thepioneersofpanama

A Journey in living simply, in living off the land and in giving back.

Category: Goats

Digging in Our Heels

As some of as you may know we have been trying to sell our farm here in Panama since August 2012. We have had a lot of interest and one very serious buyer, who needed some time to sell some of his assets. He just emailed and told us he and his wife would be ready to buy this winter.

However, we made the decision two months ago to dig in our heels here and stay in Panama.

Smith and I never really wanted to leave Panama. We knew the advantages of living in the states, being close to family the best reason, but we felt there was so much we had not done here to leave so soon. For Moms sake, we were willing to move, if we could find a nice farm in the states and do what we were doing here, there.

When the decision was made to stay, we all three felt very peaceful and happy about continuing our lives here. It was good just to have a definite plan and begin work here, which had not been done or had been left uncompleted.

Things have really started coming together.

I was blessed with one milking Saanen and one Mama goat with three triplet half Saanen girls. The same day we picked up those five  girls, we saw some goats in a field and stopped by to see if any were for sale.

Those goats in the field were not for sale, but a lovely Panamanian woman next door, had Toggenburgs and Toggenburg cross for sale for a decent price. I bought two pure Toggenburgs and one Toggenburg/Alpine cross.  These girls were around three months old. I have invested an hour every day and to date, all of the young girls are very friendly and come up to me for scratching and rubbing. I am so happy, as this is so much better than our first herd, which most were a bit cautious to downright loco with only a few tame girls.

So the goats we raise up now, will all be friendly. I love that. (Special thanks to Mike, the goat man in Boquete, for loaning his Big Mama to our farm and letting us buy her babies and in the future we also plan on letting his Saanen doe go back as well to him, but right now she is our only milk goat. And also to Idania for parting with some of her Toggenburgs. I am in love with these sweet spirited gentle little goats.)

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Big Mama and her triplet girls– Ruby, Nellie and Madeline

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Anne, Bebe, Julia and Pearl

If any of you remember all the time and trouble we had finding goats in Panama before, will know how blessed we feel to be the proud owners of this little herd, which came about so very quickly.

Mom also went to the auction and bought two cows… A bit of a fiasco. I will not go into details, but it was a discouraging moment. But as angry to discouraged to frustrated as I was– all in the matter of 15 minutes, all I could help but see was the clear hand of the multitude of good things which were happening in our lives and paving the way for us to make a life here once again. Quickly, all of the negative feelings disappeared and all there was left was a peaceful feeling.  So on the way home that evening, our worker told us he had met one of our neighbors at the auction, who would sell us ten of his young cows for a very fair price. This was the confirmation of the feeling I had earlier, that indeed we were being watched over and good things were being given. Not to lose faith.

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Danilo and Ebenor working with the cows

Ebenor moving our calves into another pasture

I have cleared (with the help of one of our workers) a 4,000 sq ft area for our future greenhouse. Now we just need to design a plan and get that built.  We also are working on cleaning the pastures, adding pastures, moving fences, and improving some of our pastures. I have plans for a moveable chicken pen, worm bin, Boshaki compost bin and a rabbit hutch. A lot of work here. But that is nothing new! Welcome to life on a farm.

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One day this area will house a very large bamboo greenhouse supplying our family and animals with fresh vegetables

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Our new horses– Emma and Chespita (Just waiting for our saddles to get here  from the states) –I love my Emma!

So life is very good here. For the first time in many months, I feel  hopeful and happy. So joyous in fact, my little seed of faith which was buried so deep inside of me, seems to have been revived and renewed. The Most High still has his eye and this girl and those she loves. Thank you, Great Mysterious One.

I have not forgotten any of you at all. You are in my thoughts and in my prayers, my family and my friends… I have much time to think and reflect about all those whom I know, while being kissed by the sun and working in the quiet of the outdoors.

Love, Rose

Horsing Around~Meridian and Samson

I thought I would share a couple videos of our horse and goat.
They are up to some new antics these days!

Makes me laugh a little each time I watch it. Sam the goat loooooves Meridian.

And Meridian is sure wishing Sam were another horse… They learning to make the best of the situation.

