Welcome back for the second installment of My Dairy Goat Adventures! If you missed part one, check it out here.
For two months, I looked for a goat, and found some that might have been excellent, and maybe worth even more than the asking price, but weren’t within my budget, some that looked okay, but not great, and others that I just plain felt sorry for.
One Saanen we looked at had teats so short and thin that Gabriel’s first finger was wider than they were long. Another group of Saanens were nervous, and had such small orifices (the holes through which the milk is let out), that I needed forearms like Popeye’s to get through milking even just one (incidentally, their owners milked by machine), and every single Nubian I called about either ended up being sold before we could get out to look at her, or wasn’t in milk as the advertisement had indicated.
I finally began to think that maybe I should just stop pushing on a closed door, and gave up… Sort of.
I still couldn’t resist searching “Nubian” or “Alpine” on Craigslist every few days , but nothing really stood out anymore. Spring rush was over, and grass was pretty abundant, so it wasn’t costing owners much to keep their goats.
And then one day, there was an ad for a beautiful alpine doe, in milk, kids just weaned, giving four pounds of milk once per day. And the price was right!
I sent a quick email to the owner, with a list of questions. How old was she? Had she been tested for various common goat diseases? What kind of diet was she on? Had she ever had trouble kidding?
All of the questions were answered favorably. She was six years old, All tests were negative, she twinned with ease every time, and her temperament was very laid back. Perfect!
When most people talk about things they’re selling like they’re worth their weight in gold, I usually get a little Leary, but there was something about this lady that just struck me as right.
Right off the bat she told me how much milk the goat was giving in pounds (no room for “oh, your jar must be bigger than mine” when you’re weighing the milk!), but followed it up with saying that that would decrease now that the kids were weaned.
I was impressed that she didn’t feel the need to brag, so I made an appointment to go see the goat.
And then the truck broke down…
Make sure to check back next Thursday for part three!
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