Thursday, February 21, 2013

snow, rain, hail, baby goats & donut recipe

Yesterday it snowed. Most of the night last night it rained, hailed very hard, along with lightening. Just gotta go with the flow with Oklahoma weather.... it's always changing.

Today around lunch time Lizzie, our Alpine/Nubian doe, kidded to twin bucklings - both weighing 9.5 lbs each. Whoa! She's a big girl though and had no trouble kidding them out whatsoever. I really like her, but the thing is, she NEVER has had a doeling for me. Only bucklings. Oh well, she makes up for it in her milking ability and being a very easy keeper. I only wish I could have a daughter out of her ;).

A few days ago I decided to make donuts, and after a few tweaks found a recipe that turned out good, very easy, and everyone really likes. Since I have been asked for it, I figured I would post it here.

Quick & Easy Old Fashioned Donuts

4 cups flour (I use rice flour since our house is gluten-free)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
Roll on a floured surface and cut with a donut cutter. If you do not have a donut cutter, use a canning jar lid or the like (this is actually what I used) and then just poke a hole in the center.
Deep fry until brown. You can eat them plain, or coat with powder sugar, cinnamon sugar or whatever suits you like.

Anyway, I am headed off here in a few to bottle kids, make cheese, then workout and run... peace out!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

38 kids

So far 38 kids have been born. We are kind of having a small break right now. Within the next month only 3 does are due, and we are down to having only 10 bottle babies - we are keeping 7 of those, and the other 3 are already sold. Then around March 18th the next batch of does is due to kid out.

Calypso, one of our Alpine does, kidded to twin doelings about a week ago. One of them was solid chocolate - pretty cool!

Lambing season is also going on, and it's going well. We've had something around 20 lambs born so far.

The rest of the ranch is doing good too. The sun is out shinning today, and that means I should go let some of the barn creatures out. I hope you all have a fabulous day!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Easy Cheese Recipes

I have been asked by many people for my cheese recipes, so I figured I would put them all in one handy blog post. So, here it goes.

Quick & Easy Vinegar Cheese
Yeah, the title might sound gross, but this cheese is basically a quick untraditional way to make ricotta.

1 gallon milk
1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice

Heat your milk to 180 degrees F, this is just below the boiling point. Add 1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice. Stir well. The cheese will separate. Remove from heat and let sit for about 10 minutes. Pour through a cheesecloth. You can season the cheese now, use it plain, use it right away, freeze it or do whatever.

Mozzarella Cheese (originally from here)

2 gallons milk
3 tsp citric acid powder
1/2 tsp liquid rennet
1/8 tsp lipase (that is plenty)
1/2 cup cool water
1/4 cup warm water

1) Dissolve citric acid powder in 1/4 cup cool water, add to milk, stir well.
2) Dissolve lipase in 1/4 cup warm water, add to milk, stir well.
3) Slowly warm milk, on low, to 90*F. Stir occasionally.
4) Dilute rennet in 1/4 cup cool water, add to milk, stir well.
5) Turn heat off and allow milk to set for 15 minutes to achieve a clean break.
6) Cut into 1 inch curds, set in a 105*F water bath for 10 minutes (it is okay for the curds to mat together some).
7) Drain curds into a colander, kneading lightly to express whey (start heating whey now if you are making ricotta). Break curd apart and add 2 tsp salt, knead lightly.
8) Place the curd into a microwavable and cook on high for 1 minute. Knead to express whey.
9) Cook on high heat again for 1 minute, cheese will be very hot and there won't be much whey this time. The cheese will begin to stretch.
10) Stretch and fold cheese a few times then fold into a ball. Rinse in cold water. Place in a small bowl to mold and refrigerate.

Cheese will last 2 weeks in the refrigerator or can be frozen.

Traditional Ricotta

To make traditional ricotta, take the whey from the mozzarella cheese you just made. Heat on medium till it reaches about 200*F or until the cheese separates. Let cool for about 15 minutes, strain through cheesecloth.

