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  • Writer's pictureReyna Bradford

Goat Notes for 2022 (written 5/1/22)

April was basically a blur. My busiest time of the year, come and gone. Six does freshened, eleven babies, with a tally of six boys and five girls.

Now that the headlong rush has settled in to more of a steady trot, I thought I'd share some of the ups and downs of the last few weeks. Here are this year's goat notes:

The Milkers

Because six does had kids this year, I started out milking six. But now I'm down to just milking four. I'll probably keep it that way through the summer and into the fall.

The girls in my string this year are Mogen, Poplin, Ashlar, and Novel.

They are all at least second fresheners, which means they've had kids at least twice, and are familiar with the milking routine. Easier for all of us!

Biggest Milker: Novel. She has always been productive, but this year as a third freshener, she has really stepped up and is giving more than a gallon a day.

Biggest Success: Poplin, who refused to even get pregnant last time around, but this spring gave me two gorgeous baby girls.

Biggest Baby: Spruce. You guessed it, one of those beautiful doe kids out of Poplin. She is enormous. At six or seven weeks old, her head comes up to the bottom of my hip pocket. I'm definitely keeping this

one, and even have fleeting daydreams of taking her to the State Fair in the fall.

Biggest Disappointment: Sherry. Two years ago, I purchased her to add the extremely prestigious herd name of Blissberry to my little dairy operation. (See my blog post about this: Sherry & Cognac from May of 2020) She's very pretty and very uniquely colored. She has a show quality udder and enough champion genetics in her pedigree to light up a large city.

But she does not have milk.

Even this year as a third freshener, she only produced about half a gallon per day. A three-year-old with her bloodlines should be giving at least double that, and possibly even triple. Very reluctantly, I have made the decision to sell her. I had hoped for so much better from this girl. But being a small farm, I have to keep only what I can justify as the best.

Biggest Talker: Cedar. This is Poplin's other daughter, Spruce's sister, and my goodness, does she have a set of pipes on her. All Nubians can be loud. Cedar is louder, loudest, and then some. Not only

can she holler, but she has this particular note she hits, about two octaves up the scale from normal, which she knows how to use with ear-piercing effect. I mean, it will curl your hair!

Special Trick: Spruce. I've never known a kid to walk along with me on her hind legs before, but Spruce can do it. She usually waits until my back is turned and I'm walking away. Then she hops up, slaps her front feet down on my lower back, and walks right along behind me as I maneuver across the corral. I try not to encourage this, but it is rather ingenious.

Most Stubborn: Rowan. This is Sherry's daughter, a cute little black-and-white baby who absolutely, positively refused to take the bottle for the first three feedings. Most baby goats are super easy to start on the bottle, but not this little cuss. I actually had to resort to pinning her between my knees, prying open her mouth with one hand to pop in the hated rubber nipple, and squeezing the bottle with

the other hand until she finally got a clue. Whew, she made me work for it! But now she is one of the resident goats in pigs' clothing who practically inhales the bottle twice a day.

Darn the Luck: Ashlar. Last year she gave me a set of twins -- a black boy with white spots, and a brown girl with white spots. Spots are all the rage in Nubians right now, and so, hoping for more magic and some eager buyers, I repeated the same breeding and got Ashlar and Cognac together again last fall.

Um, wrong. There were no spots. There were no girls. There weren't even twins. She "blessed" me with a single, brown boy. Ridiculous!

And that's a wrap. Now you know what I've been doing and who I've been doing it with. They get my goat every time.

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