Goats: Spring Goat School is History

| 6/14/2012 5:34:31 PM

Spring Goat School 2012 is now history. It was fabulous! What fun we had, even in the pouring rain that we were blessed with on Sunday. We did Goatschoolspring2012however; make it all the way through Saturday with not much problem. Sunday was a completely different story!  

We knew it was going to rain, so we lowered the two canopies that we use for our luncheon buffets. We never expected that it would rain so hard, nearly 8 inches of the stuff that the canopies would collapse and break into smithereens! 

On Sunday we had to corral our goats into a small section of the barn so that all of the Goat School attendees could sit and enjoy. All of our girls behaved beautifully.  

Sweet Pea, who was due to kid at any moment, was perfect for demonstrating how the tail ligaments disappear and how the udder enlarges and becomes striated. She did kid, by the way, on Monday Twinklemorning, so the folks who stayed for the Soap and Cheese class had the fun of seeing new born babies and feeding them for the first time. 

As we slowly but surely get our farm back to normal, I reflect back to the many questions that were asked and answered and what the Mother Earth News audience can glean from these inquiries. 

Many of the questions centered on milking and what was normal and of course what’s not. While doing our milking demonstration and allowing all those who wanted to try to squeeze a bit of milk out of some udders, nearly everyone asked if all goats were as easy to milk. The answer? No. Over the years, we have culled difficult milkers, girls who do not produce enough milk to make it worth feeding them all that grain, and girls who will not behave. The milking does that we have our herd whittled down to all produce over 6 pounds a day. A gallon of milk weighs 8.6 pounds by the way. The average amount of milk produced by one of the full sized breeds is between 4 pounds and 16 pounds. Most fall somewhere in the middle. If you are told that a goat produces more than 16 pounds please ask to see the records and the milking stars that are awarded by the American Dairy Goat Association for champion milkers. 

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