MAINE GOATS
June 2015 Newsletter
 
HOMENEWSLETTER



June Newsletter 2015


Spring Goat School® is now in the past. Kind of sad, because we had a wonderful group of folks, and such a great time! We were sorry to see it end! We all learned a lot, ate a lot, laughed a lot, and got to play with goats!

The Soap and Cheese making class was so much fun, and the picture taking time at the end of class was really funny! What a great group!


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One of our attendees, Beth Carpenter of "Carpenters' Workshop" brought this drop dead gorgeous milking stool to class on Sunday. This piece of work is so amazing, all you want to do is sit and stroke it! The Spring Goat School® students were standing in line to place their orders. You can too by clicking this link for Carpenters' Workshop, wait until you see the beautiful work they do!

https://www.facebook.com/scottandbeth


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A very special Thank You goes out to Julie Guay and her delightful daughter Brittany for all the help with getting set up, serving, and best of all, cleaning up! Another Thank You to Jake and Kristen Theriault for loaning us their two beautiful milk goats, "Sweet Pea" and "Twilite". These two sweethearts provided lots of milk, lots of practice milking, and best of all lots of kisses and entertainment!


 


Happily Summer Goat School® is coming Tuesday, July 28th, Wednesday, July 29th, with a Soap and Cheese Class on Thursday, July 30th.

We already have folks signing up, so if you are interested in coming, get your registration in! The Soap and Cheese Class seating is limited. Click here for more info!

This is our "premier" Summer Goat School, and we are planning for a great success!


And, of course there is Fall Goat School® coming up on Saturday, October 10th, and Sunday October 11th, with a Soap and Cheese Class on Monday October 12th (Columbus Day).

Maine is absolutely gorgeous in October! The foliage is breath taking and the weather is usually just about perfect. Click here for more info about Fall Goat School®.


A note about Fall Goat School: Columbus Day weekend is normally the peak foliage in Maine. If you are planning on attending, don't procrastinate about making hotel/motel/B&B reservations, they fill up fast.

 

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WEANING KIDS


This is one subject that makes me a little crazy! Everyone is in such a rush to wean their kids. WHY? If they are dam raised (nursing on their moms), let the doe wean her kid herself! She'll do it when she feels the kid is ready, usually about 4 months of age.


At that point, the kid is eating plenty of grain, and hay, drinking water, and doing really well at browsing. The kid is losing interest in taking time out from playing or eating to seek out mom and take a few sips of milk.


If the kid is being bottle fed, why would you want to wean the kid long before it's mom would?


The majority of bottle fed kids are from dairy breeds who have long slender leg bones. By weaning the kids too soon, you are taking away their calcium supply which they need to assure that those bones will be good and strong. A proper amount of calcium will help the goats be less prone to broken bones!


One of the joys of raising dairy goats is bottle feeding those little tykes and just enjoying watching them suck down a bottle in 30 seconds flat! Why rush it? Why run the risk of a weak and unthrifty kid? These babies need at least 3 to 4 months of supplemental milk.


You certainly can wean them down to one bottle a day by the time they are 2 to 2 ½ months old, but please continue one feeding a day after that!


And speaking about weaning too early, we recently attended a meat goat auction to see what was selling and how much they were selling for. We were totally astounded at the small size of most of these goats! The auctioneer kept saying "if you put a few groceries into this boy/girl, it will make all the difference". Problem is, these goats were already two years old! You are now asking your self what difference will that make? Here is the difference: If you over feed a two year old goat, thinking you will make her grow, you WILL make her grow alright, she will grow fat and unhealthy! Muscle is developed when the goat is still a kid!


If you haven't fed properly in the early stages, this cannot be undone! Proper nutrition is so important. From making sure the pregnant dam is fed well to insure good healthy kids, to monitoring the kids to make sure they are maintaining a proper weight gain. Those kids will grow good strong bones and healthy muscle. The kids will continue to grow to be big beautiful goats.


For those of you who attended Spring Goat School®, you got to see our creep feeder. The kids get to go in and out as they please and eat as much as they want. About 50 pounds of grain are consumed every three days by the 20 goats that fit in the creep!

 

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There are a lot of folks out there who do not believe in feeding grain.

If, however, the browse isn't supplying all of the vitamins and minerals that the goats need, such as copper and selenium, these animals will not first of all, be very friendly, and secondly, not as well formed and thrifty as they should be. A diet of mainly browse may be fine for someone who lives in a climate where there is always plenty of "green stuff" for the goats to eat, but, for those of us who only have browse for a short time of year, grain and hay are a must.


Ken likes to tell people, "some live in a climate where the goats eat primarily browse and are supplemented with hay and grain, but a lot of us live in a climate that the goats eat primarily hay and grain and are supplemented with browse!"





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