Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Goat milking, babies and spring pen cleaning.

We have had 9 babies goats and Mokie has had 3, I have one little doe left to have babies, probably the first week in May. They are growing fast, nice and stocky, I love my dairy goats but I don't like that the bucks that we make into withers are a thin little meat animal. My philosophy on this is that if I breed half dairy half Boer or full Boer females and keep them as my main breeders I will have the best of both worlds, good milking does and when bred I get 3/4 or more Boer babies for the meat. I have almost reached that goal in my breeding. Only one of the 9 babies I bred, this year, are full dairy, I have sold two of the bucklings, have interest in the does I want to sell, and I will have one full Boer buck to wither for my first meat animal that is full Boer from my herd. I actually can't wait to see how much different the meat harvest will be.

We will finally be butchering the 5/8 Boer and 3/8 Boer withers today and I will grind the meat tomorrow. I am told the flavor of the meat is a bit different than dairy goat, it is supposed to be more veal like, we will see if that holds true. We are currently milking two does that are not feeding babies and three that are, we are bottle feeding a bum goat and a bum lamb with some of the milk, so are just starting to get good milk production for the year. I will be making more soap again, as I had been out of frozen milk and I will get to make more cheese. I must admit, that the lazy side of my likes to make the soap better, a lot less work and faster than making cheese. The chef or cook in me can't wait to get in the process of making better cheese. I found this winter, when I cut into my waxed rounds, that due to inexperience, I had over pressed my cheeses. They have great flavor but are dry.  I can't wait to make new rounds. I will be making feta first, I do still have some feta in brine from last summer that is nicely aged and wonderful. I am also planning on making more common goat cheese and mixing in herbs. I do like the ricotta as well, for having on hand for cooking, and as it is free for the taking from left over whey, it is a bonus, it just takes a little extra effort to get. I am so excited to get started on the new milk crop.

I have decided that since this blog is mostly for my children and grandchildren, as a legacy so to speak, I am gone to start including memories of a the wonderful women that taught me to cook and include the recipes with the memories. I just have to sort out the family recipes I am going to include, the memory, if there is a specific one that goes with the recipe, and blog them in. I promise not to do it daily more like a nice salt and pepper or spice flavoring to my blog. Tomorrow I am going to start with one of my grandma, Gladys's, recipes.

The goaties seem to be glad to play on the pile of manure and hay straw that Poppie has plowed up in their pen. It is almost like he made them their own personal play ground. He will be covering it with black plastic to heat up the process so it will be future compost for our garden. We will end up with a second pile in the withers pen but won't have any withers to put into it until the kids are weaned and transferred over there. I do so love the spring when the weather starts to allow for more outdoor time, the land seems to call for me to come out and enjoy the work in getting it ready for planting and playing on the clean raked lawn. I hope that our weather lets me play outside today, if not my house needs come spring cleaning as well.... tomorrow.

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