Thursday, May 13, 2010

Update or Catch Up

Update or Catch Up? I would guess this is both! So much has been going on that I'm "whipped"!

I'm now milking 5 does by hand. Due to Danika and Raquel being first fresheners, it's taking a LOT of time. And I DO mean a LOT! I want these does to be the kind one can just tie and milk, no drama, no hassle, etc. How I handle them now is setting them up for their milking behavior for a long time. Both will be sold and hopefully their new owners will continue the "program" and not untrain them! Danika is catching on to this FAST and is such a sweetie! Raquel is a theatrical drama queen and a rodeo bronc! I am LAVISH with the treats, rubbings, and giving them the time needed. I've gone from 45 minutes in the evening to 2 1/2 - 3 hours! That's time feeding goats and chickens for the evening, collecting any more eggs, bottle feeding 4 kids, and milking. (Summer only takes a second to give her a sour cream container of food morning and evening as she has pasture but expects to get fed with the goats! Silly horse but she's a dear.)

Raquel is improving every milking but oh so slowly! She's getting right on the stand and her head locked into the head gate (which she ripped off the stand and clunked me in the back of the head with). She's standing there to get started eating and then I pet and praise her, give her a treat, and then sit and pet her an talk with her a minute. When she ripped the head gate off, she fell off the stand and bruised her udder. Now she's milking bloody milk on that side of her udder. She has a NICE BIG udder and wonderful teats and orifices. She's now being MUCH better and not bucking with milking the not-sore-side (left) of her udder but she's "going rodeo" with the bruised side. She's VERY easy to milk if she'd just stand still. It has to be milked out so she doesn't get scar tissue and mastitis. Anyway, after she's milked (hobbled too) I am leaving her to stand on the milk stand and to chill out. I then milk her momma right next to her just tied and standing on the ground so she is watching a good milker stand right. It also gives her herd security that she's not alone. She can also see her pen mates on her other side as it's a half wall and wire for the top half. What a challenge this has been! But progress is being made and that's my clue that things are going in the right direction!

Now I have to put a price on them and I'm not sure what to put! I need to decide an individual price for each but also a "2 for" price. They are twins and very bonded. They'd be much happier to go together to a new home. I'm also considering offer a free stud service for them if the new owners will supply the feed for them while here for breeding. I'm seeing some prices locally but they seem to be one extreme or the other. I also have a lot invested in these 3 yearling does ($ and time). I needed to see what their dams were producing though so needed to grow out a few of their offspring to see what I need to most work on in breeding improvements. We can't really improve upon them a lot if we don't know what they produce so we know what genes need to come in to cross on them! I now have a very good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of both senior does. Kids are always adorable and cute but one can't know their true mettle if one doesn't raise them up to freshening and milk them a while!

I was suppose to be going to pick up an incubator tonight and haven't heard back from the gal. I sure hope she's not changed her mind or something as I really am hoping to get it. I hope tomorrow will work for her.

I have some running around to do tomorrow to get prescriptions and such which means a trip to the "big city" and 40 miles. Then Saturday I have a "date" to pick up a new rooster and need to be back to watch the Preakness! I'm worn out but have to get things done. We had a funeral for the dearest aunt one could hope to have this week so the emotional loss adds to one's running out of steam.

I did get some garden seeding done in the last week also. I have plenty more to do but it's a start. I got my grapevine clippings and have them in water rooting. I'm ready to get them planted too if I can get enough time. I've finally decided on the place which was quite a decision being I sometimes like to leave a couple goats loose and don't want them to "find" the grape vines!

And I need to get some mowing done - BADLY! Even that has an order to make things easier! For one I need to put Summer (horse) in the dog yard for a couple hours as there is some luscious grass there she's wanting. Then I need to take a shovel out and stab a few burdock plants and then I can mow it. Life on a homestead is often like a puzzle. The border needs done first so one can start putting the pieces where they go methodically!

Yesterday (12th) was Miss Molly Ta Mollie's 10th birthday! Molly is my black tri female Corgi. I LOVE this little dog! She's feeling her age unfortunately and having some age issues. I had a litter of pups from her several years ago and then found she has some genetics starting to show up that I won't breed so we've not had any more little Molly's. Bummer but the only ethical thing for me to do.

It seems my work is never done! So much work - so little time!


  1. build a chicken coop with these awesome plans...

    It shows you how to make a chicken coop at a great cost.

  2. I appreciated this post because I'm thinking it may be likely that my dairy doe will be a young one who's not been bred yet. Even though that's down the road yet, I still wonder about the best way to teach a young doe to accept being milked. Those first experiences can make it or break it.

  3. I trim on the milkstand too so they are use to being on it and nothing bad happens to them there. They get fed to trim the same as if they are being milked. I don't have anyone around when milking so it's just them with me. That way they can focus and pay attention to me without another human distracting them.

    I'm glad that helped!