Sunday, April 13, 2014

Milk Testing and RIP Cara Bleu

This week has been a whirlwind. Life is usually a bit crazy around here but this week has been out of control.

My sister and her kids were planning a visit for a long weekend. They got in town Thursday afternoon. I had been planning to start DHI milk testing this year and was very overwhelmed by it all. I was on the verge of scrapping the plan when long-time goat dairyman, Joe, said he could come down from Newnan Thursday night and Friday morning. 7:30pm. 7:30am. It's over an hour drive for him and I could hardly turn down his help.

So Thursday morning, I left all the kids in the stall and brought them bottles all day so I could milk at 7:30 that night. Most of them figured out the bottle pretty quickly. Opal and Cara were my two holdouts, wanting to chew on the nipple, but I managed to get a couple of ounces in each.

I noticed that Cara seemed a bit lethargic all day, but attributed it to being separated from Scilla. She and Cash are usually attached to Scilla's underside. After I did the evening test, I let the kids out with the dams for about 45 min so they could all get a little milk and comforting. Then it was back in the stall. I got dinner about 9:45.

Joe showed up at 7:30 the following morning and we did the second half of the test. When I opened the stall door to let all the kids out, Cara Bleu was lying by the door dead. I could hardly believe it.

Joe agreed that there was nothing I'd done wrong. He was impressed with the condition of my stock. I wonder if there was some issue from the anesthesia or medicine she was given at Auburn for her eye. Or maybe there was some hidden infection left from the eye thing. I really don't know. Joe said she was big enough she could have gone without food 48 hours and been fine. But she did get some milk and had also been eating hay and sweet feed. I guess it's just one of those things. Wish it'd been a buck.

Milk testing went well. Scilla milked 8.5lb, Phoebe and Buttercup milked 8lb, Trixie and Onyx milked 7lb, and Alice milked 6.5lb. I could tell most the girls were holding up some for the kids, but I don't think that's too shabby. I was especially pleased with Trixie. She's half Nigerian Dwarf. 7lb is great!

I am having a hard time with Onyx with the milking machine. She likes to kick the inflations off every day and about 4 times a week kicks the pail causing milk to get in the vacuum line. As I was lying awake at 4am the other night, I decided to sell her. She's making milking stressful to me and I don't need that. I'll keep her until I have my beach vacation so she can take care of her kids (I'm keeping her daughter) and then I'm listing her for sale.

In the middle of all this other chaos, I had to go to my friend Courtney's farm daily to check on Fawn and April. You may recall that she bought Onyx's doelings from last spring. Well, she is stuck out of town with a very sick child and it was time for the girls to kid. He farm watcher didn't have a clue.

April had twin bucklings on Tuesday.

The spotted one is the tiniest goat I've ever seen. That's him in the middle of the chickens. Look how small!

Fawn had a single buckling on Friday. I feel so bad for her getting all bucks. At least she'll have milk now! Please be praying for her daughter.

I'm playing hooky from church this morning. I'm too exhausted and need a down day. As if those exist this time of year!


  1. I'm soooo sorry : (
    She was such a pretty little baby.


    1. She really was and I was so glad that Scilla actually had a girl this year. This probably won't be the last one I lose, but it sure was sad.

  2. I'm sure sorry your goat died. It's really hard when something like that happens.

    1. Thanks Harry. It was so sudden. I wish I'd had opportunity to help her, but it probably wouldn't have made a difference.

  3. I am so sorry to hear about Cara Bleu. As much as this does happen on farms, I don't think a sudden loss of any animal gets any easier.

    1. Thanks Jane. It was really a shock.