Wednesday, September 4, 2013
The last few weeks have been almost like a vacation since the garden finished up. I decided not to plant a fall garden as I have so many things on my list to do this fall like washing the whole outside of the house and scrapping and painting trim. I have grapes vines that need alot of attention and fences that need fixing and tightening up. That is just some of it... I didn't think I would be a good gardener and keep up with it all with all my projects to do before winter. So maintenance is going to have to do in that area. :) The normal cleaning out the garden beds and working in some manure.
I have been working at drying off my two full sized milk goats and do not have plans to re-breed them again. They are my dads favorites from our full sized goat herd we used to have. The only two we have left from that herd so he wants to keep them. So they will be retired as pasture ornaments as soon as they are both dried off well.
I am going to be breeding Amelia (one of the mid-sized goats born this past spring) to Joseph this month if she comes into heat. She will give me my spring milk for next year. She is a good size so will do fine and Joseph gave some really nice babies his first time around as breeder buck on the farm, so am excited to use him again and see what we get!
Also I will be breeding one of my Nigerian Dwarfs this month as well. (Milky Whey or Plenty) I have just not chosen who yet. Both are in full milk production and will be very hard to dry off. I would love a daughter out of either of them. I kept a buck from each of them this year. They are gorgeous and will be great breeders for me now that I have seen and milked both their moms. Top notch for back yard hand milking.
I have Abundance advertised for sale and have already given away one of her bucklings. The other one is spoken for and will be going to his new home once he hits three months old. I have found homes for all the bucklings I am not keeping. The whole kid crop this year were all beautiful. I had no trouble finding them all homes. Here's just a few we have left.
Milky Whey's full production udder looks like this.
Plenty's full production udder looks like this.
She has a huge udder that empties completelys. She also gives a lot of milk. Her teats are a bit shorter but she is still very easy to milk. I can see that making the shift to these smaller goats was a very good thing for my family. They will still give us plenty of good fresh milk for our needs with out the hassle of all the abundance of milk that we had to find uses for before. I don't like waste.
If I freshen one mid-sized goat and one Nigerian Dwarf every six months I will always have enough milk and some to spare for cheese making. Now that I have had the smaller sized Nigerian Dwarfs (herd) for a year...I can see they do indeed eat a lot less and give more milk per amount of food eaten. Also, I usually bought at least 120 bales of Bermuda square bales each year for the goats. I still have half a haymow full and it is time to buy again. So they eat about half as much hay. (and I feed hay year round if they want it) I have been very pleased so far with all the changes we have made here, moving from full sized goats to the smaller ones.
Also our freezer roosters are growing really well. They are almost to butchering size. They should be ready for freezer camp around October 1st. Murry Mcmurry sure sent us some pretty ones in this assortment this year.