Tag Archives: Home Dairy

Own your own dairy goat herd!!! *Update*

*The good news is all of the girls are sold (pending pickup in a couple of cases), the other good news is that we will have more to sell next year!!! We do still have a Hopps the buck, and one of the weathers avalable*

It’s never easy to say good by, but if we don’t we are going to end up being eaten off our land.  We are excited to see these girls go to good homes, and hope to hear back on how well they milk for you!  I’m no Dairy Goat judge, so I’m not going to wax poetic about their lines or dairy character (too much) come out and see them for yourself!!  All our goats are bottle raised, disbudded, and given CDT and booster.  Other than that, they are fed organic feed and hay, and we only medicate if they are sick, or show an intolerable parasite level in their fecal samples.

We have a one year old Buck for sale, “Adalyn Farm’s Hopps”.  He’s a sweet fella, but not one we can use for breeding (because of his relationship to our other girls).  He’s been on pasture, and is probably a bit on the “well fed” side of life.  He is registered, Sire is here, Dam is here.  We are asking $250.

** Picture to follow **

Next we have Yonkers (we call her Ruth) info here.  She wasn’t in shape to freshen for us this fall, but she is ready now, and should do well for you!  We purchased her in a group from a goat dairy herd on one of the San Juan Islands, she is unbelievably friendly, and eats anything!  Asking $125. SOLD PENDING PICKUP

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Goldie aka Goldielocks or “The Tank” has a great personality, her info is here.  She was a first freshener for us, and has been giving a steady 4# per day.  She threw a beautiful doeling, and came from the same great Whidbey Island goat dairy.  You need to be careful, if she likes you, she’ll climb in the car before you leave.  Asking $175 in milk. SOLD PENDING PICKUP

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“Adalyn Farm’s Orchid” is one of our babies from this year.  She is out of “Marbles” one of our best behaved milkers.  She is a sweetheart, and had beautiful lines.  $175 or $200 registered.  SOLD PENDING PICKUP AFTER WEANING

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We also have several weathers for sale.  We are careful with them, as we don’t want someone to buy them to steak out on brush (we call goats staked out meat on a rope, because they have no protection from predators).  We would rather they be sold for meat than end up neglected in a back pasture for the 10-15 years that they can live.  It can be helpful to have a weather in a heard of does, as they will often let you know when one of the does is in season, or for folks who only want one or two milk does, they can be a good friend and heard mate for the doe.  On the concept of meat, if you are interested, we require that you use Del Fox to  butcher the goat.  That way we know they have had a fun, relaxed life, right up till the last second.  And Del Fox does a great job on farm butchering (they do all our pigs and beef).

Want to know more?  Shoot us an e-mail farmers (at) adalynfarm.com or give us a call on the farm phone 36zero 474 742Seven.

 

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Pigs. The new bacon. (with video)

We have wanted pigs for at least four years. Two years ago, we could see how it would make sense, to have a couple of milk goats, and feed the extra milk to a pig (not to mention all the scrap veggies).  Last year farmer Adam was the one who shot it down, given that we only had one doe in milk and we weren’t sure how she was going to hold up. The economics make sense, even if we were to raise the pig on all store bought feed, but that’s not what we like to do (grow critters out on nothing but store bought feed that is…).
This year we have three does in milk, and all the cheese making in the world isn’t keeping up. So last week, after checking with a few folks who had mentioned that they might be interested, we bought two pigs. And we love them. They aren’t so sure about us though.

I’m fact, it was a little touch and go for a few minutes.  Farming is about learning, we we do a lot of that.  They ended up spending a few days in a more pig proof pen while they learned about hot wires.  It’s all good now, and they both know people often mean food, sometimes even marshmallows.

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Too distracted by their new dirt to bother with the guy scratching their backs.

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First time with dirt under their feet!

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Thanks for the tasty food!

I don’t know what posses me to talk baby talk to animals.  It’s kind of creepy.

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Food. (what goes in, comes out, and gets eaten)

Food.  It’s what builds everything.  Plants, animals, fungi, even those little things swimming in the bottom of puddles we can’t see without a microscope. Like one of our favorite suppliers says, ‘you are what you eat’, and for us that extends to our animals. As a family, we have made some big changes to allow us to eat about 90% organically. There are a few treats, a tiny bit of dining out, and one or two quick meals that we are loath to give up, but in truth, 7 days a week we are scratch cooking out meals. Our meals come mostly from either our farm, or another in the area. It occurred to us several years ago that spending money on organic food, but feeding conventionally grown feed to the animals that make things we eat (milk, meat and eggs) was silly. Then we got to thinking about the few animals we don’t eat (pet bunnies, llama….) but who’s poop amends our garden, that grows food we eat… There is a point where this gets a bit crazy, as for us animal health trumps our desire to live ‘chemical free’. We will administer antibiotics to sick animals. Just like we do to ourselves and our kids. Cause we love them all.

