Just when January felt like the longest month ever it’s still hard to believe that February is here. Well, I’m here to fill you in on the last three months. Again, I have procrastinated as I feel like there isn’t much to share yet our schedules were jam packed and busy.
November is kind of a blur. As the holiday season is starting we are busy making our last batches of goat milk soap and lotion. As business owners in the early years we are still trying to figure out quantities to have on hand to avoid items being out of stock – well as per usual 🙂 we underestimated and many week nights and weekends were spent mixing, blending and packaging!
With our fall water line project barn cleaning was pushed back this year, which pushed breeding season back as well. We hired our barn to be cleaned this year which made the whole process much faster. With a clean barn meant we were ready to let the bucks out to do their job!
This year we are set to kid at the end of April – which really means we will be kidding in May. In years past our goats haven’t ever kidded “on time”….. maybe we will get lucky this year!
As we have decided to make some changes to the breeds of goats that we raise, some strategic placements of the bucks were needed. We give each of our bucks a couple of weeks with the doe’s and then they get rotated out. This year our meat cross breeds and dairy goats were exposed to our saanen buck followed by one of our kiko bucks. Then in our other barn we put another of our kiko bucks in with the kiko doe’s we bought from Oklahoma and followed up with our boer buck.
A goats heat cycle is approximately every 21 days – so our dairy goats are watched carefully as it is extremely important that they are bred. Unfortunately this year, one week after we removed our bucks from the pen, one of our dairy goats came back into heat. Since our dairy goats are the exception (to almost everything!) we ran our saanen buck back in the pen. This year it looks like we may have a few kids born in early July!
Since we bred our goats later this year we planned to continue milking our dairy goats until February first. Well, January happened and that was the end of that! The cold is HARD on dairy goats that are also pregnant. As soon as we hit -35F with the wind chill our goats were done. The quantity of milk went straight down the tubes. Once this happens they are done. We have tried in years past to get their milk production back up but it’s just not possible with the cold and body requirements for pregnancy. So, we dried them up within a few days and we are now without fresh milk until spring!
Our evenings spent packaging and shipping out orders started to slow down mid January and we were able to finish the last few touches on our bathroom. I hate to even admit that not everything was done until now, but outside projects always come first on the farm. My goal will be to get pictures up on the next blog post…. fingers crossed!
Just when we think life will slow down we blink and the next project is starting. Now that it is February I will slowly start to make freezer meals in preparation for kidding season – an extremely helpful tip for anyone who works full time off their farm…..this is a huge time saver during the busiest time! Aside from food prep we will also be starting on our new kidding pen setup in our barn and then, before we know it the goats will be kidding! Side note: some mamma’s are really starting to show – I think there will be some triplets this year!
We hope all of our farmer family and friends are enjoying a winter break!
Photos in this post credited to Alyssa Aune Photography