Friday, May 29, 2015

Life is about Your Happiness. . .Hold on a moment. I've gotten that jumbled.

Life is about Your Happiness, we are taught this over and over.

But truly, Life is actually about imparting Happiness. 

Oh, that is awkward. 

That changes everything.

I've been hauling my children along on attempts to serve others (human and non) for a long time. I have sometimes agonized over my endeavors as society in America works in such a way, spending time working for "Good" instead of for your family's happiness is a mistake, a failure.

They should be first.

Wait, let me re-phrase, as I'm not talking about their need to know they are loved, given shelter and nourishment, I'm talking where we are in America with our own lives and the lives we hold in our hands.

We are a country where wants operate under the misnomer of “needs," and from the time children are born, we teach this as truth through all we do, even though it may be unintentional. . .this generations shows children are learning these lessons very well.

Pandering masquerades as “parenting” and sets a tone for the generations that follow our own offspring where selflessness is some fringe activity only. Not required, certainly not something you spend "too" much time with, either.

We teach happiness comes from what we receive and attain for ourselves. We teach that success is what we gain not what we give.

Giving is an after thought; it usually means giving a bit of money and rarely time or sweat or tears and certainly not our entire being. At least not beyond a pre-scheduled few hours through the year.

We fail to teach really living is never possible apart from giving in whatever means our hand can find a way to do so. . .

What type of people are raised if they are certain, as parents show them daily, the world revolves around their quest for personal happiness, around fun?

I fall into the trap even though something within me knows better. I find myself pondering whether I've failed as parent because I've allowed service and volunteerism to be paramount to ever other option thing in life, often serving as quite the hindrance for having a "normal" family life.

But there are those moments I sit in the barn milking one of my goats, and the littlest boy of mine says at barely 5 years old. . .

"You know, Mommy, I've thought about what I will save when I grow up. . ."

The 6 year old chimes in. . .
"I'm going to save horses like you. . ."

the non-conformist, at 13, adds, while he can't get on board so much with the livestock and horses,

"I've already said before I will rescue dogs, for sure"

The middle one explains it all to well at the end with, "Because life is about saving things, Mommy."

“Why yes, darling, it is," I add.

And I remind myself to now become swept up in American ideology.

It is never easy. It is never without questions. But perhaps it will always be right.

(The picture has a story, but rather than tell it all. . .suffice to say it began with a horse rescue many years ago, and it the next day, with 3 sleeping kids in a vehicle. . .loved, fed on the go and ending a mission)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

From ADGA's TOP TEN 2012 Breed list. . .

From ADGA's TOP TEN 2012 Breed list. . .

The highest producing does by breed for a 305 day lactation broken down into average of the breed leaders:

1. Nigerian - 1,630lbs total - An Average of 5.3 lbs daily
2. Nubian: 3,710lbs total - An Average of 12.1lbs daily
3. Oberhasli - 3,870lbs total - An Average of 12.6 lbs daily
4. Lamancha - 4,030lbs total - An Average of 13.2lbs daily
5. Toggenburg - 4,060lbs total - An Average of 13.3lbs daily
6. Saanen: 5,490lbs total - An Average of 18lbs daily
7. Alpine: 5280lbs total - An Average of 17.3 lbs daily

Note: Production often is lower on the higher fat/protein produers.
I.E. Nubians have significantly higher fat (also highest protein levels) of the Full size breeds, yet their production (in lbs) is lower of the full size dairy goats.

Remember, these are averages from the highest producers listed on the Top Ten production list.

These aren't typical numbers for MOST Does.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Raw Milk Answer Book

David Gumpert recently published The Raw Milk Answer Book, which answers more than 200 of the toughest questions people have about raw milk.

Order your copy today:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Dairy Goat Bucks

Dairy Goat Bucks

They are not for everyone, but remember, if you cannot handle the bucks, you might consider passing on dairy does. It takes two to tango, and AI will rarely settle all your does consistently the way the "real deal" guy can, and hauling around to others' bucks is bio-security risk and a pain in the rear.

The Buck is the foundation of your herd. 

He should be the animal you invest the most in. He IS an investment, not an after-thought. You should never skimp on his purchase. Make sure his dam is your dream doe, make sure his genetics are superior, or at the very least equal, to your does. His impact on a herd is far more important, usually, than a single doe's impact will be, as he will cover many more and need a lot of strengths to improve weaknesses in various does.

Remember, he is who makes the daughters you will retain in your herd.

He will be very hard to keep in, hard to keep in condition when in rut and give you a heck of a time when you trim his feet or clip him, usually.

You cannot forget him when BO-SE and Copper time comes. He will need high quality hay, and he will always need grain in rut.

Never keep him all alone. He needs either another buck as a companion or a wether for a buddy. I always think two bucks is the better choice, as you have an option to breed the first buck's daughter to later on.

Bucks handled correctly, even when massive, are rarely aggressive, but when in rut, you do need to be aware they may mistake you for a pretty lass, and well, you know. . .just be aware of that ;)

They do not deserve to receive second rate care, to be bought to breed a few does once and passed on to an auction or the like.

Buying an amazing buck or two and keeping for the long term is ideal in so many ways. You develop a line that becomes yours, one you have long enough to see consistency, one you learn the strengths and weaknesses in. You also reduce you risk of bringing disease into the herd or unknown genetics issues by sticking with a few chosen bucks, using AI as needed for some diversity over time.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Time goes, slips, gets away so fast.

Time goes, slips, gets away so fast.
Before you know it, so many of the great things of your life will have passed you by
. . forever
My life has thus far been short at 32 years
And already some of the greatest parts are over, the greatest of people lost
. . .would that you recognize them before those times pass you;
I am so fortunate I did at least that part right



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington