Monday, December 19, 2011

Pt 2 of last post!

and then the goat milking saga:
Hi all,

day three in my saga to get milk of my goats.
Every night I have been locking up the kids around 8pm and taken the girls to the milking stand, giving them nibbles and trying to milk them.
Up to the part of the getting the milk out of the teats it's all been good.

Tui, who had had mastitis in one teat, is giving about a tablespoon each day!!!
Poppy, a drop or two.
Their udders are not bursting full, but I can definitely feel some milk in there, and once I let out the kids they seem to be getting what they want with no problems.

Now, as we all are first timers I'm fully aware that my technique might be lacking.
I have tried you tube, but all the goats seem to have way bigger teats than my girls: I can place only three of my fingers around them, which is impossible for me to work.
One thing I can't sort is breaking the tiny plug that seems to develop over night at the tip of the teat.
Maybe I'm way to gentle, but I'd rather be too gentle than the other way around and freak the girls out by pulling/squeezing too hard.

Any tips, videos hints highly appreciated.

Today, 30 mins later:

kind of what I did just now.
And success!

I took a container with hot water and a flannel with me,
gave the teat a gentle rub down and soaked the plug bit.
And then I worked them, a bit firmer than the previous times, and lo and behold, the milk flowed!
Squirted more likely. I was trying to remember the rhythm I had to get into when using a breastpump myself and it worked.
I still have to sort out the milking and locking out arrangement, as the other goat was running around like mad wanting her share of nibbles. A second gate to the barn entrance should fix that!

So pleased!!!

Next thing, there were skin bits from the teat floating in the milk, so I filtered it through an 8 layer cheese cloth. Is that enough?
It looks clean and is sitting now in the fridge.
oh, and here's the proof, it's a large jam jar:

So, finally pretty much exactly a year after we got our goats Poppy and Tui I finally got my first milk.
And after I've strained and chilled it we had a wee taste and it tastes good.
"Nice in a sweet kinda way" according to Ms.8

Win some, lose some.
As long as the winning outdoes the losing I'll be fine and continuing in my persuits.

A very Merry and Peaceful Christmas and a good start to the New Year
love and peace,

One more post for the year?

I've been rushed of my feet in the past weeks, again!
I'll copy and paste the relevant conversations from my lifestyle block posts.
Suffice it to say, I'm looking forward to a quiet end of the year, and an even quieter start of the next one!!

First bunny saga:
Sudden bunny death

This time one of the young ones due for slaughter in a fortnight!
Rigor mortis hasn't set in yet, I think. How long does it normally last? The nose is grey and cold, but the body is about as cold when I have finished prepping them, meaning not colder than me, to my touch.
Anyway, this one had plenty of room to run around, was getting pellets and grass ad lib.
The boys were only now starting to get obnoxious with each other.
Could he have died of a sudden fright? No obvious wounds or marks anywhere, so no fight with predator.
I haven't done the post mortem yet, got to look after the goats and kids first.
Back later with my findings.
Wow, I just googled and found a very interesting and informative article on RCD.
It's a PDF but nevertheless:

I suppose if I keep them isolated for the next fortnight, and on pellets, and they all stay alive, they should be safe to eat!
Better evaluate my breeding stock and get it vaccinated too! So far we've only done the pet ones.
Another one this morning, and this time I went straight in.
BUT, it looks all normal. Well, it looks like the other ones that I had butchered for eating.
No discernible spots anywhere, definitely no blackening on any of the organs, no frothy mucus around the cavity.
So far the two dead have been plain white ones, looking the closest like NZ White.
Yesterday I had noticed one being a bit quieter than the others, but can't tell whether that was todays's corpse. When feeding today I noticed one of the coloured ones sitting a bit behind. Also, it's only in the outside boys pen. So far nothing has happened in the girls pen, which is in our courtyard. Let's wait and see.
What is an appropriate way of disposing of the bodies? I had intended of burying them. We do have a drum I could burn them in, but burying would be easier.
and another one.
This one has been dead a while, stiff as a board. So no PM.
I suppose it's like with tummy bugs etc.: a week after the last corpse I can assume the rest will be fine?
I'm tempted to cull the lot, except for the intended stud boy and a couple of mates to keep him company.
Unfortunately I had to euthanize another one last night, but today the ones that were looking a bit on the dopey side seem to be perking up.
Spoken to the vet, he said burying is fine, and he's going to find something out for me regarding vaccinations.
As he wouldn't eat any, I will not cull them, but wait and see who will survive. I'm doing hourly checks now, to be able to put any out of their misery.
Anybody out there in a similar situation who has eaten bunnies?
And what about hunted ones? They might be infected but not showing signs?
On the up side, I can get my animal cuddles from the goat kids, one of them is positively cuddly and always tries to snuggle up on my lap. But, boy do they have ants in their pants! 
and another one today, 20.12.11
If my tally is correct that's 5 out of 14.
Not happy but I can only wait and see.
BUT, today I butchered three of the girls, no rabbit in the separate girl run has shown any signs of infection, so I thought I'd get in there before anything happens to them too.