Love you all and be blessed~ Rose

Welcome Little Jerusalem & A Love Story

~Welcome Little Jerusalem~

Today a newborn goat was found.

One of our neighbors had passed by the house this morning and noticed a baby goat lying in the ditch that runs along our pasture. Several hours later, he noticed it was still there.

All alone.

The neighbor called out to Steve and our worker, Danilo, who were both working in the field, making sure they knew about the baby goat. They did not. So Steve carried the little kid up to the house.

Danilo was sure the baby had born a day or two ago. And perhaps that was so. The baby was dry and clean. The umbilical cord was dry as well. It seemed a little weak, but not as weak, as one might imagine a totally abandoned baby.

I warmed a half bottle of milk for the baby and as I fed it, I kept thinking of the Scripture in Ezekiel 16 about the orphan ‘baby’ -Jerusalem, who was left lying in her blood and abandoned by her parents. So I thought I would name her Jerusalem. It seemed fitting.

We welcome you to the world little Jerusalem!

After little Jerusalem drank down a half bottle of milk, I carried her out to the field where all of the Mamas were grazing in the warm sunshine. Jerusalem started making soft little cries and I encouraged her, as the other goats starting calling back to her. But out of the 30 plus goats in the field, only one came running up to us and called out in a distressed voice.

So Mama Martha and little Jerusalem were reunited.

The baby starting suckling right away without a problem and I was not sure if she had been abandoned or simply left in the ditch in the shade, while Mama  had went out to graze in the field…

~A Love Story~

For those of you who do not know the beautiful love story of how the Lord blessed and raised up ‘orphan’ Jerusalem, I wanted to share it with you now, as it is found in Ezekiel 16:

  A message came to me from the Lord. He said, 2“Son of man, tell the people of Jerusalem the evil things they have done. I hate those things.

  “Tell them, ‘The Lord and King speaks to Jerusalem. He says, “Your history in the land of Canaan goes back a long way. Your father was an Amorite. Your mother was a Hittite. On the day you were born your cord was not cut. You were not washed with water to clean you up. You were not rubbed with salt. And you were not wrapped in large strips of cloth.  No one took pity on you. No one was concerned enough to do any of those things for you. Instead, you were thrown out into an open field. You were hated on the day you were born.

  ” ‘ “I was passing by. I saw you kicking around in your blood. As you were lying there, I said to you, ‘Live!’ I made you grow like a plant in a field. Soon you had grown up. You became the most beautiful jewel of all. Your breasts had formed. Your hair had grown. But you were naked and bare.

 ” ‘ “Later, I was passing by again. I looked at you. I saw that you were old enough for love. So I got married to you and took good care of you. I covered your naked body. I took an oath and made a firm promise to you. I entered into a covenant with you. And you became mine,” announces the Lord and King.

 ” ‘ “I bathed you with water. I washed the blood off you. And I put lotions on you.  I put a beautiful dress on you. I gave you leather sandals. I dressed you in fine linen. I covered you with expensive clothes.  I decorated you with jewelry. I put bracelets on your arms. I gave you a necklace for your neck.  I put rings on your nose and ears. And I gave you a beautiful crown for your head.

  ” ‘ “So you were decorated with gold and silver. Your clothes were made out of fine linen. They were made of expensive and beautiful cloth. Your food was made out of fine flour, honey and olive oil. You became very beautiful. You became a queen.  You were so beautiful that your fame spread among the nations. The glory I had given you made your beauty perfect,” announces the Lord and King.

  ” ‘ “But you trusted in your beauty. You used your fame to become a prostitute. You offered your body freely to anyone who passed by. In fact, you gave yourself to anyone who wanted you. You used some of your clothes to make high places colorful. That is where people worshiped other gods. You were a prostitute there. Things like that should never happen. They should never take place.

  ” ‘ “I had given you fine jewelry. It was made out of gold and silver. You used it to make for yourself statues of male gods. You worshiped those gods. You were not faithful to me. You put your beautiful clothes on them. You offered my oil and incense to them.  You also offered them the food that was made out of fine flour, olive oil and honey. I had given it to you to eat. You offered it as sweet-smelling incense to them. That is what you did,” announces the Lord and King.

