Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Homestead Happenings...

Spring is SUCH a busy time around the homestead!

The bees are buzzing....

The hens are brooding...

The broilers are, ahem, "broiling"...

The kids are here and the milk is flowing...

And the garden (and weeds) are growing!

What's happening on your homestead?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

(Updated) Sold

Indigo Creek Emma - SOLD

Emma is a 2 1/2 year old Nigerian Dwarf registered with the NDGA.  She is currently IN MILK.  She is about 1 month fresh, so she has 9 months of milk left!  This is her second freshening and is producing almost 2 quarts per day -- that's just under a half a gallon/day!  She is very cooperative on the milk stand and is used to being milked with a milking machine. 

She is a great milker, but is not the best mother.  She protects her babies and accepts them as her own, but for some reason will not nurse them, so her future kids will have to be bottle babies.  I prefer to have all kids dam raised--bottle babies are just too time consuming for my crazy life right now, so that is the only reason I am offering her for sale.  I just can't breed her again, knowing that I won't have the time to bottle raise her babies.  She consistently produces gorgeous kids.  She's had twins for each of her kiddings. I have a beautiful daughter of hers from her first kidding on site. 

I will dearly miss all her delicious ORGANIC milk!  Yes, she has only been feed organic grain and hay.  

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to meet her. 

Emma's Pedigree:
  • Sire: Indigo Creek Ace of Hearts (NDGA 06626M)
    • SS: Moon Spinner's Blue Shin (D-49471)
    • SD: Indigo Creek Faith (NDGA 14787F)
  • Dam: Indigo Creek Tia (NDGA 14790F)
    • SS: Sire: Irish Luck Farms Shamrock (NDGA 05747M)
    • SD: Irish Luck Farms Ella (NDGA 13048F)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to Get Great Tasting Goat Milk!

When people hear that I raise dairy goats and actually drink their milk (gasp),  raw (double gasp), they squish up their nose and ask, "How does it taste?".  And I say "Like milk!"

Here's how I ensure that I get great tasting, heathy milk from my goats:

1.  Clean the udder before milking.
Even though there are a lot of udder cleaners on the market, I just use antibacterial wipes. I thoroughly clean her udder, teats and of course, my hands.  The teats should be dry before you start to milk. 

2.  Milk 8-10 squirts into a strip cup. 

If there is any bacteria in the teat, this will flush it out.  Inspect the milk you just extracted -- it shouldn't have any lumps, flakes or anything else in it.  This is also a great way to be sure your goat, and her udder are nice and healthy.  Healthy goats = healthy milk!

3.  Milk into squeaky clean equipment.

I LOOOOOVE my Henry Milker!  And I think the goats love it too! It's a manual pump and keeps the milk completely sealed.  No more hair or hay in the milk.  No more hooves in the bucket. No more tired hands!  It's a fraction of the price of a fancy electric milking machine and its easy to keep clean. No matter what equipment you use to milk, make sure it's very, very clean.

4.  Use a teat dip.

I use Fight Bac udder spray after milking. Just spray the teats after milking and it helps protect it from bacteria and reduces the chances of your doe developing mastitis.  Again, healthy goat = delicious milk.

5.  Strain the milk.

I use the filters that are specifically used for straining milk.  I tried just using paper coffee filters, but found that our goat's milk was higher in butterfat, so it took forever to strain.  Sometimes I wonder if this is really necessary  with the Henry Milker, as nothing can really fall into the milk, but I like to be doubly sure that my milk is squeaky clean. 

6.  Chill the milk Immediately.

This is a very important step.  The faster you get that milk chilled, the better it will taste. Many people like to set it in the sink with ice and water, but, I don't have an automatic ice maker so I never have enough ice.  So, I put it in the freezer and try not to forget it before it freezes.

7.  Do not house bucks with does.

Well, let's face it... bucks stink.  I think Nigerians may be the worst offenders because the girls cycle year round, they stink year round.  Whereas the large dairy breeds only go into rut in the fall, they only stink for a few months out of the year.

8.  Watch their diet.

Some foods/forage will change the flavor of the milk.  I definitely do not give them kitchen scraps of onions, broccoli, garlic, etc. 

9.  Store your milk in glass containers.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bye, Bye, Babies!

Emmas babies have found a new home! It was a little sad going into the barn this morning and not hearing their sweet little bleats, anxiously waiting for their bottles. Be good babies for your new mommy! I'll miss you!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Resolutions Update

Recently I posted about how my goal this year was to learn how to disbud the kids.  I'm happy to report that we all survived my first disbudding experience.

The little buckling's buds started popping out at only three days old.  With hubby in tow for moral support, I got through it.  It was nerve racking at first, but luckily it was over quickly and no one seems worse for the wear.

An important note, however, is that when I received my Reinhart X-30 disbudding iron, the directions were very clear that the iron should only be applied for a count of 3 - 5 seconds and NOT the 10-12 seconds as recommended in the video I linked to.  Most all the videos and research I came across said it should be applied for at least a 10 count, but erring on the side of caution I decided to follow the directions for my specific iron.  Then it's "fingers crossed" that I did a good job and no scurs develop.

The little girls buds started appearing at about 9 days old.  This time, with no assistance, I did it all by myself! Phew!  The disbudding box did a great job of holding her securely so that I could concentrate on doing a good job. Glad I got that experience under my belt!

I'm baaaaack....

I've been wanting to add so much info here, but my computer's "s" key stopped working and I couldn't log on to blogger!  Computer is all better now, so let's catch up! (By the way, we are on Facebook now--search Eden Hollow Farm!)

The babies are growing like crazy and are in that super fun bouncy stage which makes them a riot to watch!