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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!"