Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

** I See Stars! **

Congrats are in order! :) These are the official numbers for 2014. Keep in mind I dried off a few early due to my carpal tunnel flaring up, but beyond that, everyone did really well, especially with me working and not always being able to milk on schedule as necessary. I had one doe that was .10 off from getting a star. If I would have realized she was that close, I would have kept milking her. Oh well... :( Everyone else got theirs! I am thrilled. :)

NC PromisedLand Z Bella 2*M (AGS pending)
NC PROMISEDLAND Z BELLA               
D1518506       2*M       
PTA           34M    1F    1P       
DEV            0     0     0
PTA$                 4     4        
PTA%  11R 12/14   -.05   .00       
DHIR AGE  DIM  MILK   %  FAT   %  PRT DCR TTP
     4-00  271   840  5.4  45  4.0  34  101  20
  LIFE       271   840  5.4  45  4.0  34


On Firestone Creek P Palisade 2*M 5*D  (earned her Superior Genetics this year)
SG ON FIRESTONE CREEK P PALISADE         
D1524330       2*M    SG PTI 37 -5
 03-04 89 VVEE
PTA           23M    2F    1P  -.20T
DEV          113     7     7
PTA$                 4     6     35R
PTA%  45R 12/14    .06   .03  11/14
DHIR AGE  DIM  MILK   %  FAT   %  PRT DCR TTP
     2-00   68   240  7.1  17  3.8   9   62  20
     3-01  208   580  5.3  31  4.1  24   95  20
     4-01  226   680  5.4  37  3.8  26   99  20
  LIFE       502  1500  5.7  85  3.9  59


On Firestone Creek H Jody Girl  1*M 1*D (pending)
Jody was doing really well this year. I think she might have a chance at breed leader for next year! This year, production dropped due to a move and my carpal tunnel. Milk machine is on order! 
ON FIRESTONE CREEK H JODY GIRL        
D1541837       1*M       
PTA            5M    0F    1P       
DEV          113     0     8
PTA$                 0     3        
PTA%  21R 12/14   -.03   .06       
DHIR AGE  DIM  MILK   %  FAT   %  PRT DCR TTP
     4-01  266   910  4.4  40  4.4  40  -  20
  LIFE       266   910  4.4  40  4.4  40

On Firestone Creek R Minnie Me 3*M 6*D(pending)  Owned/Tested by John Bane  (Way to go, Minnie!)
ON FIRESTONE CREEK R MINNIE ME        
D1571217       3*M       PTI 2 -11
 03-00 88 VVVE
PTA           11M    0F    1P  -.10T
DEV          -50    -5    -3
PTA$                 1     2     30R
PTA%  30R 12/14   -.02   .02  11/14
DHIR AGE  DIM  MILK   %  FAT   %  PRT DCR TTP
     2-08      296   730  5.2  38    4.4  32  102  20
     LIFE       296   730  5.2  38  4.4  32

On Firestone Creek R Palabra 3*M   (Sold) 
ON FIRESTONE CREEK R PALABRA          
D1571221       3*M       
PTA           14M    1F    1P       
DEV          -24    -1    -3
PTA$                 2     3        
PTA%  30R 12/14    .01   .01       
DHIR AGE  DIM  MILK   %  FAT   %  PRT DCR TTP
     2-09      210   490  5.5  27  4.1    20   96  20
    LIFE       210   490  5.5  27  4.1  20


On Firestone Creek Sunnee Day will be earning her stars, too, but I don't have the official data yet. I will post it when I have it! :) 

By the way, congrats are in order to John Bane and Robin Tupper, who were in my group for testing. John (Run Joey Run) earned the following and is responsible for milking Jody Girl during the majority of her lactation, thus earning her her star:



  • On Firestone Creek R Minnie Me 3*M 6*D(pending)  (See above)


  • Congrats to Mia, who is a first freshener out of On Firestone Creek UP Sonic Boom *S and  ON FIRESTONE CREEK H JODY GIRL D1541837 1*M. 

