Saturday, March 22, 2014

First day of DHIR ... WHEW! And Hooray!

So Firestone Creek Farm had its first DHIR milk test on March 21. Anyone who knows milk testing rules will know that does are judged by their age (in years and months) and by how many pounds of milk they produce in a 24 hour period, in addition to the protein and butterfat content of the milk. Several of my girls tested haven't freshened many times because--well, I've had them since 2010, and the year that my late husband passed away, 2011, Firestone Creek did not breed many goats for 2011 or 2012 kiddings. We had a few (like Palabra), but breeding stalled at that time, so some of the girls--Bella and Sunnee, weren't bred or freshened until they were a bit older. This means it is more of a 'feat' for them to catch up with girls of their age that have freshened more times and therefore have more capacity. No matter, they did it! I'm proud of them!

We tested three does, those to kid thus far, which means we tested:

  • NC PromisedLand Z Bella
  • On Firestone Creek HWD Lil Acorn
  • On Firestone Creek Sunnee Day 
On Firestone Creek Palabra and On Firestone Creek Palisade will be added to this list when they kid (Palabra, this week; Palisade, in May;)

Results thus far:

Side udder 2 weeks fresh
NC PromisedLand Z Bella

Sire: NC Promisedland RC Zohan *S
Dam:  NC Promisedland L Zodiac *M  

This is Bella's second freshening, and she was 4 weeks fresh on test day.

First milking 3.3 lbs
Rear udder 2 weeks fresh;
it's a bit lopsided from
 2 kids nursing unequally
Second milking 3.3 lbs

6.6 lbs total 
Bella is 4.1 yrs old and a spoiled brat. She loves the milkstand, mainly because there's food there.

Woohoo! So proud of you my Bella-Boo! :) 
________________________________

Rear udder 3 days fresh
On Firestone Creek Sunnee Day 

Sire: Rosasharn HNC Uproar +*S
Dam: Anbonjo SS Spun Gold

This is Sunnee's second freshening; she was 1 week and 1 day fresh on test day.

AM milking: 1.4 lbs
             PM milking: 1.6 lbs
side udder 3 days fresh





Total: 3 lbs 
She is measured at 3.4 yrs old.

Not too shabby for a little girl that is only 1 week fresh! :) I would like to see more rear udder height, but she has developed more since this photo was taken and her milk supply has really started coming in. Sunnee is a sweetheart, very refined, and well-loved around here.


_______________________________________

On Firestone Creek Lil Acorn

Sire: Gateway Hollywood Nights
Dam:  Plum Rotten BC Lady Ophelia

This is Acorn's third freshening, and poor girl, she still did really good on test day considering that her 4 week old daughter still got to her, nursed through the fence, and made her a bit lopsided for the test. She's been nursing her niece, too, who is almost a year old! I had to pen her up to keep her away from Auntie Acorn. 

This is Acorn's third freshening, and she was almost 5 weeks fresh on test day. 

AM milking: 2.0 lbs
PM milking: 2.1 lbs

Total: 4.1 lbs 
She is measured at 4.2 yrs old. 
____________________________________

So far all of the girls met their goals for a one day test when it comes to weights, so we'll see how they do on the protein and butterfat when it comes back! 

Now I am off to the barn to check on Palabra, who is about to freshen any day now. Cross your fingers for girls! :) 

Angie

Monday, February 24, 2014

More babies and another update to the Sniff Test!

Panama and her new babies
Hi all! So we have more babies this morning! Kuka kidded with twin bucklings, and then Panama followed about 10 minutes behind her with triplets. I was racing from one pen to the next, trying to help out. Lots of fun!! And now I can update The Sniff Test further, and the results aren't looking too great, everyone. See the new additions to the chart below.

To summarize the current results in the table, we are having a 'buck' year so far--lots of 'blue.' Out of 8 kids, we only have 2 doelings so far. We are finished kidding until mid-March when Palabra and Sunnee deliver first, and then we will be waiting again until early summer for Palisade to kid. At this moment though, it seems that the sniff test is not a reliable way to predict kidding. Actually, the results seem to be about 50/50; Acorn's smell was correct, as was Panama's. However, Bella and Kuka's results were contrary to their 'smell.' I'd say that so far the Sniff Test works half of the time. I guess we'll see if the results continue to fit this percentage as the season progresses. 



