A long time ago I read an article encouraging young mothers to keep their passions. If there is a hobby of some type that is a part of who you are don’t stop doing it because of having children. So long as it is a safe venture, ie. maybe no rock climbing while holding said youngster, then bring your children into your passion. Be sure they know who their mama really is…
I love so many things!
I am passionate about:
Farming and gardening (providing food for my family)
Livestock (an excellent study of how to make sacrifices, placing another’s need above your own and tending those who can’t care for themselves)
Heirloom seeds/non gmo crops (the importance of having a product that reproduces for itself)
Cooking (hey who can say no to delicious food?)
Sewing, canning, chemical free, natural parenting, homebirth, breast feeding, raw milk, pastured products, homeschooling…the list is literally endless!
But before nearly all of those passions came my love for goats, specifically LaManchas (of course)
Now I don’t think that all of my children need to adore goats and want to raise them for ever and ever. With so many passions I can offer the children a gamut of unique facets of their mama and thus not bore them all with goats, goats, goats. That said they must all lend a hand with all of the work on this little homestead…be it dishes, laundry, chickens, canning, weeding or feeding goats. However, I am thrilled that one of my children is taking a very active role in his very own breeding program.
My oldest son chose his first goat as a toddler. Maybe not the doe I would have chosen to start my foundation, she was certainly not perfect but they had a special bond. Her name was Beth and every where that goat went, off went my oldest son…He rode her, draping his little arms around her neck all around my pasture until his feet drug on the ground. At that point I said no more, or I think the two of them would have done it forever!
In 2008 a divorce led to some hard choices and my son chose to keep a younger daughter and let ol’ Beth go to another farm and make her way there. It was a hard choice but we had to trim the herd down to a more manageable size.
The daughter he chose was Bellarina (Bella)
Bella was a marvelous milker and was one day tested at a show…producing 12.6 lbs. of milk. Quite respectable production considering the stress of traveling to a fair grounds, strange waters, new facilities and surroundings. Her last kidding she had triplet does! He kept one doeling, Corduroy and sold the other two.
Corduroy is a 4 yr old now. She kidded as a two year old with twins, buck and doe. He kept the doeling and named her Taffeta (AKA Taffy) Unfortunately, Miss Corduroy got an abrasion on her teat, both over the orifice and up the side, shortly after kidding. Even with great care the wound became quite infected and developed into mastitis. The teat was slow to heal due to the new flush of milk and the need to constantly squeeze to milk her out. It was very touch and go as to whether we’d salvage the teat end, and teat and if the mastitis would claim that half of her udder. But Corduroy was one tough doe. Not only did the teat heal normally but she continued to milk for the next 17 months and gained more production in the affected side as time went by. She kidded with triplets this year, two bucks and a doe. My son has chosen to keep Corduroy’s beautiful 2015 doe and has named her Paisley. He will be offering the bucklings as breeding bucks. Nice milky lines and will to milk…if anyone is interested in production these boys might be right up your alley 😉
Here are Corduroy’s 2015 triplets. Doeling is in the center…
What happened to Corduroy’s 2013 daughter, Taffy? Well she was much loved by my son…and
…grew up into a lovely doe. She freshened this year with a set of twins, buck and a doe. She has a beautiful, snug, productive mammary.
It’s a blessing to see him blossoming in his interest, showing gentle care toward his little herd, asking my advice on breeding plans and my opinion on replacement does to keep. As my right hand man for disbudding, birthing, shots, injuries, milking, feed plans he is receiving first hand experience and sharing in my passion for dairy goats. Perhaps he will keep goats his whole life or maybe this is the foundation for a future career in veterinary medicine or maybe this will simply be a character building chapter in his life… Regardless it is time well spent and he will know my passion for dairy goats.