It has been a busy month so far on our little farm. Most of our does started kidding earlier than we expected and the weather has been unseasonably cold for March in Oklahoma. So that meant a lot of scrambling to get heat lamps put up in the birthing stalls for the new arrivals. So far we have had 16 kids born, 10 boys and 6 girls. All the kids were born healthy with no complications other than the occasional few that need help figuring out how to nurse. We are still waiting on our last one to kid. Jenny is the only boer goat we have and we keep her around with all of our Nubians because she has been a part of our family for so long. She was one of our very first pet goats and is a great mother. This will be her last year to breed. She is just getting up there in age and we don’t want her to have any complications with pregnancy. On a sad note, we lost our best doe this season. She, too, had been with us for many years. Her name was Sally, a large purebred Nubian who was a fantastic milk producer and had a wonderful temperament. We lost her during kidding this season and it was a tough one to handle. We have many of her young offspring in our herd, so hopefully her great genetics and disposition will be with us for years to come. The hazards and heartbreak of having a little hobby farm are many. She will be missed dearly by my wife.
In the past we never disbudded (dehorned) our goats, but we decided it was time to start doing so to make the milking process and everyday life easier. Horned goats are notorious for sticking their heads through the fence and not being able to figure out how to get unstuck! So this year I decided to learn how to disbud. I built a new disbudding box to hold the kids while you perform the disbudding. It’s really a pretty easy process and the kids don’t seem to mind much. A good hot electric dehorning tool is used to burn and cauterize the blood vessels in a circle around the base of the horn bud causing the bud to die and not grow a horn. We do this at a week to 3 weeks old. Just old enough to feel exactly where the bud is. I’m sure the process in not too fun for the kids but within seconds after, they are back with their mommas, nursing and acting as if nothing has happened. Their heads are obviously much tougher that ours! In a week or two and we will be banding our boys and giving everyone their yearly vaccinations. We generally band all the boys and sell them as wethers as soon as they are weaned but this year we had a little buckling that is very handsome so we are considering keeping him intact and using him in a couple years, if he matures nicely.
We have been working feverishly the past couple months preparing for our goat milk soap business to launch! It takes about 6 weeks from when we make a batch of soap for it to cure and be ready for use. I have been trying to make about 60-80 pounds of soap a week to build up a good inventory and Angie has been busy perfecting the web site, pricing and networking with a few local retailers who will be selling our soap! Next week: time to start packing and get ready for launch!
Thank you for visiting our blog and a huge thank you to all our friends and family for your love and support. We are glad you all are excited about our soaps and hope the rest of the world will like them too!
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” Denis Waitley