Table 1. The Sniff Chart

Doe (Dam)Buck (Sire)Smell / Gestation time# of doelings/bucklings
Muddy Creek B2 PanamaOn Firestone Creek AA Mesa
(history of producing high % of doelings)
Panama's head smells 'bucky' on 2/14; she is due on 2/21. She is pregnant with multiples--looks like three or more. She has a history of having bucklings, so maybe there is a doeling or two in there.1/2
Kidded on Feb 24th with one small doeling and two bucklings, one on the big side! She did have a bucky smell, so I'd say this one was a 'positive.'
On Firestone Creek HWD AcornOn Firestone Creek AA Mesa
(history of producing high % of doelings)
Acorn smelled like hay on 2/14; she is due on 2/15. She has a history of having doelings. She looks like she may be pregnant with one or two kids.Well, she smelled like hay, and she had one doeling, so we are at 100% right now! :) 
NC PromisedLand Z BellaOn Firestone Creek HWD Bo PeepsBella smelled like hay on 2/14; she is due on 2/15. She has a history of having doelings.Bella kidded 2/22 with TWO bucklings. So this is 100% contrary to how she smelled, which was like hay with no bucky smell at all! I'd say this is -100%
On Firestone Creek Palisade 2*M 5*D*B NC PromisedLand RB Bolero *S On 2/14 Palisade smelled a little bucky. She is not due until 5/15. She has a history of twins and triplets; the triplets are usually bucklings and doelings.
On Firestone Creek BJ KukarabishaOn Firestone Creek AA Mesa
(history of producing high % of doelings)
On 2/14 Kuka smelled like hay. She is due on 2/20.Argh! Kuka smelled like hay but delivered two healthy bucklings on 2/24. This result is another negative--strong one, just like Bella.
On Firestone Creek R PalabraProctor Hill Farm B Cuervo Gold *SOn 2/14, Palabra smelled a little bucky. Due on 3/13.
On Firestone Creek UP Sunnee DayProctor Hill Farm B Cuervo Gold *S Will smell again next week. She could tell I was up to something and didn't want to be sniffed. Perhaps she thought I was going to nibble her or make her wear deodorant. Who knows! :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sniff test update! Bella kidded

Well, just a quick post to update the sniff test. Before today, we were at 100% correct when it came to 'hay' smell, but now we are 200% to the contrary. Actually it's more like 1:2 I guess since Bella kidded with two bucklings about an hour ago. She smelled like hay, too! Does this prove the theory wrong? It would seem so, but we'll gather all results just to see what happens. 

Corrected table below. Kuka is in the kidding pen, so more results shortly. :) 

Table 1. The Sniff Chart
Doe (Dam)Buck (Sire)Smell / Gestation time# of doelings/bucklings
Muddy Creek B2 PanamaOn Firestone Creek AA Mesa
(history of producing high % of doelings)
Panama's head smells 'bucky' on 2/14; she is due on 2/21. She is pregnant with multiples--looks like three or more. She has a history of having bucklings, so maybe there is a doeling or two in there.
On Firestone Creek HWD AcornOn Firestone Creek AA Mesa
(history of producing high % of doelings)
Acorn smelled like hay on 2/14; she is due on 2/15. She has a history of having doelings. She looks like she may be pregnant with one or two kids.Well, she smelled like hay, and she had one doeling, so we are at 100% right now! :) 
NC PromisedLand Z BellaOn Firestone Creek HWD Bo PeepsBella smelled like hay on 2/14; she is due on 2/15. She has a history of having doelings.Bella kidded 2/22 with TWO bucklings. So this is 100% contrary to how she smelled, which was like hay with no bucky smell at all! I'd say this is -100%
On Firestone Creek Palisade 2*M 5*D*B NC PromisedLand RB Bolero *S On 2/14 Palisade smelled a little bucky. She is not due until 5/15. She has a history of twins and triplets; the triplets are usually bucklings and doelings.
On Firestone Creek BJ KukarabishaOn Firestone Creek AA Mesa
(history of producing high % of doelings)
On 2/14 Kuka smelled like hay. She is due on 2/20.
On Firestone Creek R PalabraProctor Hill Farm B Cuervo Gold *SOn 2/14, Palabra smelled a little bucky. Due on 3/13.
On Firestone Creek UP Sunnee DayProctor Hill Farm B Cuervo Gold *S Will smell again next week. She could tell I was up to something and didn't want to be sniffed. Perhaps she thought I was going to nibble her or make her wear deodorant. Who knows! :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Standlee Alfalfa... GMO or Non-GMO? Which do you prefer?



