Category Archives: Uncategorized

Assessing a Goat’s Back-Side Structure

Here is a good article, timely with kidding fast approaching, if not already started for you.  This is an easy to understand article on the importance of good structure for our hard working girls.  Some of you say, “Oh, but I don’t show, so it does not matter.”  Well, yes, in fact, it does matter.  I don’t show either but I learned early on that what makes a good show goat makes a good dairy goat.  We all need good structure, strong, healthy feet & legs, capacious, well-attached udders,  wide, deep rib cages for increased oxygen exchange, strong shoulders for enhanced ambulation, and I do love a beautiful head on a goat.  In my mind, this may translate to strong jaws for lots of hay eating, wide, clear eyes for better vision.  I also happen to enjoy the look of the long, elegant females.  Then we get down to personal preferences, for which the choices are almost limitless.  I just don’t compromise on milk quality and quantity.  It is possible to have degrees of the best in all of them.  Happy Kidding!

http://www.dairygoatjournal.com/issues/89/89-2/understanding_good_rump_structure_in_a_dairy_goat.html

One More Decision Factor…

So, keep these traits in mind as you begin kidding and deciding what to keep as herd replacements.  Also, if you have weak areas, begin looking for bucks who may be able to help “fix” areas.  All good breeders will be able to assist you with these decisions.  This is an excellent time of year to pick your new Jr. Herdsire for next year.

Thanks to Dairy Goat Journal and 3 Eagles Ranch Nubians & Boers for helping me find this!  I love our information sharing out here in cyber world.  I am convinced it makes us all a little bit better.

Thank you for taking the time to read this so we may all “Promote the Goat” for better health & longevity.

Working Women

Pre-Kidding Checklist

Most of you know this stuff.  it is important to remember to do it.

1.  Assess each doe for body condition.  Make corrections if you have time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2ppHAUbLYY&feature=youtu.be

This short video that may help here.

2.  Be sure vaccines/injections/dewormers are up to date. We use CDT and BoSe here.

Assess Often

3.  Be sure hoofs are trimmed.  We do not trim in last month of pregnancy.  But if you have neglected this, do it.  Just be careful! The does get unwieldy on 3 legs.  Be careful. Avoid falls and injuries.

4.  Clip udders and teats as the udders begin filling.  We also do an “OB CLIP” of the tail area to minimize afterbirth goo after delivery.

5.  Be sure your OB supplies are well stocked.  Nothing as frustrating as realizing at 3am you don’t have iodine for navel dipping or long gloves for an assisted delivery.  Get your orders in NOW.

6.  Also remember to have CMPK drench on hand for late-pregnancy, early postpartum needs.

7.  Stock your own freezer with kidding food for yourself.  Fuel for the caregiver is very important.  Those long, cold, miserable nights will go so much better with nutritious ‘home food’.

Food Matters

8.  Rest Up!  You know this won’t last long.

New Year’s Eve 2012

We will be open here at the farm stand on Saturday, December 31st, from 10am-2pm for cheese sales.

Maybe the Snow Geese Will Be Close

If you have special requests it is very helpful if you can call ahead so we can have them ready.  Don’t forget you can also purchase cheeses by the wheel (they range in size from 1 to 5-ish pounds).  Pricers vary depending on type of cheese and how long it is aged (after all a 3 year gouda does have to pay rent!).

Wishing all of you a healthy, safe, cheese filled New Year.  Thank you for your support.

Maybe the “Girls” Will Come Out & Greet You

Wine Wednesday

If you have been following along, you know I had an awesome cheese sampling at Metropolitan Market-Admiral Store last week.  When I go there, I fall in love every time.  The customers, the staff, and then…when I am done working…the STORE!!!  I promise you we have nothing to compare in Skagit County.  So, what is girl to do?  Of course, she must shop the perimeter of the store quickly before the long, dark drive home. And, being the girl she is, and the shopper she is, of course, cheese gets a prominent place in the cart.  In the store, it felt like a “few” interesting choices.  When I got home and spread them out…….they had multiplied.  Not to worry, a cheese girl cannot have too many selections.

