Thursday, February 25, 2010

Goat Butter!!!

This morning I made goat butter! I used the cream that I had separated a few days ago, and it turned into butter really quickly and easily. It looks like pure white frosting, and it tastes great! Now my little brother, Osiyyah, can have butter (he can't eat anything with cow milk in it). I forgot to weigh the butter, so I'll have to weigh the next batch to find out how many pounds of butter we can get from one gallon of goat milk.
But, when I separated milk the other day, I got about 1/2 quart of really thick cream from one gallon of goat milk. Then yesterday I separated 2 gallons of cow milk and got 1/2 quart of thick cream. SO, at least that time the goat milk gave twice as much cream as the cow milk!

Cow butter on the left, Goat butter on the right

Have a great day!

Willa's kids

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cream Separator & Milking Supplies

Well, we got a Cream Separator. We bought it online from Allivet, and I think it was the cheapest place we could find, and it was free shipping. . . and all the companies carry pretty much the same kind of separator.
It came by FedEx Monday and of course, we had to try it out. We did a gallon of goat milk and got some *really* thick cream! Since we still have a few cow milk gallons in the freezer, I pulled 2 of those out yesterday and am going to run them through the separator today to try it out.

the first batch of milk separating,

Also, I figured I'd take pictures of our milking supplies for others to see what we use (thanks for the idea, Jennifer!). So I did that last night right before milking.

first, the cleaning supplies - Hand Sanitizer that I use in between milking does, and Nolvasan Disinfectant for cleaning their udders, the milk stand, counter, etc.

the Stainless Steel pail - I have a few of these. These are only 2 quart ones, so often times they get full with one doe and I switch out with another pail. I have a 6 quart pail, but that can be a bit big at times. I would like to find a 4 quart one as that would be perfect size, but have not been able to find one.

Rubbermaid gallon milk jug and a gold, reusable coffee filter for filtering the milk.

All the supplies.

Have a good day!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Busy, busy...

I have really been meaning to do a blog post since this morning, but been really busy.

About 4am this morning, I heard Willa down in the stall, screaming. So I taped Mom on the way down and sure enough, Willa was walking around her stall with a kid's head and one leg hanging out! The kid was making noise too (weird!). I tried quickly to find the other leg, but couldn't so just pulled him with one leg and his head. A little red buckling with blue eyes! A few minutes later she had a doeling that came out back-feet-first, also blue eyed. The doeling is 4.5 lbs and the buckling is probably around 5 lbs. Their sire is Dreamy-Hollow's HBH Lando. So, we dealt with all of that and went back to bed for a couple hours. Willa still looks like she could have had another in there. . . she is a little piglet and eats a lot!

Willa before she kidded!

the doeling,

the buckling,

After lunch we cleaned the doe barn out, which was big time due, as it's been over a month. Right when we were done with that, several hay customers showed up and we've been loading hay all afternoon. Then it was time to milk and now I am just getting sitting down ;).

The Cream Separator came yesterday. . . I'll post a pic or two of that in the next post.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Nice day

Well, yesterday was such a nice day - warm and sunny. We had more hay delivered yesterday, and I fed some of the alfalfa/oat to all the animals last night and they liked it a lot!

Yesterday also, Grandma Maggie, the goat, willingly came outside and was out there with the goats all day, came back to milk, and then went back out and slept in the barn! That is amazing for her to be acting like that - much, much better. She also completely finished all of her grain last night and this morning, and is getting back to being her pushy self. Praise the Lord she made it through hypocalcemia!

The next doe due is PawPawNin Willa - due the 27th, on day 142 today. She looks like she swallowed a balloon. . . probably will have triplets like last year (before we had her, but we got her with her kids). I'll have to get a picture of her before she kids, she is so huge!

I've been sick the past few days, yesterday I was feeling better but am not feeling so great today...

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pics of kids

Today I took Grandma Maggie, the 5 kids (all doelings, that we are keeping) and little Molly outside in the yard to play in the sun. It is so nice out today and sunny - amazing!

