Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Done milking :(

Nettie, Ishtar and Annette have been bred this year.  I’m still hoping that Cloud goes into heat one more time this winter and that Pan is still “interested” as I really don’t need another non-productive animal.  I know that sounds mean, but it’s getting expensive to feed everyone.   I think Stormy is still a bit on the small side for breeding so unless someone wants her as a non-bred doe she’ll get bred next year & I’ll sell her with her kid(s) as a first freshener.   
Nettie & Annette were the only ones I milked this year; Ishtar wasn’t bred last year before I got her so she was dry.  Nettie is due the second week in March so it’s about time I started drying her up.   Annette isn’t due until the first week in April but since I was going to stop milking Nettie I figured I’d dry Annette up along with her.  Milk output from the both of them was down to less than a quart a day.  I was tempted to continue milking Annette for another month because I’m really, really going to miss the fresh milk.   
It wasn't much, but I'm still going to miss it!

I’ve been gradually reducing their grain rations in the morning & evening feedings and in a few days I’m going to eliminate the morning feeding.  There will be lots of bawling when that happens.  At least morning barn chores will be a bit less complicated. 
Technically, Annette & Nettie are still getting milked as their doe kids are with them.  They used to stay in the kid pen during the night so I could get milk from the does in the morning, but now that I’ve stopped I figured they may as well all be together at night & snuggle when it gets cold.  Though even that is going to have to stop.  Last year Nettie let Annette nurse from her all the way up to two weeks before her due date.  And I had to separate them to give her those two weeks.  So that means we’re going to have to make another pen to separate Cloud & Stormy from their Moms (Nettie & Annette), at least until after they have their kids.  Once everyone has kidded in the Spring they can go back to being one happy herd. 
And I can get some milk again.

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