Thursday, February 27, 2014

Goat's Milk! It Does a body REALLY good!

We first began our journey with goats and goat milk in the spring of 2008. I was quite sick for the first six weeks of his life and was unable to nurse him myself after the first 2 weeks. I was devastated, as I felt that formula was not the right choice for my family. However, I was left with little option. After numerous formulas failing and making my son very sick, I received a call from my grandmother on April day. She told me to come up with the truck and a large dog cage, she had something for me. When I arrived, there she presented me with an Oberhasli doe. She took me to the barn and taught me how to milk. She gave me her old pasteurizer and said to milk this goat, pasteurize it, and give it to my baby. Throw away the canned formula; and so I did. That goat changed my son's life and my family's life. My son was now a happy baby, thriving and not getting sick. My husband and I were introduced to the wonderful world of goats and goat milk, and all the wonderful things that can be done with it. We began making cheese and soap; the passion of the goat was in us. We had purchased another doe during the summer, so the milk was ample and wonderful. 

From there, we decided that goats needed to be in our family plans, but not simply having a milk goat, but breeding quality animals that we could be proud of. We then sold the two does we had in the spring of 2010 and purchased a French Alpine doe kid, a Nubian doe kid, and a Nigerian Dwarf buck kid. We were going to raise minis!

Our first kidding season was in the late spring of 2012. We were blessed with twin buck mini Nubians, and twin doe/buck mini Alpines. The milk was ample in our house again. The children were thriving, we were thriving, our family was thriving. Milking became a family affair and my then 4 year old son and 3 year old daughter were having a great time bottle feeding the kids, learning to milk our very patient first fresheners. 

We have since decided to focus strictly on mini Alpines. Our journey with dairy goats has been ever evolving, as we live and experiment with what our vision for our goats should be. I feel that we are in the right place! 

Now, we call upon the power of goats milk to nurture our our third child. I have seen wonderful things when it comes to babies and goats milk. My son, who is now 6, is one of the smartest in his class and was raised on goats milk from the time he was 5 months old. My baby girl, now, is almost 5 months old and has been on goats milk for a few weeks to supplement my own milk. We have changed things a little bit in these 6 years, and are now following this infant goats milk formula recipe. This recipe fills in the gaps and our daughter gobbles it up! I am not a doctor, and many would say to get the store bought can if you cannot provide it yourself. However, through research, instinct, and prayer, I have found that this works when I, as a mother, fall short.

For more information on the wonders of goats milk and why it is superior to cows milk, there is a great article entitled the benefits of goat milk vs cow milk. The website has some wonderful information and even some goat milk products! The infant formula recipe is also from that website.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mini Alpine Breed Standards

In 2010, we purchased our doe Apple, a French Alpine, and our buck Orie, a Nigerian Dwarf, with the dream of beginning to breed miniature alpines. I have always had a thing for little things. I like miniature horses, miniature chickens (bantams), so miniature goats seemed to be the perfect fit. In 2012, we had our first kidding season. Apple kidded with twins, a buck and a doe. The buck was reserved to a farm in Michigan, and the doe (Feisty Farm Orian's Star), was retained. This was our start to our mini alpine adventure. In 2013, Apple again kidded with triplets, this time, 2 bucks and a doe. Again, the bucks were sold and the doe was retained ( Feisty Farm Heidi). We were also blessed with the opportunity to purchase an unrelated F1 alpine in July of 2013 ( The Rogers Miss Merri Mac). We were well on our way to have some fantastic mini alpines in the future. Our search then turned to a mini alpine buck. Unfortunately, mini alpines are few and far between in Indiana or surrounding states! It is my goal to change that, by the way! So, we had to think outside the box. I belong to an online dairy goat forum, There, I was able to connect with breeders from all over the country. I decided my best option was to reserve a buck kid, and have him transported. I decided on a wonderful farm out of Buhl, Idaho, Sweetwater Farm. We now have our F2 mini alpine buck that will be arriving the last week of March! It is so exciting to bring such excellent lines to this part of the country. I want to work on making the miniature alpine breed more recognized and desired in this part of the country.

If you would like more information on the characteristics and breed standards for mini alpines, check out MDGA mini alpine breed standards. All of our minis are registered through the Miniature Dairy Goat Association. However, if you would like to purchase a kid in the future, we are willing to help in registering in other mini registries.

It is time to plan that garden! Even though it's 13 degrees out!

Last week, the almost 70 degree weather tricked us! I was hoping that we had turned a corner when it came to temperatures and snow for the season. As the month of March approaches quickly, my mind wanders to baby goats jumping through the yard and veggies popping up in the garden. As I pour through seed catalogs, it is hard to even wrap my mind around what needs to be done, as another 13 degree day arrives. So, I will keep trying to stay focused on the fact that there is warm in the near future, and it is time to start seeding some things down in the greenhouse! I will be planting the garden in no time and milking goats in the hot summer sun! I will vow, that I will not complain about it being hot this summer for sure! Until then, I will wrap up in a blankie with my coffee, look through seed catalogs, draw diagrams of the new barn design, and make lists upon lists of everything I will need to do when the cold finally subsides and spring days are ushered in. Since it appears March is going to come in like a snow covered lion here in Indiana, I do hope that it goes out like a happy spring lamb.

For those of you who are planning to garden this spring and summer, It is time to seriously start planning! I am very fortunate to have a greenhouse that I share with my uncle and grandfather. They have been raising vegetable plants and growing produce on a large scale for about 20 years now. 

It is always hard to judge about when certain vegetables need to be seeded and when they need to be transplanted out into the garden. While cruising through Pinterest, I found a few nice diagrams that gives you a timeline of sorts so you can stay on top of your garden and get the maximum yield! These guidelines help me out a lot, as I tend to procrastinate a lot! 

My House My Home and each have a diagram you can follow. also has a $5 off coupon for Burpee! So, that will help get all those wonderful seeds! I challenge everyone to choose something new to grow this year! I always love trying something new, whether it is an heirloom tomato I have never tried, a new squash, or a funky new pepper! It is always fun to try!

Hope this picture helps chase some of those winter blues away! 
Sending warm goatie vibes your way!

Picture of Feisty Farm Heidi, playing in the yard at 5 days old. Summer 2013

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

We've been updated!

I have been working the past few days to get things updated a little bit. I have made pages for the does, bucks, and also a for sale page. You can go to those pages by clicking to tab above. I will be adding more pedigree information, as well as, more pictures soon! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bring on the new!

I received word today, that our new buckling was born at Sweetwater Farm, in Buhl, Idaho the other day! He is a F2 mini alpine from some fantastic stock! If you would like to visit the farms webpage please go to Look for the breeding pair of Memphis and Boots! We are super excited. He will be flying to us at the end of March, which is a new experience in itself. Please see our buck page for more information about his sire and dam! They are truly wonderful animals and this little guy will add so much to our growing herd!

Maple Syrup fun on the farm

This winter we decided to do something that we had never done before....tap Maple trees! We decided to start out small at tap the few large ...