All the goat kids have been sold (or eaten) or given away. Our goat herd is now down to a much more manageable number; five. My does Nettie, Ishtar and Annette, Chop Suey the wether and Pan the stinky-buck.
I also had to make a hard decision and let Cloud and her spotted doeling go (albeit for a nice little chunk o’ change). I didn’t want to sell her because she was already a good milker for a first freshener, but decided it just had to be done. Feed prices are continuing to rise and really, do I need to be milking four does, especially when at times I have so much milk that I have to make cheese just to get “rid” of the milk? So Cloud and her doeling went to a farm in town which already has two Jersey cows, but the husband missed the taste of goat milk from his younger days. At least she’ll be milked and appreciated.
I was overwhelmed this year with all the kids. I’m sure Paul will remind me of this fact when it comes to breeding time this fall. I guess that’s one of the problems with raising dairy goats. If you want milk, you have to deal the kids. And it wasn’t as easy as I thought to sell the kids, especially the doelings, which was kind’a weird. So now I’m thinking about how to start our meat goat herd…..no worry about selling the kids, just fatten them up & into the freezer they go! I know the exact same could be said for the dairy kids, but they just don’t dress out to a decent amount of meat, at least in my opinion, to make it worth the trouble of butchering.
Now that my little dairy herd has been pared down to a number I can count on one hand, goat chores are much more manageable. And less costly. I’ve been putting everyone (except Pan, who is stuck in his bachelor pen…poor guy) in the back yard to get some fresh greens (before everything shrivels up and dies in this stinking heat wave) and provide some lawn maintenance (so I don’t have to mow). Much easier to move four goats back & forth every day than the thirteen we had here at one point.
I’m also milking two goats instead of four. I suppose I normally would be milking three (Nettie, Ishtar and Annette), but I’ve started drying up Nettie….and not necessarily because I wanted to.
:: Insert scary music here :: Dunn, dunn, dunn, dunnnnnnnn……
She has mastitis in one side of her udder.
I’ll talk about my first encounter with mastitis in my next blog post.