RUN JOEY RUN SB MIA                   
D1644279       2*M       
 01-01 83 VVV+
PTA                            -.50T
PTA$                      26R
PTA%                          11/14
DHIR AGE  DIM  MILK   %  FAT   %  PRT DCR TTP
     0-09  289   500  5.6  28  4.0  20  -  20
  LIFE       289   500  5.6  28  4.0  20 


  • Congrats to Bayby...
PROCTOR HILL FARM BAYBY RUTH                   Pretty sure, Bayby should be a *M, too and the files just haven't updated yet.   She met                                                                            all amounts, I do believe.
D1625888                 PTI 9 -78
 02-01 85 +VE+
PTA           24M    2F    1P  -.70T
DEV           23    11    -1
PTA$                 5     5     29R
PTA%  28R 12/14    .09  -.01  11/14


Congrats to Robin Tupper, too, at Weeds 'n Whimsy farm. Her doe,ONE WILLOW BC LA LIGHT - D001680353 , also earned her stars. :) 


It was a good year--2014. Thanks, Robin and John, for participating, and I am looking forward to this year! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sales -- doeling available


Chili Pepper

Minnie Me (left) Cocoa beside of her 
Cocoa first fresh only 4 hrs fill
at 2 weeks fresh
Hi, everyone. Our kidding season for 2014 ended in November with the birth of two doelings-- Chili Pepper and Cardamom-- out of Run Joey Run SB Cocoa Bean X Tonto's Barn Eric's Billionaire *S. This is a strong breeding (Thanks, John Bane!) on ARMCH Caesar's Villa CBS Stetson ++*S, tossing in some of our Superior Genetics here with Cocoa Bean being a daughter of On Firestone Creek R Minnie Me 3*M 6*D (Winner of Best Udder at Rocky Mt, NC show in May 2014), who is a daughter of our first SG doe, On Firestone Creek Palisade 2*M 5*D. Cocoa's father is On Firestone Creek UP Sonic Boom *S, a son of Rosasharn CH Uproar +*S, father/grandfather of several does in the top 10 for 2013 and also a son of the famous Rosasharn 2*M ARMCH Rosasharn's Uni 3*D'E' 91.55. 
SG Palisade 3rd fresh
In 2002, Uni was breed leader for milk production and protein. In 2003, she was breed leader again in both areas. She also broke the record for Nigerian milk production in 2003 with 1601# of milk in only 305 days. 
We owned Rosasharn CH Uproar a few years ago for this very reason along with the fact that he has an excellent, sweet demeanor, throws a huge percentage of does and offers correctness, especially toplines, along with nice udders. Sonic Boom's mother is October Hill Country Charm *M 4*D, mother of Palisade, so this is a linebreeding on those good, old lines, which include ARMCH Gay Mor's NB Narcissus 3*D AR 1679, a beautiful doe!




We have decided to retain Cardamom out of this breeding, not because she is nicer than Chili Pepper, but because I fell in love with the sweet little kisses she loves to give! Chili (left and right) is just as sweet, but Cardamom will run to me and climb me for some snuggles! Chili is right behind her, of course! Chili is for sale. Chili is a buckskin with white cap on head and tail. She has a little roaning on her ears, face, and nose. She also has white on her left shoulder (see photo to left) along with a few small silver moonspots on her side and leg. Her sister also has some silver and dark brown moonspots.
Zillionaire --courtesy Tonto's Barn
She is long, petite, standing on strong legs with good rear leg angulation as you can see in the pic above on the right. We are asking $400 for Chili. She is conformationally correct and has the potential to be a great milker. Her mom is currently on test. Due to my carpal tunnel, she will probably not earn her milk star this time, but she should on the next breeding.
Billionaire-- courtesy Bartman farm

Please note that we have lots of kids due for 2015. The kidding should start in about two weeks with some very promising kids on the way! Our first fresheners, Proctor Hill Farm CH Joy, a Rosasharn Challenger (now deceased) daughter and daughter of SG Palisade is due along with On Firestone Creek BP Palmella who has a gorgeous udder growing. I can't wait to get pics and start milking this girl! Her mom was On Firestone Creek Palindrome, a daughter of OMF Palamino *S and granddaughter of Rosasharn CH Uproar +*S.  This kidding is a linebreeding on:
Registered NameReg #%
GOODWOOD TOM THUMBD0013201890.30
ROSASHARN'S BUCKWHEAT HONEYD0013212770.17
ROSASHARN'S UNID0013202750.12
GOODWOOD WATER LILLYD0013197550.07
ROSASHRN'S UNDER MY THUMBD0013202200.05
ROSASHARN'S ECLIPSED0013197510.04
ROSASHARN'S BABY USAD0013202740.03
STONEWALL'S LITTLE LULID0013240270.01
That list doesn't even include some others that aren't listed because the parents were AGS not ADGA. These go back to Kids Corral, more Rosasharn, Caesar's Villa, and more. Can you tell I am excited!!! :)

Check the Kidding Schedule on our website for more info. 

