Archive | milking RSS feed for this section

The MGiT Program

21 Jun

Something new that I’ve done this year is start the MGiT (Milking Goat in Training) Program.  You see, all of my milking goats are getting old.  Two of the girls I’m milking are nine and the other three are six.

Stormy

That’s why I got Sam–to introduce more dairy blood back into the herd (because I’m also milking goats that are half dairy/half meat).  I kept three of his girls last year.

Sam Goodberry

They are all pretty easy going and like food.  I think I’ll be able to get them trained.  Cutie was one of the first to join my MGiT Program.  She would come in and eat some sweet feed while I messed with her udder.  She did perfect with that part of the training.  The only area she needs to improve on is leaving when she’s done.  In short, we have our first successful graduate of the program.  Now she just needs to have a kid and make milk.

Cutie

I have Haley as one of my milking girls, and she has a gorgeous Sam daughter, Zinnia.  I thought it would be good if she could come in with her mom while I milked.  Unfortunately, she’s too shy (wild) to do that.  The one time she thought about coming in, my big old milk goats got in the way, and I had to slam the door or I’d have had five goats in a room built for one.

Zinnia

I have had some success in calming her down by just sneaking up when she’s cornered or reaching over her mom.  She’s decided it’s okay to get petted, but she’s still kind of shy.  Hopefully, she’ll be able to join the program later in the summer.

Haley with Zinnia and Zorro

Then there’s Dolly.  She had two beautiful girls, and I want to keep at least one; although their dad is Fionn, making them closer to three quarters meat goat.  Sidney is a sweetie.  I gave her bottles, and she did come in with her mom, but she didn’t really need training.

Sidney

LilyAnn is the wild woman.  I had tried the sneaking up and catching her like I did with Daisy last year, but it wasn’t working well.  I did manage to get her to come in to the milk room a couple of times.

LilyAnn

It seems to have helped. She will let me scratch between her horns.  Sadly, she isn’t interested in food when she’s in there, and I think she might be the first to have flunked out of the program.

The one who has most whole heartedly embraced the program is Andy.  Seriously.  He is in the door before his mom, and he doesn’t care if his mom is there or not.  He’ll try coming in with any of the other girls.

Andy and Dolly

He also has struggled with leaving when it’s time.  I have to really shove him out the door.

I just haven’t had the heart to tell the poor boy he’s never going to actually get to be a milking doe.  It’s a shame because he’s really done well with training.

I hope you’ll come back and join me for Friday’s Hunt.

Cinnamon Insists

18 May

I noticed the other day that one side of Cinnamon’s udder looked quite full.  She was also kind of talking to me in a demanding voice, so I milked her out.

Cinnamon Blackboer

Now she’s decided that it’s an everyday thing.  She’s weaning Norm so she can go in to be milked.

Well, in all fairness, he’s old enough to be weaned.

Cinnamon and Norm

It still hasn’t been long enough since they were wormed for me to use the milk, so it’s going to the freezer for future bottle kids.

Because Cinnamon insists on being milked, I have Dolly, Haley and Stormy lining up to be milked too.  They, however, are not weaning their kids.

Dolly with LilyAnn, Sidney, and Andy

Stormy’s teats are usually wet and slimy from Ghost having just nursed when she comes in.

Ghost

I’m going to have to figure out how to wean some kids, so I can start milking in earnest.  I have the feeling I’m going to need it soon to help with some June triplets.

Harley

I also have a Cutie Pie who must remember me telling her she’d get to be a milking girl when she grew up.

Cutie Pie Goodberry

I must have forgot to mention the whole having a baby first part because she’s as insistent as Cinnamon that she needs to come into the milk room and eat some sweet feed.  I guess I’ll call it training.

I do hope you’ll come back tomorrow for Friday’s Hunt.  I have this week’s items listed at the top of my side bar.

Lack of Winter Woes

6 May

I’ve said before, it’s not good when we don’t have a real winter.  We end up with a “no kill” on the parasites situation.  I already poured everyone for lice.  Then I noticed one or two of the bucks had a bit of diarrhea (and I can’t get Sam cleared up), so I treated them for coccidia.  Then I did a fecal and treated Sam for round worms.

Then Mary had bottle jaw.  Then Minnie was really pale in the eyes. Then Wanda got diarrhea.  That’s when I decided to check several goats.  Worms are usually not a spring thing here at Eden Hills.  Usually, the goats are on the dry barnyard all winter.  The ground is frozen when I feed them hay, so it’s all good.  Spring comes and they go out on their forty acres and it’s all good.  Usually, I end up worming a handful of moms who get run down at the end of summer when the pasture is getting eaten down.

Dolly with Andy

I can’t even tell you the last time I did a mass worming.  My little June babies always get wormed, but my March kids usually are never wormed before they leave the farm.  It’s just not a problem with them.  I have to say, my goats are not used to being wormed, and this stuff must taste worse than death warmed over because they are not happy.  Red managed to knock me on my butt and rip my shirt.

Red

I was telling his mother, Harley that she should tell her boy to be better behaved, but then she tried  giving me a piercing where I know I do not want one.  Then Vixen smashed my finger.

Harley

I have wormed thirty-four goats today, and I don’t even want to think about how many I have left.  Hopefully, we’re done with the injuries, but probably not.  It’s the hard to catch ones that I have left to do.  The CoRid (for coccidia) goes in the water for five days (because I am not catching every goat to dose individually–I do not have a death wish), so I’ll start that tomorrow morning.

I checked with the vet, and I’m waiting to see how long I have to wait before I can use their milk again.  Since I don’t know, I will shut the kids in and milk tonight.  Hopefully, I’ll have enough to make three or four more batches of lotion.

I have to say, my girls’ health comes first.  Then safety for my products.  If I run out, we’ll have to be patient.