Thursday, June 30, 2011

The goats have arrived!

We bought out first Nigerian dwarf doe, her name is Sugarcreek "Joon",  she's all black and ironically had a birthday and turned 2 on the day we brought her home, June 28th.  I am so surprised how sweet and lovable she is, she will follow me everywhere I go.  She's freshened twice, and had a doe the first time and two bucklings the second time.  I met her daughter, who just freshened with quadruplets.  They were all sold but one buckling.  On our way to pick up Joon we stopped by some nice people's farm and picked up "Stormy" our little two and a half month old wether to be her buddy, we found him on Craigslist. 
"Stormy" climbing the rocks in the pasture like a real mountain goat!  He is so adorable and will crawl right into your lap and sit down for some love and attention.  He is as cute as they come, we're so glad we got him.

We've been busily preparing their stall and paddock area, they easily fit underneath the timberframe chicken coop, and we are quickly creating their paddock which we worked on all day yesterday, and will the second half of today, hopefully they'll have it ready by this evening.  Of course they also have the acre and a half pasture I take them out to for a few hours each day, and we let them run around while we're working, plus we take them on walks all over the property.  I can tell we will be working on lots more fencing, and the goat barn will be higher on the priority list.  I'll need it ready to a certain degree for kidding season next Spring.

I also have a reserve on a doeling not yet born.  There is a nice doe right here in our town that is pregnant and due the middle to the end of July.  I'm hoping she has at least one doe, then she will be our's.  I'd like to go into the winter with a small herd of about 4 goats. 

I'm thinking I will need a buck for breeding Joon this November, so will be keeping an eye out for one.  Goats like any other farm animals take some time to get all set up and the breeding started.  My plan is to eventually have 6 or7 does (the nicest show quality ones I can get) and breed them for Spring and Summer babies, that I will sell or keep the best ones.

My decision to buy Joon was mostly based on her age, her excellent dairy type, and a gut feeling that she was suppose to come here to Applegarth.  Also the fact that she was being sold "in milk"  which I am valiantly trying to bring her back into. When I saw her Friday, her udder was full, Tuesday it was not.  I didn't realize that her bucklings had not been nursing for a couple weeks.  So my learning curve started right away, trying to bring a doe back into milk.  How am I doing this, by milking her out several times a day.  She kicked some at first,  but I persisted and now she is so good about me milking her, she will touch her head to mine, and stand very still till I'm done. 

I'm sure the move here isn't helping with getting the milk to come back.  We'll see what happens in a couple weeks with faithful consistent milking I may bring her back in producing a quart/day.  That's about the average for this small dairy goat breed.  That's almost 2 gallons/week, so it's worth my efforts to try.

The herd where she's from is Rising Echo's Nigerians, I have more pictures to share from our trip there.  Melissa the owner has some really beautiful goats, and  it's evident she pours her heart into them.

In this picture the does and kids at Rising Echo's Farm are all going to visit the bucks,
they love to walk together in a herd.  I'm sure Joon misses the herd and her family. 


Benita said...

Joon is beautiful! What a sweet face she has. This is going to be very wonderful and exciting phase in your life. Animals bring so much to a place, don't they?

Jewel said...

She is beautiful, isn't she, and Stormy is such a delight. This is a big part of my dream for self sufficiency. Joon is giving me almost double the milk everyday, even if it's just a little I'm encouraged. We truly have farm TV to watch everyday, goats have so much personality. They have both won my husband over with their charming and curious nature.

Jewel said...

I also meant to say thank you Benita for your nice comments, I'm glad to see you visit. Happy fourth of July.

goatgirl said...

What a wonderful goat to start with. Great bloodlines and a nice mentor in Melissa. I also saw that darling little wether on craigslist and wondered why he didn't get snatched I know it is because you were suppose to have him.
Have fun!

Jewel said...

Thanks goat girl, Stormy has such wonderful bloodlines he should have been kept a buckling. Kristine at Leisure Time Nigerians tried to sell him as a buckling, but apparently most people don't want a nigerian that has similar markings to a pygmy. I am thrilled to have him here to love, and be a buddy. Yes Melissa at Rising Echo's is great, I am lucky to get a doe like Joon to start with.

goatgirl said...

BTW, You mentioned that you might want a buck and I thought I'd tell you that Poppy Patch has a lovely buckling with a very nice pedigree for sale for a good price. I really like the looks of him and his sire, Cadbury, has an awesome pedigree.
Just thought I'd mention it to you.