  ” ‘ “Then you got your sons and daughters who belonged to me. And you sacrificed them as food to other gods. Wasn’t it enough for you to be a prostitute?  You killed my children. You sacrificed them to other gods.

 ” ‘ “You did not remember the days when you were young. At that time you were naked and bare. You were kicking around in your blood. But now you have done evil things. I hate them. You have worshiped other gods. You have not been faithful to me.

  ” ‘ “How terrible it will be for you!” announces the Lord and King. “How terrible for you! You continued to sin against me.  Your people built up mounds for themselves in every market place. They put little places of worship on them.  They set them up at every street corner. Jerusalem, you misused your beauty. You offered your body to anyone who passed by. You did it again and again.

  ” ‘ “You committed shameful acts with the people of Egypt. They were your neighbors, and they were filled with longing for their lovers. You offered yourself to others again and again. That made me very angry.  So I reached out my powerful hand against you. I made your territory smaller. I handed you over to your Philistine enemies. The people in their towns were shocked by your impure conduct.

 ” ‘ “You also committed shameful acts with the people of Assyria. Nothing ever seemed to satisfy you. You could never get enough.  Then you offered yourself to the people of Babylonia. But that did not satisfy you either. There are many traders in the land of Babylonia.

  ” ‘ “You can’t control yourself,” announces the Lord and King. “Just look at all of the things you are doing! You are acting like a prostitute who has no shame at all.  Your people built up mounds at every street corner. You put little places of worship on them in every market place. But you did not really act like a prostitute. You refused to let your lovers pay you anything.

  ” ‘ “You unfaithful wife! You would rather be with strangers than with your own husband!  Every prostitute gets paid. But you give gifts to all of your lovers. You offer them money to come to you from everywhere. You want them to make love to you. You are not faithful to me.  As a prostitute, you are the opposite of others. No one runs after you to make love to you. You are exactly the opposite. You pay them. They do not pay you.” ‘ “

 You prostitute, listen to the Lord’s message.  The Lord and King says, “You poured out your wealth on your lovers. You took your clothes off and made love to them. You did it again and again. You worshiped other gods. I hate them. You even sacrificed your children to them.

  “So I am going to gather together all of the lovers you found pleasure with. They include those you loved and those you hated. I will gather them against you from everywhere. I will take your clothes off right in front of them. Then they will see you completely naked. I will hand down my sentence against you. You will be punished like women who commit adultery and sacrifice their children to other gods. My anger burns against you so much that I will sentence you to death for everything you have done.

 “Then I will hand you over to your lovers. They will tear down those mounds you built. They will destroy the little places of worship you put on them. They will take your clothes off. They will remove your fine jewelry. And they will leave you naked and bare.

  “They will bring a crowd against you. The crowd will put you to death by throwing stones at you. And they will chop you to pieces with their swords. 41They will burn your houses down and punish you. Many women will see it.

   “I will not let you be a prostitute anymore. You will no longer pay your lovers.  Then my burning anger against you will die down. My jealous anger will turn away from you. I will be calm. I will not be angry anymore.

 “You did not remember the days when you were young. The things you did made me very angry. So anything that happens to you will be your own fault,” announces the Lord and King. “You added impure conduct to all of the other evil things you did. I hate all of those things.

  “All those who use proverbs will use this one about you. They will say, ‘Like mother, like daughter.’  You are a true daughter of your mother. She hated her husband and children. And you are a true sister of your sisters. They hated their husbands and children.

   “Your mother was a Hittite. Your father was an Amorite.  Your older sister was Samaria. She lived north of you with her daughters. Your younger sister was Sodom. She lived south of you with her daughters.  You lived exactly the way they did. You copied their evil practices. I hate those practices. Everything you did was so sinful that you soon became even worse than they were.

 “Your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. And that is just as sure as I am alive,” announces the Lord and King.

  “Here is the sin your sister Sodom committed. She and her daughters were proud. They ate too much. They were not concerned about others. They did not help those who were poor and in need.  They were very proud. They did many things that were evil in my sight. I hated those things. So I got rid of Sodom and her daughters, just as you have seen.

