My view from the milk stool today is about management. I watch my goats like a hawk and am constantly berating myself for not doing enough, not keeping adequate records, etc. I dusted off a scale that I bought ions ago to weigh rabbits with (another record keeping failure). I believe it goes up to a high enough weight so I can weigh how much milk each goat is producing per milking.
I admire from afar a dairy in Massachusetts, Ruggles Hill Creamery. She has Oberhasli goats, and lots of black ones. She has long lactations in her goats and from what I can see from the gorgeous pictures she shares, her goats give a good bit of milk. She’s mentioned in at least one of her posts that she weighs her milk at each milking to gauge the health of her herd.
It’s easy to slack off – I’ve been doing it lately. For the past three days or so, I’ve left the babies out and they’ve been consuming just about all of the milk of three does. I’ve been doing that because I still am not selling all the milk I produce which is sad. I so wish more people would recognize just how wonderful the milk is that my goats produce.
We buy our feed from a local feed mill. This time of year, they are often out of both oats and barley. I called this morning to place an order and sure enough, they’re out of oats. My goats are not eating the alfalfa pellets they use so I cut the proportion of alfalfa way down which meant more oats and barley in their diet which means softer stools. I found an alfalfa pellet they do like so for now, I think I’ll just feed them a hand mixed combination of oats and alfalfa pellets. Grain is a very small portion of their diets, they only get it on the milk stand.
I’ve had in the back of my mind a project geared towards marketing the farm which includes a redesign of the farm website. I reached out to Animal Welfare Approved to get re-certified, but discovered that’s going to cost me $200. The certification is not worth it to me. It used to be free. My goats were certified in 2018 but when it came time to be audited in 2019, I was so busy working two jobs I postponed it. Now I have to get completely re-certified. For years I was AWA certified. I was the first farm they certified for rabbits. They don’t do rabbits anymore because of the difficulties in keeping them on pasture.
So, back to record keeping, I really need to milk these goats, every day, twice a day as needed, and make more cheese.
On a side note, my feta is brining in the cave and will be ready on May 24. My aged chèvre is still air drying and will go in the cave on Sunday for two weeks – two months. I’m going to start another batch of both in the next couple of days. I need to order more molds.
Until later …