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  • Writer's pictureReyna Bradford

Independence Day (Written 6/28/20)

Oh, the sweet taste of freedom! Oh, the joy of blessed liberty! Oh, the many sacrifices by which it was attained! This, ladies and gentlemen, is my Independence Day. This was the day on which I gave the very last bottle to the very last and youngest kid of this year.

Whew! I like milking, and I love my kids. But I do not enjoy bottle feeding. It's just one of those things you have to do as an ethical dairy breeder. It allows us to pasteurize the milk in order to prevent disease. It also allows us to control how much milk the kids drink while still saving some for our own use. It makes the babies tame and friendly, which is a definite plus for goats that will become future family milkers. It's just an all-around good thing to do.

But boy, is it a lot of work!

This year, because babies were born in mid-February instead of mid-March, I have been bottle feeding for four and a half very long months.

Cognac, the buckling from Heritage Song, is the youngest of the kids I've been raising, and so he's the last to be weaned. But tomorrow he turns three months old, the magical age at which I can cut off the milk supply and tell him he's a big boy and he's on his own. Nothing but hay and grain from here on out.

And for me, no more bottles to worry about until March of 2021. Let me tell you, freedom is a good, good feeling!

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