Monday, May 9, 2011

Raw Goats Milk and Farmer Cheese

One of these days the weather will turn nice for good. Today is a pretty good day, high of 67 degrees so far. But we've had so much rain! My garden isn't fully planted yet either. We have had 60" of rain so far for the year and if that isn't record breaking, I'd be surprised. Then again, nothing should surprise me I guess.

On to my girls and their milk production! Here you see my sweeties, hanging out chewing cud and building milk for the evening milking. Lily and Amelia are on top of the spool and Miss Cassie (Sassy Pants) is below. Notice the mud? Ugh. I have since moved another spool into place so all the girls can hang out together. Of course, they had to battle it out over the new one but all now well and good in fussy, bossy girl goat land. We have also added more concrete blocks to help with tippy toeing through goo. We are all getting irritated by the mud.

The two girls on top are two years old and they are giving me some reasonable milk. I'm impressed because hey! They are half boar and half dairy. Lily is averaging a gallon a day, small teats and all. Amelia (super big teats) is averaging 3/4 gallon and Cassie, the one year old new freshener is actually giving up almost half a gallon. Not bad for a first year doeling. And she has more Nubian than her mother or her aunt. So while she's a big mouth ornery little girl, she is showing some real promise. Good record keeping is a must! I went back to last years records and was sort of stunned to see that Cassie is giving more than the two big girls did first year. So all in all, very happy with the results.

Every day I get 2 plus gallons of milk from the 3 girls. So I usually try to keep one gallon as milk and one gallon I turn to cheese. At this point it's still soft farmers cheese (dressed up with herbs and spices) but will be doing more in the way of hard cheese's here soon. Trying to find/fabricate something that will be healthy and safe to use as a press. I thought I would be using food grade metal cans, but no, they seep some not so nice toxins. Same with some plastics. I may end up building some out of good quality, high grade hard wood. Untreated of course. We shall see. I'm looking forward to trying some alder smoked goat cheese!





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