Well it appears I am back. I don't know what happened to the last 7 months of 2013 but I just seemed to lose focus on the blog. We had a busy year; some of it good, some not so good. I'm only focusing on the good!
One of the most notable accomplishments of 2013 is that we expanded our Nigerian Dwarf herd by bringing in some excellent new animals. We incorporated 5 does from Enchanted Hill in VA when Ed decided to focus on his Mini-LaMancha program. These does will be freshening over the next two months. We also added some 2013 kids and we have been very happy with their development. I got a nice doe back that I sold as a yearling first freshener and I was so very happy with her daughter that I was very happy to get her back in my herd. We also added some new bucks. We are very much looking forward to 2014 kids.
We managed to attend one ADGA sanctioned show and one of our junior does earned a leg toward her championship with ADGA this past summer and our LaMancha doe earned a senior leg toward her Championship. We are hoping to attand one or two shows in 2014.
Perhaps the most exciting thing going forward with our herd is that we are planning to participate in 305-day milk testing in 2014 with both AGDA and AGS. There is a lot to learn going forward with the DHIR program but I and some of my friends have been certified as milk testers. I'm sure there will be more posts on this subject but in a nutshell, the DHIR testing involves sampling and weighing milk on a monthly basis and sending samples from each doe to a DHI laboratory to have it analyzed for butterfat, protein and somatic cell count. All information is then sent to the AGDA and AGS registries to determine if your does earn a "milk star". A star is earned when an animal meets minimum production standards set forth by the registries. It is a national program and the purpose is to develop and evaluate dairy herds and it is used for both cows and goats.
If you decide to bear with me we will likely have lots of cute goat pictures and other farm adventures throughout 2014. Happy New Year to everyone and I hope the coming year is wonderful to everyone.