5 September 2017 Farm Update

An exciting time! Pregnant goats and delivering goats. Four baby goats were born in the past week. Three to Glenda –two girls (Gabby and Polka Dot) and a boy. Glenda has reliably delivered three babies for each of the three breeding seasons of the Farm’s life. She’s a large goat by Jamaican standards and a voracious eater. She’s always ready to eat! Yet, her milk production is not high. Well, we can’t have everything! We’ll see how Glenda does this year.
Many are curious – when are the goats who have babies/kids milked? Our system, based upon limited space and acknowledgement of what seems ‘right,’ and acceptable to our Farm staff, is to have the kids with their mother goats for the first several weeks. Although our vet says two weeks of fulltime access to the mother for sucking/milk access is plenty, this seems too limited to our Farm staff who always advocate for longer. So, at approximately a month, we begin to separate the mother goat from her kid, in the evening and for the night. All the babies/kids are kept together in one pen, separated from their moms. Then, in the AM we milk the mother goats and then the kids are with their mothers all day/early evening. We are dividing the milk –the Farm gets the milk in the morning and the kids get access all day to their moms’ milk.
After just a week of life the babies are having time apart from their Mom, playing, and napping together while Glenda munches at the trough of grass and greens. Because Dot aka, Delphine, our donkey is present the kids not only spend time around the other goats, but the donkey expresses her curiosity occasionally nudging and sniffing the kids. Glenda’s kids are also getting to know our other new kid, Suzy, the daughter of Pregunta. It is a joy to see the kids frolicking, leaping, tumbling, sniffing, nudging one another – then bleating, looking for their respective moms, sucking, then often collapsing together nestled against one another for a nap. It is renewing and relaxing to watch them and I find, a big distraction from other tasks such as pasteurizing milk, making cheese and speaking with customers! They are all just so cute!
We also make an effort to cuddle, and handle the kids. . .we want the babies to grow up being comfortable with human contact – to not be skittish and afraid. So we are encouraging visits to the Farm, especially now to handle the babies! They are affectionate and nibble, sniff and cuddle when held. Visitors are immediately won over!
Four other goats are pregnant: Ella, Golden Girl, Ricoletta and Sophie. They will not deliver for several months which will work well for our milking schedule. Gestation is five months for goats.
We’ll be milking Glenda and Pregunta and will stop milking the pregnant goats at the end of their pregnancies – at the end of this year, to give their bodies additional resources for their pregnancies.
In other areas of Farm activity, a friend of the Farm, who makes ice cream, Nicky Williams, is experimenting with our milk, making goat milk ice cream! We’ve requested chocolate as a first flavor!
L’Escargot, a wonderful restaurant in Runaway Bay, now regularly has our goat cheese cheesecake on their dessert menu.
Stush in the Bush continues to serve our cheeses at their events.
In MoBay, Wright Life Eatery and Divine Living Essentials Café serve our yogurt and cheese.
Knudsford Bus transports our products to customers for orders beyond the parishes of St Ann, Trelawny or St James. We package up the items, surround them w plastic bottles of ice then newspaper to further insulate and Knudsford delivers to the designated Knudsford station and our customer picks up their order. It works very well!
Building our customer base is a focus. Let us know if you know someone who might be interested in our products-we happily provide tasting samples!