My Friend Olive…the goat

In a few short days we’ll be enjoying fresh goat milk again.  I love goat milk.  It makes the best ice cream, the cream doesn’t separate and it is easily digestible.  I have heard a lot of people tell me that they think goat milk tastes bad but I think it depends mainly on the goat’s diet.  Our goat milk tastes great but our goats are offered a wide variety of forages.

Let me introduce you to our goat herd, headed up by Olive.  We bought Olive on Craig’s List some years back.  She came from a farm about an hour to the North.  I believe she is rounding out her sixth year.  She’s a gallon milker and is at least mostly nubian.  Isn’t she pretty?

Olive arrived with her twins (Sweet Pea and Popeye (Supper)) two summers ago then gave us quadruplets last year.  That’s a pretty strong mark against her as it is a trait we want to select against.  We were able to keep two of the four.  I made an attempt at a family photo but..well, goats are goats.  From the back left Olive, Sweet Pea, Pixie and Honey.  Honey wanted to eat my pant leg and refused to pose.

What we like best about the goats is they aren’t much of a threat to our children’s safety.  They may love you to death but that’s the worst they’ll do. Billy goats are a little different story…

Olive and Sweet Pea are days away from freshening…from kidding…from having babies.  We’ll keep a close eye on them as we believe Olive was bred on Dec. 10th and Sweet Pea was bred a few days later.  When Olive was carrying quads last year she developed a limp…you would too.  So far she’s getting around normally but you can tell she isn’t comfortable laying down.

This will be Sweet Pea’s first freshening.  She’s developing an udder and you can tell she’s not comfortable with any part of this arrangement.  She’ll be a handful on the milking stand.  Should make for good times though.

Anyone have any tips on breaking a goat to milk?