I've been thinking a lot about how to ensure that my kids are easy to sell for good prices. My main reason for selling them at good prices is that they are more likely to go to good homes if someone is looking for quality stock. My goats are raised primarily for milk so I breed for good milk production first and show lines second. There is a saying in the goat world, "your buck is 1/2 the herd". So recently I started looking at farms not too far away (Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina as well as my state of North Carolina). I wanted to find a buck or buckling I could breed UP my herd with --one that would have great champion parents and grandparents and from excellent milking lines. My two bucks now are good, but not superior in that regard.
So yesterday I found him! He is almost 5 months old and I purchased him from Fields of Grace farm -- I had been lusting after her goats for a couple of years. She's in Sevierville TN. This boy not only has great genetics (champion parents and grandparents, plus his 1/2 sister is a top producer in milk. Then to top it all off, he is POLLED (naturally hornless) and has moonspots! My first goat with moonspots! He's adorable and will be a beautiful herd sire!
Fields of Grace FL Zeus
Sire: J-Nels GP Freelance
SS: J-Nels SQ Gray Poupon *S
(Rosasharn SS Sequoia *B x CH/MCH J-Nels ER Dumplin 1*M -LA 2011 EEEV 90, 2012 VEEE 90)
SD: CH Steele Ballew Lantanna *D
(MCH Steele Ballew Blue Bayou x MCH/PGCH Half Pint Flora)
Dam: Little Tots Estate Cleome
DD: PGCH Woodhaven Farms Cowgirl 1*M
(Woodhaven Farms Texas Twister x MCH/PGCH Flat Rocks Opal *D)
DS: GCH SM3Pines PT Tsaber +B
(Little Tots Estate Pseudotsuga x ARMCH Gay-Mor Berry’s Jurassic 1*M
His Dam’s daughter (his 1/2 sister) Little Tots Estate ST Nahar milked over 1000 lbs in the last 2 years and was both 2013 AGS National Top 10 305 day test and Top 10 1 day test winning and 2013 Sue Rucker Silver JUJU Award!
The waiting game
So here it is January 18 and my best doe Leela is due in 9 days! I'm assuming she will kid on the same "day" as she did last year which was 146. She's very large but because she is such a LONGGGG doe, she carries the multiple kids very well and is not so much wide as she is DEEP.
I have been busily making preparations for kids-- I put a heat lamp in the kidding stall and built a kid hut out of a barrel and put a small heat lamp (100w) in the top of it so the kids can go in there and cuddle up for warmth. I also cut a new door for the kidding stall to the outside and made some portable hog panels (cut down from 16 feet to 8 feet for portability) sections that link together to create a small outside pen for Leela and her kids to stay in for a few days until everyone is acclimated. My does usually get very antsy to rejoin the herd by the 3rd day but I feel like it's crucial for her to have one-on-one time with her kids to get to know them and solidify her role as mom. This particular doe was not too happy to be a mom her last time when she had triplets. She chose one of the three to love and dote on and the others pretty much had to fight for teat time. Subsequently, the one doeling whom I retained (Khaki) grew fat and strong and the other two did fine but were never as big. I ended up getting the littlest one back when her new owners decided to sell her. Her mom is still mean to her but she is a trooper anyway. She is MUCH smaller than Khaki and I will be waiting to breed her until she is close to a year old.
So the waiting game is ON. I will post pics of the new kids and blog (brag) about them soon!
I love to tell the story of how I came to have these wonderful goats. I have dreamed for many years of growing my own food and being self-sufficient so when I bought my property I set out right away putting in gardens and an aquaponics system. Fast forward 2 years, my neighbor went on a special diet and couldn't have any dairy so she offered me her fresh raw goats milk she had purchased at the farmer's market. Well, I just fell in love with it! I quickly realized I couldn't afford to buy this wonderful milk but then I had a thought... I could get my OWN goats and have milk and cheese right here! Little did I know I would fall so in love with the goats!