A few weeks back, Geordon stumbled upon a simple milking machine online. We had been discussing purchasing a milk machine for some time just to simplify milking - especially with a naughty and bad tempered Dixie to milk! The cost on a milk machine however can often run into the thousands and this is simply not in our budget. We were so excited when Geordon stumbled upon the "Henry Milker", a small and simply designed milking system that requires no power and works through a simple vaccuum. How perfect for us! Especially since it requires no power! The best part about this machine is that it costs less than $200. After doing a bit of research into whether or not it will also work on our Nigerians, we were sold! I have been a little worried about having to try to milk Carmela soon with the tiny teats that Nigerians have. Now with this milker I can simply let it do all my work for me! We placed our order and it FINALLY arrived yesterday! The Henry Milker company is out of a small town in Alaska. Our milker was delayed at customs for a few days en route but finally made it safe and sound. Geordon and I tested it briefly last night on Dixie but as I don't regularly milk her at night she didn't have much to offer. This morning however, I was able to milk her out and save my hands! For such a moody goat, she didn't seem to mind the teat cups at all and was content to eat her breakfast while I played around with it. She was even able to lie down while I milked her! This machine was definately worth it and I am sure it will make life much easier now. I may even have an opportunity to sleep in and let Geordon milk now!
Here is a video from the www.henrymilker.com website showing how simple this is to use. What a wonderful idea they had! We are thrilled to have found it :o)
Once again is has been awhile since my last post. Summers always seem to be so busy with so many things to get done while spending the glorious sunny days outside. We always seem to be super busy around here and this summer is proving to be just as crazy! My Mom is here for a well overdue visit. This is her first visit since we started raising goats and she seems to really delight in spending time with them as much as we do! She has also been able to try her hand at making various cheeses and learning about the whole process. She and I have been quite busy experimenting with different methods and flavours. I'll write more on this later.
The big news for us is that Daniel has graduated high school! We were so delighted to watch him receive his diploma last week and proud of him for fighting to complete his education even throughout all his other challenges. The ceremony was doubly amazing as my baby brother was also graduating! It was great to see them both come through so much together and I was thrilled my Mom got to be here to see it.
The animals are all doing great. José is finally registered with the AGS (American Goat Society) which means I can finally get his Canadian papers processed. He is finally growing again and beginning to show some "bucky" behavious! He underwent his first haircut the other day and had many more moonspots than we thought! What a wonderful surprise! Cassi also had her first haircut and she really has unique and striking markings. She looks like someone has splattered her with black paint. The spots we though she had are less like spots and more like "splats"!
Carmela is two weeks away from her due date and she is absolutely enormous! She is still in good spirits though so I trust all is going well. We are anxious for her babies to arrive safely. We can expect them arrive sometime after July 13th. Her udder is forming and showing great promise of being wonderful! She already shows great attachments and her teets are beginning to get bigger which makes me happy as I am the one that will have to figure out how to milk her!
Geordon has been busy building new and fun things for the goats to play and entertain themselves on. Both the girls and boys now have new two story platforms in their pens and we are all able to benefit from the amazing bridge he built that crosses our river to the other side! It took some time to get all the goats to willingly cross the bridge but now they all freely cross it to get at all the wonderful browse available on the other side! Even o
As for cheese, I am becoming quite adept at making a few varieties that are quickly becoming very popular. The favourite from most of my guinea pigs seems to be the "Sun-dried Tomato with Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper". I will continue to work on perfecting my recipes and techniques over the summer and maybe by next year I will have an amazing product! So far I have made the following flavours;
Sun-Dried Tomato with Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper
Onion and Chive
"Da Hot Mamma" - (developed by my Mom :o)
Garlic, Red Pepper and Bacon
My Mom has helped me in making many of these varieties while she hass been here. All of these current varieties are available to try out if you give me some notice to make a batch! I am always looking for more volunteers!
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”
- Anatole France