Art of Proprietation

Sunday, April 24, 2011

And I Will Call Her Bunny

Easter Sunday morning, at about 1:30 AM, we took delivery on two brand spanking new baby doelings, delivered by our doe goat, Sparky. In these first couple of days, saanen kids are reminiscent of rabbits, hence this one will be our Easter Bunny. The other is Bender. In Dairy goat naming convention, it's a 'B' year and the rest of the reference is too obscure for most folks.

We had been waiting for Sparky to deliver for a couple of days. It was a nice sunny day on her due date Friday. But she didn't deliver. Friday night was a windstorm with some rain. Saturday it snowed enough to stick. Saturday night was cold and wet. Sunday morning, early, more so.

Here is sparky with a pretty glazed look getting close to labor.

She kept licking us in the face and hands, like she was washing off the after birth. Getting practice for the real event.

In spite of the weather and late delivery, every seems to have turned out OK. Two Doelings, nursing, peeing and pooping. All good sings.

While all this goat delivery was going on, he was tangling with a Skunk. He'll be sleeping outside for the near future even if I wasn't out there sleeping with the kids and new mom.

On of the benefits of sleeping out with the goats, my wife brings me out coffee in the morning..

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

8 pints

I am sure there are plenty of people who are fine doing animal slaughter. I don't like it much. But it is necessary part of the cycle. For me, it's like going over a waterfall. I dread it coming up to it, consider any excuse not to do it, but once I commit, the rest just happens. Once past that point of no return, the rest just happens like gravity. And I know something about falling over waterfalls.

On the way up to the field I came up with a lot of excuses not to shoot Little goat in the head. He was big and strapping, friendly and human centric. He would have made a great cart goat or companion animal. But in the end, it turned out he had a lot organ fat that I rendered into 8 pints of goat lard. I think Lard more correctly describes rendered pig fat, but Little Goat's is papery white, anyway. We'll see how it tastes. Probably not as good as pork lard. But still usable. And if it doesn't work well with eggs, maybe we'll make soap instead.

The rendered goat fat has a different texture than pork lard, though. It congeals and even hardens at a much higher temperature. More like wax than pork lard. one reference I ran across said that goat fat makes very hard soap. I could see that for sure.

In addition to eight pints of goat lard, Little was about 80 pounds of meat for the freezer plus another 20 pounds of bone for stock and then Baloo dog. Little had a large hide, he was a good sized three year old goat. His liver goes to a friend who is anemic. Apparently goat liver is a good source of iron. What we won't eat has gone into our mortality compost pile and will nourish our soil. Little was born on our soil, was fed from our soil and he will return to it.

I did look into finding another home for Little. I put him on Craig's list with a high enough price that he wouldn't be bought for slaughter. If he was going to slaughter, I would do it myself. The one woman who responded asked if he came from a 'milky' line of goats. I explained that he did, but given as I had advertised him as friendly whether, he was castrated and he couldn't pass on those milky traits. She didn't get back to me.

Little made it as far as he did because he had a purpose. Little's purpose was he was expendable. If we had a goat we needed to segregate, Little was the goat who would keep that lonely goat company. Unfortunately for Little, we have enough does now that we don't need to keep a companion goat anymore.

Little was a good goat. We will miss him. I didn't enjoy killing him or harvesting his parts. But he will feed us and the line he came from lives on in our does.

RIP, Little Goat.