Proverbs 27:27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Four ND Goats to Kid Soon!

I know I keep mentioning that I have our first ever Nigerian Dwarf Goats bred.  In my head I keep thinking that they start kidding June 1st.  That's the first ones due date.  In my head that is a long way off.  As I have so much to get done before June hits.  But......I  was out in the barn yesterday and looking over each goat a bit.  I do this frequently and noticed that all four of the bred Nigerian goats birthing ligaments are loosening up a bit.  Yikes!  Already?  And they all have little udders for the first time.  But their little udders are getting quite large all of a sudden.  So I looked on the calendar and was just shocked.  We are getting close and I am not near ready!!!!!
So I spent the day getting ready.  Just in case.  The first thing that I needed to do is modify my milk station.  It is built perfectly for full sized goats.  I tried putting a Nigerian up in it and they were a tad to short to eat at the feed pan and could easily pull their heads out of the head gate.  It was either build a new smaller version for the Nigerian Dwarfs and have that taking up room in our barn.  Or modify the big one.  So I chose to modify our current stanchion. 
First, I built a riser (stepping stool of types to bring their heads up to the feeder.  I took 2x4s and cut them to make a frame.  Cut a piece of plywood to be the top support piece.  
Painted it.  And will put the same rubber mat on it as is on the current stand for ease of cleaning and make it non-slip.  I will be able to put it on the stanchion when I want to milk a Nigerian and remove it to milk my larger gals.
The other thing to modify was the neck stanchion piece.   It was perfect for the big goats but even closed on the tightest setting the Nigerians could pull their heads out.  I just needed it an inch narrower.  
So I took a scrap piece of 1 x 5 and drilled a hole in the bottom going all the way thru the existing stationary place on the stanchion.  Put a bolt through it so it acts as a moving lever.  Then did the same at the top to secure it when I need it for smaller goats and then swing it back out of the way for the larger goats.  As I will still be milking both sizes at times. (it is swung back out of the way and secured in the above picture.  Notice the hole by it to move it over and secure it when milking a Nigerian Dwarf)

It was a fun and simple project that the Lord helped me figure out and do.  I still just have to put the non-slip rubber matting on it.  But all in all it is workable now.  

Blessings and happy farming, 

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