On the way home from Red Gate Farm, we had the opportunity to stop in and meet some friends in person. We have known this Christian, homeschooling family informally for about 6 months, as the husband is the driver for our monthly co-op delivery–Azure Standard. He is like our Santa Claus, bringing our food goodies every month! I have gotten to know his wife via phone and e-mail, but never met her in person. I have also talked to her about goats, as they are one of the few breeders of good-quality, registered, dairy Kinder goats in the country.
So, on the way home, we were invited to join them for dinner and stay the night. We arrived, met everyone–which included their 11 children. #11 was an adorable, 10-day old, baby boy they had just picked up the evening before and planned to adopt. As expected, their home was busy, but surprisingly peaceful and welcoming.
We had a bit of a challenging night, considering we had 7 people sleeping in a 1-bed bedroom, but we are always up for an adventure! The next morning proved to be full of blessing! After a yummy, home-made, organic breakfast (complete with eggs from their chickens and milk from their Jersey cow), we started packing. Then, their 11-year old son offered to show S how to butcher chickens. They needed a couple for dinner anyway. S jumped at the chance, seeing as how we have our own poultry-processing day rapidly approaching. So, we all went out back. Their son did one, and let S do the other in part. He did the quick version, which was something we have never considered–rather than pluck, he just skinned it. Easy enough.
The best part was yet to come though. We went back inside to chat a while. I was talking with an older daughter who was having some issues with her horse. She was asking me for advice. Knowing of my interest in her Kinder goats, she suddenly offered me an adorable Kinder doeling in exchange for horse help via e-mail and telephone. I was elated at the chance, but felt she was being shorted. Unbeknownst to me at the time, S and her father were discussing S’s lumber mill in the other room. As it turned out, he very much wanted a hard-wood beam to create a mantle over his stone fireplace. He offered to barter for it. In the end, because we couldn’t take the doeling home that day (she is already half-grown and our car was a little full!), we agreed to swap the beam and the horse advice (plus a Clinton Anderson training book I “happened” to have with me) in exchange for the goat. As if it couldn’t get better though, they made another offer. They knew there were no quality Kinder bucks in our area, so they proposed to keep the doeling (saving me a feed bill for the next few months), when she is big enough, they will breed her, and once they know she is pregnant, we will arrange for me to get her.
After my last post about goats and my long term plans, you are probably laughing at me. Based on my research, I had pretty much ruled out Kinders. As it turns out, though, their family has bred specifically over the years for good udders and large teats. I am not kidding you when I say this little 4 month old Kinder doeling had longer teats than my freshened mini-Alpine! I was quite surprised. It is also common in their herd for a freshened doe to produce 3/4 to 1 gallon of milk per day, with 5-7% butterfat! And they are so small, they eat half what my LaMancha does! In addition, whereas the average dairy goat is famous for twins, these Kinders have triplets and quads more often than twins. Quintuplets and sextuplets are not unheard of. Apparently, they cull if the doe only produces a single, as it is so unusual and undesirable! Best of all, they are so hardy, they can generally do it all unassisted at delivery!
So, it looks like I will now be working towards purebred, registered Kinder and Alpine herds, until I decide if I want to focus on only one. Once again, only time will tell. What I am fairly confident of right now is that, between my mini-Alpine, my Lamancha, my Lamancha/Saneen doeling, and now this new Kinder doeling, we may have enough kids and wet does to sell next year to actually make this little farmstead start paying for itself! That is very exciting!