Mild Feta Cheese (originally from here)

1 gallon milk
1/4 teaspoon Mesophilic-A direct-set culture
1/4 tsp. rennet dissolved in cool water
3-4 Tablespoons coarse salt (You can use table salt, but use less)

1) Warm milk in a pot to 86*F and stir in culture. Cover pot. Let sit one hour to ripen.

2) Stir dissolved rennet into milk. Cover pot and allow to sit one hour more to coagulate. Don't stir or disturb. The milk will become a solid mass.

3) Cut the curd into 1/2 inch cubes. Allow to rest 5 minutes to expel the whey. Stir gently every few minutes for 15 minutes keeping.

4) Line a colander with cheesecloth or butter muslin (I use plyban cloth - a plastic, re-useable cheesecloth) and set inside a big bowl if you want to save the whey. Drain the curds. Tie the four corners of the cloth together and hang to drain for 4-6 hours. The curds will form a ball.

5) Slice the ball in half and lay the slabs of cheese in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle all the surfaces with 3-4 Tablespoons of coarse salt. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temp for 24 hours.

6) After 24 hours pour off the whey, salt all the surfaces and let sit 2 more hours. Remove cheese from dish and quickly rinse under cool water to remove all the salt. Place cheese in a covered dish and refrigerate. Use immediately or allow to age 5-7 days to sharpen the flavor. Use within two weeks or freeze for future use.

Cream Cheese (originally from here)

1 gallon goat milk (store bought cows milk will work too!)
¼ tsp direct set Mesophilic-M culture
2 TBS diluted rennet (add 1 drop of rennet to 5 TBS cool water)

1) In a large pot add milk.  Heat your milk to 80 degrees.  
2) Remove from heat and add the mesophilic-m culture and stir will.  
3) Add the rennet and stir.  Cover the pan and let sit undisturbed at room temp for 12 to 18 hours. 

After your time is up what you have in the pot should look like very thick yogurt.  Now you will drain and drip your cheese. 

4) Line a colander with your cheesecloth or clean pillow case (I use plyban cloth).  Set this colander in a large bowl to catch the whey.  Drain your cheese.  Gather up the cloth and tie it tightly.
5) Hang your cheese to drip for about 6-8 hours.

When it is completed what you have left in the pillow case is your cream cheese!  You can salt it a bit or not, or add vanilla & a little sugar for a sweeter cream cheese.  It is ready to be used right away over a homemade bagel or you can use it for cooking. The whey can be used in baking.

Well, those are my favorite and most used recipes around here. This year I plan to expand into cheddar and the like... we'll see!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Quick Guideline to Raising Your Bottle Baby Goat

A few weeks ago I finally did a quick write up of how we care for our kids from birth to weaning. I know many different things work for different people, and depending on what part of the country you are in the care your goats need can be so much different. But, I figured I would post on how we raise our kids, maybe it'll help someone. Of course at birth our kids all get colostrum... that is the only thing I left out of this because I wrote it with the people who buy out bottle babies in mind - and by the time they get them they have already had their colostrum.

A Quick Guideline to Raising Your Bottle Baby Goat

Week 1: Bottle feed milk* every 6 hours. 6-10 oz each time depending on size of kid.

Week 2: Bottle feed 3x a day. 10-16 oz each feeding.

Week 3: It is best to feed the kid 3x a day if possible until they are 6 wks old. The kid can be dropped to 2x a day and fed 16-20 oz each time if it is better for your schedule. Start coccidiosis* treatment. Give the kid grain*, free feed hay* and minerals*.

Week 6: Drop bottle feedings to 2 times a day and feed 16-20 oz each time.

Week 8: Treat for coccidiosis and worm* the kid.

Week 10: Drop to one bottle a day, 16-20 oz. Gradually decrease the amount of milk in the bottle until the kid is weaned at 12 weeks.

Week 12: Wean* your kid from milk. By this time the kid should be eating free feed hay and some grain. Your kid also needs to be wormed and treated for coccidiosis again. Your kid also needs a copper bolus & BoSe shot OR a MultiMin shot*.