When you want this...
to make this... 

Do you prefer non-GMO (no genetic modification) to GMO? I belong to a group on Facebook that uses only natural products, and of course, a conversation struck up recently about GMO (genetically modified) and non-GMO products for goats, including alfalfa, which is a staple for people with dairy goats. Alfalfa offers extra protein and fiber and helps to boost milk production in does. It is a necessity.

I usually purchase my alfalfa pellets and compressed hay from Standlee Forage until I realized they were selling GMO alfalfa. I would prefer to find another source OR in this case, encourage Standlee to return to non-GMO or at least offer non-GMO products. Genetically modified products require engineering, so this cost is passed on to the customer. I just want natural products to feed to my animals, minus the extra cost and who knows what side effects to my animals. :) How about you? 

Want to share your opinion?

Someone on the Totally Natural Goats forum added the following info, and so as many people as possible can vote on this, I decided to pass it on:


Standlee has created a Forage/Feed Survey and would like your feedback regarding what animals you feed, what products you feed and your standpoint regarding feeding GMO (genetically-modified) products. 


Please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/standleefeedsurvey to start the short survey.

We thank you for your time and appreciate your input.


So everyone, please dive in and vote! (PS and we shouldn't have to pay more for a 'natural' product than one that has been engineered.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

On Firestone Creek HWD Acorn kids with a single doeling: SNIFF CHART UPDATE

DRUMROLL, PLEASE!!!

15 minutes old

The Kidding Season is Underway! 

Acorn kidded with a beautiful doeling that is black with extensive white overlay. She has blue eyes like mom, and she looks like she is wearing eye liner--adorable! Her name is Karuka. As of right now, she is being retained, but if you are interested, contact me. As the kidding season progresses, I may be persuaded to sell her. I can't keep them all even if I want to!


Update to The Sniff Chart! :) 


Table 1. The Sniff Chart
Doe (Dam)Buck (Sire)Smell / Gestation time# of doelings/bucklings
Muddy Creek B2 PanamaOn Firestone Creek AA Mesa
(history of producing high % of doelings)
Panama's head smells 'bucky' on 2/14; she is due on 2/21. She is pregnant with multiples--looks like three or more. She has a history of having bucklings, so maybe there is a doeling or two in there.
On Firestone Creek HWD AcornOn Firestone Creek AA Mesa
(history of producing high % of doelings)
Acorn smelled like hay on 2/14; she is due on 2/15. She has a history of having doelings. She looks like she may be pregnant with one or two kids.Well, she smelled like hay, and she had one doeling, so we are at 100% right now! :) 
NC PromisedLand Z BellaOn Firestone Creek HWD Bo PeepsBella smelled like hay on 2/14; she is due on 2/15. She has a history of having doelings.
On Firestone Creek Palisade 2*M 5*D*B NC PromisedLand RB Bolero *S On 2/14 Palisade smelled a little bucky. She is not due until 5/15. She has a history of twins and triplets; the triplets are usually bucklings and doelings.
On Firestone Creek BJ KukarabishaOn Firestone Creek AA Mesa
(history of producing high % of doelings)
On 2/14 Kuka smelled like hay. She is due on 2/20.
On Firestone Creek R PalabraProctor Hill Farm B Cuervo Gold *SOn 2/14, Palabra smelled a little bucky. Due on 3/13.
On Firestone Creek UP Sunnee DayProctor Hill Farm B Cuervo Gold *S Will smell again next week. She could tell I was up to something and didn't want to be sniffed. Perhaps she thought I was going to nibble her or make her wear deodorant. Who knows! :)

Copyright 2014

Silkichins -- Hatching eggs now available for reservation!

