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Author Topic: New family members  (Read 4834 times)

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tosca100

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New family members
« on: July 04, 2015, 17:20 »
Meet Milly and Tilly, our new goats and the next step in becoming more self sufficient. They are mother and daughter, bred and looved by friends of our's (who will happily take them back if we don't get on) and we feel really honoured that they felt they would have a good home here. OH has done his first milking, only the second time he has done it and she is new to it too so all in all it went quite well.

Millie has already sussed out where the feed is....Tilly is busy seeing what's on offer in the shed


First milk


The ducks and chooks are curious


Yorkie

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Re: New family members
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 20:09 »
Lovely  :D
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snowdrops

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Re: New family members
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 21:22 »
They look fun 😀, are you going to make cheese?

tosca100

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Re: New family members
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2015, 05:50 »
Yes, and yoghurt. We will probably send the excess next door when time is short and they can either use it or feed it to the pigs. I am going to have to cut down on other things so that I'm not rushing to learn new skills. We are hoping Venka will milk while we are away and have till October to get her hooked. She's very excited about us having goats, she takes milk from he sheep but only gets a cup full.

sunshineband

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Re: New family members
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2015, 15:38 »
They are a fabulous addition Tosca, and I am slightly very envious. Will they have to stay under cover in the winter?
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Snoop

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Re: New family members
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2015, 16:45 »
What a pair beauties! I didn't realise goats would be so peaceable while being milked. We might just have to get some ourselves...

tosca100

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Re: New family members
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 19:04 »
They are a fabulous addition Tosca, and I am slightly very envious. Will they have to stay under cover in the winter?

They will be on deep litter in their stone shed in winter, but because the sun is so strong here, even on a frosty day, as long as it's fine they will go out

What a pair beauties! I didn't realise goats would be so peaceable while being milked. We might just have to get some ourselves...

They're sweet, though the kid can be a bit cheeky. Considering Milly was only milked for the first time a week ago she is really good, especially as Dave is a complete novice. Once they have settled properly the kid will be shut out at milking time, she keeps pinching Milly's food. She doesn't suckle any more though.

Kate and her Ducks

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Re: New family members
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2015, 21:39 »
They are beautiful!

I love my goats, didn't think anything would replace the ducks in my affections but love the goats more than anything else I have here! Milly sounds like a dream goat if she has settled so well into milking. :D

They are such lovely, sweet, personable creatures, the dog version of the ruminant world. My 6 all have their own personality and place in the hierarchy.

I can't recommend the Mary Karlin book "Artisan Cheese Making at Home" enough if you can get hold of it. Very straightforward layout that starts with the really simple and basic and builds up to the advanced so you gradually build up skills and experience.
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Ema

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Re: New family members
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2015, 22:25 »
What a stunning pair, I'm very envious I would love goats one day

tosca100

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Re: New family members
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2015, 05:39 »
They're lovely Ema. they've settled in really well and we get 2 litres of milk to play with every day. A lot has ad to be frozen till we have more time for making cheese, but I make a lot of soft cheese and mozzarella and halloumi, plus yoghurt. OH is out walking them now, he loves them

Snoop

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Re: New family members
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2015, 10:35 »
Two litres! That's far more than I expected. I thought a cup or two would be as much as you'd get. Goats are really starting to appeal even more. Wonder if it would be feasible to walk goats and dogs at the same time :)

I know nothing about keeping goats for milk. I must find out more. Do they need to bear young regularly to produce milk? I must check to see if John has a book.

tosca100

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Re: New family members
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2015, 11:52 »
Hi Snoop. They are pretty easy once you have the basics....like a five foot fence around their paddock. There is no reason why you can't walk goats with dogs, our's are very good with them and only don't go because of other dogs in the village...they are not streetwise. They only need a baby every two years, some even longer, to keep you in milk. We milk twice a day at the moment but will be dropping to once for the winter, partly to give her more use from her food (there will be less milk) but also because we will be going to the UK for a week so our neighbour will be milking. We have a pet sitter for the rest of the animals, but he has never milked. She lets us know when she wants milking (she is just by the back door) and gets straight onto her platform when she sees the feed bowl. Other breeds will give more/less milk. If you invest in a cream separator you can get cream (so butter), or you can leave the milk to sit for a few days for the cream to rise, but it gets 'goatier' as it sits. It took me a week or two to get used to the milk in coffee, but I always use it from the last milking and it just tastes creamy now. I prefer to freeze the milk for cheese for the  same reason, you get goaty cheese if the milk is kept in the fridge for a few days.

For food, they get any spare branches from edible trees (info on the net) an hour or more browsing the verges/hedgerows around the outskirts of the village. You will be able to do the same  i expect, but check your local restrictions. I believe you can't let them roam about in the UK now, but I might be wrong. In Spain you might even have a village herder who will take them out for the day as we do here if we wanted him to, saves on food for a nominal cost. They get goat nuts and oats wen milked...with a tiny amount for baby, with veggies. Most spare veg...dying beans...maize stalks (not cobs) cabbages, courgettes, cues, watermelon, beans, chard etc, toms and peppers in small quantities, weeds, sunflowers. If you chuck anything over the fence there's a stampede of goats, ducks and chooks all going for their favourite bits. Hay is available at all times. They burp a lot and some people give them bicarb in a bowl for them to help themselves, but I think that's when they are on a restricted diet. Any poultry food needs to be kept out of reach. There is plenty of info on their care and what they can and can't eat. Our's are friendly and cheerful.

One thing I have picked up, some goats produce very goaty milk, so if you can, taste it. Our's came from a friend so it wasn't an issue. And although you can keep one, they get very clingy towards their keeper and will try and follow, so two is best, like we have, mother and daughter. Mind you, they recognise Dave's car turning into the lane though they've never seen it, so I always know when he is home.

New shoot

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Re: New family members
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2015, 12:30 »
If you chuck anything over the fence there's a stampede of goats, ducks and chooks all going for their favourite bits.

That's just such a lovely picture in my head now  :lol:


tosca100

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Re: New family members
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2015, 13:26 »
Haha, will try and get a pic

Snoop

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Re: New family members
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2015, 13:34 »
OK, I'm sold. Maybe not next year (too many other projects already in motion for next year) but maybe the year after. I once tried unpasteurised goat's milk and was amazed at how much cream there was on the top. The milk was different but not objectionable. And I positively love goat's milk yoghurt and cheese.

A question Mr Snoop will ask: how big is your paddock for them? Fencing won't be an issue, as we have lots of two-metre stuff and sturdy rebar for the posts. Do you tether them ever when they're feeding 'in the wild'?

I live in the middle of absolutely nowhere, surrounded by forest, so as long as they didn't get into the neighbouring vineyard and the vegetable patch and at the fruit trees, they'd have plenty to go at. Hay and alfalfa can easily be purchased here. Not sure about goat nuts. I'll have to find out.

I reckon a local shepherd who has a few goats would let us leave goats with him to be 'serviced'.

The forestry agent thoroughly approves of goats as a way to reduce the forest fire hazard. There's plenty of shrubs they could have a go at round here. I'd be glad to see them kept down for less effort than hacking away at them with a mattock!

All in all, a great idea. Glad you get so much pleasure from yours.

Haha, will try and get a pic

Brilliant. Mr Snoop is a bit less convinced (he'll be putting up the fence and making some kind of stabling for them...), so anything that will encourage him is to the good.



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