Snickers and Molly,

Too many kids on the dog house...

Snickers again. . . she's the only one that would stand still for me, and even then she would look the opposite direction (bad goat!),

Grandma Maggie - she is doing SO much better, praise the Lord!! Today she willingly came out and grazed, and is acting pretty spunky. I am so glad she is better!

Grandma Maggie and her doeling, Cookie Doe (although they don't know they are related ;)). Grandma needs to gain some weight as she lost some when she was sick.

Well, tomorrow we are getting another load of hay in - this time a small amount of straight alfalfa and the rest first cutting alfalfa/oat, which should be nice stuff. If you might be interested in any, just email me.

Time to go!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Molly is here!

My brother, Todahyah, got the newest addition to the ranch last night - Molly, an English Shepherd puppy! She is so small and just adorable!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Time for an update. . . everyone is doing well! The two "miniature" baby Boers are doing great and growing, they are both nursing on their own - amazing, I was not sure if that little guy was going to make it, but he's a strong little buck now!

Grandma, who had the hypocalcemia, is doing well also. Yesterday was the first day that she actually ate a good amount, although she never went completely off-feed. The past 2-3 days I have been giving her the calcium/magnesium/phosphorus/potassium/etc every 2 hours or so in the day and every 4-5 hours at night (which turns out to be only once). So, thankfully she is doing much better.

If anyone is looking for hay, we are hoping to bring in a truck load of nice, first cutting alfalfa/oat hay ($5 a bale) and possibly some straight alfalfa. When cutting starts, we should start having the alfalfa/grass available then. If you would be interested, feel free to email me for more info.

And don't forget, if you have not joined the Oklahoma Hay & Feed Coop, come on and join! The link to join is on the right!

Yesterday it snowed some more. . . BRR! It has pretty much all melted though. Time to go check Grandma, feed the does their lunch hay, and whatever else.

Have a good day,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Long Night

Last night was a very long night. We stayed up late anyway, and then around 1am my brother checked on the does and a little Boer doe that someone had recently given us, was in labor. So he brought her back to the kidding stalls and we watched her. By 2:15am or so, the sack on the first kid had broke. After that she was pushing, but there was not much progress. I went in and pulled the front feet out, but due to her being very small, I could not get my hand around the kid's head. So, since Mom's hands are slightly smaller than mine, she went in and was able to get her hand around the kid's head, while I held the feet out. But now, sine she had the head, she couldn't not pull her hand and the kid's head out. So I pulled on her arm as hard as I could and out pops the babies head! Praise the Lord! He came out easily after that. Surprisingly, he was just a little over 3 1/2 pounds - that shows you how small this little doe is. Poor girl.

Some of the placenta was hanging out, so I thought she only had one kid. I gave her some electrolytes, warm brown sugar water, Penicillin since it was a hard kidding, etc. Then someone says, "there's another bubble and a kid!". And a TINY little buckling came flying out butt first - at least he came out easily!
He is SO little and thin, I was not sure if he was going to make it. He only weighs 2 1/2 pounds. After us drying everyone off and getting them all set up, we got the bigger buckling to nurse off of his mom. The little guy had a small suck reflex, but not strong enough to be able to get a sufficient amount of colostrum. So I sat there for 20 minutes and drop by drop (with a syringe), fed him an ounce of colostrum. He could only stand with us helping him also. By this time it was almost 3am, and we were all very tired. So we put them on the heating pad by their mom and went to bed.

At 6am, we heard one of them screaming down stairs, and went down there and got them both to nurse off of mom. The little guy was now standing and walking some on his own.

Now this morning, they both were able to find the teat by themselves, and nursed a lot! For a first freshener Boer doe (& any doe, for that matter), she is a WONDERFUL mother. The little guy is walking also.
So, hopefully they will all survive! Things are looking a lot better now than they were at 3am last night. . . we shall see.

the little guy nursing this morning,

So, I am still very tired right now ;).