Met Market Cheese Delights

The basil leaf topped cheeses are the house made mozarella from them.  I always bring us farm girls home a treat when I can!

So now to get to the selections & pairings for this evening.  The wine chosen is Sharecroppers, from Sunnyside WA.  We have had this wine before and found it pleasant. It is found with our favorite at Slough Food in Edison (and other places to be sure).  The cheeses selected are:

#1  12 Month Raw Manchego   Sheeps’ milk

#2 Rodin  Pasteurized Sheeps’ Milk

#3 Woman of LaMancha Raw Goats’ Milk

The crackers are Gothberg Farms Olive Oil crackers.  The dessert to the left is our Lemon chèvre Cheesecake.  So at this point, I tell Hubby “Dinner is done!”.  He is such a lucky man and doesn’t even realize it!

Cheese #1-Raw Manchego:  This is a delicious cheese.  Sweet, nutty, & mild.  Also a tad on the dry side.  The wine was a bit too tart for this cheese.

Pretty Rind Manchego

Cheese #2 The Mold ripened Pasteurized Sheeps’ milk cheese:  This cheese has a lovely aroma from the rind.  There are numerous eye holes.  It is sweetly pungent.  The wine brings out the full flavor of both the cheese and the wine.  Good choice for pairing.

Cheese #3 The Woman of LaMancha:  The cheese has a closed texture surrounded by a smoked paprika rind.  It is full flavored and quite creamy.  It has a unique tartness that speaks “quality milk”.  It pairs nicely with the wine, not overpowering for either of them.

The Gothberg Farms Olive Oil Crackers were a perfect compliment to all of the cheeses.  They were each sampled alone & then with the crackers.  These crackers have just the perfect crumb & saltiness for all of the selected cheeses.  Each cheese experienced flavor enhancement with the crackers as opposed to just the cheese by itself.  Considerable testing has gone into these crackers to have them deliver just these characteristics(sic).

And then the cheesecake.  Oh YES, the cheesecake.  It was the perfect palate transition.  This cheesecake blends well with all of the selected cheeses.  However, I do recommend finishing off the wine before the cheesecake.  A small snifter of Limoncello is the perfect finish!

Lemon Chèvre Cheesecake

Chèvre Cheesecakes and Goat Cheese Lasagna

Berries NOT Included

We are accepting special orders for our Lemon Chèvre Cheesecakes, Orange-Amaretto Cheesecakes, and our 5 Goat Cheese Lasagna through December 18, 2011.  Call or contact us SOON to get your orders in for pick up before Christmas.

Cheesecake Tartlets

The cheesecakes in come in tartlet or 8 inch sizes.  The lasagna is made to feed about 2, 4, or appx. 10 people sizes.  Requests honored.

Cheese Week December 13, 2011

While the goats are winding down their milk production for the year, we continue with many exciting and fun cheese opportunities.  We are blessed with so many customer partners in the PNW.  Of course our world tends to involve really good food, and that is a good thing.  The last batch of chèvre will go out today for Metropolitan Markets.  This is always a bittersweet kind of milestone each year. We (all of us girls, including the goats) look forward to the change of pace, but long for the days of summer and chèvre.

Cheese Please!

Thursday December 15th, 4-7pm
We will be at Metropolitan Market in Kirkland sampling cheeses to perfectly compliment ANY holiday cheese platter.   There is also a complimentary wine tasting going on at the same time, so come on out and see what treats you can find for your Holiday Cheer.

Saturday December 17th, 10am-3pm
We will be at the final market for the year at the Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm.  Debbie will have an abundant table stocked and ready for your Holiday Cheer needs there as well.

Saturday December 17th, 10am-2pm
We will be here at the Farm Stand with all the great choices as well.  We also have a rather large 4-H group coming at 1:00PM, so you are forewarned.

