Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dry off is coming.

I whine about winter a lot.  It is cold, it is often wet.  The hoses freeze, so I have to haul water in buckets.  I have to feed a lot of hay, and therefor worry incessantly about running out of hay (even though I never have).  So when Game of Thrones hit my radar, that "winter is coming" thing came out of my mouth a lot.  Gotta get the hay up - winter is coming.  I don't know if I have enough buckets - winter is coming.  Or better yet, why are the handles on my buckets breaking?  Winter is COMING!

But you know what I hate more than winter?  Dry Off Day.  Every goat needs to be dried off (ie, I stop milking her and her milk dries up) two months before she kids again, so that she can rest and rebuild her udder.  If you don't, lactation quality and quantity goes way down, particularly colostrum quality - and that stuff is liquid gold.  Literally the difference between life and death for those baby kids.  So Dry Off Day is super important for the goats.

But it also means no more milking, and chores without milking are just depressing.  It means no more milk, and the kids always cry the first week of store cow milk because it's just not the same.  It means I have to pay really close attention to my yogurt and cheese making cultures or they're going to be dead by the time I have milk again.

So down with winter, sure.  But next year, I'm staggering the breeding of my does so our dry season is as short as possible.  If I'm going to be out there freezing my buns off in the barn, I want MILK, dang it!

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