Kids out of first fresheners are usually $350 unless the kid (and parent) show extreme promise. Kids out of proven (stars, etc) does and bucks will range from $400 up. Most bucks are wethered unless arrangements are made prior to kidding or quickly thereafter. I do sell bucks out of first fresheners, occasionally, if there is a history of nice udder genetics on both sides of the family. 

We accept payments via PayPal, check/money order (must allow time to clear bank), or cash (in person). To hold a kid, the deposit required is $100 (non-refundable--see Sales Agreement at the bottom of the For Sale page of the website). Reservations on scheduled kiddings can be made via email: genna1020@windstream.net. Please let me know which breeding you are interested in when emailing, along with what you are looking for. No deposit is required to reserve a kid/kids.


Deposits and other Payment Options
Contact me at 
genna1020@windstream.net



Please notify me in advance before sending money to PayPal. Be sure to include the 3.4% additional when you send monies through PayPal unless you send it under the 'gift' category.






Friday, August 22, 2014

Time for Kudos and Applause for the girls!

 
www.freewebs.com/firestone-creek-farms

I have to share news and congrats on a few of our lovely girls. First, we'll start with some of our 'firsts' here at Firestone Creek. 
First fresh udder Jody
On Firestone Creek HWD Jody Girl, has now earned both of her stars-- AGS and ADGA and is actually in line for possibly meeting top 10 requirements (holding my breath!) for protein and for production for 2014. Hoping she can hold her own and make it to the top. She deserves it for all of the work she's been doing! 

Palisade

Next, our 'star' doe--On Firestone Creek Palisade has surprised us by becoming our first Superior Genetics doe here at Firestone Creek! We were thrilled to receive the notice in the mail saying she had reached that designation as a SG doe. We have several of her daughters and a granddaughter here, so we hope to continue following that path with production, quality, and transmitting ability.

We do have a Palisade daughter (in milk) available for sale-- Palabra, in addition to a doeling out of the Palisade X NC PromisedLand Bolero cross available for sale. See website or contact for more information.


Minnie Me
Additionally, it looks like Palisade's daughter, Minnie, will also be earning her stars, and so far NC PromisedLand Z Bella has
Bella
earned her star with AGS and should have it soon with ADGA. Beyond that, I have my fingers crossed that a few others will earn theirs, too. 


PS Other News: 
It looks like Pistachio and Joy may be bred
Joy:
Palisade X Rosasharn TL Challenger
for late Nov/Dec. Joy is a Palisade daughter. Joy's would not have been an intentional breeding, and I will be doing DNA on all kids if she does freshen. I had no clue she was in heat, and the only hint I have now is that she hasn't had a heat and is getting a little chubby. If she is pregnant, the kids could belong to either Jacub, Sol, or Rumor. I will be doing DNA if she happens to kid.
Jacub

Rumor



CG Sol



I do separate boys from the girls at a little over 2 months, but this time, we had to finish their pasture first, and before it was completed, I had a few partially extending. I witnessed Sol breeding Pistachio. At first, I thought it was just 'practice.' Bucklings do this all of the time. However, I feel that at that point he did fully extend, and I do believe he is now breeding
M Pistachio
successfully, so with that said, Pistachio could be bred, too, by no one else except my spoiled rotten Sol or 'sun.' I like this breeding; those will be some gorgeous babies-- type-wise AND color-wise, pulling in Rosasharn, NC PromisedLand, and Firestone Creek genetics. I know, I know... blue eyes? moonspots? But yes, possible moonspots AND blue eyes, even though I didn't breed for them on purpose. Sometimes things just happen. 
By the way, Pistachio is a daughter of Nutmeg, niece of Acorn, and niece of Jody Girl (see above). Mesa was her father. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Panir -- Paneer -- Queso Fresco -- Whatever you want to call it!


Fresh Cheese

Panir, Paneer, Queso Frescho-- No Matter how you say it, it is Fresh Cheese and one of the easiest things you can make with fresh goat's milk. Many recipes will call for using lemon or vinegar for making fresh cheese, but I've found that using freshly made (or cultured) buttermilk and/or kefir works quite well and makes for a very flavorful cheese. Additionally, you can use fruit juices and even yogurt. Your goal is to raise the acidity of the milk after heating it. For fresh cheese, you heat to the boiling point but DO NOT BOIL. The best temp is around 195-200 F. 



