Saturday, September 27, 2008

Getting Ready For Winter on the Dairy

Well we are into the breeding season again. This will be our 5th time. Each time we have used a similar system, except last year. Our usual way of working the breeding season is to have each one of our bucks in his own pen. As each doe comes into heat we place her with the chosen buck, record and date when her next heat cycle should come. We breed our youngest does and smallest to our boar bucks, not the big ones though as they could easily crush those young girls. We have found that the first kidding for a yearling from a Boar is the easiest, as those babies are small. We breed our best does to our reg. Sannen buck as I want to keep the does that are of good breeding to use next year as replacer does. We also have a black young buck we are using for smaller does and yearling's. (My dream is to have all black and white goats... don't know why except it would look really cool in pictures). We leave the does in over night and then either put them back if they are still flagging (wagging their tails) after we are done milking the milkers or they are turned loose with the herd. This routine is played over and over for the next three months. This last year we put a buck, one at a time in the herd and left for one month. Then we went through the three bucks we used last year. What ended up happening was babies being born when we weren't expecting it and we never knew who was going to kid. It was very nerve racking. When we choose the buck, I also know the date the babies are due and which goat to be watching. I also can plan my weeks out during kidding season. So this year we are going back to the old way.
The leaves are turning colors here and the smell is fresh, the air is crisp. Fall is such a pretty season. It means we need to make sure we have the covers for the faucets and that all the loose buckets and stuff are picked up. The lawn mowed for its last time and the tools put away for 3 months. We make sure the barn is totally cleaned and there are fresh shaving on the floor.
The goats eat a lot of minerals and go through a lot of baking soda, so we are always keeping an eye on those containers in the barn. The water buckets get a good scrubbing and checked for holes or cracks and replaced as needed. The big water troughs get a emptied and scrubbed out too.
I decided to paint the milking parlor white with navy trim and a mauve door. It looks so clean and fresh. David is putting up the finishing boards around the roof and it looks so nice. My dad came from Arizona and put hand railing up to the door of the milking parlor. David is pressure washing the fences so we can get a coat of white on them too. Thing always get spruced up to get ready for the new year.
Well that is for this report.

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