Today, we’d like you to meet our new dairy goat, Angel.
We’ve been very lucky and the products we make using our goat’s milk are more and more successful. So we decided to increase our milk production capacity. (Also, I would like to make goat cheese and will be getting lessons in how to do it soon. Once I start my lessons we will be telling you more on the blog.). So it was agreed, we were going to buy a new dairy goat.
On Monday, we went to see our friend Mary-ann who has a little farm with really nice dairy goats (nubian breed). They are raised with organic pastures and hay. She milks some of them by hand and she sells some of the kids as pets.
A little note about Nubian goats: they are well known to produce a higher milk fat than the other breeds which will be perfect for our soaps ( and cheese, butter of course)!!
When we got there we had a choice of 3 pretty goats, between 1 and 2 years of age.
We chose Angel because:
Fanny fell in love with her,
partly because she’s so cute ( white with brown spots on her neck),
she is just one year old,
and, she is tall (which we knew would help her to defend herself when we brought her home and put her with the rest of the herd).
While we were there watching Angel’s herd, we could see that she let other kids nurse from her. (To us it was a sign that she is good natured and tolerant.) We also saw her mother and sister who are nice big goats with good constitutions, nice kids.
A few minutes after we met her she was in the pickup!
For the first 24 hours we had to keep her separate from our other goats. She stayed in the milking station; she could see her new companions without being directly in contact with them. It gave her time to get used to our routine, and our farm with all its new noises, smells, new animals, people, and so on.
In the evening, we started to milk her and it was not easy at all because she was not used to being milked by a person.
She jumped and jigged so much that the milk bucket was spilled on Fanny, who was trying to milk her.
Yesterday, 3 days after her arrival, it’s much better. She jigs a little but she learned that she can eat grain at the same time she is being milked. This has helped her be more calm!!
She gave us more than half a litre yesterday, which is quite good. (Many things effect how much milk a goat will give, and it was very hot yesterday, and she has just experienced a lot of stress and change, all factors in how much milk she can give us.)
The second day she met her new family and spent the day with the other goats in the pasture.
For the night, just to be safe she went back to her personal apartment (the milking station). And starting yesterday she joined the other goats and is with everyone all day long!! (She had a good night too and is happy with her new family.) Now she belongs to the herd!!!
When she first arrived she cried quite a lot because she felt lost, lonely and she missed her family. Now it’s much better. After a few days, the other goats will also get used to her and tolerate her (especially our leaders or older goats), and fortunately she has already made friends !!
So there you have it! Angel’s adventure when she moved to our farm! We will keep you informed of her progress!!