Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We're Expecting!

It is an exciting time here at Flumgummerie as we gear up for our first kidding season. Our Nubian does, Ruth and Shiloh, are both due in the first couple weeks of April. Talk about jitters, I haven't been this nervous since my own pregnancies!

There is so much to learn and so much to do that I am having a hard time deciding what to do first. Since this is our first time around we are starting from the beginning and that can be daunting to any new breeder. What should you have on hand? What equipment is absolutely essential to have on hand? What, when and how much should you feed? The list goes on and on! I have to sit back, take a breath and remind myself that most of the time these events happen without our help and without incident.

I decided that I should be prepared for any emergencies but I wasn't going to stress myself out worrying about it. I have put together a "kidding kit" of sorts with the basics and a few items that have been deemed as important in an emergency and best to have on hand. Nothing over the top or expensive, although one could certainly go that route. I did't think it was necessary to have navel clamps on hand when dental floss would work just as well, nor did I opt to purchase a navel dipper when I could repurpose the cap from one of my makeup bottles to serve the same purpose. I am still in the process of completing my kit and I will list everything together as soon as I am done with the hope that this will help someone else new to dairy goats and kidding.

I must admit my job has been made slightly more difficult because I am also trying to prepare for milking and cheese making, of which I am also a beginner starting with nothing! This means that my mind is in overdrive trying to decide on a myriad of choices and possibilities. I have spent countless hours reading books and searching the internet for ideas and resources to help in this process but I still find it difficult to make a final decision. To be fair, making decisions has always been hard for me. I can never just "make a choice"! I have to think and rethink on everything...a kind of paralysis by analysis. Although some choices are easier than others, for instance, building a milk stand vs. buying one was simple. The savings was so great to build one that there really wasn't any choice there for me to make. Build it and they will come! The same factor helped me decide on whether I should purchase a $500 pasteurizer or just use a stainless steel pot and a thermometer. I opted for the $17 thermometer method (after I decided whether or not I should or should not pasteurize the milk of course)!

I don't have it all planned out. I am not a type A personality by any stretch of the imagination and I am prone to changing my mind, but I do believe that a little planning and a lot of knowledge never hurt anyone. I will prepare the best that I know how and trust that the world will keep turning if I make a mistake.

Now, should I start with making soft or hard cheese or both? Hmmmm, decisions, decisions.