About this time of year the chorus from Tom Petty's song "The Waiting" starts playing over and over in my head.
By this time next month we should have or be close to having three of the five does that will be kidding here this year with babies on the ground.
For me at least, waiting for Mame' to kid (Edd 3/15) is the hardest since she is bred to a buck outside our herd and I am hoping for a doe and a herd sire quality buck kid out of her.
For Bekah the hardest wait is for her doe Tsunami to kid and she is due 5 days after Mame'. Tsunami is looking huge and is developing a nice udder already so we are expecting at least twins from her, and Bekah still insists that it is going to be quads!
This morning I took Tsunami, Roni and Rita over to the vet college at Oregon State University for ultrasounds at their annual free clinic. It gives the 4th year vet students goats to practice on and I get to have an idea of what my does are carrying. Roni appears to only have a single and Tsunami is far enough along they couldn't tell if she had more than one or not given the narrow field of view that the ultrasound gives. But since Rita isn't due until mid April they were able to determine that she was carrying at least twins. Can you see one of Rita's babies in the utlrasound picture? No? Don't feel bad, if they hadn't pointed it out to me the only thing I would have been able to figure out on my own was the beating heart. According to the student the babies spine is in the upper portion of the picture.
Conventional wisdom says that if you want to make butter from goats milk you must have a cream separator to do it. But I have found that with the high butterfat content common to Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats that a separator isn't actually necessary.
Today I came across a youtube video that demonstrates the same technique I use for butter making with two exceptions. She pasteurizes her milk and then she skims the cream off. I use raw whole milk to make my butter. Either way we end up with the same tasty results.
The 23rd NW Oregon Dairy Goat Association Conference is scheduled for February 26, 2011 at Clackamas Community College, in Oregon City. This is a great conference to attend with a lot of educational classes offered along with a great bunch of venders. And of course it is always fun to get together with other goat people to talk goats! :)