Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shere Country SH Starlight x North Forest Farm MX Shamrock

Starlight was exposed to Shamrock yesterday and today, October 15 and 16, 2012. She was in a strong standing heat today, so we should see kids around March 9, 2013. Starlight is my best milker, still giving nearly a pint per milking at 6 months as a first freshener. That's not bad for a Nigerian! I like her so much that I still own all of her kids from 2012, two does (Bet and Ginger) and a buck (Aspen). Starlight is a lovely gold and white doe. She's very long and beautiful with a lovely udder. Shamrock is a great buck, and should produce some lovely kids. I'm expecting long, strong legs, strong and correct feet, and level top lines out of him. I don't see any obvious faults in him.
I see I'm going to have to get a new picture of him up, as the one in this post is a baby pic.  He looks a bit awkward in it, but he isn't so anymore.
Shere Country SH Starlight

Starlight's 1st freshening udder, 3 weeks fresh and 10 hours bagged.

Starlight's 1st freshening udder, 3 weeks fresh and 10 hours bagged.

North Forest Farm MX Shamrock

Monday, October 15, 2012

Frostbitty Japanzy x North Forest Farm TR Aspen

Today Japanzy was in heat, so I put her with Aspen again. He seems to have possibly been able to get the job done this time! I'm really looking forward to seeing the kids this breeding produces. Japanzy is sort of a mediocre milker, though she seems to have a steady and long lactation. She is, however, an awesome doe in all other respects. She has awesome feet and legs, and is extremely hardy and resistant to disease. She's an extremely easy keeper as well, leaning toward overweight very easily.  She was pregnant in the photoi below, but you can still see that she's not thin by any means.   She does have a nice udder, as you can see in the photos below.  It is very well attached, nice medial, and nice fore udder.
Aspen is my best milkers buckling from spring 2012.  His mom, Starlight, hasn't disappointed me in any way!  She kidded very easily with triplets her first freshening, all by herself.  She was/is a great mama, still nursing her two doelings who are almost 6 months old now.  She has them with her all day, and I separate them at night.  In the morning she gives me a pint of milk, and I let her have her girls back again.  So far, she's steady on a pint every morning for 6 months now.  I'm pretty happy about that!   I hope I'm able to sell any doelings to someone who will milk them, so I can see if they live up to their potential.

Aspen is the buckling on the left.
Aspen's mama, Starlight

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wren Farm Cupcake X North Forest Farm MX Shamrock for 2013

I just bred Cupcake to Shamrock today, so should see my first 2013 kids on the ground around March 1.  This is pretty exciting!  I didn't think I'd be as excited this year as I was last year, but I am. :)
Cupcake is the White doe

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The strengths of this breeding:  Combining the beautiful dairy looks of Cupcake to the strength of feet and legs in Shamrock's line should build on the strengths of each.  I hope to keep Cupcake's ultra soft and milkable udder in this breeding, and gain width and capacity.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the doeling(s) produced by this breeding, provided there are any.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Pics; the Girls

Starlight's daughters, Ginger and Lil' Bet.  Japanzy reaches for some choice browse in the background.

Japanzy and Cupcake

Lil' Bet (Bouncing Bet)

Starlight looking beautiful in the sun.

Yummy tree bark.

Starlight and daughters, Lil' Bet and Ginger

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Few New Pictures

UPDATE:  Ginger is still adorable, but no longer for sale.  We've had her too long now, and we're smitten!  She'll be staying. 
This little darling is North Forest Farm Wild Ginger.  She's for sale!  You can see more pics of her on the "for sale" page.  She's just an amazing little darling.  We all love her, and it's been a tough decision to sell her.  However, there's only so much space, money and time to keep these little goats in.  I've decided that I can only keep one doeling this year.

Molly with some of our spoiled babies.  Pictured are on the left, the doeling I've decided to keep, Bouncing Bet (or Lil' Bet, as I call her), In her lap is Shamrock, our new herd sire, and the others are Macintosh and Maple, who have been reserved with a sale pending.

Here are all our new babies except one.  It appears Aspen was off on an explore. :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Blue Eye Mystery Solved

We finally got to the bottom of the mystery of where all the blue eyed kids came from!  I was beginning to fear that we had a fence jumping buck when we ended up with blue eyed kids from all our does.  One parent must have blue eyes for the kids to end up with them.  I found out last week that BOTH the bucks we used (Maxwell and Trevor) have blue eyes.  I had thought that only one of them did.  We ended up with 5 out of 6 kids this year having blue eyes.  It looks like we'll have a lot of blue eyed kids in our future!  I certainly wasn't breeding for blue eyes.  I want good milk, and as much of it as possible.  Blue eyed goats do seem to be pretty popular with people, though, and it looks like I'll be able to accommodate folks in the future.  Both the bucks I'm going to keep have blue eyes, as do the doelings I'm keeping.  Now that the exhaustion of kidding season is over, I'm already curious about what we'll have next year.  This is addicting!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Shere Country SH Starlight X Gerle Ranch Trevor

We had our last kids for 2012 on May 2, 2012 at 6:30 P.M.  Though I'd tried very hard to be there Starlight waited until we were eating supper to go into labor.  By the time my 7 year old checked on her, she already had all three kids on the ground!  She'd cleaned off their faces already, but they were each still partially in the sacks.  I was concerned about the tiny doeling, but she's proving to be strong, and Starlight is taking very good care of all three of her babies so far.

