September 23, 2008

Chocolate Goat Milk Fudge

Chocolate Goat Milk Fudge

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup goat milk
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. light corn syrup
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt chocolate in milk. Add sugar and corn syrup; cook slowly, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Cook gently to softball stage (234°F), stirring frequently. Remove from heat; add butter and cool at room temperature until lukewarm without stirring. Add vanilla; beat vigorously until fudge becomes very thick and loses its gloss. Quickly spread in buttered pan. When firm, cut into squares.

A Chance to say Goodbye

This morning I said goodbye to our Boer buck Chance as we waited for his new owner to pick him up. Chance has been our main herdsire for more than three years now, he was the start of our colored Boer program and he has been a great buck for us. I have had him so long and saw so many great kids of his born; it felt a little bit like an end of an era. Chance was a little too good at his job here, because he produced so many nice, colorful does for us that we have kept for our own herd that the ol’boy just worked him self out of a job. Now we have too many of his daughters in our herd and only a handful of does not too closely related to him to breed him too. I also knew this was the best thing for him, bucks are not pets and he would not be happy stuck in his pasture watching all the other bucks “get the girls” so to speak.

Always the considerate fellow, the usually very cooperative Chance did do his best to make saying goodbye a little bit easier for me by pulling on his lead rope like a super sized sled dog at the Iditarod start line and being on his very worst behavior this morning. Actually I think he was just worried about the does he has been pining over from the other side of the fence the last month or so while he has been in rut. He is on his way to a new home and some new girlfriends today, and I am sure once he sees those pretty new does he will forget all about his old girlfriends here, he is still a male after all. I don’t know about our does, but I know I won’t ever forget him and his colorful influence will live on through his daughters here on our farm for a very long time to come as the chief herdsire torch has now been passed to the other bucks here on our farm. So long old friend, I am so glad I had the “Chance” to know you.

September 19, 2008

Sweet Pumpkin

Raising meat goats can be a little bit of a challenge for me as a soft hearted animal loving person. I do take a lot of pride in raising our own meat as well as putting food on other people's tables and I had no delusions going into this where the neat little packages of food in the meat department at the grocery store come from. The difference is I don't know how that animal was raised, was it raised humanely? Was it kept happy and healthy and raised in a large grass pasture where it could run and play with other animals like him? I have seen the crowded feedlots in Kansas and so I imagine a great deal of the time not, at least in the case of beef; but that is how our meat wethers are raised, well cared for and happy. Humane farming is important to me, still I am who I am and there are certain things I have to do for my own sake to avoid getting too attached too our meat wethers. I never give our wethers names like our breeding does and bucks have. They are well fed, cared for and kept happy but I do have to keep that little bit of distance of not giving them a name for my own sake. Every once in awhile, despite my best intentions one manages to worm his way into my heart and ends up with a name. Since the farm just can not support a lot of non-producing "pet" goats I am roped by my emotions into finding a pet home for the now named wether or finding him a job on our farm.

That is where I am at with Pumpkin, a pretty, little, solid red wether born this past June. He was never considered for a breeding buck because he was rather feminine in appearance and slightly dainty in bone & his head. From the beginning he was messing with my plans. We don't kid goats in June, so all the other wethers had been born 3 months earlier in March, but this was our first accidental breeding. My husband really started it by calling him "Oops". Technically that isn't a name in my book so I was still OK with it. "Oops" was trying to manipulate my emotions from birth, as he looked up at me with his ridiculously cute little face and big blinking eyes and tried to wobble after me when I left the kidding pen. From then on over the last few months a tug of war was started of me trying to ignore him because I know what wethers are raised for here and him following me around refusing to be ignored.

