|Easter Egg Acres
I was very surprised to be invited to share in the upcoming class given by Hungry Chicken Homestead about all the things you can do with your milk share. Since Bonnie is a milk share customer of Easter Egg Acres, I was thrilled to help. I even volunteered to make ice cream to share. There are alot of steps in making ice cream but it is so worth it all. You can make large batches and save in single serve cups for later too. Even people who are lactose intolerant can eat ice cream made with goats milk.
To start with you must make a custard or a milk based slury. This is a slury that does not contain eggs but I will be giving out our recipe for both the custard or slury in the class tomorrow night (May 9th, spots are still available). A vanilla bean is used in making the slury and cookies are to add later to the finished frozen mix.
I prepared my ice cream freezer (purchased at Walmart for around 20$) and began to load it with creamy goodness. The parts are the base tub, the motor, the paddle, the lid, and the drum. Place your cream slury in the drum, insert the paddle, and place the lid on top.
Stand the drum in the center of the base tub (there's a hub for it to set on in the bottom center) and begin to layer rock salt and ice around the drum. Only place one layer of salt then a layer of ice in the tub before securing the motor on top. Plug in the motor starting the drum rotating so you can layer the rest of the ice and salt with it turning. This keeps the drum from getting stuck and makes it begin the freezing process much faster.
Continue to do layers of salt, then ice, then salt, then ice till the base tub is full. Then let it run until you hear a definate slowing of the motor as it has a harder time turning the drum with the frozen ice cream inside. Add ice and salt as needed until the drum sounds like its thicker. The ice will melt and there is a drain hole on the base tub so I leave it in the sink so if the saltwater gets too full it can drain away as it keeps freezing.
Then as it happily grinds away you blog about the experience till it's done!
Kidding season began a few weeks ago with a nice set of triplet bucks from Queen Anne up in Monument. The next day we got a set of triplets from Queen Victoria too with two does and a buck. So the fun began with 6 baby goats in the house. Thankfully we have two large dog kennels to house them. We let Victoria keep the boy to mother him some before he was sold because last year she didn't take care of her kids.
We had barely gotten the bigger kids outside when these three showed up. The nubian is from our Purebred Sapphire (AKA B'Lou Bell). Sadly he had a sister we lost to compilcations and he had to wait a few days alone to get new friends. But they are growing fast and playing nice together. The Cou Blanc (half black half white) kids are from Firefly. A nice big buck and doe. The little nubian wanted to make it quite clear that no matter what anyone said about the spot on the rug, it wasn't HIM.
This monsterously BIG Buck was born soon after the Cou Blanc. We are very lucky as large as he was that his mother Anise, who is only a year old herself, didn't have problems or have damage to herself. But she is doing fine and milking really well for a first freshener. This little guy looks just like Dad.
Into the mix came a set of triplets from our experimental Alpine Oberhausli, Princess Sarah Ferguson of two bucks and a doe. Very small and very much a surprise that there were three. Not hard to tell they are Ober crosses. We were hoping for a throwback to the black in their Oberhausli bloodlines for some black kids too but not to be. Only two days later came a set of Cou Blanc boys from Queen Elizabeth. These were a wild card set of kids from the only time a buck has ever gotten loose here. I thought she was bred for May....
Most recently Queen Mary gave us a set of triplets with two does and one buck. These kids are having some issues and it remains to be seen if either of the girls will be in the upcoming show lineup. Mary placed 4th at the 2012 ADGA National Dairy Goat Show. We had very much hoped for and very happy to have gotten does from her. Keeping our fingers crossed.
So for the first half of our kidding season we have had 19 kids from 8 mothers, with 6 more does left to kid. We often sell our little bucklings quite quickly to reduce the work load in caring for the kids.* We do however have the Purebred Nubian Buckling Bister on our For Sale page . He comes from excellent bloodlines and is being sold very reasonably if anyone is in the market for a Purebred Nubian Buck. We also have a large number of milk shares available for sale. The girls are milking extremely well already and we love to share the farm fresh goodness. For more information check our milk share page.
*we raise Registered goats in the Recorded Grade catagory and the bucks cannot be registered as they are not proven to be 100% pure. This is the first year we have Purebred Nubians and will have American Alpines if the girls decide to give girls.
In farming you are always learning new skills and better ways to understand your animals.
After ten years of raising goats I decided this year to bottle/bucket all the kids, selling the boys as we go and keeping the girls for future show and sale items.
I had used a bucket feeder a few years back but I waited to try to train them to it until they were a month or more old.
Not this time, we were going to master it at only 3 days old. Or so I thought ...how hard could it be ?
So 5 little goats and their caretaker began their journey!
A bucket feeder works using nipples and tubes to draw milk out of the bucket just like they would from a bottle. A one way valve on the tube keeps the milk from dropping back down into the bucket if they stop nursing so its ready at the nipple all the time.
I made sure that I used these nipples to train the babies to the bottle so they were familiar and use to the size and feel of them before trying the bucket.
First attempt...let the two girls out and try to get them to use the feeder. They both tried and got a few sips of milk then decided that wandering around the rest of the room peeing was much more interesting.
OK so adapt and overcome, out comes the ratty old used playpen to put them in. That helped and they drank pretty well and with a towel in the pen mess contained, right? WRONG! After drinking their fill the little girls then back up to the soft sided pen and pee out onto the floor. Well they are goats...
Next alteration...place washable material under and outside the playpen to catch messes. Check!
Then ofcouse came my wonderful partner to observe as I put the girls back in their kennel and let the boys have a go at the new bucket feeder.
I failed to mention my first attempt was done using a regular round bucket that is made to feed goats. AKA: NOT the one in the photo.
Well three boys in the pen and the bucket they were quite crowded and you cannot guide and train more goats than you have hands for much less keep them from trying to tip the bucket over. To snickering in the background I scoop up one of the boys and put him back in the kennel while getting the other two fed.
Finally to good success and feeding acheived when I remembered these nifty square buckets I had recycled for feeding less kids at one time. Fits the playpen better or as pictured hangs on the kennel doors to let them have just a bit more in case they didn't get enough in the playpen.
New skill learned by the goats, new mentality learned by the caretaker and feeding is a breeze with this new system because I can also be cleaning, doing laundry, and freshening their kennels while they eat all by themselves. YAY! I think it's time for an after lunch nap.