20 June, 2012

Dairy Goat Profile: Josie

A close-up shot of Josie's face as she stares up at the camera, doubtless considering whether or not she can eat it.

Josie is a grade dairy doe, meaning no one has kept her pedigree. There’s at least some Oberhasli in there, as no other breed has that distinctive coat of rich bay with black trimmings, but she lacks the black belly of a purebred Oberhasli. She is the enforcer of the herd, out to headbutt the world, or at least that portion of the world which is other goats who annoy her. She even tried it once on Miss May, shortly after we brought May home. Just once, though, as May put her massive head down to meet Josie’s incoming rush and Josie bounced off her like a ball off a brick wall.

Josie is also the mother of the first pair of goatlings born here at the Manor, proudly giving me twin doelings at her first birth (and mine!). She’s now being trained to be milked, which is a slow process requiring much patience on all sides. Evidently it’s weird to have someone milk you. I really can’t fault Josie for feeling that way, either, since I am pretty sure that if someone tried to milk me I’d do more than give them a vicious side-eye.

But I digress. Elegant, stubborn, and determined, Josie is an excellent paragon of goatliness. She even managed to teleport out of her Executive Kidding Suite at one point, to the great mistification of all human beings. But her life could be improved by an endless supply of fresh pine tops and also her own personal servant to follow her around fanning her. Tragically, she must climb trees to get her own pine tops (which are only available in spring anyway), and depends on the vagaries of weather for a fresh breeze. Your awareness will surely make the pine trees change their growing habits, and also convince someone to show up and fan her.

19 June, 2012

Dairy Goat Profile: Esk

A photo from my POV that shows Esk, a tiny Nigerian Dwarf Goat who is white with orange spots, standing on her back legs with her front hooves on my hips and a mouthful of my t-shirt.

Few people realize that Nigerian Dwarf Goats serve a purpose besides being tiny and adorable. As you can see from this picture of Esk, they are also tiny hooved terrorists waiting to wreak havoc on unsuspecting bipeds. It is rare to get a picture of Esk that does not involve her having a mouthful of someone’s hair or clothing.

Esk is almost a year old, and is one of the first two dairy goats I brought home. While their tiny teats are hard to milk, the milk they give ranges up to 10% butterfat. Compare that to the paltry 3.25% butterfat of whole cow milk you buy at the store! And while they only give a couple quarts a day, that’s more than sufficient for a household of two humans. But most people just write Nigerian Dwarf Goats off as adorable little bundles of terror and fail to give them sufficient credit for producing delicious milk that is just asking to be made into amazing cheeses and frozen dairy snacks. This makes Esk sad.

Of course, Esk’s life is not all grain and roses (goats love to eat roses). She would like to be a lap goat, but her inability to control herself when it comes to tasty, tasty human clothing and hair means that she is exiled from being cuddled more often than not, and has to settle for having her face, neck, and body vigorously scritched. Your awareness of the plight of dairy goats like Esk will help her receive Self Control Therapy, so she can learn to avoid trying to eat people and thus get more lap time.

18 June, 2012

Dairy Goat Profile: Miss May

A profile portrait of Miss May, a golden brown goat with long, drooping ears and stripes running from the corners of her eyes to her nose.

Let me introduce you to Miss May, formerly of Money Pit Acres. She is a treasure among dairy goats and I could not have asked for a more perfect goat for my first milker. Miss May is patient, kind, and at 130 pounds she is easily twice the size of Josie, who is the next-largest goat in the herd. But Miss May uses her powers only for good, keeping the herd in good order and discipline.

Unfortunately, like 95% of dairy goats worldwide, May suffers from a serious lack of cookies, a problem that most people are unaware of. People assume goats will eat just anything, which is actually deeply untrue. Goats are weirdly picky eaters, and cookies are one of their favorite snacks, as long as the cookies are the right flavor and texture. Miss May gets goat cookies twice a day at milking time, but she would love to be able to also have a noon snack of cookies.

Miss May also has difficulties communicating, since she cannot speak. Instead, she must bellow mightily at people to indicate her displeasure with the lack of cookies and neck massages. If her neck is not being sufficiently massaged, she sometimes has no choice but to nip the person who is failing in their duty to massage her neck.

Gentle readers, it is a hard life being a dairy goat like Miss May, but together we can change that. Your awareness will help make a better life for dairy goats everywhere!

17 June, 2012

Dairy Goat Awareness Week kicks off!

A close-up shot of Esk's face, white with orange patches over her eyes and an adorable pink nose.  At the top a caption asks Are You Aware of Dairy Goats? and at the bottom it says Dairy Goat Awareness Week June 17-23, Manor of Mixed Blessings.

That’s right, gentle readers, today is the first day of Dairy Goat Awareness Week, sponsored by the American Dairy Goat Association. Instead of my usual lazy posting every other day, this week I shall feature a different resident dairy goat every day, with a picture or two and a profile of her sparkling personality!

During this week, I’ll also be releasing Dairy Goat Awareness items in the Manor of Mixed Blessings Zazzle store, so that you can share your Dairy Goat Awareness with friends and family! For example, the image above is available on a t-shirt, as well as other products that have nothing to do with goats except that I’ve slapped a picture on them! Together, we can make a difference in the lives of dairy goats.