Grandma, the almost 10-year-old doe that kidded Saturday night, I am treating for Hypocalcemia. Yesterday morning she didn't act just right, her production dropped, and for some reason I had this gut feeling that she was going to get hypocalcemia (why? because she's old? I don't know). So I have been treating her with oral MFO Solution and I started Propylene Glycol this morning (was using NutriDrench yesterday, but ran out) and she seems to be doing OK. I hope she pulls through. She's such a sweet doe. I am going to need more MFO, but can't find any at the feed stores. I have 23% Calcium Gluconate if I need to use it, but prefer the MFO or CMPK.

So, I think that's it for now. Kind of a sad and exciting post ;).

Have a great day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Grandma & Rosie Kidded

Well, Grandma Maggie (Laports Mahogany Sage) and Rosie (Free Spirit Rosemary), her daughter, kidded within 6 hours of each other. Late Saturday night Grandma went into labor, and had two beautiful kids - a buckling and doeling. We are keeping the doeling, since Grandma is almost 10 and I want to have a "mini replacement" for her, plus she is just beautiful. She is solid brown, and a friend's little girl thought she looked like cookie dough, so we named her "Cookie Doe" - I thought that was cute. Their sire is PawPawNin Junior Mint.

Then we got up to feed those kids early Sunday morning and checked on Rosie, and she was licking off a buckling! So we dried him and dealt with all of that, then jumped back in bed for a few more hours of sleep. He is a very different color and very cute (& eats a LOT). His sire is Dreamy-Hollow's Parker.

Grandma and Rosie are both feeling very spunky and "light" today without all that baby weight, especially Grandma, as she was getting very slowed down by those kids. So, I am very glad to see her feeling well.

Some photos of the kids,

Cookie Doe. . . her ears are soo long. She is about 75% Nubian or so, I think ;).

Grandma's buckling,

Rosie's buckling,

Well, after all that, we got up and milked and fed. Then it was time to go cook buttermilk pancakes, and later in the day we went to a friend's house for a Super Bowl party.

Today, the snow is falling again - for the 3rd time I think this winter. This year we've had WAY more snow/wet than before. Hopefully the pastures will grow green with all of this wet... for now, it's going to add to the mud mess once it melts.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Great News for farms & ranches!

This is really great news!

From the New York Times - Feb 5, 2010

U.S.D.A. Plans to Drop Program to Trace Livestock

Faced with stiff resistance from ranchers and farmers, the Obama administration has decided to scrap a national program intended to help authorities quickly identify and track livestock in the event of an animal disease outbreak.

In abandoning the program, called the National Animal Identification System, officials said they would start over in trying to devise a livestock tracing program that could win widespread support from the industry.

The agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, will announce the changes on Friday, according to officials at the Agriculture Department, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not yet been made public.

The officials said that it would be left to the states to devise many aspects of a new system, including requirements for identifying livestock.

New federal rules will be developed but the officials said they would apply only to animals being moved in interstate commerce, such as cattle raised in one state being transported to a slaughterhouse in another state.

It could take two years or more to create new federal rules, the officials said, and it was not clear how far the government would go to restrict the movement of livestock between states if the animals did not meet basic traceability standards.

The system was created by the Bush administration in 2004 after the discovery in late 2003 of a cow infected with mad cow disease.

Participation of ranchers and farmers in the identification system was voluntary, but the goal was to give every animal, or in the case of pigs and poultry, groups of animals, a unique identification number that would be entered in a database. The movements of animals would be tracked, and if there was a disease outbreak or a sick animal was found, officials could quickly locate other animals that had been exposed.

But the system quickly drew the ire of many farmers and ranchers, particularly cattle producers. Some objected to the cost of identification equipment and the extra work in having to report their animals’ movements. Others said they believed the voluntary system would become mandatory, that it was intrusive and that the federal government would use it to pry into their lives and finances.

The old system received $142 million in federal financing, but gained the participation of only 40 percent of the nation’s livestock producers, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

When Mr. Vilsack took over the Agriculture Department last year, he began a series of public meetings on the identification program and was bombarded by strident opposition.

