Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Raw Goat Yogurt

That's right. Raw. Made from milk fresh from the udder.
I did some research and am soooo happy with the results! This is the best yogurt I have ever made, probably the best yogurt I have ever tasted! Just as good as the yogurt in Europe, which I thought was divine...

Here's my method:
1. Milk goat
2. Strain milk
3. Put about a quart of still-warm milk into a jar low enough to fit in the Yogotherm
4. Stir in 3-4 spoonfuls (the kind we eat cereal with) of Straus Family Creamery Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt (I buy it at Sprouts or Trader Joe's) then close the jar.
5. Put jar in Yogotherm bucket and add HOT water to surround it.
6. Put the lids on the Yogotherm.
7. Move it to a corner of the counter where it won't be disturbed.
8. Leave it alone for 10 hours

After 10 hours it is so thick and creamy with just that perfect tangy flavor. I don't have to add any thickeners at all. This may be because Princess and Gidget have been lactating for several months so the butterfat content is high enough.


Pumping by hand?

When I first started milking Princess, it was a disaster! She did not want me under there, and would just lay right down on my arms and the milk bucket. NOTHING would convince her to stand up and let me milk! And believe me, I tried everything! We even tried hoisting her up in a sling, but no good. Why bother? Well, my Lucy can only digest the raw goat milk, so if she wants milk, I have to milk...and my only goats in milk right now are Princess and Gidget. That's right, my two wildest goats, lol! Now, Gidget is really, really shy. So shy that after two months of milking, she still runs away from me. But once she's on the stand she is one of the most well-behaved goats I have ever milked! Her udder is nice and smooth and easy to milk. But Princess...what was I going to do? I needed her milk! Suddenly I was hit with a stroke of inspiration. I still have a breast pump (non-electric) which I barely used....would it work with goats? Yes!! It took some fiddling to get it in just the right spot, and definitely needed the extra-suction valve, but once I got going it worked like a charm. Princess stood quietly while I pumped away, she even stopped squatting. It was really slow, only one teat at a time, so it took almost 10 minutes to milk her out, but well worth it. And after about two weeks, we were able to transition to hand milking in to the pail again. She still thinks about laying down on me every now and then, but a few gentle bumps up and she's standing straight again. Yay!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gidget's Second Freshening

Gidget finally had her babies, 2 weeks ago! I have really not been on top of the blogs lately, but I'll try to do better...

She had them alone again. She's my wildest goat, can't stand humans at all, but her babies are always sooo friendly!
I have to say, I have been so tempted to sell this girl so many times. But after seeing her this second freshening I am really impressed. Her udder has come in even nicer than last time, and she is nice and smooth and sharp. Plus, her babies this time, sired by Image, are just awesome!

This is little Hyacinth. She's a buckskin like her mom with one little moonspot there on her front shoulder. I had a hard time getting a picture that shows how gorgeous she is, so you will just have to take my word for it until we can get an official posed picture. She is remarkably upright with a super level topline, sharp little shoulders and wide escutcheon.

Bluebell is the blue eyed sister, and I would honestly be hard pressed to say which one is nicer. They are very similar in type! That's what I am loving about Image - his babies are very consistant in thier quality.

And, after all, Gidget is a beautiful little goat. I don't know if I dare try to milk her, LOL! But she will pass on some lovely dairy character to her daughters.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Goat Birth

____Warning!!___These are graphic pictures of a goat giving birth!

Our little blue-eyed Bamboo Acres BP Princess Cruz had her first kidding Tuesday April 28th. She was very cooperative with the photo taking, so we thought we would share...

11:17 a.m.
"Hey! I'm having my babies today!"
The morning started out with lots of crying and laying down, getting back up, pawing...

11:37 a.m.
" I really think I need to push!"

11:41 a.m.
"Look! Isn't that the bubble?"
No, sweetie! It's just goo...we've still got a ways to go...

11:50 a.m.
"Whew! This is taking a long time. I think I need some comforting! Ahhh....Thanks Elsa!"

1:12 p.m.
"Ok, now it's serious! That is the bubble!!"

1:12 p.m.
The bubble bursts - the water breaks...

1:13 p.m.
Here it comes! Two little hooves and the tiny nose (see that little pink tongue?) But the legs are out a little too far so the shoulders are trying to come out with the head...and it doesn't fit! Poor Princess was crying for help so at this point I pushed the little hooves back a bit and helped ease the head out.

1:14 p.m.
The head makes it out...

1:15 p.m.
The first kid is born! A little black and brown doeling....
But wait! What is this?

1:16 p.m.
Another is right on the tail of the first!

1:17 p.m.
And number 2 is born! Wow! Two kids in two minutes. It's the fastest I've ever seen. The second kid is a black and white doeling.

1:24 p.m.
Nine minutes old and the first baby is already trying to stand. Her rear half is still covered in the amniotic sac, but she's not waiting for anything! She did get right up on all fours...and dropped back down again!

1:29 p.m.
Doeling one rests after her first big stand, mom is licking off number two.

1:52 p.m.
"Aren't my babies smart! Only 37 minutes old and they are both standing up and looking for the udder!"
Yes, Princess. They are lovely babies and you did a fine job with your first kidding!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

County Fair Goat Show

Yay! It was a successful year at the Maricopa County Fair! We entered 10 Nigerian Dwarf goats, and ended up placing in the top 3 in every class. Four of our Nigerians won blue ribbons, Fairywood IM Storm was the reserve Junior Champion, Fairywood Angel Cake was the reserve Senior Champion, Fairywood Dark Chocolate was the Senior Champion and the Champion Nigerian Doe!!

Here is the champion class with 3 of the 4 being our goats. Jill, Lucy, and Jesse did such a great job showing the goats! Thanks kids!

