Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lamancha Dairy Goats

We started raising dairy goats so we could have milk. I grew up on it and Jeanette’s been raising goats for about 20 years.

But then we grew attached to them and kept one or two or maybe even 12 or 13 more than we should have and we had way too much milk. We made cheese and pudding and located an antique cream seperator to make butter and ice cream, but we couldn’t afford to keep ‘em all unless they started paying their own way.

Eureka! Goats’ Milk Soap! Most recipes we looked at only called for a little bit, but we played around until we had a recipe that contains 37% goats’ milk, by weight.

We’ve still got plenty for the cereal in the morning and the cheeses in the evening, but now we have soap and the goats’ future on the Laffing Horse Farm is confirmed.

I raised Nubian and Toggenburg as a child and Jeanette was partial to Alpine and Saanen. So we selected those breeds to start again and were disappointed in their performance in our climate. A little hunting, though, and we’ve come up with what we think is the perfect breed - LaMancha!. They may look a bit odd, but they give us abundant milk, wonderful meat, strong kids - almost always twins - and are easy keepers.

We now have chevon, breeding stock and wethers to offer in addition to the soaps.

Part of our herd of dairy goats with kids

This is MacaRoanie with her kids Timpas and Chocolate and Froglegs.

The 2004 crop of wethers looks healthy and strong.