Agriculture officials said that most details of a new system would be worked out in the coming months through consultation with the livestock industry and the states.

“It was just overwhelming in the country that people didn’t like it, and I think they took that feedback to heart,” said Mary Kay Thatcher, public policy director of the American Farm Bureau Federation, which had opposed the identification system. “I think it’s good they’ve at least said we’re going to do something different.”

Carol Tucker Foreman, a food safety expert of the Consumer Federation of America, agreed that the old system was not working and needed to be changed.

But she worried that a new system that could have different rules in every state might not be effective.

“It’s very, very hard to have an effective state-by-state program,” she said.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Finally... the snow photos

Alright, as I said in the last post... here are the pictures from the snow and ice storm. Almost all of it is melted now and it is a big muddy mess here (not fun!).

ice on the fence,

lots of snow!

Lilly and a couple of the colts playing during the snow storm,

Baby goats! They seemed to like the snow,


Deep snow for short kids...

"Drama Queen" sniffing, then. . .

. . . jumping!


one of Lizzie's bucklings (now at his new home),

and, "Matty",

I am on kidding watch again. Rosie (Free Spirit Rosemary) is due the 5th, and her dam Grandma (Laports Mahogany Sage) as we call her, is due the 8th. But "Grandma" is looking very big - her belly has dropped a lot, her back is very high and her tail is super loose. So I am expecting her to go soon. She is almost 10 years old, so things could just be more "exaggerated" due to her age.

Anyway, time to go. I hope you enjoy the pictures and have a great day!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Lots going on...

Well, it was a sad weekend. Thursday afternoon Double Bubble, a 2 year old first freshener doe who was 106 days bred (due in March) aborted a baby. I don't know why. She was doing pretty good but seemed like she missed the baby, until Saturday afternoon when she went downhill. Her temp was very low, so we brought her in the house and treated her for a lot of things (Listeriosis & Goat Polio, Hypocalcimia). Her temp went up and she seemed to be a bit better. But she had not pooped all day and was straining. We tubed her electrolytes a couple of times, and late Saturday night we gave her a couple enemas. She did end up pooping. I was really tired after that and went to bed. Mom checked on her throughout the night. In the morning, she was looking terrible. She started having seizures and could not stand anymore. Her eyes were darting back and forth. Classic signs of a far-along case of Listeriosis, even though we were treating her for it. As the morning went on, the seizures got longer and worse and worse. She was just slowly going, and I could not just sit there and watch her suffer. So we decided to put her down... hard decision. Very sad. She was born at our place in California and was a bottle baby. . .

But, we are still extremely blessed with too much to name.

On the brighter side of things, we had 2 bucklings born at 5:30 this morning! Since the kidding stalls are down stars right below our bedroom, mom heard a goat grunting/pushing, and we ran down there and sure enough, Piglet was pushing and there was a head and a foot out. I went in the stall and did not know how long the head had been out, and it was upside-down - NOT a normal position :)! So I found the other leg and pulled pretty hard and he came out. A buckling that looks JUST like his mom! Then a minute later the next kid came, and it was only his head so I found both his legs and out he came. Another buckling. They are both doing great and so is Momma Piglet.

A couple pictures... not very good but will do for the moment ;).

SO tired!

The funny thing about those bucklings is, I don't know who their sire is. The bucks broke in with the does a couple of times last year, and 2 does got bred - Bridget (who kidded a few weeks ago and she was obviously bred to a Boer) and Piglet. My gut feeling is that Junior Mint bred her, as he was the top-buck at the time and is a very quick breeder. And neither of these kids have blue eyes or are polled, so that rules out Wyatt and Lando. But, it's not really that big of a deal... I will just sell them without papers (really don't feel like doing DNA testing).

We got so much SNOW Thursday night and Friday. . . probably 8 inches or so. Today it started to melt some, so everything is getting very sloppy/muddy. It is so beautiful out and the weather has actually not been that bad to be out in. Today I got some pictures of the kids out in the snow... those will have to go in another post.