The little champion was very happy to be back with her babies after the show!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ready for the County Fair

Oh my gosh! Did I really just shave 11 goats?

Here they are all clean and tidy.

Ok, Mom! Let's go!

This is our sixth year showing our animals at the Maricopa County Fair. We started out with market lambs and pigmy goats, one year Jill even raised a pig! But for the past couple of years we have just shown dairy goats (and poultry, we always have a few chickens entered!) We love dairy goats, especially the Nigerian Dwarfs. The county fair show is really fun for the kids - I think because there are so many other kids there, and the rides, and the judges are usually very nice and helpful.

So come cheer us on tomorrow afternoon as we show our goats! We have most of the Nigerians there, it will be fun to see what the judge thinks of them!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Lifetime of Goats

Real quick, 'cause it's way past bedtime....but my mom just sent me this picture and I have to share! Yep, that's me, probably about 4 years old with our Alpine doe, Nanny. (I know, real original name XD Did she have another name, mom?) So as you can see, my love for goats was developed very young. I love goats!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ladybug's New Home

I couldn't resist posting this great picture of Ladybug!! (Mariposa's sister, Gidget's daughter) She was an "only goat" for a few days at her new home, and since she couldn't sleep in the house with her human kid friends, she roosted with the hens! She actually slept up there for a couple of nights! We are glad she has some goat friends now too, but as her new owner asks, does she think she's a goat, a human, or a chicken?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Merci's Spotted Triplets!!!

Here they are! Out of Fairywood Dark Chocolate and by Big Enuf SI Image of the Moon. Moonspotted doeling, moonspotted buckling, pinto buckling. And aren't they gorgeous!! We are so thrilled with these kids! They are everything we could have hoped for and more. I know they are brand new, but every one of them is put together just beautifully with nice wide escutcheons and really straight legs and toplines.
Here's the little pinto buckling. Isn't he adorable! He was hard to photograph as he is constantly moving!

And the moonspotted buckling. Also adorable! You can see his lovely stance in the picture at the top. He's the baby in the middle.

Here is our little moonspotted doe. She is just breathtaking! Tons of moonspots and beautiful dairy type too. Wow! Look at that escutcheon below!! She already knows she's a show goat!

The bucklings will both be for sale, but we are keeping the doeling, of course! How could we ever part with her?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fairywood IM Sugar Cookie

Here's a cute picture I took of Sugar Cookie the other day. She is such a sprightly little goat! Very friendly and curious. She slips through the gate of the "post-partum" pen right out in to the pasture with the big goats where she jumps and skips about until she's ready to nurse again. Then she slips back through to her mama. Angel was very disturbed by this at first, but now she just watches carefully and bleats softly to remind her baby where she is. We are loving this baby!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bamboo Acres BP Mariposa

This is a not so great picture I took today of Mariposa. She is such a pretty little goat, but didn't appreciate being clipped to the fence! I'm afraid the background is too noisy, but that's what it is right now... Mariposa is out of our blue-eyed doe Bamboo Acres LK Surfin Gidget. Her sire is Prairie Wood Banzai Pipeline. Both parents have strong champion Prairie Wood lines. Mariposa is the first blue-eyed goat born here, and she is Elsa's special goat! We are hoping to breed her to Glenda Smith's buck, "Zorro" this spring, and should have some lovely little blue-eyed babies in the fall.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Angel's New Baby

On Friday January 2nd Fairywood Angel Cake gave birth to Fairywood Sugar Cookie - a tiny little doeling! Her sire is our own buck, Image. This is our 3rd baby by Image, and so far we are quite happy! We are expecting Angel's sister Merci to have her kids any day now, hopefully soon as little Cookie is very playful and would love some little cousins to frolick with.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gidget's first kids

These are Gidgets first kids, twin does born May 25, 2008. They will be registered as Bamboo Acres BP Mariposa and Bamboo Acres BP Ladybug. Ladybug is sold and we are keeping blue-eyed Mariposa (she's the one standing).

Princess & Gidget

After our success at the county fair in 2008, Jill and I got very excited about developing a nice little herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats. We began searching for a good buck, and came across these two lovely blue-eyed does. Both have strong breeding, and Gidget (the chamoisee) was bred to Princess's sire for May babies. These two does have amazingly wide escutcheons and are refined and elegant.

Fairywood Dark Chocolate

Known as "Merci", Fairywood Dark Chocolate is another of the triplets from Mocha's first freshening.

Fairywood Angel Cake

Fairywood Angel Cake 8 months old

Winning Champion Nigerian Dwarf Doe at the Maricopa County Fair. April 2008
Angel Cake is from Mocha's first freshening. Her sire is Martin's Rockin' Elvis.

Mocha's Bucklings

On October 6, 2008 Mocha gave birth to twin bucklings. They are by Glenda Smith's buck, Shabby Chic Tequila Shooter.

Fairywood Max

Fairywood Moritz

We intend to wether these two little boys as we really don't want another buck right now, but they are really cute! We left them with their cute little horns, and in another month or so they will move across the street to live with our dear neighbors. What sweet little pasture pets they will be!

Prairie Wood Mocha Frapachino

Mocha's first freshening, August 23, 2007. Triplet Does!
About a month after weaning her first babies.

We think some very beautiful dairy goats have come from Prairie Wood Ranch in New Mexico. Our very first Nigerian Dwarf, Mocha, is one of those. We purchased her in April of 2005 from a darling FFA girl at the Maricopa County Fair. Mocha was just a young 7 month old doeling at the time, but had won Reserve Champion Junior Doe for the show. She was the only Nigerian, and won this up against all the big dairy breeds. We were so thrilled to bring her home and begin our adventure with Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats!