Monday, February 23, 2009

Meet the Goats!

Meet our new goats, due to arrive here to live with us after our trip to Utah this March. The wether (neutered male goat) is the gold and white with the green halter (behind the roan nubian). The doe is the white one.

They're full brother and sister-- with a nubian sire and a saanen dam. This should make the doe produce a good quantity of good-tasting milk. She's being bred to a Boer buck, which will probably mean that the kids are destined for the freezer. Next year I'll breed her to a Nigerian dwarf and try for some mini-Saabians :).

The wether is to keep her company. Goats do not do well alone. I got him free, so I can't complain :).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What would you do for a glass of Milk?

This is one of those things that I feel passionately about, but have run into that inevitable evil wall of... TIMING.

I've never been able to tolerate cow's milk. In fact, my tolerance of ANYTHING pasteurized seems non-existant, but that's another story. Over time I've realized that I'm BOTH lactose intolerant, AND I have issues with the milk itself... meaning any lactose treatment leaves me with half my symptoms :). Sunny also shows signs of at LEAST half of the problem when he has milk.

On top of that, I have no (bodily) tolerance for legumes or nuts-- they spell migraine to me-- which leaves me with rice milk, which, for whatever reason, causes sugar issues with me.

I can handle some cheese (in moderation), no yogurt, some sour cream (moderation)... BUT the whole problem goes away when the dairy in question comes from a GOAT.

I can eat goat cheese, goat yogurt, and drink goat's milk.

Yeah, but goat's milk costs about $6 a quart.

(See how much stress this is to eat a bowl of cereal?)

Because of my long-term milk issues, I'm usually very calcium deficient. My diet is really restricted already, esp. as I'm expecting again, which means I have food aversions to just about every existing protien out there. But I *crave* milk. You know that moment when you need something creamy and wholesome? I can't do that!

So, I've been doing my homework about owning a goat. We can in this neighborhood, as long as the pen is 20 feet from our house. I've been mostly looking into Nigerian dwarfs, as they are smaller, tend to be mild-mannered, and have sweet milk. They're perfect for a suburban situation. I'd say I'd only want ONE, but have been informed many times that that means a sad goat, so I'd either do two does OR one doe and a wether (neutered male goat) as a companion.

OK, so Hubby's issues were:

1) What do we do with the kids? (Baby goats, not ours)
2) What if we want to do a trip or need to go away?
3) What about when our baby comes?

1) There are two answers to this one: sell, or eat. The university farms allows us the ability to drop off babies and pick of anonymous white-wrapped packages. OR-- selling kids allows us to revamp our initial expense of acquiring the goat (more on that later).

2) Fias Co Farms has a program they follow where the kids have access to the doe through-out the day-- have a slumber party at night-- and then the doe is milked in the mornings... ONLY. Milking once a day is less stressful for sure-- as is not needing to bottle feed the kids. On going out of town, you just leave the kids with mom and, voila, problem solved! Of course, if we sell the kids, we have to milk once a day, still, but that's really not that big of a deal!

3) There are two things about this situation-- if we got a goat in milk NOW, we would want to re-breed her in July or so, so, no milking with the new baby. If we bought a goat and then bred her now, she'd either be due at the same time as me or a few weeks after (depending on timing)-- we'd have the babies exclusively on mom for two weeks, so again, I don't think that's an issue. (AND WHY does everyone give me a hard time about when I have a new baby? I'm not that bad- everyone has give me a bad wrap, people!)

MY concerns, with the above addressed are, namely, disbudding (ICK), and neutering (ICK). I can do it, I've helped before. They're just... not pretty. And I know Hubby won't help, because he's squeemish.

I have a Nigerian Dwarf buck picked out if we needed to breed ourselves.

Which brings us to...

Where is the money for buying coming from?

Well, because this really is this important to me, I'm working out trading some of my craft supplies, like my loom and a dress mannequin I have, or selling them to raise the money. Is this fun? No! Is it worth it, YES!

A lot of fuss over a glass of milk... but... so worth it!