*Milk – Please DO NOT feed your kid ANY powdered formula or milk replacer. Kids do NOT do well on milk replacers. Many get diarrhea and die. If you do not have goat milk, feed your kid cows milk. Raw or regular vitamin D store bought cow's milk.

*Coccidiosis Treatment – There are a few treatments you can do for coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is a parasite that is very common in most of the United States and many goats get sick from it if not treated properly. It is key to treat your kid so they do not have issues later on in life. This is a preventative type of treatment.
  • Treatment option #1 is to treat with Sulmet Drinking Water Solution. This can be bought at your local feed store or TSC, and no, do NOT put it in your goat's water. This is given orally, and it is a 5 day treatment. The dosage is as follows: Day 1 is 1 cc of Sulmet per 5 lbs of bodyweight. Days 2-5 it is 1 cc of Sulmet per 10 lbs of bodyweight.
  • Treatment option #2 is to use a one day treatment called Baycox 5% Toltrazuril. The dosage is 1 cc per 5 lbs – a one day treatment.

*Grain There are many types of grain that you can use. We like to use a 14% or 16% Cattle Creep pellet. NO molasses, NO sweet feed. Your kid only needs a small handful – NO more.

*Hay an alfalfa or alfalfa/grass hay is best. It has the calcium the kid needs to grow. Free feed it.

*Minerals loose cattle minerals are great from your local feed store. Right Now Minerals is a really good brand. If you can't use them, get a mineral block.

*Worming this is a HUGE topic and one I will not fully cover here. We have had success with the Safeguard for Goats, Ivomec Plus, or Cydectin. Check on the 
bottle or online for dosages, as they tend to change often.

*Weaning Many people believe that kids can be weaned from milk at 8 wks – that is NOT a good idea and the kid will not grow to its potential. Bottle feed until at least 12 wks, longer if possible. We bottle feed our kids until they are 4-6 months old. The longer, the better.

*Copper bolus, BoSe OR MultiMin – Your kid needs mineral supplements. Goats need them bad, especially in certain areas of the US. This is another large topic and one I will not get into depth here. At 3 months your kid needs it's first dose of mineral supplements. If you decide to use copper boluses, make sure you give them a BoSe shot as well. Or, you can get MultiMin from your vet and just dose with that (no copper bolus or BoSe needed). Either way works just as well. Your goat will need this 3-4 times a year for the rest of its life.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Monster

Yesterday one of our Alpine does gave birth to a monster.

A 10.5 lb buck kid. I think he looks like a stuffed animal. Surprisingly he is white and looks Saanen, even though both of his registered Alpine parents are very colorful. Kind of strange. He does have a few black spots on him. He's a gentle giant though.

She also gave birth to an alien. Just kidding. But she had a DOA doeling, which was sad. It was our first kid loss of the year, which isn't bad considering we've had 34 kids born. The doeling was small, about 4 lbs, and had solid blue eyes. Very very strange. I'm hearing that it could mean that she was blind, which can be caused by a vitamin A deficiency. Last year I gave all of our pregnant does vitamin A&D shots because of the drought and feed being low in vitamin A. This year I did not. Maybe that was a bad idea to not... still thinking through all of it.

The doe is going great, although she seems a little sore but that is to be expected after having a 10.5 lb kid and not being a very big doe. The buckling is doing great and is a piglet.

This morning was busy busy. Between loading hay, helping birth triplets (another one of the Alpines had 2 bucklings and a doeling), disbudding kids and sending kids off to their new homes, it was a little bit hectic. But... that's part of farm life, right?

We sent LaWanda, one of our older MiniNubian does who has had some trouble this year, off to a retirement home with a few of our kids to a couple ladies we know who spoil their goats. I'm sure she'll be just fine.

We shall see what the rest of the day holds...

Peace out,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Kids, kids & more kids

26 kids so far. 13 bucks and 13 does. I have a kid sleeping on my lap so am only typing with one hand. . . enjoy the photos :).