Most of our dam raised wethers are not exactly wild but they are not tame either, as they take a "look but don't touch me" stance and if you don't have a bucket of grain as a bribe they go off and do their own goaty things and pretty much ignore me and that is just the way I like it. This wasn't the case with Oops, everywhere I went in the goat pasture there was this adorable little red kid looking up at me with those soft brown eyes and adorable long ears, being extra cute all the time. If we were weighing the other wethers, he was there putting both front feet on the weight sling in between other goats and walking around in circles on his back feet with his head thrown back, face to the sky practically screaming "Look at me! Look at me! I am too dang cute not to have a NAME!" Even the way he would chew his cud with extra enthusiasm was cute, it was ridiculous. My husband was the worst, he has no hang-ups about the meat wethers or giving them names but that didn't stop him from making things more difficult for me by always picking Oops up and showing me how strangely he liked to be picked up and carried around like a baby and saying "Aww...isn't he cute" all the time didn't help either, he clearly wasn't on my side.

Before I knew it I was starting to make justifications in my own head, that this June born wether would never make weight the same time as the other wethers and by now there was no way he could be put in our own freezer, I was getting too attached. I just didn't get this goat, he was never a bottle baby but from birth he has had a friendly curiosity about everything people do in his world and a sweetness that just couldn't be ignored, then it happened. I was feeding the kids the other day and my husband pointed out that this impossible goat was kind of an orangy red color and before I could stop myself I did it...I said "We should call him Pumpkin". Drats...manipulated by a goat and a baby goat at that, well it was too late for me even before I named him. Now I have to find a good pet home to sell him too or find a purposeful job for him on our farm. So if anyone wants a manipulative but cute pet wether they can check out the sales page of our website; meanwhile I am thinking if he doesn't sell, I guess the one thing this farm is missing is a token wether as a reminder that I am still a push over when it comes to personality and ridiculous cuteness.

September 17, 2008

News - Riding a bicycle while carrying a goat.

Bad debt leads to theft of Taunton goat
Suspect claims he was owed money for work he had done

By Sharon Holliday
Posted Sep 17, 2008 @ 02:36 AM

TAUNTON — The lack of a debt payment got a local man’s goat, literally. And police nabbed the goat-theft suspect before his getaway could get in gear.

A 50-year-old Rhode Island man was arraigned Monday at Taunton District Court on theft charges after he was accused of stealing an Elm Street resident’s goat as payment for a debt.

Seekonk police responded Sunday at 8:17 a.m. to the Elm Street residence of Alberto DaSilva after his daughter, Tania DaSilva, reported seeing Anthony L. Pereira of Pawtucket, R.I., ride away from the residence on his bicycle, but holding one of their goats.

DaSilva said that after Pereira rang the doorbell and received no response, she watched as Pereira walk toward the rear of the property, where a barn is located. A short time later, she saw was Pereira riding down the driveway on his bicycle, holding one of the goats that were kept in the barn.

Pereira was stopped by police at Elm Street and Taunton Avenue in Seekonk, while riding the bicycle and still carrying the goat.

He told police he took the goat because DaSilva “owed him money” for work he had done at the property.

Police walked him back to DaSilva’s residence, and the goat was returned to the barn. Pereira was arrested on three warrants and charged with breaking and entering for a misdemeanor and larceny over $250.

On Monday, Judge Kevan J. Cunningham ordered Pereira held at Bristol County House of Correction in lieu of $100 cash bail or $1,000. The cases were continued to Oct. 14.


When I read stories like this I always wonder "Just what was he thinking?". After I get past the amusing image of someone trying to ride a bicycle and carry a goat at the same time this story does disturb me a little as an animal owner myself that someone could possibly think it is OK to take another person's animal right out of their barn for any reason and then be brazen enough to actually do it in broad daylight and on a bicycle no less. I am just glad to see that this story does have a good ending, the owners got their goat back and the thief got punished for his stupidity.

September 15, 2008

An Email From Sundae's Mom!

