Wednesday, March 31, 2010

If My Goats Were Criminals

To pass time during our milking chores, we make up silly stories about our goats. Each one has a different personality, and it's fun to imagine them in funny situations. Here's what we think each one would do if they were criminals.

Jezebel, our herd queen, is strong and confident. We can see her driving a Hummer through the gates of a top secret military base to steal classified files and the formula for weapons-grade cheese. She could certainly butt her way out through the guards with her adamantium-reinforced skull.

Flopsy is our glamorous fashion goat. We can see her arriving stylishly in a limousine at an after-hours club just after stealing millions in jewels and furs. Everyone would know, but be so mesmerized by her dazzling beauty, they would forget to call the police.

Betty is all about speed. We see her stealing prototype sports cars to race on her private track, just for the rush. She would never be caught, because with her super speed she can never be caught.

Mimzy is our naughty old woman. We can see her loading her pockets with extra bananas at the salad bar and sneaking them all back to her RV. If ever questioned Mimzy has perfected a really pathetic look, that somehow gets her out of everything.

Coco Puff is our super-smart Ninja goat. We see her using Ninja skills to gain impossible entry to a high-tech corporate facility to steal computer codes for video games and iPhone apps, to sell on the black market. She is so clever, no one would be able to tell that she was even there.

I wonder if the goats find all these stores funny, or if they are just amused that we are amused somehow.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Mysterious Mimzy

Mimzy's registered name is Fantasma, and she has a 6*M production award on her pedigree. This means she is the sixth generation of her line to meet ADGA standards for producing milk. Her milk is very high in butterfat, and makes the best caramel sauce.

We got her as a three year old and she had lived at two other farms before. She startles easily and forgets what to do a lot, which makes working with her difficult. Deep down Mimzy is really just a sweet, goofy old thing.

Since Mimzy is older than our other goats, she is nicknamed the "Old Woman", although at five years old, she's really not that old. We joke when we see she's frustrated with us, that she will pack up her RV and drive off to Las Vegas for bingo and salad bar buffets.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Fast And Fearless Bette

The Sensational Bette is one of our Toggenburg dairy goats. She's our sports star because she likes to run fast and jump high. I love to run and play with her all through the pasture.

Betty has a longer coat than her sister Jezebel, and some long fur on her back legs makes it look like she's wearing shorts. We call these her sport shorts! Since she is a Swiss breed of goat, maybe her shorts are really lederhosen!

Mysteriously, Betty gives us nearly a gallon of very rich milk per week even though she's never had babies. She's our 'go-to' goat for morning hot cocoa when the other goats are dry. Her favorite treats are Honey-Nut Cheerios, and Gatorade, which makes her lips pink as if she's wearing lipstick!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Cute And Crafty Coco Puff

Coco Puff is our experimental mix of a Toggenburg goat and a Nigerian Dwarf goat. She shows the small Nigerian size and classic Toggenburg color pattern. This makes Coco a first generation miniature Toggenburg goat.

Nigies are famous for rich, creamy milk and Toggs are famous for uniquely flavored high production. I wonder what Coco will have when she freshens in April. She's already given us a whole bag of cashmere that she grew over the Winter and shed this Spring.

Coco is fast and smart. We call her our Ninja goat! She could get over a four-foot tall gate when she was just four weeks old, then kicked a hole in it with her Hooves of Fury! Hwaah! Now she uses her stealth skills to sneak past us and into other goats grain buckets. Coco Puff doesn't let her small size get in the way. Look at her taking on her arch-enemy, Flopsy. One tough Puff!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Fabulous, Fashionable, Flopsy

Flopsy is by far my favorite goat! She has the most beautiful fur and long floppy ears. When you try to pet her ears, however, she pulls back with a look that says, "They are too beautiful for you!"

Flopsy doesn't give as much milk as Jelly-bel, but her milk is higher in butterfat and very mild tasting. This makes for the best hot cocoa, yogurt and of course, ice cream. It's very easy to milk Flopsy, and only takes five minutes for a half gallon.

She is also the very sweetest goat, and gives great hugs. She will also give me a pony ride, though not for very long because I'm getting bigger now. Here's a funny video of me milking Flopsy and going for a ride!

The Sensational Jezebel

Jezebel, although we sometimes call her Jelly-bel, is one of my Toggenburg dairy goats.The Toggenburg breed comes from Toggenburg Valley in Switzerland. They have been bred for over a hundred years just for cheese because their milk has a unique flavor.

Jelly gives us the most milk of all our goats. Her record last year was over two gallons in one day! She takes the longest to milk because she gives us so much. And, yes, her cheese is yummy!

We call Jelly our herd queen because she is always first at the gate for treats and is quick to tell the other goats who's boss. Secretly, though, she is very sweet and loves a good shoulder scratch.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Beeswax Is Amazing!

A friend of ours sent us some beeswax to coat our cheeses while they age. I did some research and found people have been using beeswax for thousands of years. I also discovered the bees work very hard to make it.

The beeswax comes from special glands on the female worker bee who is in charge of building the comb to hold the honey. The bees have to fly 150,000 miles for every pound of wax. When the beekeepers go to harvest the bees' hard work, they find one pound of beeswax for every ten pounds of honey.

Once the beekeepers clean and filter the wax, it can be used for candles, cosmetics, furniture polish, and preserving Egyptian mummies. It can even be used to coat cheese!

Monday, March 22, 2010

First Baby Goats Of 2010

My Toggenburg dairy goat Jezebel was first to have her babies this Spring. There are three more goats expecting. She started at 11:30 P.M. The veterinarian came at 12:30 A.M. Everyone was finally finished and very, tired by 1:00 A.M.

Her babies were two little boys. One was dark brown and white, and the other was a rare solid white with blue eyes! We named them Tony Stark and Rhodey, after characters in Ironman.

The next goat to have babies is my favorite goat Flopsy. I'm sure they will be beautiful like her, and I'm excited to have Flopsy's milk for cocoa in the morning again.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Joined 4-H This Year

This year I was finally old enough to join 4-H. Last year I was still able to show some things at the county fair in open class foods. I got first place ribbons for Flopsy's chevre and dulce de leche, and second place for a photo of her beautifulness.

This year I went to an over-night at the extension office, learned canning and cupcake decorating at Super Saturday, and am learning about different animals at monthly meetings. I gave a presentation on how to make vinegar cheese and won a Reserve Champion ribbon!

Summer will be busy. I signed up to sell cheese kits at Sunday Market, and hope to show some vegetables, and maybe some of Flopsy's cheese!

How I Became A Goat Girl

When my parents moved to the country, I got to research which animals would be best for our property. I first thought of a pony, but after reading up on goats, I decided they would be a perfect fit.

Luckily we found a goat breeder nearby. We worked very hard building a place for them to live. By the time it was my eighth birthday, I got four baby goats.

My favorite goat is Flopsy, who is the most beautiful Nubian in the world! She has beautiful mahogany fur, makes awesome cocoa and yogurt, and even lets me go for a ride.

My goats are very fun and I have learned a lot from them!