Wow. It is really hard to believe that 2010 has finally come to the end. It was sure a big year for the herd, or at least me in particular. Before this year I have never had more than 5 goats kid on my watch. Never have I bred more than 9 goats (which was how many we bred in 2009). Really this was amazing to have 18 goats born on our property, acquire 5 other goats sold. Once I thought my herd was huge when it was 12 goats, now it is 22!
In addition to gaining goats we watched goats leave too. Willow, who was born the first spring I was away at college and managed to stay through all the herd fluctuations left after kidding this year. Although it seems sad to see her go, reality says she fit so poorly in with the herd that she needed to leave. We also sold more wethers for butcher than ever before including one that went as a company barbeque. To me this was really cool because it is great to see goats being used in such a public way. If people enjoy the barbeque there – maybe they will really start thinking of eating goat as a common meat. Finally we did lose 3 kids last spring do to a variety of things. I know it must seem strange how I have no problem selling older wethers for meat but it is sad to lose kids but I think that the wethers had a great life and then it was over but the kids often didn’t have a chance to live at all.
Besides the herd member changes we really did have a great show season. I personally finished 1 doe and she now holds the title of champion. We finished the buck we bought in January and he holds the Grand Champion title in his name. We knew he was amazing when we purchased him just by looking at what his offspring have done, but to have him hold that title is even better since now everyone else can also see how impressive he is. We have used him quite a bit this season, so hopefully we will have quite a few kids from him too. Besides our 2 finished champions one of Jenn’s Togg does is looking beautiful and got quite a few nods from judges. Unfortunately she was a first freshener so they couldn’t give her the champion title, but this next year we expect great things from her. Three of our kids won their jr champion titles as well and all three will freshen this spring. Arizona and Azalea are two of our favorite kids and I am really excited to see what type of udder they will have. Honestly with very few exceptions I am really excited about the whole 2010 kids crop. I think we are starting to really make progress with our breeding program and hope that the inclusion of AI will help speed the progress along.
We purchased our AI equipment in summer 2009 so 2010 was the first set of kids we have out of the AI breedings. Three does kids was better than we could have imagined! And such beautiful kids too! They were all Lamanchas so, since we had 2 lamancha bucks on the property this fall, we ventured into other breeds. Notoriously the saanens have been our “problem” breed. Before this year I have had to re-bred Saanens almost every year, thus when my doe settled by AI, I could not have been more excited. If this works – maybe there will be more AI Saanens to come. Next year I think we try to take on the Toggs. We haven’t succeeded with the AI-ing the Toggs, but maybe next year will be the year. Or maybe next year we actually purchase a Togg buck.
On a final note, we sent 4 children to the county fair as our 4Hers this year. As of fall registration we nearly tripled our 4H project. Hopefully we can send maybe even 10 children to the county fair this year. Nothing is more exciting than seeing those kids get all excited about their kids. Maybe in a year or two the children will have animals they own instead of lease but one step at a time.
Overall I think it has been a pretty good year for Cadence Dairy Goats. Thanks for reading and checking out the blog regularly. It is so exciting that in the one year since I started this blog I can actually see people checking out the page and reading it. It is you guys that encourage me to keep writing! Thanks!!