 “Samaria did not commit half the sins you did. You sinned even more than they did. I hate those sins. Compared to what you did, you made your sisters seem godly.  So you will be dishonored. You have given your sisters an excuse for what they did. Your sins were far worse than theirs. In fact, your sisters appear to be more godly than you. So then, be ashamed. You will be dishonored. You have made them appear to be godly.

  “I will not only give you back what you had before. I will also do the same thing for Sodom and her daughters. And I will do the same for Samaria and her daughters.  That will make you feel dishonored. You will be ashamed of everything you have done. You have made them feel better because you sinned more and were punished more than they were. Your sisters Sodom and Samaria and their daughters will return to what they were before. And you and your daughters will return to what you were before.

 “In the past you would not even mention your sister Sodom. You were proud at that time.  That was before your sin was uncovered. Now the daughters of Edom make fun of you. So do all of her neighbors and the daughters of the Philistines. Everyone who lives around you looks down on you.  You will be punished for your impure conduct. I will also punish you for the other evil things you have done. I hate all of those things,” announces the Lord.

 The Lord and King says, “I will punish you in keeping with what you have done. I sealed with an oath the covenant I made with you. You hated that oath. And you broke my covenant.

  “But I will remember my covenant with you. I made it with you when you were young. Now I will make a new covenant with you. It will last forever.  Then you will remember how you have lived. You will be ashamed when I give you Samaria and Sodom. Samaria is your older sister. Sodom is your younger one. I will give them and their daughters to you as daughters. That can’t happen based on my old covenant with you.  So I will make my new covenant with you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

  “I will pay for all of the sins you have committed. Then you will remember what you have done. You will be ashamed of it. Because of your shame, you will never speak against me again,” announces the Lord and King.  

To me the most beautiful part of this story is the enduring love the Lord had for Jerusalem and even though she played the harlot, He was faithful to His covenant and did not divorce her. How many men are able to love and keep covenant like that?

I hope everyone is having a great day. We certainly are as we have been blessed with another beautiful baby girl kid! Yippee!

Much love~Rose

P.S. Dad you asked for a picture of Roger, your little colt, so here he is! He came up this morning to visit me and I petted him, then snapped a couple pictures of him….

Seven Saanen Girls Are Added to the Farm

We have just added seven new Saanen girls to our happy little farm in the moutains of Panama. Six of the seven Mamas are pregnant, so soon we will have more little cabritas in our future!

 Granny Goat

Beulah

Esther

Hannah, Methuselah, & Miriam

With the addition of the new girls we are currently getting around 14 liters of milk a day. Go girls!

And Don Joaquin has just branched out to making fresh white goat cheese sprinkled with tasty little green olives. It is custard like in consistency and has no smell or taste of “goatiness”. It is delicious! The best goat cheese I have ever eaten… Miss Martha at Don Joaquin is interested to know what other ingredients the community would like added to cheese, so give her a call or drop by and give her suggestions. (I suggested chives, garlic or rosemary!)

My Happy Goat Farmer (surrounded by his thirty plus girls!) & Blackie, Whitie and Scoot

Have a wonderful week dear friends and family. Keep looking up!

Yours, Rose

Samson is Sterilized and Welcome Abraham

My parents decided my six month old Saanen buck I bought several months ago, is not going to be one of the breeding bucks for the farm. They decided he had not grown as tall or as broad as they wanted and in general was just too small in size and was a tad… fat. They also protested he had no interest in the does and in their opinion was overly fond of me. 

And actually if truth be told, I had told my Mother a month prior, I wished he was just going to be my pet…

Samson (What’s not to love…?????)

So based on that, I decided to approach Miss Dottie Attwater who runs the Spay/Panama-Chiriqui Clinic in Volcan, to see if the veterinarian Dr Tello would consider sterilizing Samson. After we got the green light from Dr Tello to proceed with our plans, we scheduled Samson for his appointment.

Samson waiting outside the Clinic in Volcan

Samson actually had a great time waiting outside the clinic. He made a lot of new friends. People came up and petted him, talked to him and even took his picture!

