Friday, April 27, 2012

Bowler Farms Emily Kids 4/26/12

Pictures less than 4 hours after birth.  Two doe Kids.

Amber Waves Hope and Glory (Female)

Amber Waves Gigi (Female)



Amber Waves Coraline Kids 4/26/12

Quads!  2 Boys and 2 Girls Less than 4 hours old in pictures

Amber Waves Anna Christie (Female)

Amber Waves California Suite (Female)

Amber Waves The Deer Hunter (Male)

Amber Waves The Entertainer (Male)






Kidding Tips


GOAT TIPS:
Kidding Tips
Good nutrition, good health and sound management are essential to ensuring a healthy kid. Check out the following tips for the safe birth of your new goat.

Good Nutrition
Before breeding your goat you need to begin thinking about nutrition. A doe should be neither underweight nor overweight at the time of breeding. By feeding her a nutritious diet such as Purina® Goat Chow® or Show Chow® Goat Ration along with natural forage, you help ensure that she won't need to overcome any nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy and you can be sure that she's getting the proper balance of vitamins and minerals she needs to produce healthy kids.

Five months, or 150 days, is the gestation period for goats. During the first three months, you can feed the doe as usual and allow her to maintain her normal healthy exercise routine of walking and grazing. Healthy exercise is important because she's going to need strength at the end of her pregnancy to carry the extra weight of a fetus or fetuses.

In the last two months of pregnancy, the feeding routine may need to change. During these final weeks, the unborn baby or babies are growing at a tremendous rate in preparation for birth. Depending on the size of the unborn kids, a doe may not have enough rumen capacity to eat as much as she usually does. Without proper nutrition, she's more likely to have smaller, weaker kids, yet she simply cannot consume enough foodstuffs to get the nutrition she needs (especially if they're of poor quality).

Now is the time to increase the concentrate (grain) portion of her diet and reduce the hay portion (it's very important to do this gradually so as not to change the rumen pH too fast). A small amount of fat added to the feed is another way to increase her energy intake. Providing smaller, more frequent meals will also allow her to consume more energy.

Water is the major component of amniotic fluid and milk and should be made freely available at all times throughout the pregnancy and lactation.

Good Health
Pregnancy toxemia is a disease often seen in goats, most often in dairy goats. During late-term pregnancy, especially when carrying multiple kids, a doe may be unable to derive all the energy she needs from feed. As a result, the doe's body begins to extract energy from its fat reserves. The breakdown of large amounts of fat results in compounds called ketones floating around in the blood. In large concentrations these ketones have a toxic effect and the animal can develop acidosis of the blood. Symptoms include apathy, a rough coat and disorientation. Your vet will need to administer glucose and electrolytes to help your goat get well.

By getting more energy into the later-term pregnant doe you can prevent ketosis or pregnancy toxemia. Simply increase the grain portion of her diet and add fat as needed, as described previously.

In addition, about 30 days before the due date, vaccinate against Clostridium perfringes Types C & D and tetanus. By vaccinating in advance, you will give the doe's immune system time to produce antibodies that can be passed along to her newborn kids through the colostrum.

Sound Management
It is important during the final two months of pregnancy to keep unnecessary stress to a minimum. Avoid transporting the doe for long distances and don't perform any routine management activities such as foot trimming.

As the delivery date approaches, you may notice signs that your doe is preparing to go into labor. About two weeks prior to kidding, you may want to consider moving your doe to a kidding pen where you can observe her more carefully.

One of the first signals that the big day is near is a drop in appetite. Some does may paw the ground, become cranky or even vocalize. In fact, any behavior that is out of the ordinary can be an indicator that she is getting ready to give birth.

