Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Alpine Goats’

It’s been 6 weeks since I last updated this space. Had you given up on me? I hope not, but I certainly wouldn’t blame you. We have been buried in work; farm work, house work, work work. So I’m stealing a moment for a quick update. 

First thing I notice is some changes in wordpress.  I guess I have to figure out how to use this site all over again.  Lovely.

Since I last wrote, we’ve moved house, more or less.  We still own our other place and there is still stuff in it, but we’re not there.  We have downsized house to upsize land.  We’ve gone from 4000 square feet of living space to something like 1200 square feet. It’s….cozy!  Actually, we like it. The utility bills alone have been cut in half.  Somebody give me a witness! Amen.

The goats, donkeys, mules and turkeys are all at the new place.  We have about 4 acres of goat pastures in our front yard, divided into 4 paddocks. We have some more out the back.  We can sit on our front deck and watch the goaties graze and enjoy the autumn evenings.  It’s rather peaceful.

Speaking of the goats, fall is breeding season.  Normally the 4 paddocks would be used for rotational grazing, but this time of year, each of our three bucks is assigned to a paddock and the does we want him to breed are in with him.  The 4th pasture is for wethers and girls we don’t want bred.

It’s a perfect plan….except someone forgot to tell the goats.  It seems that doe goats have preferences.  We woke up earlier this week do discover a fruit basket upset.  Several of the girls managed to get gates open and make their way into another pasture to cavort with a buck other than the one with whom they were assigned.  The boys have all stayed put, happy to welcome the new visitors.

We will have to keep pretty close records this year.  I know we will have one Kiko/Alpine cross. We had planned for our Alpine buck to cover three of the 4 Alpines while our Kiko/Boer buck would cover the 4th.  One of the Alpine girls, however, apparently has an eye for Achilles, our big Kiko boy.  This is not a bad cross and should provide some nice meaty offspring to take to market or put in our own freezer. We had hoped, though, to have Alpines to register. Oh well.

We will have a few other surprises, but fortunately, our Kiko girls stayed put and our Nubians have remained safely we left them.  They probably won’t come into season until December or January, anyway.

I must admit, having three rutting billy goats in the front yard is a smelly proposition. They reek, and will continue to do so until the last of the girls has been bred. 

One other quick update regarding our aquaponics systems.  I had a heart stopping experience with them this week.  The fish, you see, are still at the old house.  The veggies are done for the year, but the systems are still operating as filtration units.  I check on them daily and feed the fish morning and evening.

Earlier this week, I skipped a night because of heavy rains.  I didn’t make it back until lunch time the next day.  When I arrived, I noticed there had been a power outage.  It didn’t seem to be a big deal because the big system in the garage was working fine and all the freezers were operational, as well. 

When I opened the basement door to check on my three tanks down there, though, I was greeted by darkness and silence. A breaker had blown, due to a bad plug (caused by the storm? Maybe lightening?) and there was no power to the fish tanks.  Danger. Danger. Danger.

I switched the breaker to a new one, but still no luck. That’s when I realized there was a bad outlet in the circuit, but it’s trapped behind the wall of fish tanks.  The fish were in obvious distress due to lack of oxygen and filtration.  All I could do was drain the tanks, remove the fish and add them to the garage unit.  It’s been 4 days and so far there have been no deaths from ammonia poisoning or shock from being plopped in a new environment.  And they all seem to be eating.  The tank is a bit over crowded, but not badly and about a third of the fish are small.  Still, I need to get one of my IBC totes operational and get them moved into it.

Once upon a time, I had two tanks of Tilapia, one of bluegill and one of bluegill and Catfish.  Now I have one tank with all of the above.  All I need are some largemouth bass, and I will have replicated a Florida fishing lake.

That, dear reader, is the latest on the life, loves and drama that make up our regular routine here in the ‘burb’. Your life feels calmer already, now doesn’t it?  Glad I could help.

 

Read Full Post »

Somebody has to do it.  We needed to test our goat’s milk products on real live humans, so Brittan and I decided the only right thing to do was become our own first test subjects.  I know, we’re givers, always willing to take one for the team.

Here’s the verdict so far.

1. Goat’s milk – it has been excellent.  We are milking Alpine goats and they have very sweet milk.  We (we means 99.9% Brittan) milk in the open air and our billy goat is on the other side of the farm, so we don’t get any ‘goatiness’ in our milk.  It makes especially good chocolate milk.

2. Custard – Yum.  Fresh eggs from our hens, fresh milk from our goats.  It’s rockin’.

3. Cheese – Oh my gosh it’s yuck.  Terrible.  Awful.  Horrible.  Miserable.  The caprine fatty acids bring out the goaty taste that I hate so much.  Some people like it.  We are not ‘some people’.

4. Ice Cream – it is as good as the cheese is bad.  Technically, Brittan made frozen custard, but let’s not quibble.  It is like eggnog ice cream.  Sorry, we didn’t leave any leftovers, so you can’t have any.

Tomorrow we will sample our Feta cheese.  I hope it tastes better than the hard cheese.  Later, we’ll make some mozzarella.  I’ve hear that goat’s milk mozzarella is not bad.

Brittan got some yogurt culture today, so I am pretty sure that goat’s milk yogurt is in my future.  I know this is all a sacrifice, but I will give it my all.

We hope to have some milk available soon.  For pet consumption, of course.

 

Read Full Post »

Apologies to Ms. Katy Perry.

B and I are just about to have the first taste of our goat’s milk.  While it finishes chilling, I’m going to post a few pics.

I took a turn milking this morning.  I was awkward and bumbling, like I am at most things, but I got the job done.  Fortunately, our goats are patient(ish) and it helps that they know what they’re doing even if I don’t.

Brittan did most of the work while I snapped photos and fed some of the other animals.  We got a half gallon and a pint this a.m.  I suspect we’ll get more as we get more thorough.

East of Eden Farms Dairy is now operational. 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

They’re here!  Our Alpines arrived today.  Brittan milked them for the first time tonight.  We have three does and a buckling.  Two of the does are in milk.  We’ll spend the next two or three weeks learning the ropes, then we’ll start making products available.  Keep in mind that raw milk is only available in the USA as pet quality.  Politics.  Bah! Humbug.

Please stay tuned for availability.  Quantities will be limited.  Cheese prices will be determined based on the type of cheese.  Milk, when available, will be $5 for a half a gallon, or $2.75 for a quart.

I grabbed some snapshots of Brittan with the goats, but I left my camera in the truck.  I’ll post them tomorrow or Tuesday.

Read Full Post »