So, on this vein, we have tried lots of different feeds in our animals. Our chickens get organic pellets, and scratch grain. Our other poultry also gets similar treatment. Last year our goats were a bit of a challenge. We had access to pelleted organic goat feed for a while, but then it’s availability became iffy. We ended up getting organic grain from a mill up in Burlington, which was cool, only that the milk goat was not fond of it. In fact, she didn’t like it. We tried mixing some watered down molasses, and that worked for a time, but in the end the go-to amendment for her feed was alfalfa pellets. We ended up getting Standlee alfalfa pellets (similar to alfalfa hay, but easier for us to handle), which are non-GMO (big plus) but were not certified organic. And that’s about the only rub with it. This year we picked up a bag of the alfalfa pellets just in case we ran into picky girls (we have three in milk this year, not just the one). We also were able to get reliable organic goat pellets. One of the girls isn’t a fan, but with a couple handfuls of the alfalfa she will suck it down (if their beet pulp was organic, we’d give that a shot, it would probably work better too). In fact, her milk production went up by about 10% when she started getting the pellets, so we added them to our older girls ration (we have to watch her as she puts all she has into her milk). We are happy with the results, but again, not knowing all that goes into it, once we don’t need the milk for the baby goats, we may drop it from their ration and take the cut in milk production that will follow. We also started adding a small handful of BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds) to each goats ration, and they act like we tossed candy on their plate, but it’s also non-GMO but not organic…. We’ll see how this all works out.

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Handful of food/milk/meat

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Firgus. Or, the stinky boy…

Here he is. Although you will probably smell him before you see him. Intact male goats are a bit stinky. Or a lot. But then you would be too, if you peed all over yourself. They also have a stronger ‘goaty’ smell, in part from the pheromones that help will all those non-verbal communications that help them figure out the ‘who, when and where’ of becoming a daddy goat.

I had sworn that we would never have a buck on our property.  They do smell, and badly.  However the prospect of hauling three does around the state, trying to catch the two or three day window of them being ‘open’ was not appealing.  Especially as that would have fallen to Farmer J.  With her two little ‘helpers’….  Not going to happen.

So we went shopping, and found Cuipu (the name he came with) down in Auburn.  He comes from RubyStarDairyGoats, from a great line of milkers.  The attempts that our three year old made at pronouncing “Cuipu” on the way home sealed his fate.  A name change was in order, for all our sakes.  Having just watched “Brave” the king Fergus kept coming around as an option…  Sticking with the floral theme, Firgus it was, and he now is.

All sideways

Goats are fun.  And funny.  Especially the little ones.  I think the ears are part of the personality too.  Daisy is as goofy as JarJar Binks, and has the attention span of a 2 year old on a sugar rush.  But I need to be careful, cause I keep thinking ‘she’s acting how I feel’.  She are her ‘sister’ Beauty are growing like a couple of well watered weeds (between the two of them almost 4 quarts a milk a day).  I can’t wait till they are weaned (not that I don’t enjoy being a goat jungle gym at 5:30 am during feeding time) as I have cheese, yogert and other goodies finally within my grasp.  Almost.

For now, I get to enjoy the kind of acrobatics that only a long legged, hyper active two month old goat can provide…

   
And then there is our little ‘Beauty’ practicing for this summer with her proud owner.

More to come….

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The New Flower!

It really does take a village.  At least for this idiot it takes a village…

It’s normally a challenge for me to get anywhere on time, and as soon as I saw the goat yard last Friday the 27th I knew I was going to be late to work.  Normally when there is a light mist coming down everyone waits till they are really hungry to venture out of the loafing shed.  Until about two weeks ago, when I started dragging them out to pasture during the days.  The winter yard still had green grass, but they were more than keeping up with it’s growth, and we have other places where the grass is almost knee deep.  Also, I wanted to rest the winter yard as much as I could, for several non-obvious reasons.

So around the corner of the shed I came and looked inside.  There was Elouise, our newest Nubian with a little bably.  I don’t have much of a birth story, as the baby was mostly dry, and Elli was passing the afterbirth as I peeked in.  Literally, just as I was getting my eyes adjusted to slightly dimmer interior.  Good morning, did you have a healthy breakfast?  I talked to Elli for a minuite, and the baby was stumbling around like a drunken sailor.  I called farmer J on the phone…  “morning hon”  “what’s wrong?” “nothing, I just wondered if you would like to come out and meet our newest goat?.  Hello?  Are you there?” it was early enough that she didn’t quite have the hard drive spooled up and it was a funny second or two, before she allowed how she might just wonder out and meet her.  I had no idea that you could tuck a night gown into pants and pull on boots that fast.  Probably cause I’m a guy.

I had picked up the baby by the time farmer J came out, and the baby still had no idea who momma was, or what to do to take care of this hungry thing she had going on.  She was dry though, so I had to think that she might have had a little from momma.  We vacillated on our ‘dairy plan’ which had been to pull the babies, and milk Elli 2x a day.  But there was only one baby (we found out that for the last 5 years she’s thrown triplets).  We finally decided to follow through on our plan, as we wanted as friendly a baby as we could get.  We have a friend who breeds pygoras and bottle feeds the babies, and her goats are so sweet!!!  I milked Elli off (the milk/colostrum was like thin yogurt!!) and baby took about 11 oz.