When the time comes to go into labor, she will probably look for a secluded spot to deliver her babies. At this point, it's best to allow nature to take its course. Kidding normally takes about 20 minutes. If the doe is straining longer than that, it could indicate an abnormal presentation and she may need your help. Always keep the phone number of your veterinarian close at hand.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT:
Getting to Know Purina® Noble Goat® Range Cube 20
Noble Goat® Range Cube 20 is a large pelleted supplement formulated for the optimum growth, development and maintenance of goats. It is designed to meet the needs of goats on range or pasture and delivers the nutrition and performance you expect. The ingredients found in all Noble Goat® products are carefully selected based on Purina's expert research, so you know that you're getting quality, productivity and value in each bag.
  • Nutritionally balanced—Provides high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to enhance performance on range or pasture
  • Goat-specific mineral fortification—Balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio helps to meet the exacting needs of goats
  • Palatable—high quality ingredients assure top performance and acceptability to goats
  • "Cube" feed form—easy to handle and manage with large acreage or large herds
Remember that feed consumption will vary with life stage, environment and activity. Also, be sure adequate amounts of fresh, clean water are always available. This product is available regionally, so check with your Purina dealer for ordering details.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pygmy Goats: Perfect Pets for Kids


Pygmy Goats: Perfect Pets for Kids
Last time we talked about the general suitability of the pygmy as a pet. Anyone considering taking on a pet, whatever the species has to give due consideration to their suitability to your home and family, in particular those with kids wonder will a pet fit in? What do you want to get from the relationship?; which species is good with kids?
Cats, dogs and hamsters are perhaps a more traditional choice of pet, but they are far from the only pet Americans are choosing and choices are becoming ever far reaching. It goes without saying that committing to an animal is never a decision you can take lightly, as it is a commitment for life for them and you.

Pygmies are perhaps not the obvious choice of pet, but popular they are indeed proving to be. As with any animal though, they certainly are not for everyone. They have specific needs and personalities and a long list of demands of their own.

Where do they live?

The obvious first issue for consideration is where will your pygmy live? They need a reasonable area of outdoor roaming space, as well as some indoor provisions. Since they are not big fans of the rain they do need somewhere to take shelter but also somewhere where they can sleep, like a bench (they actually don’t like to sleep on the ground and prefer to be elevated off it a little). A well ventilated barn or out house might be appropriate. You can make it as homely as you want for them. You also need to make it as secure as you can, as they enjoy the challenge of a fence and are pretty well accustomed escape artists - (remember the Billy Goats Gruff?…. the grass is always greener!).
They should not really be kept as lone pets. Goats are incredibly sociable as a species (remember there were three of them over the troll’s bridge) and so they should be kept as a minimum in a pair, if not in a larger group if possible depending on your available space.

Diet

Castrated males need to eat grass hay, as the alternatives can cause them urinary calculi. They will also graze on grass and blackberry bushes depending on the terrain, and your flowers depending on the levels of supervision you don’t give them! They also love breads and juicy apples as a treat. Pygmies always need fresh water to be available, as they like to drink a lot.
If you have a doe in heavy milk production she will need some type of high-energy feed besides the material she gets from the pasture. This can be found in grains such as corn, oats, barley and milo; all of these are good energy sources for the feeding doe. Goat milk is, of course a delicious way in which to source your own milk if done responsibly and in the confines of the agricultural laws mentioned. It doesn’t suit everyone’s tastes, and it certainly won’t ever feature in chocolate wedding favours, but it does make amazing and tasty cheese. 
There are a few plants that are poisonous to goats of which you need to be aware, azaleas and rhododendrons are a threat and commonplace in many gardens: they need to be removed or the goats kept absolutely away from these.
Are Goats Good with Children?
Pygmy goats tend to be friendly creatures on the whole and love to be petted, which makes them great for kids. Of course they don’t make for the sort of pet which a child has with them 24/7 and they won’t sit on your lap! As a garden pet though they do make great companions for children. They equally enjoy their own company and so are a little less of a burden than some more needy pets. All goats have a distinct and unique little personality all of their own, some may be more aloof or friendly, depending on the goat. They love to play which is why it is good to have them in groups of more than one; they have a good chit chat between themselves and love stimulating environments. To keep them happy make sure they aren’t bored as bored goats get into mischief and misery.
They are a big commitment, which you have to enter into responsibly, but pygmy goats do make great pets in the right environment. Just give them what they need and they will be loyal and entertaining pets for the years to come!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Why Milk the Pygmy Goat?


