WSU for testing.  But this is a really good way to see, touch, think about, and evaluate each goat with the vet.   It helps him formulate his best treatments based on our philosophy.  He knows we fall more into "pet" than strictly livestock as a business.  Again, this is good information.  By now, from years of working with us, even the vet knows some of them by name.  He still laughs at some of our chosen names though.  We know every vet in the clinic.  Most are on a first name basis.  They treat us as colleagues, never condescending, always respectful.  We share and discuss research and trends.  The nurse in me loves this part.

Competent, qualified care is not free.  Nor should it be.  But at the end of the year, if I take my total vet expenditures and divide it by the total number of animals I have, the cost is reasonable.  We simply would not go without it.

And with all of this comes the peace of mind that when we need them, they will come.  Period.  If you don't have this relationship and have an emergency on your farm at 3am on a snowy Christmas eve, would they come for you?  Here, I have every confidence they would be here for us.  I don't need them often, but when I do, they come.  My animals, my crew, and myself all send a big Thank You to our vets and their staff.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anacortes Winter Market

This Saturday, January 14, 2012 will be the first Winter market of the season.  We will be at the Depot Arts Center, both inside and out.  Hours are 9am-2pm.  We will have markets monthly until full opening in Spring.

I know for sure produce will be there from Frog Song Farm (I've already place a pre-order!) and I know for sure Goat Cheese will be there.  This is a great start.  There will be so much more.

So come on out.  Stock up for the month.  Meet & Greet with your friends. Looking forward to seeing you all.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cheesemaking Shortcourse in Mt. Vernon, WA

Chèvre!
We are so lucky this year to have the Cheesemaking Shortcourse offered in Mt. Vernon WA.  This is an excellent course for those serious about making cheese!  Every topic is relevant, the speakers are extremely knowledgable, and the connections you make within the class will probably be helpful to you for many years to come!

This is where I got my start folks.  So, yes, you 'can' attend a short course, add in plenty of passion, hard work, hours and hours of practice and learning-and you too can dedicate your life to cheese!  Not so bad if you ask me.

It is also a great course to take even if your goal is home cheesemaking.  Being more informed, knowing what to do, where to get supplies, learning what to strive for....all are important as a food producer of any kind!

I think miraculously there may be a few seats left, so if you are considering this offering, I would not hesitate long.
http://public.wsu.edu/~creamery/basicplus.htm

Friday, January 6, 2012

Farm Stand Open Jan. 7, 2012

We will be open tomorrow Saturday, January 7, 2012 from 10am-2pm.

Winter has been mild & treating us kindly so far.  Come on out for your goat cheeses.

If the sign is out, We are Open
Hope to see you.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

More on Dairy Goat "Correctness"

Yesterday I posted about the importance of correctness in any dairy goat.  I gave you my opinions about why I think it is important.  Here I want to share a few stunning LaManchas with you.  Lucky Star Farm (www.luckystarfarm.com) is a nationally recognized breeder of very high quality LaManchas.  Yes, they happen to be part of the core foundation of our herd (Happily I might add!).  If you feel so inclined, look through the goats on their site.  They are a fine example of what a well-bred, well-managed dairy goat looks like.  I know there are comparably beautiful goats of every breed out there.  I am sharing this as "an" example of quality to look for and strive for in your own herds.

What pictures don't show is milk quality and palatability.  Well, I guess you will just have to taste our cheese to verify that one.
Selections from Gothberg Farms

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wine Wednesday

We have come to look forward to Wine Wednesday around here.  It is a day of discovery and trying new combinations, and very often new foods and wines altogether.  Today is some of all of it.

The selected wine is Kestrel Vintners 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.  This is a full bodied, very berry, delicious tasting wine.  The berry flavor lingers long and lavish on the palate.  It combined well with everything on the board tonight.  Add to that the new swanky wine glasses from beloved grown kids, and the flavor was further enhanced.

For the tasty treats, we literally combined what was left from the Holidays and then selected a cheese we thought might be a good match. Bingo!!  We hit a home run tonight!  Being more inclined to veggies and tap water to make the Levi's fit a little more comfortably this week, this is saying a LOT!

The cured meats were perfect.  We chose Salumi from our beloved Slough Food.  This was a first time to try the Mole, Chile, Cinnamon-----and I assure you it will not be the last.  I thought the spicy paprika was the winner--well, it is great, but the mole spicy, well it just fits the taste buds.  We also included a meat selection from Fra' Mani.  They are in Berkeley, CA.  Their founder, chef Paul Bertolli, apparently knows his stuff.  Fra' Mani apparently means "Between or among hands"--We LOVE that.  This guy has a zeal for handcrafted food made in Old World traditions.  Uh, yes, apparently so.  And as if that isn't enough, he seeks out responsible pig growers too!  This is my favorite part.  He links to his 4 farmers on his web site.  Trust me, these are NOT McDonald's suppliers.   We loved his meats even BEFORE we knew & respected him and his standards.  They so perfectly fit our style and standards here on the farm.