Samson getting anesthesia from Dr Tello

Samson on the operating table awaiting the inevitable

 Samson recovering from his anesthesia on a sheet outside

After Samsons procedure, he was brought outside and laid on a sheet. I sat and rubbed him for about 15 minutes, as he started to awake from anesthesia. He awoke rather quickly and was up on his hooves in no time, just in time for the ride home!

If any of you would like to learn more about Spay Panama/Chiriqui Clinic or see pictures of the clinic and staff, please click on this link: http://www.spaypanama-chiriqui.org/46th.html. It is quite different from a veterniary in the states. You are able to be with your pet from the time it is given anesthesia, to being sterilized and able to massage it and be with it, as it wakes up.

This week we also brought home our new stud buck. He was living in the mountains of Caldera, near a river before we bought him. What do you all think about him? My Mother thinks he is beautiful.

 

 Meet Father “Abraham” the farms new stud buck

Well buckaroos have a wonderful week! Will drop you all a line later this week.

Much love, Rose

 

 

What makes Excellent Quality Goat Milk?

Often the answer most people give as to why goat milk has an off flavour and/or smells “goaty” is because the buck is kept in the same pasture with the does, however this is certainly not the only reason.  There are certain variables which can affect the flavor and quality of goat milk.

Here are the procedures which we follow at our farm, to best achieve good milk flavor and quality production of milk.

1. First we start with good clean equipment which includes our milking bowls and milk storage containers, anything milk goes into. Each piece of equipment is first rinsed with lukewarm water, then washed with very hot water (120 degrees), submerged in a sudsy soap and bleach solution and then rinsed again. A new filter is used for each milking.

2. We only use milk from healthy animals. (At our farm we believe a happy goat is a healthy goat!  Our goats are treated with the utmost love and care and we believe they give us more milk because of it. They also are free range goats and roam the pastures in tall green grasses, in the warmth of the sunshine for hours each day.)

3. We make sure each goat has a clean udder and teat. We ensure this by strict and proper hand milking procedures. (Each goats teat is dipped in a teat dip of iodine solution and dried with a clean disposable paper towel, then the first three squeezes of each teat is milked into a “strip cup” to assess for any abnormalities like clots or blood (the strip cup milk is not saved for drinking!), then the doe is milked out in the stainless steel milking pail and when she is finished being milked, each teat is dipped again in iodine solution. )

4. We provide proper feeding of our goats;  maintaining ration balance, meeting nutrient and mineral requirements. We try to avoid giving the girls foods that might give their milk an off flavor at least a couple hours prior to milking.

5. We have a separate milking barn area. Our hands are washed  and clean disposable paper towels are used to dry them, prior to  hand-milking (or if we feel our hands have gotten dirty for some reason during the milking procedure, whether they are visibly soiled or not, we wash them again).

6. We ensure fast cooling of the milk by either rapid water cooling or refrigeration after milking.

7. We keep constant low milk storage temperatures, including during transportation to our customers. (During transportation we fill a tub of ice, and submerge the milk to keep it cold!)

8. We perform the CMT (California Mastitis Test) monthly on a routine basis, to all of our milking does. Ensuring a low somatic cell count  or particulairy the neutrophil leukocytes in the milk, ensures a better tasting milk.

CMT: Quality Assurance for Quality Milk

The California Mastitis Test (CMT) is a rapid, accurate, animal-side test to help determine somatic cell counts (SCC). The term somatic cell is used to identify any cell in the body. With the CMT test, the somatic cells that are being measured are mainly neutrophils. Neutrophils are white blood cells that help the body fight infection and are present in increased numbers in the udder when the animal has mastitis. The CMT test was developed to sample individual udder halves to determine the presence of subclinical mastitis.  (Though this test was developed for cows, it is also used  in testing goats).

How to Perform the Test: A small sample of milk (approximately ½ teaspoon) from each teat is collected into separate compartments of a plastic paddle that has shallow cups marked A, B, C and D. (Only A and B for goats, as they only have two teats!) An equal amount of CMT reagent is added to the milk. The paddle is rotated to mix the contents. In approximately 10 seconds, the score should be read, while continuing to rotate the paddle. Because the reaction disappears within 20 seconds, the test must be read quickly.