Why Milk the Pygmy Goat?
Maxine Kinne

Jennifer gave 1/2 gal/day (4.4#)
at the peak of her lactation, and earned a 1984 production award
.
In the early 1980s, my dairy goat friends talked me into milking my Pygmies. I also wanted to help establish quantity and quality standards for Pygmies. Once we tasted their delicious milk - it tastes just like milk, only better - we were hooked. I also found the milking routine soothing and even hypnotic.

I bought a milking stanchion that was a too small for a friend's dairy goats, then I needed a doe in milk. Janny was a 2-year-old whose twins had just sold, and we learned the milking routine together. A does that has nursed her kids doesn't want her udder messed with by anyone. However, if you handle the udder from a young age and develop a close bond with the doe, she may be more forgiving than Janny or Jennifer were the first year I milked them.

The best way to start milking is to take the kids as they are born and remove them from the doe's presence entirely. You milk her just after kidding, so she accepts you as her kid. You've got bottle babies to raise, but that creates a special bond, as you replace their natural mother.
Excess colostrum beyond the kids' requirements can be frozen for future use. Colostrum from older does is higher in antibodies than from young does because older does have been exposed to more diseases.
As a child, my husband tasted some goat milk gone bad and was unimpressed with my venture. I didn't give him a chance to turn it down. Since his first taste, he has been a staunch proponent of the delicate taste and rich quality of Pygmy goat milk. The milk is very rich and sweet due to its high butterfat content.
Milking was a great skill to add to my repertoire. It is excellent relaxation therapy that helps you develop an extra special bond of love and trust with milking does. Getting to the barn to milk twice daily enhances your management - you notice details and tend to keep up with things a little better.
It is very gratifying to produce a high-quality product. I once entered my Pygmy milk in a dairy goat club milk products contest and won first place in the fluid milk division. My prize, appropriately enough, was miniature tin of Bag Balm.
For two years I was on DHI test (Dairy Herd Improvement) to help establish some official records for pygmies. DHI testing shows that pygmies are useful in the milk parlor in addition to their other qualities.
DHI expects goats and cows to milk for a 305-day (10-month) lactation, although their records may be shorter if the animal is dried off for any reason. Official records do not extend beyond 305 days, but extra production is credited toward lifetime production. An impartial tester weighs and takes a sample of each doe's milk, then sends it to a lab for several tests, such as solid non-fat protein percentage, fat content and a California Mastitis Test result. Other optional tests are available. Each month the owner receives a new DHIA report and paperwork for the next test.
Of the DHI options available, SCC is a very useful indicator of udder health, milk quality and sanitation. Management, in other words. Somatic cells are leukocytes (white blood cells), and a beyond certain number in the milk signals mastitis. The two different types of SCC counters (Coulter and Fossomatic) give quite different results because the Fossomatic mistakenly counts extra-cellular debris as leukocytes.
To be on DHI, I had to join an association that recognizes production testing for Pygmies. I double-registered the milkers and the sires of the offspring with AGS. Perhaps NPGA will one day have a testing program.
Pygmy milk and fat quantity requirements are one-third of the dairy goat standards. To earn a milking award, a Pygmy under two years old must produce 500# of milk or close to 18# of butterfat. The requirement rises slightly each year until it peaks at 5 years old: 582# of milk or 20# of fat.
Both does I tested the first year earned star milking awards. Dolly, a first freshener gave an average of just over 2 gallons of milk per week for ten months. She also produced 50# of fat in that lactation, which is more than two-and-a-half times that expected of a mature doe. Jennifer did respectably well as a second freshener, giving an average of 1.8 gallons a week.
