Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Kids on the Block

I've been wanting a couple kids up the generational ladder to cross with my herd so I could more easily improve the ears. (Gosh, why keep trying to reinvent the wheel, when others have already paved the way!) I also wanted to improve the milking capacity of my does. My herd tends more toward the minimum height requirement than the maximum, and as such I've been getting yields that are more like ND than Nubian (more about my self conducted milking trials in another post). I feel incredibly fortunately to have found these beautiful kiddos. I bought them from Eddy's Place in Jefferson, Texas. (http://eddysgoatplace.com/default.aspx) Eddy's animals looked to be somewhat taller than mine, so I think it will be a good cross. Shame on me, I brought the kids home as bottle babies. I did so mostly because my life is so busy, and I thought it better to get them while I was there, than to try to make it back in May. I also have a ton of goat milk in the freezer that needs to be used up! (Also some canned milk - If you've thought about trying to can milk, forget it; it's very nasty.)

Nosey is a 5th generation buckling - check out the ears!! His dad was Hershey so I tried coming up with a name off Hershey like Reese, but as I got to know him more I realized, Nosey fits. He took to the bottle real easily and comes flying out the gate every time I open it and dives at my feet.


This little doeling is 4th generation. More great ears - this is the kind I've been pining for - no control at all! She was named Blackberry, but I changed it as we have enough berries in our herd! Her mother is Black Beauty so I decided to call her Merrylegs and start a line of goats named after famous horses. Merrylegs has been slower to warm up to bottlefeeding. She wanted to fill up on grass instead of milk, and so has had to do the rounds of Probios. But she seems to have decided I'm not so bad and is coming to me now for her bottles.

Lord willing, I think 2011 will be a good year for the MiniNubian herd! If I could just get some does! (It's just not possible to always have bucks - is it?)

7 comments:

Linda said...

How cute are they? Now these are Mini Nubians? I'm wanting the lower end with short legs... not sure if that is what I will get, but I guess we will see!

You said your does give about as much as a ND - how much do they actually give?

Mama Mercer said...

Yeah, these are 4th and 5th generation mini-nubians - my herd is 1st and 2nd generation. I like them short too, but I don't have anything like the udders I was seeing on Eddy's does. I'm going to go into a more detailed post about milking my does - but best estimate (I'm just pulling them from their kids for 6 hours or so), it seems like the 3 minis I've got in milk are giving about a quart a day, which is what I've heard is average for NDs. Do you find that to be true of your NDs? I haven't milked my own! I would like to see my minis making 2 quarts a day. I don't care about having a ton of milk, but it's hard for me to get jazzed about milk out a pint at a time.

I got the Henry Milker BTW - it's working out great, excellent for training the goats that have never been milked. You still have to pump and pump on it though. It's not like just opening a tap and it flows into your jar.

I was reading your info on Copper - that's interesting. I've seen the brown on my black goats before. I just thought it was sun bleaching. In fact I noticed a little on my new doeling tonight. She needed a worming when I got her...

Linda said...

As a first freshener Cali gave me about 20 oz morning and night. There were a few times that I got a lot more than that. Once I got 52 oz! From what I understand that is really good for a first freshener ND! I am hoping to get a full 2 quarts a day this time around. A friend who keeps ND's said with Cali's record, she could be a 3 quart a day milker! I think that would be pushing it, but we will see. I am quit anxious to see how she does this time.

Linda said...

Oh you did get the Henry Milker? Kewl! Perhaps you will make a post and tell how it works???? Please, oh please (see now ya have me begging! lol). I tried mine just very briefly and all I got was drops... but then it wasn't a good trial either.

Linda said...

Oh and that 52 oz was for the day, not at one milking - thought I would explain that... lol

Mama Mercer said...

Yes, I'll make a post on the Henry Milker - it's a super easy design. I just wanted the convenience of buying the thing and not having to fool with it. I'll take pictures. The worst part of the design is the use of the canning jar - I'm so afraid the goats are going to break it, since I'm having to train them.

Gosh, now I'm curious what my NDs do. I feel rather confident they aren't making 2 quarts... Do you start milking right away? I always leave them with the kids for a few weeks, and then I feel like sometimes the lactation settles lower than where it started by the time I start milking.

Thing is I have plenty of milk for my family, so I don't get too antsy about making more milk. But I want to make sure I'm producing a good milking line, and not just pretty pet goats.

Goodness, better get to bed. I get so into the goats in the spring!

Linda said...

Thanks for posting about the milker!

I wait for two weeks and then separate the kids at night, then milk first thing in the morning before I let them run with mom the rest of the day. I wean at 8 weeks. Last time though I couldn't keep my doeling separated so she nursed until about 4 or 5 months when the Buck got in with Cali and breed her... bummer! So I didn't get to see how she would do on a longer lactation. I have only milked the one so far. Her daughter will freshen in June... I am anxious to see how she will do also!

Now I too am off to bed...