Interspersed every few bites we had Marcona Almonds.  These were just discovered this year at our most favorite store, Metropolitan Market.  These are referred to as the "Queen of Almonds".  They are sweeter, fatter, and rounder than their California cousins.  Most come from the Valencia or Alicante regions of Spain.  They are typically roasted in extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.  I'm telling you now, they make ANYTHING better.  We have used them in so many ways since the discovery.  You may just find yourself scarfing them in solo not so infrequently (is there a camera in my house?).  A version of them is also available locally at, you got it, Slough Food.

Ok, the cheese.  No meal, snack, discussion, party, or self-indulgence should be without CHEESE!   For this board, we chose the Raw Milk Caprino Romano (aged just over a year).  If you are not familiar with Caprino Romano, that's because there is just not a lot of it here in the US.  You may know it as Pecorino (sheeps' milk), or Romano (cows' milk), but the Caprino means Goat.  This was my first choice for a raw milk cheese upon my return from Italy in 2008.  It is a keeper-thank you Italy and a lot of other factors.  You may not often consider this as a table cheese, but do not be fooled.  This one IS!  It paired perfectly with the wine and each meat selection.  And when you cook with this cheese, oh baby, you unleash the beast.  Flavors kind of explode when heated.

Enough of this long post. Time to refill the glasses..... ENJOY!

Assessing a Goat's Back-Side Structure

Here is a good article, timely with kidding fast approaching, if not already started for you.  This is an easy to understand article on the importance of good structure for our hard working girls.  Some of you say, "Oh, but I don't show, so it does not matter."  Well, yes, in fact, it does matter.  I don't show either but I learned early on that what makes a good show goat makes a good dairy goat.  We all need good structure, strong, healthy feet & legs, capacious, well-attached udders,  wide, deep rib cages for increased oxygen exchange, strong shoulders for enhanced ambulation, and I do love a beautiful head on a goat.  In my mind, this may translate to strong jaws for lots of hay eating, wide, clear eyes for better vision.  I also happen to enjoy the look of the long, elegant females.  Then we get down to personal preferences, for which the choices are almost limitless.  I just don't compromise on milk quality and quantity.  It is possible to have degrees of the best in all of them.  Happy Kidding!

http://www.dairygoatjournal.com/issues/89/89-2/understanding_good_rump_structure_in_a_dairy_goat.html
One More Decision Factor...
So, keep these traits in mind as you begin kidding and deciding what to keep as herd replacements.  Also, if you have weak areas, begin looking for bucks who may be able to help "fix" areas.  All good breeders will be able to assist you with these decisions.  This is an excellent time of year to pick your new Jr. Herdsire for next year.

Thanks to Dairy Goat Journal and 3 Eagles Ranch Nubians & Boers for helping me find this!  I love our information sharing out here in cyber world.  I am convinced it makes us all a little bit better.

Thank you for taking the time to read this so we may all "Promote the Goat" for better health & longevity.

Working Women

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pre-Kidding Checklist

Most of you know this stuff.  it is important to remember to do it.

1.  Assess each doe for body condition.  Make corrections if you have time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2ppHAUbLYY&feature=youtu.be

This short video that may help here.

2.  Be sure vaccines/injections/dewormers are up to date. We use CDT and BoSe here.

Assess Often
3.  Be sure hoofs are trimmed.  We do not trim in last month of pregnancy.  But if you have neglected this, do it.  Just be careful! The does get unwieldy on 3 legs.  Be careful. Avoid falls and injuries.

4.  Clip udders and teats as the udders begin filling.  We also do an "OB CLIP" of the tail area to minimize afterbirth goo after delivery.

5.  Be sure your OB supplies are well stocked.  Nothing as frustrating as realizing at 3am you don't have iodine for navel dipping or long gloves for an assisted delivery.  Get your orders in NOW.

6.  Also remember to have CMPK drench on hand for late-pregnancy, early postpartum needs.

7.  Stock your own freezer with kidding food for yourself.  Fuel for the caregiver is very important.  Those long, cold, miserable nights will go so much better with nutritious 'home food'.

Food Matters
8.  Rest Up!  You know this won't last long.