A general rule of thumb is that an average Pygmy doe should give about ½ gallon per day at the peak of her lactation. A gallon of average fat milk weighs 8.6#, but Pygmy milk weighs 8 lbs. because fat is lighter.
For a steady supply of milk throughout the year, two does can be bred at different times. Many people, though, prefer to have two months off during the does' dry period before their next kidding.
When a doe freshens (comes into milk at kidding), she doesn't produce as much as she will later because her kids don't  need much yet. Production increases for two months or so and slowly declines. This lactation curve matches kid growth and decreasing reliance on milk. Kids are nutritionally self-sufficient at about 10 weeks old. In other words, most does produce milk at the rate the kids need it. Lactations persistence means that a good milker's production stays at its peak for a long time.
Milking takes dedication. It is very important to milk twice daily at 12-hour intervals to maintain production. When milk is in the udder for 18 hours, the milk producing cells (alveoli) begin to shut down due to pressure. Once this production is lost in a lactation, it cannot be regained. As we all know, goats definitely like their routine, so regular milking times keep them happy.
Man can be infected with a few diseases passed in the milk of infected animals. Tests are available to identify disease carriers. Chances are that if a doe had any of them, you wouldn't want her on your farm, much less to drink her milk. Diseases most often mentioned as zoonoses are brucellosis, tuberculosis and Q-fever, though there are others. They are uncommon, but you should be aware of them.
Anything you put into your milker via injection or orally (eating, drinking, drenching) will come out in her milk. Each drug approved for use in goats has a withholding time on the label. Your veterinarian can advise you about these and extra-label drugs. Withholding means throwing out the milk of treated does (and observing slaughter times) for a certain number of days, weeks or months following drug use. Such milk may usually be frozen and for the next batch of kids.
It is doubtful that you will milk enough Pygmy does to have excess for sale. Laws regarding fluid milk sales vary by state. In some states it is illegal to sell raw (unpasteurized) milk for human consumption without a Grade A dairy license. Legal liabilities extend to raw milk sales or sometimes even in serving it in your own home. Mishaps involving contaminated raw milk make the news from time to time, and those cases emphasize this point. You are legally liable if your goat milk is contaminated and makes anyone sick. Most states heavily regulate the sale of milk, with sale defined as "dispensing, giving, delivery, serving or any other supplying..." Look into your state laws before serving raw milk.
There are many good reasons to milk a Pygmy goat or two. It is very enjoyable. After putting so much time, effort and care into your goats, they have few opportunities as unique as this to give you in return.
Related Reading
Equipment for Milking the Pygmy Doe
Pygmy Goat Milk Quality
Good Milking Procedures

Friday, April 13, 2012

Amber Waves Daniel -- Solid Proverbial Breeding


DOUBLE CLICK TO ENLARGE PEDIGREE



Amber Waves Daniel
DOB: 4/11/12
Sire: Champion Proverbial Pygmies Pursuit
Dam: Champion Proverbial Pygmies Amelia
Price: $500.00   Click Here To Purchase

46 CHAMPIONS IN THE FIRST 5 GENERATIONS


White Caramel Buck For Sale - Amber Waves Amadeus DOB: 4/8/12


DOUBLE CLICK PEDIGREE TO ENLARGE
Date of Birth: 4/8/12
Sex: Buck
Color: White Caramel
Sire: Desert Suns A Major Affair
Dam: Amber Waves Winter Solistice
Price: $500.00

SHIP NATIONWIDE AND INTERNATIONALLY

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Modesto - Allows two pygmy goats


Modesto ordinance demands couple get rid of two dogs
Modesto Bee
Modestans living in residential areas can have a maximum of three cats, 12 domestic fowl, two pygmy goats and two potbelly pigs. A home can become a petting zoo as long as there is no more than the allotted number of each animal.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Small dairies create market for entrepreneurs

