Catching up

WOW!  I haven’t written since October 30!  I’m trying to remember what I’ve been doing … Friday is a lost day I think.

On Saturday I drove to get rabbits, then stopped at a feed store that I used to frequent, but haven’t been to in quite a while.  I bought what they call their “Super Premium Sweet Feed.”  It has close to 16% protein, 4% fat and 10% fiber.  The better I feed these goats, the more milk they will produce.  After I got home and off-loaded the feed and rabbits, I took a shower then went to look at a La Mancha from lines similar to Rain.

The goat, named Dawn, was still nursing her year old kid.  These milk goats, that’s what they do: produce milk.  She’s a pretty doe: black with stripes.  I’ll get photos soon.  She doesn’t have much milk left and she’s very, very kicky, but with time I’m sure she’ll settle down.  Hopefully if she’s fed well and is milked twice a day, her production will increase.  I didn’t pay anything (technically) for her.  The sale price I got for the Oberhasli buck paid for her.  I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to breed her or not.

Did you know milking can be a contact sport?  Yesterday I milked twice a day.  Rain’s udder has been very full and hard when milking her once so I thought I’d go to twice a day and see how it goes.  As I said above, if I’m going to get Dawn’s production up, I’ll need to milk her twice a day.  Well, things didn’t work out so well.  I tried to tie all the does out to a feeder and keep the steer goats up.  That didn’t work out.  The steer goats kept trying to get up on the stand and get the food there.  My agitation got both Dawn and Rain nervous.  It was not pretty … I talked to Wally later and decided to go ahead and sell the steer goats and he was having his own issues with the La Mancha doe he bought last week.  She was not eating well with the sheep (no surprise there).  So we decided he’d bring that doe over here to join the doe herd and take the three steers back to his house and take them to the sale on Thursday.  Whatever money I get for them I’ll put towards grain for the dairy goats.  See, less aggravation for both of us.  Neither Rain nor Esmeralda cared much about Dawn’s arrival so I thought Wally’s doe (Sunshine) would come in just as easily.

Wally dragged me out of bed this morning at the ungodly hour of 6 AM (the real time after the clocks got turned back).  I was deep in sleep having a wonderful dream (which I can’t remember now).  As I was driving out to meet him for breakfast I saw a deer on the side of the road.  I stopped to inspect her.  Freshly killed and hardly marked!  Yea!  I dragged her further off the road so no one else would pick her up.  If I could have lifted her, I would have put her in the car, but she was too heavy.  Met Wally for breakfast, then we stopped on the way home and picked up the deer.  She had to have been a good 100 pound doe.  We put her in the back of the horse trailer.

We got back to the house and Wally helped me modify the milk stand.  The heads of La Mancha goats are very narrow and they could slip through the head gate.  I was tying Rain so she couldn’t back up, but I think this was stressing her and it did stress Dawn Saturday evening when I was milking her.  Then he helped me tie up the deer from a tree.  Gosh, it’s so much easier butchering an animal when it’s tied up!!!!  I used to do it on the ground and that killed my back.  I have the guts in a garbage can ready to haul out to the back fields.  The Border Collies will have access to the backbone and rear legs until later today when I’ll haul them out too.  Rose got a front leg which she is still happily gnawing on.  I’ll bet I got a good 50 to 60 pounds of meat off that doe.  It didn’t take me long to do it either.

A quick update on Rose, she seems fine being the only dog.  She’s much more personable than she was when Kitty was here.  She sleeps in a pile with the goats.

Milking went much smoother this morning.  Dawn kicked some, but not too bad.  Rain was a perfect angel.  As expected, the does didn’t care about Sunshine’s arrival so now I have four milk does in the pasture with Rose.  The sheep are out on the 15 acres grazing.  All three Border Collies are outside.

I love Skype!!!  I’m kicking myself for not trying it sooner.  To think that I spent a good $400 a year on long distance calling when I could have done it for less than $40 a year.  Geez!  It’s a bit of a pain being tied to the computer, but to save $360 (or more) a year, it’s worth it.  The quality is perfect, it really is.  I don’t care for computer to computer calling, but computer to land line is fine.

I’ve been watching the USDAA finals in streaming video (you need to register to view them).  It makes me want to get out and train my dogs in agility.  Then again, at this point in time, I can’t afford to trial.  Oh well … it really isn’t a big deal.  Starting Monday I am going to try to get on a schedule.  I actually like the time change.  I am much more of a morning person.  For me to be up later than 9 PM is unusual.  I’d like to get Cian going well and then think about selling him, if I can.  I’ve gotten pretty attached to the little bugger.