Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ham Sandwich

The Ham Sandwich

Some goats are like fine wine, they get better with age. Some goats are like a ham sandwich, you can wait all you want but they definitely will NOT get better. I have a ham sandwich goat. My little Fiona, daughter of Lucy, granddaughter of Gloria, from a long line of lovely goats -- is a ham sandwich. I have waited and waited for her to mature, lengthen, get taller, and develop dairy character, but to no avail. As a kid she had promise. I kept her through the awkward yearling phase with the hopes that she would grow into her body. Then I bred her because I thought that would do the trick. Nope. She is still short, stumpy, and fat.

Her mom, Lucy, is lovely. She's tall, has a great udder, and is a long, lean goat with no obvious conformational issues. Her mom's mom, Gloria, was a knockout. She was everything a high production dairy goat should be. I was hoping for the best because Fiona's dad was Gloria's son. I was hoping that mixing Lucy's genetics with more of Gloria's genetics would produce the goat to end all goats! Not so much....

I don't really know what went wrong with Fiona. Other kids from Lucy and Gloria have been a lot nicer looking. Fiona did produce two promising looking doe kids this year. They are nice looking as three week olds. I think it is time I cut my losses and send Fiona down the road. I have three other very beautiful dairy goats to feed so this less than optimal one can find a new farm. She's a great little doe with a very pleasant and calm personality. I will find her a nice family farm home where she can produce milk for the people and be a sweet goat as a pet.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rewarding Weight Loss With Weight Gain

Brains like to play mind games, dirty, dirty mind games. My brain has decided that since I have lost weight, I must reward that hard work.... by gaining weight! This means that I will give myself a treat of a cupcake or two, some chocolates, or even a big sandwich on a daily basis because I look good so I need a reward, right?? Ugh. This is exactly the mindset that got me to 200 lbs and more in the first place.

I know what is behind it all --- SUGAR! When I hadn't eaten sugar or any carbs at all on the Whole30, this mindset went away. I felt so free because I could look at a cupcake or chocolate and go "Meh..." I didn't feel compelled to make up a BS excuse to eat them, like "I deserve a reward". Unfortunately, I have been riding the sugar train to crazy town a lot lately. I want to be free again so I really do have to buck up and get back on the no sugar, no sweeteners, no carb express to happy land.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Falling off the wagon

I've fallen off the Whole30 wagon a few times lately (okay, more like once a day or more). I have heard that a lot of people do a 80/20 split between Whole30/Paleo and conventional food. Unfortunately I am on a 50/50 split. Also my sugar dragon is back and I have bad cravings at night so I stuff my face with handfuls of discounted Easter candy at 10 pm. Not good.

I am going to work on being much more Whole30/Paleo and much less chocolate bunny rabbits/seafood salad subs.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Why Watching a Goat in Labor is Like Watching Ice Road Truckers

Do you remember Ice Road Truckers? It was a show on the History Channel about truckers who drove on the ice roads in Canada. That was it. Trucks + ice = TV....? The show used to make me nuts because they would promise something exciting was going to happen, but it would take a whole hour of watching truckers drive around on ice before it got to an exciting point, like a flat tire or a near slight slide off of the road. Nothing much really ever did happen but they kept you hooked by shaking the camera and adding sound effects of ice cracking.

I realized this week that watching a goat in labor is a lot like watching Ice Road Truckers. Goats keep you hooked on staring at their butts all day because you're sure that the moment you look away, a kid will pop out. Something exciting is bound to happen at any minute. Unfortunately it's 90% anticipation and 10% action. You watch and wait for hours and just when you are ready to give up they burp or fart in a way that makes you want to stay and watch some more. Was that a contraction?? Nope, she's just chewing her cud. Wait! Is she pushing? She just pushed, right? Nope, she laid down on her leg wrong and had to roll around on the ground grunting until she got more comfortable. These things are the goat equivalent of shaking the camera and ice cracking noises. And when you are finally ready to go nuts, the season finale happens and the kids finally come out.

Unfortunately Ice Road Truckers never had a season finale that involved baby goats. Maybe if they did, the show would still be on the air...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Been doing it wrong...

I realized this year that I have been doing this whole goat/kid/kidding thing wrong for a long time. I used to spend a lot of time and energy on this part of the year with baby goat watching, bottle feeding, milking, and the like. This year I got super busy (AKA "lazy") and decided to let the goats do their own thing and take care of their own kids. I have been present for the kiddings to help out if needed. I got smart and took the whole week off from work since all three goats were due at the same time. Normally I spend days at work fretting over if the goats are in labor and what I am going to find when I get home. This has been nice to have my schedule clear so it's all goats, all the time.

This year I decided to let the kids stay with their moms. Normally I bottle feed to make the kids friendly. It was me up every three hours for days feeding and cleaning up after the kids. Just like a human baby, yuck! So I left all the kids and moms together. They are all doing amazing! The kids eat when they want to and the moms are happy to have their kids with them. I have Alice and Fiona together in the big pen with their four kids. It works pretty well and the kids have been quick to learn to stay away from the wrong momma. The only issue is that Alice will attack Fiona's kids if she is not in the pen. There's no problem if Fiona is in there too, it's only when she is gone. I think Alice gets worried that she will be stuck with four kids to raise and is like "Oh hell NO!".

Dam raising isn't a disease issue this year because I finally have all my bred girls CAE negative. That was another reason I used to bottle feed. My girls tested negative in September so it is game on for dam raising!

I do still have to milk but right now it is only just to even out the udders. Soon I will start separating moms and kids for a time so I can get some milk for me. Luckily, these are all high producing dairy goats so there should be plenty of milk for everyone.

I feel like I have been doing it all wrong because this year has been pretty easy so far. I don't have any baby goats in my kitchen, I don't have to worry about being a little late for milking time, and I don't have to worry that the kids aren't getting enough to eat.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Baby Goats!!!

I had two sets of twin does born in the last two days. The first set were from Alice, my sundgau Alpine. She had two all black little girls. The second set were from Fiona, my brown Alpine. She had two all white/cream little girls. All kids and moms are doing great! Only one more goat to kid and then I am done with kidding season.