Thursday, February 22, 2007

dairy goats

i've been thinking a lot recently about goat dairying. there is a natural food store near where i go to school and they sell a lot of local (new england) and imported dairy products. i always try out anything new that comes from sheep or goats. last week, i bought some goat butter that was imported from canada. i was instantly attracted to the label--i love the detail of her name on her collar. it was really tasty and it made me think that i would definitely make goat butter with my goat's milk. i love butter and cook with it constantly, so this might be a good way to utilize milk that we don't drink fresh. of course there is cheese, but i have yet to take a cheesemaking class and want to do that before i dive in to that endeavor.

i have a nigerian dwarf goat named daisy (above) but i had zero luck getting her bred this winter. i was able to detect her heats easily enough, but unfortunately every time she came into heat was the worst possible day ever and i was not able to put her in the volvo and get her to the buck which is 1hr away.

i've been reading a lot about goat dairying and now i am beginning to consider getting a large breed dairy goat like the nubian shown above. i am going to finish my master's this summer and this should free up a lot of my time. perhaps i can find a proven doe with a kid on her side at the end of the summer--what a cool graduation present!

Monday, February 19, 2007

a good weekend

i had a good weekend.

fox came home from europe with lots of belated valentine's chocolate for me.

i wasn't sweating it b/c i had already gotten him a really cute bonsai tree.

but, mostly i was happy thinking about spring and all the plans for three dog farm. i have noticed recently that when i go up to feed the sheep at 5:30pm, there is still some daylight left.

so we are over the hump and spring is around the corner. time to start planning: build cold frames, order fruit trees, order seeds, and keep tabs on freyja who should be giving us an april lamb. i have also been thinking a lot about goat dairying which i will do a separate blog about later...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

three dog clover

we decided to name our new puppy clover. she is growing so fast.

parsnip is also growing up as well. here she is in her winter coat! i have hopes of her being as tall as her mother which is about 12.2 hands. a great size for driving, but also large enough for me to be able to train her under saddle for kids. i am small enough to ride the ponies so if she is a sturdy 12.2, i may be able to get away with riding her.

my haflinger pony, louise, is only about 14 hands and she is plenty of horse for me. i have not ridden her all winter and as you can see, her mane and forelock need some attention.