Monday, May 14, 2012


Oh my goodness...all this change. My last post was just one week ago, it's hard to believe. On Wednesday, I went to pick up the Angora Goats, Itty and Frankie from Spruce Hill Fiber Farm. The farm is wonderful. Will and Lisa are sweet friends and have been a huge part of our farm - they are where we got Josie and Blossom, our alpacas. While I was there, their last doe decided that it was time for her to give birth! She gave birth to a single, tiny, little white baby. UNBELIEVABLE! I was there to watch her find a spot off in the corner of the barn, away from the rest of the herd. I was there to see her lay down and watch the baby's nose come out, and then head with her floppy ears, and with a couple more pushes, the baby was out! That was an experience that I had never had before and I am honored that Mama decided to share that wonderful experience with me. I got Frankie and Itty home without too much stress - it was a long drive for them and I understand how they were a little stressed out. Once they got home, we got them settled into the existing alpaca/Ollie (our Great Pyrenees) smaller barn (since the big barn isn't quite ready yet). Everyone was getting along famously.
On Friday, I drove about an hour from here to pick up our two dairy goats, Alpines, Mabel and Flora. Mabel is our milker and Flora is just a little one. We are planning on switching back and forth with our breedings, so we can have a constant supply of milk. Friday night was our first milking. That poor Momma was probably wondering what she got herself into. Between my novice hands (prior to this, I had only squirted milk from a goat at a farm Mark worked at...and it was not a full milking...literally just a few squirts) and she being new to us and the fact that we hadn't had a chance to build our milking stand and had to rely on Mark holding her head while I literally took us and hour and a half or so to empty her. Now that I've done this a couple days, I don't even know that she was completely empty that first night. Saturday was much about 1/2 hour each milking (twice per day). Sunday, Mother's Day, we spent building a milking stand which made life SO much better. SO MUCH BETTER. She's a stubborn goat, when it comes to being lead to the stand, but once she's in, she just eats as I milk and she's a good, good girl.
We made the decision to get a milk goat (ok, two milk goats) so that we could make cheese and soap etc. but we weren't even sure how we felt about drinking raw goats milk. Would it be different from the cow's milk we've been drinking? Would it taste "goaty"? What does that even mean? LOL On Friday night, we decided to make a batch of cookies and have cookies with a cold glass of goat milk to try it out. UM...IT.IS.DELICIOUS! It tastes JUST like vitamin D/whole cow's milk. It takes a second to get over the fact that it came from that {kinda stinky} goat in our backyard, but once you get past that...YUM!
This morning, I did the entire feeding of all the animals and milked Mabel (I milked her dry in 15 minutes!) and it was successful, tiring, but successful. It will be nice when everyone is moved into the new barn. The alpacas are in there now...that's a long story for another post...but they are settled in there, still waiting on Blossom's baby. But once everyone is moved, it will be easier to get in and out and feedings separated etc. Hopefully that will be soon.
At this point, I would be happy to switch completely to goat milk. I am thankful to the milking goat for giving me and my family such delicious and nutritious milk. It's a great experience for my children too.
Today...I am just thankful.

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