We decided to really do something crazy this week! S gave me the go-ahead to invest in an almost breeding age, purebred, Alpine doeling! I am so excited! We drove a couple hours north yesterday and picked her up. I have been working toward this for the last few months. And she is such a pretty color! Don’t you think?
I am basically in charge of our budget, and since S has made a rule that every animal has to pay for itself somehow, it is my job to figure out how. Because of our big move coming up in 2 years (YAY! It’s only 2 years away now!!), I have been aiming and calculating how to sell out my crossbreds and move towards my purebred Alpines and Kinders between this fall and the end of 2012, at the same time trying to make the goats fully pay for themselves in milk and income, with a little meat on the side as a freebie.
I lined up a bred Kinder doe a few months ago. We will be bringing her home next month. Then, I found a few leads to purchase some high-quality Alpine doelings next spring. God willing, if our kid crop from Sara and Lilac turned out well and the Kinder doe proved to be a good milker, then I would be able to sell Sara and Lilac’s kids and one of the two does in milk in order to pay for the pure Alpines. There were just two problems with that idea.
First, if I bought a young doeling, I would have to bottle-feed (around here, most high-quality breeders pull the babies at birth, and sell as soon as they are disbudded), then I would have to feed and raise her until NEXT fall before breeding, then another 5 months until kidding. I truly don’t have time for bottle feeding if I don’t absolutely have to. So, it would literally be around 14 months before there was any chance she would earn her keep. At that point, if anything went wrong, I would also be running really low on time to find a replacement if I needed one.
Secondly, we ran out of milk this year. OK, not completely, but still…due to circumstances, I realized I need to have at least 3 does milking come next winter, so I have a back-up if anything goes wrong.
So, I decided to keep my eye out and ears open for a better opportunity. I also decided to pray about it. I had kinda forgotten that part previously. I prayed and asked God to lead me to the goats that we needed and would work best for our family. Then, I stumbled upon this little doeling. She was bred by a relatively new farm who is just a few years ahead of us, but with similiar goals. They seek out excellent foundation stock, test for disease, show when the goats are old enough to ensure they are on track with the qualities they desire, and also stay small and sell the extras. In this case, this girl’s sire is the farm’s only Alpine buck, so although they wanted to keep her, they don’t want to breed back to her sire. Her grand-sire is from the same top breeder as Stallion (though he and Stallion are unrelated), and I am very familiar with his characteristics. He has several * milkers in his lineage, and has produced some excellent daughters. I am not as familiar with the grand-dam’s side, though there are good linear appraisals and up to 4* milkers within 3 generations. Her dam received an excellent rating and took reserve grand champion of junior does at her first show.
So, for the price, I think I am getting a really good deal. It is a bit risky since she is unproven in any way, and the farm is not well known yet, but I’m hoping that she will be an excellent start in my purebred herd. If all goes well, then she will soon be bred to Stallion, and their babies will hopefully be top-quality milkers!
Thanks to many of the behind the scenes details, hopes, blessings, etc. involved, the kids agreed we should name her “Faith.” So, Faith it is. I’ll be submitting the registration papers tomorrow. I just feel so incredibly blessed by all God has given us and allowed us to experience and learn this year!!