Monday, 9 January 2012

Paperwork and seasons

It's that time of year when I am trying to get all the loose ends of paperwork tied up and sorted out so that when kidding starts at the end of Feb, I can devote myself fully to the mums and new arrivals.  Of course, there is always other stuff to do but if I can get everything in order as much as possible then I feel much happier!

For example, my British Goat Society kid registration cards for the 2011 kids have been sitting on my desk for a couple of months now, waiting to be checked.  So, yesterday afternoon, I sat down with all my goat details and went through them all - checked that the names are spelt correctly, that parents are correct, eartag numbers are correct etc etc.  Found a couple of minor errors and one kid, Velma, doesn't seem to have been registered, so that's a task for tomorrow to sort it out with the BGS Secretary.  Then they can all be filed away and we are ready to start on the 2012 kids!

Today was a cheesemaking day - a small batch of Ellies for this week.  Only 171 cheeses as there wasn't a lot of milk left after bottling for markets last weekend.  Still, better than nothing at this lean time of year.  We have got so used to every type of food being available all year round at the supermarket that people tend to forget that we do actually have seasons (and that some goats dry off)!  Incidentally, I have a great book called 'Seasonal Food' by Paul Waddington which is an excellent book all about British food in season.  I thoroughly recommend it.

David and I went through the kidding list again tonight and spray-marked a few more goats who need to be dried off.  Milking is getting quicker every day!  Unfortunately, our lovely BammBamm who was supposed to be running through for another year looks like she has got bored of being milked and is in danger of drying herself off.  If she does, it means that she gets a lazy year off as it's a bit late to be putting her in kid now.  Nice for her but not so good for us!  Still, she's a very good milker usually so we can't complain.

Sadly, we didn't make it into the top three for the Taste of Kent Awards Artisan Food Producer.  We were pipped at the post by Quex Foods, Simply Ice Cream and Taywell Ice Cream - so congratulations to all of them and may the best producer win.  I'm just thrilled that we got into the Top Ten in our first year of entering!

I thought that I would try and get a couple of photos of the big males this evening as they were all snuggled up together for the night.  But, as soon as I walked over to them with the camera, they all stood up and came over to see what I was doing.  Typical nosey goats!  I managed to catch Fremlin as he was climbing up the gate - the camera angle makes him look rather sinister I think.  As you see by all the bits in his hair, he was very comfy under the hay rack!

I always think that it's nice to see the boys curled up together.  They spend their days 'ladding' about and snorting at the girls they can see at a distance but they are really the best of friends and always get upset if one of them is taken out for some reason (usually because they think that he is getting something that they are not!).  Despite their huge size and strong 'perfume' they really are wonderful creatures.  I am very proud of 'my boys' and I love them dearly, especially Fremlin who is such a gentle giant.

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