1.  Clean each teat with teat dip and dry with a clean disposable paper towel. Squeeze out the first three squirts of milk in the “strip cup”, then squirt a small amount of milk from each teat into the appropriate section of the paddle. 1/2 teaspoon of milk is sufficient. (My paddle has a little line that acts as a guide, so I can see how much milk to squirt in the paddle-which is approximatley 2cc).

2.   Mix an equal ratio of reagent to the milk. The paddle is rotated to mix the contents.

3.  In approximatley 10 seconds, read the score while continuing to rotate the paddle. This girl has a negative CMT score!

How to Read the Results: The CMT reagent reacts with the neutrophils, and the mixture thickens or gels in proportion to the amount of cells that are present. High levels of neutrophils indicate infection. To become accurate and consistent, practice this test on animals with a known SCC. (Which is why we test monthly on each of our girls!)

Leukocyte count per milliliter Test appearance CMT score
Below 200,000 Mixture liquid, no precipitate negative
150,000 to 500,000 Slight precipitate, tends to disappear with paddle movement T
400,000 to 1,500,000 Distinct precipitate but does not gel with paddle movement 1
800,000 to 5,000,000 Distinct gel formation 2
Over 5,000,000 Strong gel formation that tends to adhere to paddle. Forms distinct central peak 3

We drink raw goat milk from our farm on a daily basis and because of this we aim for the highest standard of cleanliness, to ward off bacteria and ensure a safe excellent quality goat milk. We do our part to keep things sanitary and the girls continue to do their part to give us rich creamy milk! (Thank you, ladies!)

We  have been very busy selling our extra goat milk and in the last two weeks, our milk has sold out! We want to thank everyone for supporting our farm and appreciating our milking Mamas efforts! (Without you, some of the girls would be unemployed!)

Blessings my dears~ Rose and Smith

P.S. Keep both of our Fathers in prayer- my Father is still getting worked up in Panama City for treatment and it looks like another surgery and Smiths Father is in the hospital with chest pain, high blood pressure, and is going to have cardiac cath tomorrow…

Claire has given us Claudia! We now have six girl kids…

Last evening, Claire did not come up with all the other Mama goats for the evening meal. I went out and walked the perimeter of the pasture and found her snuggled in some tall green grass. I checked on her and thought it would be a pleasant evening for her to lamb outside.

An hour later, I went out and checked on her and by her side was a little white baby girl!

Mama Claire and her newly born baby out in the pasture on a beautiful summer evening

A good Mama cleaning and bonding with her baby

Sweet baby Claudia!

We now have a total of seven babies this past week and six of these babies are girls. We are feeling very blessed with all of our smooth deliveries and healthy baby girls.

Have a good weekend my dears, Rose

Gertrude and Her Girl- Meet Joy!

This morning Gertrude went off into the far pasture by herself around 0600 well before the normal time the Mamas go off to eat well on the tall green grasses. So I went out to look for her and after walking the entire pasture perimeter, I found her tucked into a little valley of earth and rocks with a wet bloody baby at her side!

Miss Gertrude with her new daughter Joy

We are continuing to feel blessed with all the girl babies we have had the last week, for a total of five females and one male! Go team!

Here are Miss Fanny’s baby girls almost a week old now!

 Stella was sitting out in the sun with her little trio this morning with a smug smile!

Update on my Father

My parents went to Panama City this morning and met with a highly recommended oncologist. I spoke with both of my parents this afternoon and they are very impressed with the oncologist. He is going to review my Fathers labs, scans, x-rays and will consult with him next week, to recommend an appropriate treatment.

My Father also has been feeling a little “better” the last few days, with more energy and less coughing. He also feels the tumor, which had grown up so quickly by where the last two were removed is “smaller”. HalleluYah!

We are continuing him on a “detox” diet of raw foods, mainly greens with green smoothies and plenty of carrot and beet juice. I am also continuing to harvest the fresh rainforest plants that have been used by the native people to fight cancer. He has lost some weight, but as I already stated feels “better”.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.

