Back in 2013, we had a darling Nubian doe named Moonshine for a spell, taken in an emergency from a friend. Her twins died at birth so needed to be milked twice a day. What a dream on the milking stand and a great producer! I was happy to have her. However that milking schedule did not fit with my health issues. So I found her a good home, since then missing sweet Moonshine.
Lately, I decided I wanted a smaller dairy animal that loves being with people and can stay close to home in summer (instead of like my cow that rotates through the steep property grazing). I revisited the idea of dairy goats, with milking practice alterations in mind. Himself is not a big goat fan so wasn’t thrilled but is very supportive. Bless his heart.
As per usual, research in all the dairy breeds ensued. I love doing research! After all was said and done, I settled on Alpines, an old breed that originated in the French Alps and was imported to the US in the early 1900’s. They are elegant, have a beautiful array of colors/patterns, are well- known for giving large quantities of milk, are hardy, sturdily built (making terrific packgoats, too!), can handle cold and heat, and are less vocal than some breeds. Some folks note that they are more independent than other breeds and are generally at the top of herd hierarchy.
Not wanting to travel far for stock if it could be avoided, I inquired in our county and finally found a lady who happened to have an Alpine doe and buck, and also a little Boer cross doe which she needed to sell. Her practices were right up my alley- kid sharing, once a day milking, and natural health! We went for a visit, taste-tested their milk (yes, they were in milk at the time!) and cheese, met the goats, loved them, and made arrangements to pick them up. And then the forest fires became a big problem, so we put things on hold temporarily not knowing if/when any of us would need to evacuate.
Fast forward a few weeks and here we are… our new dairy goat herd arrived on Tuesday!!!
Meet Cedar the Alpine doe, Brie (like the cheese) the Boer cross doe (being that she calls out even if she hears us, she’s probably part Nubian), and Pepe the Alpine buck (which is a very fitting name since it is breeding season now and he stinks is quite pungent smelling… think cartoon skunk Pepe LePew). Unfortunately, the girls are now dried off, but I have visions of milk, yogurt, and cheese come spring!!! Oh, and goat kids at play!!!
Once again the goat voice is heard here at Highland Glenn Ranch. :))