Here's a simple recipe that can also be found on my website at Firestone Creek farm. If you have questions, feel free to ask me here in the comments or you can always add Firestone Creek Farm on Facebook and message me there.


Paneer


Ingredients:

  • 1 quart full-cream goat's milk 
  • buttermilk and/or Kefir (use what you have)
    • **1/2 cup buttermilk AND 1/2 cup kefir 
    • OR 3/4 cup buttermilk 
    • OR 3/4 cup kefir
    • *you may also use yogurt (1/2 buttermilk and 1/2 yogurt)
    • *you can use lemon juice or vinegar, but it tastes differently and the end result isn't as sweet
****When using buttermilk, I always get a much higher yield than when using lemon juice or vinegar.****

Preparation:

  • Pour the milk into a heavy pan that will not allow the milk to scorch while heating. Stir often.
  • As the milk is readied, measure the buttermilk and/or kefir.
    You can use store bought buttermilk, but I prefer to make my own. 

  • Watch the milk closely, stirring to keep it from sticking.
  • When the milk comes to a boil, add the buttermilk/kefir.
  • Reduce the heat and stir.The milk should change colors and begin to separate. Cheese curds will form, leaving a yellowish-greenish colored whey behind. 
  • Stir continuously until the milk is completely curdled.
  • Remove from the heat when the separation of the curds and yellowish whey is complete



  • Pour contents of pot into a strainer lined with clean muslin cloth

 
  • Wrap the muslin tightly, tie it, and squeeze out excess whey,
    holding it under cold water for approximately a minute to help rinse it clean. 
  • Hang the cheese for 15-20 minutes so that all the whey is drained out.
SAVE YOUR WHEY FOR THE CHICKENS: They love it.

  • To form a block or circle , sit it into a round cheese strainer and place it under something heavy.
  • After 20+ minutes, remove from muslin, lightly salt, and cut into chunks. 
You are now ready to use your fresh cheese!!! 

Variations: I make a few. I've made salsa cheese, garlic cheese, pineapple cheese, jalapeno cheese and more. Experiment and have fun! 








Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Results of the SNIFF TEST!



At the beginning of kidding season, we decided to have a 'sniff' of all of the does that were due to kid. Why? Because there's a theory that a doe that smells bucky will have bucklings, and a doe that smells like hay will have doelings. 

Following is our results for the 2014 breeding season at Firestone Creek farm.



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.'
POSITIVE RESULT
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! :)
POSITIVE RESULT 
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%
NEGATIVE RESULT
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.Palisade kidded with THREE doelings, which is quite contrary to the bucky smell she had in February.
I'd say this was a big -100%, too, unless maybe I smelled her a bit too early.

NEGATIVE RESULT
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.

NEGATIVE RESULT
On Firestone Creek R PalabraProctor Hill Farm B Cuervo Gold *SOn 2/14, Palabra smelled a little bucky. Due on 3/13.
Buckling and a doeling. This would be a positive, I suppose, since she did smell just a little bucky.
POSITIVE RESULT
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! :)

NO RESULT

RESULTS:

While we did have bucklings out of some of the girls that smelled bucky, we also had THREE (3) --yes, you heard right-- THREE doelings out of a doe that smelled a bit bucky! I would say that was a big NEGATIVE. We also had one doe that smelled like hay that had only bucklings, which is also a big resounding NEGATIVE result. Essentially, I have to say:

SORRY, FOLKS! The sniff test doesn't seem to work 100% of the time. In fact, the results were sketchy at best. Oh well... we are talking about goats after all. You didn't think they would make it THAT easy for us, did you? Guess we'll have keep playing the waiting game...


Let's Talk about Udders-- Part 2

Teat Growth: Is It Udderly Possible?

In the last article, I offered some info on the importance of teat length and diameter. Not only do both of these help the handmilker when it comes to comfort, they also offer some aid in the udder's 'health' department when it comes to keeping away bacteria (more on that later). I left off with an important question, one that many breeders and homesteaders, especially those new to dairy goats, often ask: Do teats actually grow more in length and diameter with each lactation?


So, Some People say...