I helped set up a bedding area for the baby, in the loafing shed where she had goat company, and a heat lamp, and rushed off for work.  Farmer J fed 8oz about 6 hours later, and then when I got home I tryed to milk again.  It had gone so well that morning, she had walked right up on the stanchen.  She hadn’t kicked.  She had been plesent.  Not now.  Have you ever tryed to pull a fire hydrant up a flight of stairs?  I have.  And I won, barely.  And it shamed me.  And I called out to my village.  “help, I’m an idiot, I thought I knew what I was doing, but this is the first time this has happened, please tell me I am at least doing one tiny thing right, cause I know I’m doing the rest wrong”.

And the village was kind.  Our friend Holly, who we have leaned on for Pygora information was quick with some tips on baby care, and suggested we get the baby ‘out of sight, smell and hearing’.  Done, in our barn/pantry/canned food storage area.  She’s protected from the weather, behind the locked door, with a window wide open for fresh air, and a heat lamp at night (cause she is alone).  We are feeding four times a day, and started with 8oz a feeding, and have moved up to 12 following the bottle feeding schedule on www.fiascofarm.com.  Daisy gets to come out and play two or three other times a day in addition to the feeding, and has decided that farmer J is her momma.  We are hoping we can put her back with the herd in another three weeks or so.

Elli had a change of heart as well.  After e-mailing with Emily at http://wildrootshomestead.blogspot.com/ we rigged some hobbles, and I started spending some non-milking time with Elli.  This morning she waked right up onto the stanchion all by herself.  Two days ago I had to pick her up and set her on it, she had kicked the milk bucket four times, the last time putting her foot in the middle of the bucket and then pulling it back, dumping about a quart of milk all over the stanchion.  I could have just about eaten her for dinner.

Although in the future we will probably leave the kids on the momma (ala Molly Nolte) and milk once a day, for now we are glad we went this rout this year.  We are only getting about half a gallon a day (4#) milking two times a day, which the folks we got her from said sounded right for her, given that she only had one kid.  They have a yearling who threw triplets, and they are getting a gallon a milking off of her (ouch!)

So after all that, here is Daisy.  Staying with the flower theme (sort of) we now have the alphabet covered from A to E, and the next goat born here will be a flower or plant starting with F…  That should be interesting.

Here she is in her personal private box stall, and in the (gasp) house for some rainy weather play time!

   

She gets no kisses, hugs or cuddles.  Ok.  Just a few.

  

I told her last night, that God willing she will live with us all her life.  Feed our family and be showered with love.  That we would care for her, and watch out for her well being, not because of what she represents for our family, but because she is simply trusted to us, for her care and nurturing.

(As a side note, I have bottle fed Daisy more in three days than both of my children combined.  After 11:30pm, 5:30 am comes early.)

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Goat milk….

So this really is just another part of the dream coming true.  One of our primary goals in living on, managing and having a farm is to be able to provide the safest, most wholesome, humanly treated, lovingly cared for food we possibly can for our family.  Yes.  We take it seriously.  Well, except for apologizing to each and every carrot we pull out of the ground.  Everything from the economics of getting a chicken from ‘fuzzy’ to freezer, in feed cost and time commitment, to the value we place on knowing how they were treated…

Some of the animals on the farm are more pet the livestock.  Really, until a month ago, the goats fit that bill.  Fiber is fun, but neither Farmer ‘J’ or I knit with any diligence.  Enter Ariosa.  We are ‘borrowing’ her at the moment, and she will return home by the end of July (for fair season).  She is a fiber goat, not a dairy breed, but she does well despite this ‘flaw’.  Our biggest hang up with transitioning from a ‘work for money, buy food’ to ‘spend time, harvest food’ has been the impact on our schedule.  We both grew up in ‘the White Ghetto’, and the flexibility to run here, and there, and back over there again is deeply engrained in our subconscious.  Dairy animals have a way of impacting that.  Even if you leave the kids on mom for a few months, you still have to be there, once a day, at the same time, to milk.  It’s kind of like having another job.  We weren’t sure how well it would work for us, and after several weeks, the novelty has worn off, and really, it’s cool.  We all like the milk (even the baby, who will tell you “No” if you ask her, but at the moment she can only say “No”, unless it’s candy).  We have made some yummy yogurt, and once we’ve gotten back up to a gallon in ‘reserve’ we will run a batch of feta and see how that comes out.

We are only getting a shy half gallon a day, and could use more, but we’ve heard of dairy goats giving up to a gallon per milking..  So we’ll just see what comes.  Next up is saving the $ for a good bottle raised dairy goat.  We’ll get her freshened in the fall and be counting the days till next spring…

Oh, and as far as the raw milk (gasp!) thing goes, read up on it if you want to pick a fight.  I still think what we bring in from the goat yard is safer than the half gallon of organic milk we buy from the store.  I know what the goat is eating, how she’s feeling, how the milk was handled, and soooo much more.  In my mind, pasteurization is a band aid for a lack of trust and faith in our food system (probably well placed).

So here it is.  One half gallon half gone, another one behind, and the morning quart chilling in an ice bath.

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