Friday, January 29, 2010

Some have come to stay :)

Can't even start to summarize all the critters we added in one year in just one post so I will spread it out some. Without a doubt, the Nubian goats have been the most important addition. We knew we wanted to get dairy goats and fell in love with the Nubians and their long ears, plus the breed does well with our heat and produce creamy milk high in butterfat. We also decided to go with registered stock. We were anxious to try our hand at milkign and having our own source of fresh goat's milk. We purchased a milker (Christie) and a dry yearling (Boston) from the Akins farm in April 2009. They were much more relaxed than the minis and easy to handle despite the fact they were 100lbs + does.

We found most folks have a preconceived idea that goat's milk is off tasting and are usually a little apprehensive about trying it out. While different breeds produce milk with different tastes and the milking and handling technique definitely effects the quality of the milk, Nubians have the most delicious milk we've ever tasted - rich and creamy with a taste I would compare to half and half rather than store bought cow's milk.

Christie was and a doll to learn milking on. - a seasoned pro on the milk stand, with a nice soft udder texture and firm teats and patience of Job. We found our wooden milk stand on Craigslist from a family in Stroud area - Den and Cheryl - who later became friends and homesteading buddies. I've really enjoyed being part of Cheryl's yahoo forum Oklahoma Homesteading and Den has been a blessing to us with his carpentry skills.

A month later we added another milker from Texas - Lonesome Doe Danish Pastry. She blended quite well with the other girls and produced close to a gallon of milk a day for us. By the beginning of summer we were swimming in milk, freezing what we could, making cheese and feeding the rest to the dogs and cats. Personality wise I much prefer Christie and her calm nature to Danish and her stubborness.

Nubians are said to be loud and while that is true to some extend we have not really found them any lounder than their counterparts. Our herd queen is quiet and mellow and they all seem to follow that suit eventually. Danish was a major loud mouth hollering at us 24/7 when she first arrived but she ,too, has mellowed out over time and is quite docile now.

Zia was our last addition of 2009 in the doe department and she was the only one we raised from a doeling. Honestly, I was not planning on raising any kids and deal with the milkers and mature does instead but she was too cute to pass and we got attached to her soon. She came from the Riverside Ranch in Tecumseh and is a beauty with black body and white frosted ears and muzzle. She was dam raised and not handled as much as bottle babies tend to be so she was on the wild side when we first brought her home. We made sure to spend enough time in the pasture with her and with lack of playmates (she was staying in a pen by herself sharing a fence line with the adult does) she warmed up to us fast. Christie is still the family beloved doe but Zia is a close second for all of us, I think.

To clarify pictures - Christie is the blond roan, Danish is red with black trim, Boston is a tri color roan and Zia the black one with frosted ears. Pictures are from when they first arrived on our property and I will post more later what they look like now.

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