Fun Times at Goat School

| 7/12/2013 3:50:00 PM

Tags: raising livestock, goats, Goat School, Janice Spaulding,

It’s been a crazy summer so far and it’s been a while since my last blog! Goat School® here in Maine, wasTraining At Goat School not only successful, but we had a great time!

Even though we had torrential rain on Saturday, our barn was comfy and cozy and our guest speaker, Andrew Beals, from Poulin Grain in Vermont was very informative. Every time Andrew comes to speak about animal nutrition, we all come away having learned something new. He talked about hay to grain ratios and also about the quality of hay and how to tell whether or not your goats will eat it!

Andrew explained how taking a handful of hay from as close to the center of the bail as you can, squeezing it in your hand and seeing how prickly it is can determine palatability. If you can count how many times your hand is being pricked, you can very easily tell how many times your goat is going to feel the same sensations in its mouth!  

Milking Goat DemonstrationAt the end of the day we traveled a few miles to Cedar Ares Farm in Newport Maine, to visit a licensed raw goat dairy. Our friend, Shawn Donovan, the owner of Cedar Acres Farm, came to Goat School back in 2007 and now has his own thriving business! He machine milks for the most part, he does have a few girls who enjoy being hand milked. We had some very successful “first try” hand milkers! After everyone got a try, our friend, Shawn, demonstrated machine milking. It was a longer than usual class, but certainly a fun day!

Sunday of Goat School® provided much better weather. We were able to get outside and work on some animals! When my good friend Tina showed up with a parcel of little dairy goat kids that all needed to have their bottles, well, what can I say? Everyone had a ball and the babies enjoyed it too! Folks were really surprised at how quickly a two week old kid can down a bottle of milk!

Once Goat School® in Maine finished up; we had exactly a week to quickly get cleaned up, packed up, and hit the road for our 3 ½ day trip to  Minnesota.

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