Small dairies create market for entrepreneurs
Statesman Journal
Goats are lined up for milking in Plainfield, Vt. One of the challenges Kim Peck faced when raising a small herd of dairy goats was finding the equipment to pasteurize the milk to make cheese. / Associated Press Associated Press PLAINFIELD, ...
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Friday, April 6, 2012

Goats provide easy starting point for kids


Goats provide easy starting point for kids
Mississippi State University
There are nearly as many goats as hogs, sheep or steers. 4-H'ers are increasingly choosing to show goats because of the animals' small size and gentle behavior. (Photo by Scott Corey) “We've increased the numbers of goats shown by about 25 percent each ...
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Newsletter


Spring-Time is Lice-Time / Dairy Herd Improvement Program / How To Make Feta / No Vet? Ok, You Can Do This.
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The Farmyard from Hoegger Supply
Spring-Time is Lice-Time | Dairy Herd Improvement Program How to Make Feta | No Vet. OK, You Can Do This
APRIL NEWSLETTER
Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and in Georgia, a blanket of yellow pollen covers everything. SPRING IS HERE! Time to get outside, start working in the garden, check the chicken coops for more eggs, and enjoy all those baby goats. We hope you enjoy every wonderful day.

Spring-Time is Lice-Time
Yes, it is that time of year again. The time of year when the baby birds start chirping, the grass starts turning green and yes, the time for de-licing your goats. Before anyone faints from the shock of what I just said and runs to take a bath, let’s get the FACTS. Read More »
Dairy Herd Improvement Program
The Dairy Herd Improvement program is sometimes referred to as DHI, DHIA, or DHIR. This valuable tool helps evaluate the progress of your herd’s milk production. You can set goals for your herd so your breeding program has clear direction and a measure of your progress over time and earn permanent dairy stars (those little symbols you often see after the names of registered dairy goats) for all the hard work you’re already doing. DHI is also fairly inexpensive, useful, and exciting! Read More »
How to Make Feta
It is easy to make feta cheese at home that tastes simply wonderful! It is great served in big chunks on a salad platter, scattered over pasta or pizza, crumbled up with fresh tomatoes and sprinkled with olive oil, or cubed by itself as a little appetizer.  It is one of our favorites and we would like to help you make feta for your home as well. Read More »
 
No Vet? OK, You Can Do This 
 If you’re like me, you don’t have a veterinarian available that will treat goats. You are going to have to take care of them all on your own without any professional help. Don’t fret! This is not the end of the world. Between other goat owners and the Internet there are plenty of tools to help you know what you need to do.   Read More »
NEW Fastrack Jump-Start Gel

New Fastrack Probiotics!

These new Fastrack products contain a guaranteed one BILLION colony-forming units of lactic acid-producing bacteria per 5 mL. Compare that to Probios which is 50 million units per 5 mL. This is the heavy hitter! Great for newborns and weak animals. Shop Now »
Read how Shannon Lawrence, President-Elect GA Dairy Goat Breeders Association, uses Fastrack for her herd. Learn More »
NEW Natural Cleaning Products

New Natural, Biodegradable,
Plant-Based Cleaners!

Hoegger is introducing a new line Earth-friendly and dirt-hostile cleaners. We've been testing these in our own homes and farm and are sure you'll appreciate them as well. This line includes:

Miss The March Newsletter?