Simple Pleasures

Goat Stats December 2011

Today is a monumental day on the farm.  As of today, we will only be milking once a day!!!!  WooHoo!!! The goats are ready and Debbie and I are surely happy to oblige.  It is a time for us to get some semblance of ‘normal’ in our lives.  We have learned to enjoy every moment of it, because the new kids begin arriving about Valentine’s Day.  But for now: supper, sleep, dates, appointments, cleaning, barn chores, painting, mending, well you get the idea.

We are finishing up the milking year with some healthy, happy goats.  Keep in mind our goats are LaManchas.  They are a dairy breed.  They are known for their awesome personalities and the sweetest, best milk ever tasted (well, IMHO).  We have been at this just about long enough to see improvements in the herd from year to year.  That said, our foundation stock continue to produce quite well.  Just a few of the stats from our last DHIA test:
Doe              Lactation Number    # Milk    Days In Milk
Topaz                #3                       3440           276
Opal                  #4                       3030           302
Pearl                  #5                       3050           298
Zuppa                #2                       2510           259
Zippy                 #1                       2020           261
Zora                   #2                       2810           299
Ditto                   #5                       4880           610

Ten of the does have Milk Equivalents (ME) over 3000#
One has a ME over 4000#  (That would be Topaz)

And remember, we only milked 20 this year.  Others are ending the year very close and some will easily make this next year.  Sure, we are proud of them.  But more than that, we marvel at them every day.  They graciously give 110% every single day, year after year.  Their milk is like melted ice cream.  They are some of life’s best companions.  They are treated very well, and we genuinely love each of them for who they are.

Cheese Weekend December 3, 2011

The fun just seems to go on and on!  How lucky are we?

Three (yes, 3) great chances to find us this weekend.  We will be at the annual awesome event in Anacortes at Compass Wines from 11am-5pm for the new release of ded. reckoning and the other vintners and fine food folks that will be there.  This is I think our 6th year to do this with them.  It is never disappointing.  Some really nice wine tastings and special pricing all day.

Debbie will again be your host at the Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm.  She will be outside in about the usual space.  Some of you have pre-orders, and she’s on it!  So come on out, don’t make her turn into a cheese-sicle for nothing.

And the Farm Stand is open here at the farm from 10am-2pm.

Whew!  That’s kind of a busy schedule for us for this time of year.  Thank those lovely goat girls for us too will ya?  The first credit goes to them-every time!

Texas Girl Goats

All of our goats are registered with the American Dairy Goat Association.  They are all of the breed LaMancha.  We have been caretakers for these magnificent animals for about 8-9 years now (meaning in the big scheme of goat breeders, we are neophytes).  Every so often I look on the ADGA website and see what stats might be out there on them.  I know in a day to day, week to week, and year to year basis that they are great girls, giving 110% every day of their life, but sometimes I stop to reflect on how they “measure up” to others in the registry.  Now in no way do I mean to imply they are super, above all others, or anything remotely near that.  I have some awesome mentors out there who have forgotten way more than I will ever know.  What I do find, is the girls hold their own.  I am proud of them every day.  When I look them up, I feel a few words of recognition are earned.

Working Moms

Samson

Today is one of those days.

We have 4 does on the Elite Doe list:  Zia, Opal, Topaz, & Victoria.  Elite doe status is awarded to does in the top 5% of their breed category.

Opal & Her Quints

We have 13 (of our 20 milkers) with their Superior Genetics ratings: Joe Zell, Zia, Pearl, Wynona, Ditto, Opal, Zanna, Eliza, Naomi, Topaz, Yasmin, Zuppa, & Victoria.  Superior Genetics is awarded to does in the top 15% of their breed category.

And one of our bucks: Samson has his +*B-also an excellent rating. Samson is not our breeding, so thank you Just As I  Am for him!

This does not just happen.  We participate in DHIA milk test annually and have linear appraisal done on our animals every 2 years.  We are as committed to the quality of our animals as we are to the quality of our cheeses.  It all goes hand in hand.