October 29, 2010

First Preg tests!

Hurray! The Pregnancy tests results are back for all of our does bred in September and they will all confirmed pregnant! Now I can let out the breath I have been holding. Wheeewwwww.
Granted we may end up with all bucks or something horrible could happen, but at least I don't have to sit around worrying if I am missing silent heats on all of these does because 9 out of 19 done ain't bad.

October 27, 2010

Deja vu?

First let me apologize for the lack of quality pictures. The danger of storing all you photos on SD card is that when you want them they are not around. This top picture was taken back in Fall 2008. That was the time when 3/5 (that is, 3 of our 5 goats) of the herd was in Salinas. It was actually quite fun because they got lots of attention we would run around with them all over the school's farm. The Togg is Yodel, the blackish Lamancha is Yucatan, and the Sancha is Ysis. This bottom picture was taken on Sunday after we had penned everyone up Saturday for the first big rainstorm of the year. 3 of the kids got out and were in the pasture by themselves (enjoying the feeder until we let everyone else out). It caught my eye because it reminded me of something... then it hit me:
The Togg in the picture is Annie - Yodel's daughter
The blackish Lamancha is Argentina - Yucatan's daughter
The Sancha is Artemis - Ysis' daughter

Doesn't it amaze everyone else this little moments in life? Reminds you how much things change and how much they stay the same

October 16, 2010

Do you like her?

Now that life is calm enough and all we can do is sit around worrying if a doe settled or not we really have time to evaluate the herd. All summer we have heard what the judges had to say about them, we saw them stand at the top of the line and we saw them stand at the bottom of the line (less than previously maybe, but the occurrences were still there). We have a good idea of that their worst faults are (especially the milkers) and what we love about them and yet we still play the "what do you think of her?" game.
The nice part is that all the does who have made it to the fall are nice enough in their own right, but knowing how many does were are breeding means we have the start thinking about who will go in the spring. It is sad at some level, but at the same time I know that none of the goats are not eligible for sale if something comes along.
So how is it done? Well take a doe for example - currently my most often subject is Thistle. What do we like about her? Well I love how deep she is and how strong she is on her feet and legs. What do I dislike? Well lets start with how I wish her mammary system was better, but what I really don't like is how much trouble she had last year after kidding. We have a show herd - this means that if a doe ends up with such a horrible freshening that she can't show - she will have a hard time fitting into the herd. But then I really like her daughter. Azalea is one of the nicest does kids we had this year... If you like the kids a doe gives you is that enough reason to keep her and at what point does she have enough daughters to pass on her good traits. It really leaves you to sit about and ponder what is a good doe?

What do you want your herd to look like? What do you like about each doe and what would you like to change? Fall is the perfect time to really sit around and evaluate the does. It makes the spring - when you are overwhelmed with kids to choose from - easier when you already have your list of who is staying or who has to shape-up or head out.

October 12, 2010

Ready for Convention?

Personally I think that some goat keepers have it easy. No, it isn't that they have better goats or they feed differently, it is because they work at a job or live in an area where having Dairy goats is considered normal and no one looks at them strange when they say they have to go home to milk. Or better yet, when they plan their spring so that they can successfully kid out the herd.
Now, for the rest of us there is little more exciting that National Convention. Maybe National Show, but since only one of these two are coming up - I can only get excited about one of them.

Convention is one of the times when you can totally geek out with all the other goat people. I have friends across the country and this is the one time you get to see them. Talk about breedings that worked for you, exciting purchases you made and bucks you hope to use. Maybe you are more like the real me where you sit back and watch the people. People you only know by name or by names of herds you respect and admire but you get to see real people (I doubt I'll ever be brave enough to talk to them but still)

Then of course there is the training conference. Even as I sit here I am reciting the DQ's in my head. The weekend is definitely going to be fun!

October 08, 2010

Senior kids anyone?

Are you holding your breath too? The twelve does we bred should have come back into heat this week is they were going to... and the envelope please.
The doe (Zinfandel) that we AI'ed came back into heat. Keegan - our Togg yearling milker - showed signs of heat but not certain. Artemis came back into heat (we were not sure if she was bred but Arabica got out while she had stuff on her tail) Lanney was still showing signs of heat.
BUT... That means that of the does we bred Kaluha, Ziggy, Ysis, Xymphony, Fritter, Arizona, Thistle, Katie, Zaire, and Yodel most likely settled.
You have to say it really quietly and really fast so no one hears you. We will do a blood test is a week or so, but until then keep those fingers crossed and hold your breath! (dontcha just LOVE breeding season)
Oh and if you would like to finish catching up - Azalea and Alaska were also bred, but later so we don't know if they settled yet.