Goats For Sale/Wanted:

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Getting to Know Noble Goat™ Mineral


PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT:
Getting to Know Noble Goat™ Mineral
Noble Goat™ Mineral is a uniquely formulated supplement, rich in nutrients essential to the proper development and well-being of goats of all ages and breeds.
  • Copper and zinc: for supple skin and a healthy coat
  • Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D: for strong bone and hoof development and excellent milk production
  • Potassium, Sodium, Sulfur, Iron and Cobalt: for overall good health
  • Vitamin E and Selenium: antioxidants that help maintain a healthy immune system and strong muscle development
  • Vitamin A: critical to optimal reproduction
  • Coarse particle: less waste and dust
  • Available in both 25 lb. and 50 lb. bags
Note: This product contains copper and should not be fed to sheep.
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Goat Show Basics


GOAT TIPS:
Goat Show Basics
When you show your goat, you are exhibiting your animal to the best of its ability by highlighting its best characteristics while minimizing its faults. A major aspect of goat showmanship consists of courtesy to the judge. By having every contestant show their goat in the same manner, using the same techniques and possessing a good and friendly attitude, the judge is better able to concentrate on evaluating the animal. 

Preparation 
Showmanship entails 10 percent skill and 90 percent sweat and hard work. Ideally, you should begin handling and working your animal as soon as you get it, but at least a month before a show to begin practicing with your animal. Practice walking your goat and setting them up as you would for the judges. Also, you may start training your goat on a halter but you will need to use a nylon collar or chain. A goat that has been worked with is much easier to handle during a show and a judge can tell the difference between a goat that has been worked with and one that has just been brought in from the pasture. 

Grooming 
Be sure to check the show's rules before deciding on grooming or clipping your goat. In general, most does will look better with their hair on, but some participants will trim long hairs and smooth up the hairs on the head, neck and leg areas. Wethers are almost nearly always clipped. Be sure if you clip to do it 7-10 days before a show to allow enough time for the hair to grow enough to even out any clipping streaks. In addition, you should trim your goat's hooves a week before the show so they are not tender on their feet and potentially lead the judge to believe the goat is lame. Make sure to give your goat a bath the day before a show using regular soap. Before you walk into the show the next morning you can just use baby wipes for any touch ups. It is good to do this on a regular basis, but remember to brush your goat down before you walk into the ring to be judged. You can also use a little light oil in a spray can, to help bring out the goat's healthy and glossy coat before you enter the ring. 

Preparing the Handler 
Don't forget the judges are looking at you too, so be sure to dress nicely. An ironed long-sleeve shirt and long pants, like ironed jeans, are appropriate. Leave your hat outside the ring, wear appropriate leather footwear and don't forget to brush your hair! Also, make sure to know all the information on your goat like your goat's name, age, birth date and other common facts about your goat. 

In the Ring:
  • Be alert and remember a smile always helps!
  • Always have the goat between you and the judge.
  • Lead the goat on the left side (the goat will be on your right). The only time you lead your goat on the right side will be when the judge moves to look at the left side of your goat.
  • Always move around the goat's head and NEVER around its rear.
  • Always keep your goat's head up. Set its legs squarely beneath it and as far apart as possible, but not sprawled. Make sure the hocks are straight in the rear, and are not turning in.
  • Be sure to check with your show on their rules for "bracing." Bracing is when a handler places their knee against their goat's chest when the judge comes to feel them, helping the goat to tighten its muscles.
  • When you turn your goat, make wide, smooth circles. Tight turns 'kink' your goat, and tend to make it look less attractive to the judge.
  • There are four things you need to keep an eye on; the judge, the ring man, your goat and be aware of the participant in front of you.
  • Follow the judge's or ring man's instructions promptly and quietly.
  • ALWAYS set your goat up, even if the judge is not looking at you. Don't show off, but rather always be standing there with a smile on your face and a calm, properly arranged goat.
*Information gathered from an article "Basic Meat Goat Showmanship" on www.thejudgingconnection.com.

©2012 Purina Mills, LLC. All rights reserved. | Terms & Conditions

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Goat Population is Growing in the City of Charlottesville

Goat Population is Growing in the City of Charlottesville
The Charlottesville Newsplex
It's been more than a year since an ordinance was passed allowing goats in the City of Charlottsville. There are now six goats in the city. On Saturday, city councilor Kristen Szakos visited one home with goats. Laura Covert purchased two goats a year ...
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