Dairy Goat Update

It seems I will not be able to get a Saanen doe from the dairy I mentioned a while ago.  I was disappointed to learn this, but it’s really okay.  I liked the idea of the Saanen breed, but given that I already have three LaManchas, it really makes more sense for me to stick with the same breed.  Desiring that Saanen was a perfect example of the “wanting mind” in action.  I am not even sure I need a fourth doe.  I will be drying Rain up in the next week or two, something she isn’t going to be too keen about, but it has to be done.  I expect once she kids, she’s going to be a milking machine.  I have finally come to terms with her temperament and can look at her kindly rather than with irritation.  I am toying with starting to milk Penny and Luna twice a day and see how that goes.  When I put Penny up on the stand this morning, milk was literally pouring out of her.  The more you milk a goat (as long as you feed them well), the more milk they produce.  I made a mistake in culling one of the twins off Penny and Luna.  If I had kept the twins on them and put them up at night like I am now, they likely would have produced more milk.  Lesson learned.

Luna was very good on the stand this morning.  What a relief!

Another failed batch of cheese this morning.  I’ve been going back and forth in my brain trying to figure out what is going wrong.  Two thoughts come to mind: one, I’ve been using my own buttermilk which may not have sat long enough to become cultured and two, I’m not letting the cheese sit long enough.  Yesterday, I put up the batch, using yogurt this time as the culture (and only a tablespoon and a half of the diluted rennet) at around 9 AM.  I poured it out at around 4 PM, that’s only seven hours; it may need to sit longer.  According to the recipe I am using, it should sit eight to twelve hours.  So, this morning I made a batch using store-bought buttermilk and a tablespoon and a half of diluted rennet.  I put it up at around 8:30.  I’m going to let it sit until 8:30 PM and see how that goes.

This is irritating me beyond belief.  I loved having the cheese!  I’m down to one bag in the refrigerator that I made on April 27 and if my memory serves me correctly, I used store-bought buttermilk.  In the back of my book, Goats Produce Too! in the Cheese Problems & Solutions section, it states the reason behind cheese not having enough flavor (which is one of the problems I’m experiencing now) is one, it isn’t aging long enough and two, not enough acidity and to increase acidity, you need to ensure the proper riping time and add enough culture.

I’ll get this figured out …

It is overcast with an 80% chance of thundershowers today.  I let the sheep out before I milked the goats this morning.  When I was finished milking, I brought the goats down back with me to look for the sheep.  They were down along the river and the grass in that field is all but over their backs now.  It took Gel a while to see them, primarily because he was focused on the goats.  Finally he saw them and cast out around them.  Oh, I’m so blessed with such a nice outrunning dog.  He brought the sheep back and we took them all back up to the ElectroNet and put them up.  I am sure I’ll have to walk down there in short order and pull up the goats.  There’s a huge batch of rain coming up from Asheville.  The plan today is to get out into the garden and get something vegetables planted.  As of right now, the plan for the garden close to the house is to mulch it heavily and plant herbs for use in cooking and to feed to the goats.  They got into the pots that I planted with kitchen herbs and ate up the basil, parsley and cilantro.  All of these herbs grow prolificly and if that’s what they want to eat, then I’ll plant it for them.

Pyro will be staying with us from Thursday through Tuesday and we need meat to feed these dogs.  My freezer is emptying fast, even with all the cheese they’ve been eating lately.  Wally was going to do something other than go to the auction this Thursday but I convinced him that he needs to go to try to find a goat or sheep that would be suitable to butcher for the dogs.  The prices have come down since Easter is past so I’m hoping he can find something for around a dollar a pound live weight.

Until later …