milking, goat babies, eating from the farm

baby frenzy 2012

Doing the doula time with the goat mommas paid off and we have had a total of 11 kids born since January. It’s been absolutely insane, no or little sleep or passing out on the couch to wake to hungry baby cries at 2:30am. Midnight vigils in the goat shed, waiting for water to break, clean towel on my arm and coaching mom the whole way through. There were a few births that seemed potentially problematic, but they all worked their way through, of course right when I panicked and ran inside, reading over and over in my goat books about kid presentations and how to solve them. Back out I’d come with a scrubbed and sanitized arm, and the kids were out in the world.

Unfortunately for all the baby goat lovers, all but 3 of the kids have gone off to their new homes already. It’s a relief for me, as all the towel changing, washing, tending, bottle washing & warming and just the sheer quantity of milk needed for so many kids has been delirium inducing. This was my plan all along, and it’s working very well. Just a few more sleepless nights with the newest twins and this show gets on the road. I have stock piled baby goat videos to feed the baby-hungry, so they can get their goatie fix. But soon, the truth will be revealed—- we won’t be a baby farm. I love the sweet smelling baby goats with their milky faces and truly revel over the miracle of life each kidding season, but…

The truth is, this year I am not too interested in keeping kids, I am interested in the milk. I figured out that each kid would take over 14 gallons of milk until weaning age- something I am sure the commercial goat dairies have figured out a long time ago. 14 gallons of milk makes alot of cheese, which I couldn’t wait to begin making. The kitchen has since turned into a dairy- I’ve been making fresh greek style yogurt, dulce de leche, garlic chevre and my first 3 gallon batch of my very special feta is in it’s many day long culturing phase. Oh I can’t wait! Our goat cheese is absolutely divine and our friends love the feta, loved the introduction of the fresh chevre last year and are clamouring for it already.

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