Sunday, May 19, 2013
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Garden of Eden Farms Blog
Meet the girls
These are the girls...
That's Lucky on the left and Heidi on the right. They are Nubian dairy goats; Heidi's eight now, and Lucky is five. Nubians are known for their Roman noses, richness of milk and richness of personality and intellect. Which these two girls have in spades!
Lucky is wont to help herself to the buffet in the hayloft at will. Heidi will nip the asparagus any chance she gets. Both think they should be allowed in the house. NOT! Well, actually, Lucky spent the first few nights of her life not only in the house but in bed with me. She was the third and smallest of triplets, born on a cold night, and she developed pneumonia. She was lucky to live, hence the name.
Her name was earned again when she was a yearling, when the sheep and goat holocaust occurred. A pack of feral dogs attacked and killed 30% of my animals while I slept the two hours my 4 month old daughter allowed me between feedings.
This is Lucky's sister.
These are the ewe lambs that were in the same field. I raised them on a bottle.
Heidi actually was responsible for saving most of the ewe lambs. Even though she had been hamstrung, she led the smaller ewe lambs to safety across a hillside at the base of a big old tree. With their backs to the tree and a big root on either side, (I presume) Heidi stood the dogs off. When I found her she was laying in front of them, collapsed, and so badly bitten on the face you can still see the scar on her nose. I ended up sending her to Dave Anderson, then at Ohio State University, to have her leg surgically reconstructed.
This is one of the ewes; the dogs had driven her into the yard. By now it was daylight, and I had finished treating all the ones I thought I could save. I had not treated this ewe, assuming she would die. By the time I had all the dead ones on the trucks, she had made her way back to the barn and was eating. I was barely able to catch her for an injection of antibiotic and antiinflammatory.
So much for the old saying 'A sick sheep is a dead sheep'!
Heidi is going to help me with the lambs again this fall, and so is Lucky. No more free ride, girls! After a four year break I am breeding my does (tomorrow, as a matter of fact) to a neighbor's nice Boer buck, hoping for some fall milk to help make raising the rejects a little cheaper.
Plus bottle babies do better on milk than on milk replacer; they do okay on milk replacer but they don't have that same shine of vibrant good health like they do on fresh whole milk. I'm starting it this year so I'll have the kinks worked out by next fall, when I open the dairy. I got the idea from Larry Meisegeier at River Ridge Stock Farm
. A large sheep dairy in Bruce, Wisconsin, they use 10 dairy goats to provide milk for the 450 lambs they raise. It saves them about half of their milk replacer, according to Larry.
Not only will I save on milk replacer, I'll be able to sell the kids as 4H projects. Except I have already had to promise my daughter we will keep one of Heidi's babies. Which works out well for me too, as that kid will freshen (have a baby and start to producer milk) just in time to provide additional milk for the lambs when the dairy opens. Hope Heidi has a doe...
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