When we bought our first goats, all were doelings, and of course, no one can tell much about teat size on a newly weaned or bottlebaby unless the teats are going to be extraordinarily huge when the animal is an adult (Sometimes bigger ISN'T better-- new article soon!). Nigerians, for the most part, are short, and since they are miniature goats, everything about them is miniature. Yes, this includes teats. Some standard breeds (Alpines, Saanen, Nubian, etc) have teats that are 3 - 4+ inches in length, and diameter in those can be the same and then some larger (3+ inches). 

If you have a first freshening doe, or even if you buy a doe who is a couple of years old that has freshened a few times, are you stuck with the teat size you see at freshening? As a newbie, I asked this question because I saw quite a few Nigerians with small teats. I have small hands, and it would have been difficult (even for me) to handmilk those animals. At the same time, I didn't have the money to invest in a milk machine, and many of the handmilkers did not seem to work very well, and I knew, in that case, that I would end up having to handmilk one way or the other. When shopping for goats, one thing I shopped for was teat size and placement (more on that later). I ran into several problems. Not only were the animals that I found with 'large' teats a LOT more expensive, but there was a controversy over teat growth when it came to those with the smaller teats. Some people said that the teats continued growing after year one, right along with the udder. Others --some from reputable herds, who had been in the business for a while-- said that there would be a lot of udder growth over the years but not a lot of teat growth, if any at all, and if I wanted size, I needed to make sure I 'bought' it from the start. Of course, as I said before, the majority of people who had 'size' also wanted more for their animals, especially does already in milk that could 'prove' their milking ability. 

After getting my herd together and breeding for several years, I saw a range in teat size from tiny to great. I also saw that some tended to have daughters with the same overall 'look' to the udder and others tended to not transmit that as readily (especially when I wanted them to). I did notice a little bit of growth in some teats, but not a lot, and in a few, I noticed none at all. I decided I needed to document this because numbers don't lie. I also figured out a few notable things-- see the **Notes below.

An Experiment

Last year, I decided to record data on the goats I had here on the farm that were in milk. A few have since moved on, and I have also added some since then. Next year, I hope to use comparison data from daughters to see if there's any change when comparing mom's, daughters, and granddaughters--even throwing in corresponding info from the sire's dam and so on when I have it available. I am on milk test this year, so I can also include some of that data next year. When measuring the girls, I measured them full at their morning milking and about 3 months into lactation. Length is measured from the udder floor to the tip of the teat. Diameter was measured around the top of the teat. I will probably also include a 'mid' teat measurement for next year to see if this area also grows in width. After all, inquiring minds want to know!

Following is the information, discussion, and results of what I have seen thus far in my own herd.
TL= Teat Length in inches                    TD = Teat Diameter in inches
Doe's Name #fresh 2013 data and freshening # TL TD 2014 data TL TD **Notes:
NC Promisedland Z Bella 2 1 doeling; freshening #1 1.15 2 2 bucklings; freshening #2 1.44 2.13 Hooray! There's an increase in size here.
On Firestone Creek R Palabra 2 1 kid; dead after delivery. Freshening #1 1 1.75 2 kids; doeling and buckling for freshening #2 1.25 1.85 Some growth, but not a lot. However, Palabra did not milk more than 3 weeks on her first freshening. I had too many others to milk, so I let her dry up. She is currently for sale, but if she is still here next year, (or if the new owner wants to keep a record) we will see if another freshening brings on more changes.
On Firestone Creek Acorn 3 1 doeling; freshening #2 1.75 2.75 1 doeling; freshening #3 1.95 2.85 Third freshener. She has been sold. I do have her daughter and her niece that I can evaluate next year, in addition to a few cousins. I wish everyone had this teat size!
On Firestone Creek Sunnee Day 2 1 buckling; freshening #1 1.25 2 1 buckling; freshening #2 1.5 2.9 Sunnee had quite a bit of growth from last year to this year!
On Firestone Creek P Palisade 4 3 doelings; freshening #4 1.75 2.15 We will record more of Palisade's data next year, and we will have more of her daughters data to add as well. Right now, Palabra is the only data we have.

Results and Conclusion:

So, thus far, I saw an almost 90% increase in one doe in regard to teat diameter and overall growth in both areas for all does. I'd have to conclude from the above data that there is growth from one freshening to the next along with an improvement in udder capacity. The only doe who had very little growth did not nurse any kids, and she was allowed to dry off quickly after delivery.

So should you take a chance on a first freshener with small teats? I would say that as long as you can milk her comfortably the first year, give her a try! She might just surprise you the next time.