Dude. We have a rooster.
I made a great little trade with someone (Hi other Sarah!) with one of my rabbits for three new chickens and some pumpkin plants. On my end of the deal, I got one Ameracauna pullet that is not quite of blue egg laying age, one Chocolate Maran that lays beautiful chocolate-colored eggs, and one gloriously flashy Ameracauna rooster. He is actually quite tame and doesn’t crow nearly as much as I thought a rooster would.
Now it feels like a real farm around here with the goats in the front yard and a rooster strutting his stuff along the driveway. I just hope our friendly neighbors don’t hate us now. I try not to let Mr. Rooster wake anyone until 7am. I think Mountain Ranch will be full of early risers from here on out.
Even though I accidentally used about four times more salt than the recipe directed, it still turned out well. The key was draining most of the liquid off before I taste tested it. That’s my theory anyway.
I packed it tightly into quart mason jars so that the remaining liquid covered the kraut and threw it in the refrigerator. As with most my “experiments”, Trevor was hesitant to eat it. With the way he acts, you would think that I was a frequent brewer of botulism or something. It took some coaxing, begging, and cooking of hotdogs, but eventually he did try it.
My sauerkraut got two thumbs up and requests for second and third helpings. Phew! Not too shabby for a first attempt at kraut. And bonus!– it turned this beautiful and vivid magenta color thanks to the red cabbage I threw in.
I love happy mail. So, so much. It helps that GRIT Magazine is awesome and sends cool things to the likes of this lazy blogger. Maybe they are hoping that I’ll submit some more blogs to them. Maybe this shirt will help motivate me.
It isn’t much yet, but once those three babies are weaned, we are going to have more than we can handle. Thank goodness I love cheese.
That post title makes me feel like a second grader that couldn’t come up with anything more creative. Oh well. We’ll all just have to live with that one.
I just wanted to let you know that my last post about “Training Your Dairy Goat” was just a joke. Frustration, tears, and bribery were all things I was completely prepared to encounter when training my newbie milker, Freyja, to hop up on the milking stanchion. In all truthfulness, without my overly dramatic portrayal of milking, there wouldn’t have been much to joke about.
The first time I hooked Freyja to a leash and led her over to the milking stand was last Wednesday. Trevor helped me to slowly corner her in the pen and from there she didn’t fuss too much. Of course, she was a little apprehensive about leaving her three kids behind, but there were no attempted breakouts or run-away goats. Twice a day for three days, I led Freyja onto the milking stand, locked her in, gave her a treat (a little sprouted barley), and then led her back to the goat pen.
Saturday morning was my first real attempt at milking her and, by all accounts, a pretty good experience. Her hind legs were a little fidgety at first, but after a moment she calmed down. Now I attach the leash to her collar in the pen and Freyja follows me to the gate. She isn’t a fan of the ramp so I may need to revise it a bit and see if she like stairs better, but she hops right up and sticks her head through the locking arm. She gets her treat, I milk her, and we all resume our daily lives afterwards. Freyja is quite a well behaved goat on the stanchion. She even waits politely to finish milking even when she has finished her small treat. I couldn’t ask for more.
I am quite thankful for having had the opportunity to learn to milk from a couple different people with a couple different breeds and a couple different temperments. It certainly prepared me for the fussiest of goats and then left me appreciative of the goat I ended up with.
If anyone out there is thinking of buying a dairy goat, I would HIGHLY recommend shadowing someone experienced so you know what you’re getting into first.
Ah, I see you have a goat that you need to train to use the milking stand. Never fear, I am here to help. In the following ten steps, you will learn how to easily and effectively train your dairy goat to hop right up onto the stanchion and be milked.
Go into the goat pen and call her over by name very sweetly… for an hour.
Cry a little when Step 1 does not work. Repeat Step 1.
Make a friend and then tell them that helping you catch a goat would be great fun. Bake a pie if at first this does not work.
Slowly inch around the yard with your arms outstretched as to not stress the goat. This method may, in fact, stress you out.
Clip a leash onto the goat’s collar and thank the universe for your good luck.
Try to coax the goat over to the milking stand. Bribery is on the table here, so use anything delicious to get your goat onto the stand: barley, oats, sprouts, sweet nothings in her ear… Sky is the limit.
Lock her head in and breathe easy for a moment. A very brief moment.
Pet her, love her, and then let her down to be led back into her pen.
Repeat steps 1-8 for several days until your goat is comfortable on the milking stand.
Milk your goat!