Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our Anniversary Gift ♥

For our 5th wedding anniversary at the beginning of August, Sean and I discussed how we wanted to celebrate. We tossed about going to the Highland Games in NH for the weekend. (I am Scots <clan Murray> and in previous years (17 of them) the games had been almost a pilgrimage of sorts, so this idea had much appeal). Reason prevailed though. With our barn in mid-construction mode and Sean's Daddy only here a few more weeks, an overnight trip was out of the question. The games would be a miss this year. So, that left us the usual options of (1) dinner and a movie or (2) a nice day trip somewhere. . . The day trip won out when we found an ad in the Uncle Henry's for ADGA Lamancha doelings living in Littleton, Maine (about 3 hours north of us).
Honey (in front)  and Delilah (in back)

Jackpot, their sire sports a
magnificent beard.
At their small and growing family farm, Udderly Blessed Goat Dairy & Homestead, we met Carla Hamilton and her family, and fell in love with her sweet herd of well cared for, friendly Lamancha goats. We met and played with all the doe kids birthed on the farm and then, met the does that birthed them and Jackpot, Carla's Lamancha buck. Many factors were involved in our decision, but meeting the sire and dams of the kids sealed it for us. Delilah and Honey were to be ours. I am very excited about adding these particular does to our herd. Friendliness counts for a lot, but so does production and breeding. If these doelings produce anywhere near the 5-7 pounds of milk their Mommas do, we will be swimming in fresh milk before too long. Side note: Sean nor I had never seen does with udders the size of these! These ladies made Ellie look small and she is a solid lass. I cannot wait to see how their kids do when their time comes for breeding and milking. ♥

The trip home was uneventful. We settled the doelings into a clean and empty stall and spent some time watching them investigate their new home.

Delilah has fuzzy pants! How cute is that?
We always recommend quarantine for new animals added to a farm and we follow that rule ourselves, usually. Despite that, we decided to introduce the doelings to our kids the next morning. To be candid, it was easier to have all the littles in one place. But, more importantly to our convenience, we were satisfied that these doelings came from a clean, closed herd recently tested negative of Johne's Disease, Caprine arthritic Encephelitis (CAE), and Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL). We introduced Honey and Delilah to our herd in the woods. After dropping a bunch of tall branches full of green leaves, we coaxed the doelings to follow us into the woods to meet the rest of the herd. Everyone was too busy munching on leaves to pay the newcomers much heed.

"Hey! Who is THAT?"
Honey ♥
Honey and Delilah are quite people friendly, but this "meeting new goats thing" was a whole new situation, so they mainly stayed with Sean and I, keeping an interested eye on the others. And, that was that. The kids born on the farm accepted the new does with a sniff and some playful romping. That night, they all piled together and slept in the kidding stall without complaint. The older does, protective of their young, will occasionally dole out a token push, but the doelings move out of their way, good naturedly. Delilah follows me around and either stands between my feet or with her head leaned on the back of my thigh. Honey is Sean's girl. She is a little skittish of the petting and loves, but she wants to be right with you- wherever you are and under your feet, if that can be managed.

We are so happy with this addition to our growing farm and have big plans for the future. This fall/winter breeding season is all about the Lamanchas. We plan on finding the perfect fella to breed Ellie for her final year. After this, Ellie will be retired and live out the rest of her days on our farm. We'll keep one of Ellie's doe kids (if she has a doe) to take her place in the milk room. Ellie's daughter, Abigail, now 18 months old, will be bred this year for the first time and we are hopeful for some fantastic kids from her. Joining Ellie and Abigail in breeding this year are Leah and Jane. Leah is scheduled for breeding again this year because we need to get her on the right breeding cycle.

Next year, it will be all about the Oberhausli line. Ruby, Salome, Hadassah, Keren, and Rachel will all be bred. Our goal is to have 6 goat does in milk each year; one year Lamanchas, the next Oberhauslis. We are on our way!

Thanks for visiting today, Friends. I am glad you stopped by.
Sonja ♥

Also shared with Farm Chit Chat

1 comment:

  1. They look like wonderful additions to your farm, Congratulations! You have a beautiful looking herd started.