Blue Silkichin with splash, black and white chicks

It's Chick Time

Spring is on its way, and our hens are laying quite a few eggs now even with the cold weather persisting. We are now taking reservations for shipping hatching eggs. At this time, we do not ship chicks, but we do ship eggs, so now is the best time to reserve some for the incubator. I will begin shipping as soon as the weather is warm enough to not 'chill' eggs and kill chicks. Keep in mind that I do not ship when it gets super hot either because that can start baking the chicks early and cause developmental problems. 

Hatch rate on my chicks is usually about 99.5%. Generally all eggs hatch, but occasionally, I end up with one that semi-hatches or doesn't hatch. I take special care with storage of eggs and ship eggs that are as fresh as possible. I also pack eggs very carefully in material that allows them to 'breathe' but that still cushions them well. Believe it or not, I've never had a broken egg. In any case, I usually send a few extras if they are available. 

Colors 

I do not sort eggs. You may receive any of the following:

  • blue
  • lavender
  • splash
  • black
  • partridge
  • splash split to partridge
Most will be bearded; I prefer these and cull for them. There are some that are non-bearded occasionally, so I cannot guarantee that they will all be bearded or colors that you will receive.


If you are interested in Silkichin eggs for hatching, you can contact me via our website or on our Silkichin page of Facebook: Silkichins on Facebook for pricing. 



Saturday, February 15, 2014

Best Homestead Chicken, Cheese, and Veggie Quiche EVER!



Best Quiche EVER!

So I am a big quiche fan, and I have had lots of quiche over the years, but this quiche is absolutely the best quiche you will ever put into your mouth or serve to friends and family. I've never had a bad review with this--nothing but clean plates. It's loaded full of fresh goodies. One feature flavor here is the squash blossom, and that's a wonderful addition to so many dishes if you have the blossoms in your garden in the spring and summer, sometimes even into the fall. Feel free to substitute and experiment if you need to. You can add mushrooms if you like, but I haven't done so here. You can even change this to a vegetarian only dish if you like (omit the chicken). Simply prep, bake, and have some yum fun!

Ingredients (very important)--the fresher, the better!

2 tablespoons butter (fresh goat's milk butter would be great!)
3 chopped green onions (or 1 small minced onion)
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
1 cup fresh chopped broccoli
1/2 cup fresh chopped red/orange/yellow sweet peppers  
1/2 cup fresh, cleaned and chopped, squash and/or pumpkin blossoms
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
3/4 cup fresh goat's milk mozzarella
3/4 cup cheddar (fresh if you have it!)
1/2 cup fresh panir (paneer) *See my blog or website if you need the recipe
4-7 farm fresh eggs (large eggs work well, so if they are small eggs, you will need more)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup grilled chicken breast
1 1/2 cups fresh goat milk
1 tsp pink sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp parsley
1 tablespoon melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Prepare all veggies by chopping, mincing, etc. For squash blossoms, remove stems and stamens. Wash petals well. Chop the petals. 

3. Next, over medium-low heat, melt butter in a large saucepan.Add onions, garlic, peppers, squash blossoms, broccoli, and paneer. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft. 


4. When veggie and paneer mix is softened, toss in grilled chicken. It's best to pre-grill the chicken and then just warm it with the vegetables before adding it to the crust.
At this point, if you want a vegetarian dish, simply skip the chicken.
5. Prepare pie crust according to instructions on package. When crust is ready and vegetable mix is tender, spoon mix into the crust and sprinkle with cheeses and grilled chicken breast.


6. Combine eggs and milk into a mixing bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley. Stir in melted butter. 

7. Pour egg mixture over the vegetable, chicken, and cheese blend.


8. Bake in preheated oven for 30-50 minutes (depends on your oven), or until center has set. Check the center with a fork to see when it has set.

Enjoy!

This quiche goes great with homemade goat's milk potato soup. That recipe coming soon! :) 

*Note: This recipe calls for goat milk products. If you do not have these, that is fine. You may substitute cow's milk or butter. You can make paneer with cow's milk, as well, but be sure the milk is not ultra pasteurized. See my website (http://www.freewebs.com/firestone-creek-farms ) for a paneer recipe.