When you raise animals and they go to new homes you often wonder how they are doing. Every once in awhile their new owners will send me updates on the goats they have got from me and I always love getting them. One of the best for doing this is a very nice lady named Rebecca from Oklahoma. Last fall she bought a young doe kid named Sundae from us as a pet. Rebecca has been very happy with the goat she got from us and has sent me several updates on how Sundae is doing and has even sent pictures. I happily got another nice email from Sundae's "mom" a couple weeks ago and she updated me on how Sundae is doing and sent me some new pictures of her. Rebecca's email is copied below:

I just wanted to let you know Sundae is still doing wonderful. I think she is so pretty. She still loves Annie & Belle. They are all 3 always together. She is very protective of them if one of the other goats pick on them Sundae will defend them. They all 3 come in the house every night to get treats and get their special attention. They are spoiled rotten. Here are some new pictures I took of Sundae thought you would like to see how big she has gotten.


September 12, 2008

Kansas Scenery

While we were on our road trip looking for goats a few weeks ago I was able to take some pictures of the Kansas scenery we saw. The first two pictures were taken as we waited on road construction east of Wichita. We had got a late start that morning because of a pretty severe thunderstorm and we did run into patches of rain along the way that morning. In the second picture you can see the rain in the distance. The last picture was taken later that evening on our way to the last farm we visited. It was still overcast but the weather had cleared enough to give us a break from the rain. It is just a simple picture of a plowed field taken while the car was moving, but I saw beauty in it.

September 11, 2008

9-11 May We Never Forget

God Bless America
May We Never Forget

Our New Boer Buck

A couple weeks ago we took off and spent a weekend looking for goats. We were mostly looking for Fullblood Boer does but maybe a buck too and Jamey found a buck he likes and we decided to give him a try since it is time for Chance to find a new home. He has been a fantastic buck for us, we have used him 3 years and he has gave us lots of nice replacement does and put tons of color in our herd but the boy has worked himself out of a job here, we don't have much left that isn't too related to him to breed to him. So I will be putting him on the sales page of our website soon. This young guy is going to be Chance's replacement. He is a little over 6 months old. It will be fun to see how he grows out! He seems to be good sized for his age. He has some black genetics on his dam's side like Jet Black's Lignite, Hershey's etc and is black headed himself...on the dam's side he also has some Eggs breeding as well (Eggsfile, Eggs Ryals Magnum) and Ash Creek breeding and on his sire's side he has Eggs breeding (Eggspense Account, Eggsfile, Eggspense) and HMR Sumo, Mojo Magic, DER Walt, JLF Rambo, Tarzan T66 too). We can't wait to see how he matures and grows out.

September 10, 2008

Goat Fun - Climbing on tree logs.

It would certainly be an understatement to say I have fallen a bit behind on posting to this blog. There is always so much to do on the farm and I have a bad habit of putting this on the very back burner. There are several new happenings on the farm but I guess the best place to start is by sharing some pictures that have been on my camera for about a month. Late in the summer we had some walnut timber harvested out of the goat’s pastures and yard. Only about 10 walnut trees were harvested and most of the trees that was cut down were taken out of a spot where they would have eventually had to be cut down anyway if we decide to bring in a new mobile home in the future instead of fixing up the old farm house that is here. That decision will depend on just how much structural work the farm house needs and with winter coming up the extra money was a big help too. It was a tough decision for me to have any of them cut down but I think it was the right one for us at this time and there are plenty of walnut and other trees left in the pastures so there are still lots of shade and the wooded horse pasture I love so much was left untouched. While the trees were being cut down I had to pen all the goats up in a safe location but after the trees were down and the men had left for the day with their chainsaws & tools I did let the goats out. The goats had a grand time jumping and playing on the new playground of large logs and eating leaves they have only been able to look up at and dream about reaching for years. These are pictures of the goats enjoying the logs and leaves.
Three young Boer does explore and play on a large walnut tree log.

Annie & Rock got a little too adventurous for my liking, so right after this picture was taken I made them get down so there would not be any chance of them hurting themselves.

A young black doe born this year enjoys some leaves & climbing on the walnut tree logs.

One of our livestock guardian dogs Abby is curious about the changes while some goats mock fight/play in the background over the right to stand on the big stump.