Friday, August 5, 2011

Rough Summer

It has been a rough summer here at Still Waters Farm.  Texas is having one of the worst droughts on record with record triple digit temperatures.  We have no pasture left.  All our livestock are on dry lots and are eating hay.  Gracias a Dios!  We have been able to get hay.  I'm hopeful maybe we can have another rye grass pasture this winter, but we'll have to see.  I has been harder to sell surplus kids this year, and I suspect the drought and economy have alot to do with it.  The classifieds are bursting with animals folks are unloading.  I did however manage to sell enough to bankroll the aquistion of 3 new Nigerian Dwarf bucks, and 3 new Nubian does.  I forge ahead!

I've spent alot of time contemplating the direction of my Mini Nubian herd.  I've been considering which goals are vanity goals and which are truly important.  For example, is it really desirable to have goats with high production if they overproduce - that is produce more than a set of kids can use?  Or is it better to have goats that produce less but are lower maintence?  What are these goats to be used for?  What is the market I wish to serve?  What are the needs of the market?  What are my needs?

I've been thinking about:
Numbers, Herd Reduction
Bloodlines
Hardiness
Feed conversion
Housing needs
Nutrition
Conformation
Milk testing
Temperment...

In future weeks, I plan to update the website with our goals or mission statement and updated photographs of the herd.  Breeding season is here, and it is time to decide who to breed to whom.  A breeding plan will also be put up.  Farming is a hopeful occupation, even when things are rough, we continue to believe it will be better next year.

2 comments:

* Crystal * said...

Hi! You have yourself a new blog follower :-)

Love the pictures, the babies are adorable!

I feel your pain on the drought.... I started feeding hay last September & haven't stopped :(

I'm happy I have nothing to market right now .....everyone is feeling the pinch & I see loads of livestock on Craigslist & such.

This drought really got me thinking & I've made some tough choices after accessing my goals & wants.

All of my miniature Alpines are heading out....my mom is buying them & plans to breed mini's....works out great for her as more she's got bloodlines from Arizona & Idaho to add to what she had.

My one cross bred doeling I kept for sentimental reasons is spoken for & leaves after I breed her for freezer kids & I took advantage of the price slump & reserved two beautiful Lamancha does who will be home in September :)

So when all is said & done I'll have an Alpine breeding trio & a Lamancha trio.

I wish you luck with your future breedings & I'll follow your blog to watch how your breeding program progresses.....Plus I just love those Nubian ears on the babies :-)

Angelia Mercer said...

Nice to have you; good luck with your goats!