doeling: 1 3/4 lbs. pale gold
buckling: 2 3/4 lbs. chamois with white belt
doeling: 3 lbs. chocolate chamoise with white poll

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wren Farm Cupcake X Gerle Ranch Trevor, Twin Buckling and Doeling

Cupcake had twins, a buckling and a doeling, on 4-26-12 The doeling is white with medium gold spots, and the buck is a solid light gold. Dispite Cupcake not being the most attentive mother, her twins seem to be doing pretty well. I've had to bottle feed the twins and milk mom a few times because she's not consistently caring for them, but I think she's doing better now. The little twins are adorable! I just want to keep them all, but I think either the buckling or both buckling and doeling will be for sale, depending on what Starlight kids with.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Introducing Shamrock

Gerle Ranch Maxwell X Frostbitty Japanzy Born 4/23/12 3:00 P.M. 4 lbs. We are so thrilled with little Shammy. What a sweet little cutie he is, and so special since he's the first kid born on our farm! His blue eyes are a real surprise, since his sire and dam are both brown eyed. I was under the impression that didn't happen, but I guess the gene slipped in there somewhere.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Update on the Girls

I think I can say with certainty that all the girls are bred, and due any time after April 22. Woohoo! :) They are all looking big, and beginning to get udders. I can also feel and see their babies wiggling around. I'm breathing a sigh of relief and doing a happy dance at finally meeting this first goal. Now for healthy, safe kiddings, and handsome bucklings! :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Uncomfortable Pregnant Girl(s)

My girls are all looking a bit more uncomfortable these days. It's really gotten warm here in MN. Well, warm for MN, anyway. It's 60 degrees, and the girls are still wearing warm winter coats. They're shedding now, but it seems they'd like to be shedding faster. :) It doesn't help that they've got little heaters inside keeping them warmer, and they're big and uncomfortable looking. Cupcake (white) is looking like a basketball with a head when she lays down, and she's breathing heavily. Her kid(s) are really moving a lot today. I can say for sure (I think) that she's pregnant now. :) I never want to say anything "for sure" when it comes to goats. They seem to be out to prove their caretakers wrong about most things. Gotta love 'em!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Pics of the girls, and waiting...

This waiting is just too much for a farmgirl! ;)




Cute Cupcake

Japanzy always worried about her stomach :)

We should have 2 months to go until we can expect our first kids to arrive. I don't know if I can stand the suspense.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Twiddling My Thumbs

I haven't posted anything here because I haven't anything to post, really. I'm in the world of waiting and watching. Waiting to find out if the girls are actually pregnant. Waiting to see/feel movement of kids. Waiting to see udders filling. Waiting to (hopefully not) see signs of heat.
So far, all looks good. The girls were with the bucks from December 1 to 23. I haven't seen any signs of heat in any of them. I also don't see any sure signs of pregnancy, FOR SURE. I keep feeling for kids, hoping to FOR SURE feel something that feels like a kid. I keep touching udders, hoping for a swelling there that would indicate that we're gearing up to feed kids.
I'm a bit over the top, I know, but this is my first time, and I'm just super excited, as well as super thirsty for that good milk that we've been waiting so long for. We did get a taste of it with Cupcake, our FF doe last year. It really wet our appetites! Getting goats, and then actually getting to the point of milking, is a long term goal that takes a lot of patience. I'm not big on patience, so...I'm twiddling my thumbs...

The stuff we're waiting for. This is from Cupcake last September.

But while I'm twiddling, I'm loving every minute of having these dear little goats. I'm so far wonderfully happy with our choice of breeds. They're so much fun for all of us. The kids enjoy them, and they're safe for all of us to be around.

our littles with the does

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

An Introduction to the Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat

Nigerian Dwarf goats are a dairy breed with roots in West Africa. They come in a huge variety of colors and coat patterns that do not breed true. This means that any combination of colors will not reliably produce offspring of those colors, eye color included (though blue eyes are said to be dominant).
According to ADGA and AGS breed standards, does should be between 17 and 22.5 inches at the withers, and bucks no taller than 23.5 inches. There are no coat colors excluded, though a curly coat is not acceptable.
The milk production average for the Nigerian that I see written most often is a quart a day over a 305 day lactation. This could me much more or slightly less, however, depending on genetics as well as how many freshenings (times giving birth and making milk) the doe has had, and how many kids she supports at the beginning of her lactation. First freshening udders are generally not as capacious or productive as second, and third is usually even better.
Their milk is rich and sweet, with the highest butter fat content of all the milking breeds. This makes the Nigerian an excellent choice if you are interested in milk for cheese or soap making, and it is absolutely delicious. Most of our friends and relatives who try our Nigerian milk for the first time compare the sweet, creamy, rich flavor to half and half.
These little goats are extremely easy keepers, requiring only hay and loose minerals if not in production. If a doe is in late pregnancy or lactating, anywhere from one to four cups of a quality grain mix containing around 16 percent protein (depending on browse availability and quality) is needed daily.
If you're trying to decide on livestock for your homestead, or a new pet, these little goats are definitely deserving of a second look!