Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mechanical Failure

The milking machine has been on the fritz this week. This is already a stressful week with the farmers market starting Saturday and Linear Appraisals on Sunday. 

I have broken it down twice. I have called the manufacturer and followed the steps they suggested. Last night it was acting as sluggish as ever and barely built up eight pounds of pressure. I've been awake since 6:30 trying to psych myself to go out there and break it down again. The fact that it poured rain again yesterday and everything is a soggy mess once more, is putting a damper on my get-up-and-go. That and it's chilly outside this morning. Brr. Poor naked goaties. 

My coffee is finished, so I have no more excuses. Pray I can get it functioning properly. Eight goats is really more than I can reasonably handmilk. This whole mess has got me thinking about who to sell. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spa Day

I finished all the clipping yesterday with the help of my friend Martha. She was an extra-big help by squeezing me in for a massage yesterday morning when I awoke with every bit of my aching. She's an awesome massage therapist.

Of course, it's pouring rain this morning and I'm feeling bad for all my "naked" girls.
Hammock Haven Lichen Lulu was everything I'd hoped she'd be under all that hair.
 Kriscross Mack Konstance (Kat) is looking gorgeous. I'm hoping for some really good appraisal scores on her. This old lady deserves it.

Tickles Me Pink T Love Song

Tickles Me Pink T I Wanna Rock (Rocco)

And baby pictures since I can't resist. These are Lulu and Buttercup's girls. They are niece/aunt and half sisters. It's amazing how much they look alike. I can't get over it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Linear Appraisals are only ten days away and the rain put me behind getting everything ready. Yesterday, two of my goat friends came over and helped me clip. We got three girls done and I was able to get a little done on two more last evening. 

I don't know how these show people do it. I know that they are even more careful with their clip jobs than I was! By the time we got done clipping, the girls weren't too thrilled with having to take pictures.

Linear Appraisal is a program offered by the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) where a judge comes out and scores your animals based on their conformation. Here is a link with some more information.

The purpose of this is to get an expert opinion on your herd that will help you make breeding/ selling/ culling decisions going forward. I am nervous and excited to see how my girls do.

Finally, little Zuzu's Petals is doing great. Lulu has realized that she's supposed to feed the baby. Mama and kid are doing great. Today, they'll be allowed into "general population". 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's a Girl!

Kidding season 2015 is over with a beautiful doeling from Lulu. I am calling her Zuzu's Petals. Final count: 11 girls, 6 boys. 

Staying Afloat

It has rained, and rained, and rained some more here. I can hardly stand it anymore. Thank GOD the sun is shining today.

We were having torrential downpours on Sunday when I drove to north GA to pick up our new buck, Bubba.  The drive wasn't too bad, but when I got home I found this mess. The runoff debris bent the fence around the buck pen making it impossible for me to open the gate!

So there I was, cranky after 6 hours in the car, with a little out-of-sorts goat on a lead, trying to get the gate open. I tried to call my husband only to find that my phone was dead. Not battery-dead, jacked-up dead DEAD. It seems like a little thing now, but I was ready to cry.
 It all worked out in the end and Bubba is here safe and sound.
In other news, UGA's Southscapes magazine did a piece on our farm for the Spring 2015 issue. I couldn't be more proud. Putting those Ag degrees to work, we are!
Kidding season should wrap up today. Lulu is as big as a house and has almost lost all of her ligaments. Think pink! I'd love to be posting pics of two bouncing doelings this afternoon.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Goat Milk Mozzarella (that really works)

I threw out more rubbery balls of snot than I care to mention before I found this recipe for "30 minute" mozzarella. It takes closer to two hours, but it's worth it!

Sterilize equipment. Dissolve 2.5t citric acid in 1/2c water. Add to 2 gallons of milk.  Stir. Slowly bring temp to 86* F. 

For more flavor, add 1/8t Lipase dissolved in 1/4c water here. 
Dissolve 1/2t rennet in 1/4c water. Add to milk and stir for about 30 sec. Allow to sit undisturbed for 15 min. 

Check for clean break (curds should be a custard consistency). Cut curds into 1.5" cubes and let stand for 5 min. Stir gently a couple times to make sure all curd is cut.
Please pot in a sink filled with very hot water and allow the temp to increase to 103-105*F. Add more hot water as needed. Let stand at 105* for 30 min. Do not stir during this time! The curd will form a mat at the bottom of the pot. 

With a slotted spoon, transfer curd to a colander and let drain for 15 min. Gently mix in 1.5T kosher salt. 

Now you're ready to stretch. Take about 1/5 of the cheese and place on a plate. Microwave 15 sec. Turn gently with a spoon and then heat another 10-15 sec. Gently work the cheese until you can stretch it with your hands. Stretch it a couple times and form into a ball. Drop into icy salted water to cool. Repeat until all cheese is stretched.
Slice and eat!

The more you work the cheese, the drier and tougher it will become. The protein bonds will also break if it's pulled too much- they aren't as strong as the bonds in cow milk.  I like a moist cheese, so I try to work it as little as possible. Just one good stretch and a tuck under to form a ball with a nice smooth surface.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Blessed Weekend

We really won the lottery this weekend. Betty Buttercup gave us twin girls on Saturday and Alice had twin girls on Sunday! Lulu is the only girl left to kid and that will wrap up kidding season at HHF. The count so far: 10 girls, 6 boys.