Summer has come to Panama the last week and the weather here is absolutely beautiful. I wish I could send you all a bit of warm weather from down south.

Yours~Rose

 In the meantime I am going to keep taking care of  my baby kids…

One-Two-Three… Stella had her Kids!

Mama Stella and her three babies

Stella content with her new family around her (Two girls and a baby boy!)

This week we have been blessed with five new babies for a total of four girls and a boy! Mamas and babies are all doing well. We have decided to keep these Mamas and babies together for the first two weeks and then seperate the babies at night at that time. This way we can milk the Mamas in the morning and then put the families back together during the day. 

We also have five more Mamas who will be giving birth in the next couple of months, so we are looking forward to more babies and more milk.

Just wanted to give you all a quick update! Rose

 

 

The Finished Milking Barn and Liters of Milk to Spare!

I just thought I would update you all on the “temporary milk barn”. It has been up and operational for several weeks now and it has made the milking process much EASIER, more ORGANIZED and very CLEAN.

The Milking Barn with Viola (front), Stella (back left) and Thelma (back right)

Bessie (far left back), Viola (front left) and Olive (front right)

We added river rock around the milking barn to help prevent mud and to keep hooves dry (Our friend Mike had rocks around his goats pen, so thanks to him for this great idea! It looks nice and it a lot less slippery than before. We love it!)

Samson (far back left), Marilyn (front) and Stella wanting to get through the door and eat some food too!

The milking Mamas are brought through this gate to the feeding area to eat before being milked

The Mamas are then chained from their collars while they eat and wait their turn to be milked

This has really helped a lot with the numerous battles over food. Before we tried to make sure everyone had enough food in separate dishes, while the more aggressive and dominant Mamas would try to take over as many food dishes as they could… There would be no end to the skirmishes and it made milking time stressful, for milk maids and those needing to be milked. Now everything runs like a well oiled machine! Organized and smoothly.

Plus the concrete flooring in the milking area makes things much very clean. (HalleluYah!)

(If there are any other goat owners, who have questions about what we would different with this design, please leave a comment and I will get back to you, as there are one or two small things I would do differently. However this milking barn is “temporary” and we plan on having a larger structure by next year.)

When it is time to bring the next Mama in, she comes through the gate on the far left to the milking stanchion

When Thelma is finished being milked, she will go out the third gate (which cannot be seen in this picture) to the pasture

Whitie says “You all come and visit me soon!”

Fresh creamy goats milk

Currently we  have more milk than we need at this time. In spite of the four of us consuming milk and the fresh queso blanco we make from it and selling it the neighbors in our community, we truly have liters of milk to spare.

If you do not know about the benefits of goat milk here is an excellent link about how superior goat milk is versus cow milk: http://www.mtcapra.com/benefits-of-goat-milk-vs-cow-milk/

Frankly, I had never tried goats milk until a year ago. I had friends who sometimes milked for their neighbors and they always tried to get me to try the milk, but I never did. I had a goat cheese once and it was very pungent in smell and taste. It tasted like a smelly old goat. Disgusting. So all I could remember was that bad experience. (If proper cleanliness is followed during milking, sterilizing of containers and a quick cooling of the milk is done, there should never be a “bad” taste to goat milk/goat milk cheese.)

Now I love pouring a pitcher of our goats fresh creamy milk over my cereal every morning and sprinkling fresh queso blanco cheese over a leafy green salad or crumbling it over homemade macaroni and cheese. Yummers. I cannot imagine going back to drinking cows milk or particularly eating orange colored cheddar cheese.

I am very excited to experiment in the future with different cheeses and yogurt, as well as making goat milk kefir (a project I am currently working on! If you do not know about the probiotic and health benefits of kefir please click here: http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/kefir.shtml).

If you are interested in buying goat milk, please contact me, so we can arrange a meeting. At this time, we are planning to be in Volcan every Friday afternoon with fresh goat milk for sale.

I hope you have a blessed and joyous weekend, surrounded by family and friends and all of those whom you love and hold dear.

Scripture thought for the day:

“Not to us, O Yahweh, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1.

Always yours, Rose