Saturday, September 29, 2012

goat sex and auctions

Bonita and Francis, my dairy goat duo, have a big week ahead of them. In the next few days they will be transported to Common Sense Farm where an Alpine buck named (and I am not making this up) Little Britches will serve them up a helping of lovin' If that goes as planned I can expect kidding in early March, and a pair of does ready to freshen and get back into the dairy swing.

I'm lucky my mentor and her herd are three miles away, and that for breeding time I have someone to show me the ropes. It's a debt I hope to pay forward. I am slowly doing just that. Last Thursday CAF friend and Season Pass member, Sarah had me come over to show her how to trim hooves and give CDT shots. It was an easy knowledge to share and I was honored to make the house call. By the time I left Sarah had trimmed a hoof and gave a shot herself. If any of you live close enough for me to run over and help, I happily will.

Right now Bonita is dry. I did my last milking the day I returned from Antlerstock and barely a half pint left her teats. After months of milking her every day it is a weird vacation. There is no freedom like the freedom from a dairy animal, you feel like you could go run the Amazing Race (coincidentally, New York State goat farmers Josh and Brent are...). It's a perfect time to add swine to the farm, the morning pig work will take the place of milking and by the time kids are hitting the good earth the pig will be in the freezer. At Antlerstock I will get my little tamworth/GOS cross piglet and I'll let you guys name him.

I'm off to my first ever auction tonight, over in another part of the county. Some gals hit the bars on Sunday night, some hit the horse-drawn equipment auctions in Washington County. I hope in the next few years Jess and Riley and the clan from Key West are coming over for a Saturday night potluck and talking about their farms with me. I love that some readers want to make this place home as well. I think of you all, and often.

12 Comments:

Blogger Brenda London said...

"Little Britches", true stories about an amazingly resourceful young man (Little Britches was his nickname) of the last century. Jenna, you'd love the books, you two would be kindred spirits. I think the series was written with youth in mind, but anyone who appreciates gumption, ambition and resourcefulness driven by poverty and need would enjoy these. I purchased these from Amazon, very willing to lend if anyone is close by and interested(we are in Argyle, NY). WOW, thanks so much for dropping the "safety" feature that I have struggled with, and I promise NOT to bug you with too many silly twitterings from this ole lady farmer.

September 29, 2012 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Marci said...

How come you dried her off so early? Won't they milk her when you take her over to be bred?

September 29, 2012 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

I think for myself and my family, southern Georgia is a better farm site. I can abide the winters of the northeast, having spent my formative years in the Poconos, but my dear husband just will not go north of the Mason-Dixon line. And even though we've gone from an acre and a half on the plains of eastern New Mexico to an apartment in middle Georgia, I still have grand plans that involve Pineywoods Cattle, Florida Cracker horses, and maybe some Pineywoods Rooters if I can dig any up from obscurity. My dream would be to have an operation like White Oak Pastures, but I think something smaller would be better suited. We'll have to see how things develop.

September 29, 2012 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

She's been in milk since last Feb! That's ten months of milk not early at all!

September 29, 2012 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger m. said...

Are your sheep going to be bred this year?

September 29, 2012 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Linden said...

The first time I had a pregnant sheep, I was still working. About noon the phone rings and the husband says, "There is a tiny baby sheep in the yard and the mtoehr has something hanging out of her butt. Come home now!"

September 29, 2012 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

It's actually only 7 months from Feb-Sept. I'm surprised she dried up so early, unless perhaps you weren't squeezing out every last drop at each milking (one of mine WON'T give me every last drop, the brat). Does are typically dried off 2 months before kidding to give them a chance to "reboot". IF your girls cycle in spring, you have the option of breeding one in the fall and one in the spring for a more constant supply of milk all year long. That's what I'm going to try to do with my Nigerians...2 in fall, 2 in spring. I don't think I could handle 4 rounds of birthings all at once...it's stressful!

September 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Ruth Dixon said...

We got told when we did our first pig to raise two at the same timeif we could. That's what we've done ever since. Two will compete to eat, while just one will stop when it gets full, so they grow faster with a buddy.

September 29, 2012 at 10:59 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

It's more like 9 months, beginning of Feb to (nearly) the beginning of October, but she dried off because she did. All of her gals pals down at Common Sense are on the same sched and dried off as well. Not sure what else to tell ya!

September 30, 2012 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Sheep will be bred too, later this winter!

September 30, 2012 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger rabbit said...

I'd love to be close enough to do potlucks, fall fairs, snowshoe hikes, spring in her glory, and Sir Autumn in his grandeur in sync with CAF! I'm still working on Riley as the bottom line is job security! lol.... Hopefully someday-Veryork feels so similar to where we are now :)

September 30, 2012 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Marci said...

I know it is different with each animal. We always dried ours off 2 months before kidding, even if they were in milk over a year. They did fine.

September 30, 2012 at 8:04 PM  

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