Brian Cantley

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since Sep 12, 2012
I've been here and there.  I like here better.
Sprague River, Oregon
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Recent posts by Brian Cantley

A billy goat with a yellow beard
Came to me and called me weird
But said I, unlike thee
Upon my face I do not pee!

Saskia Symens wrote:I was/am totally new to kidding... Our dwarf nanny gave birth this afternoon to a cute little kid baptised Brownie by my sons. I was quite worried during the whole process and had the vet on the phone three times to make sure everything was proceeding as normal. Everything went well. They're secure for the night, and I can relax now...
I do have a question for the community, though: I'm wondering if it's possible there's a second bun in the oven. How can I be sure? There were no more contractions after the delivery of the afterbirth, but her belly still seems fairly big. How far can two kids be apart?
Thanks everyone!

What Kelly Smith said. We also stop worrying once the afterbirth arrives. Sometimes the new mother will eat the afterbirth, sometimes it takes quite a while for the afterbirth to finally come out once the long string of it appears. Don't try hurrying it along. And if you just can't resist only do minimal actions as it's a bit dangerous to the new mothers. Never had to do anything myself but the only thing that's safe enough is to tie a very small stone to the afterbirth to add just a bit extra weight.

For checking to see if there are additional kids inside there is a technique where you bounce the belly of the goat. I had never been able to figure this out until recently. You can actually feel a leg or other pointy kid part in the belly of the mamma goat when you bounce her belly(the part of the belly toward the back end) gently.

Sometimes when the baby comes out it'll have been in there a while and will get fluid in it's breathing passage. Don't be shy, hold the kid firmly with it's head hanging down and swing it hard(without hitting it into anything). You're creating downward force to help the fluid out. And/Or put your mouth on it's mouth and nose and suck out the fluid. It's not that bad and can save the kids life. You can also rub the kid vigorously with a towel to get it to struggle more for breath. Momma goat will be trying to lick it which is totally natural.

Good job by your momma goat! Welcome Brownie.

PS. Birth is hard on the momma - mix up some human molasses and warm water and put in a pail for her to drink if she chooses. I say human molasses because the molasses at the feed store isn't really molasses. It's a chemical cocktail that includes some molasses.

Andrew Morse wrote:Do you have any experience with Nigerian dwarf goats? I've read they are typically 1/2 - 3/4 gallon per day and a 7-10% butterfat content. I myself drank 1/2 gallon of cows milk per day when I was about 10-22. I would still drink as much now, but I'm concerned about the quality of you average cow milk from the store even if the carton says organic. My cousin, his wife and their two daughters consume as much raw organic foods as possible and have had a difficult time finding raw goat milk. My thought was to give excess milk to them as well as make cheeses in exchange for feeding animals occasionally while I'm away in the summer time. That way it is family and I can breath easier if I choose to leave. Basically when the kids are weaned and we're not ready to breed yet.

If you have a good community of friends and family you can do it. Good ideas. No experience with Nigerian Dwarf's I'm afraid other than Linda has helped a neighbor who has them with the castrating of their young boy goats. The best goat for fat content is the ones we use, the Nubian, and one of the better goats for milk solids(for making cheese) is the American LaMancha(per Joanne who runs CurdsandWhey dairy in Surprise Valley, CA)

I agree with your concern on the quality of milk, but that concern is best addressed by finding a small local goat or cow dairy and seeing their operation. The big goat dairies are okay but the goats are in an assembly line where wrong moves get them sent to the slaughter. I'm pretty sure that they don't know all their goats names! The big cow dairies have similar concerns to goats but added to that are gov't involvement in the process. Price controls and silly rules make it really hard to survive making real raw milk instead of the burnt junk. Something to check out is A2 vs A1 milk. To explain it in just a few words - the A1 milk seems to have a mutation at one point of the protein chain that allows it to break at that point more easily, and then have opioid (narcotic) properties. Many people who react to milk and think they have lactose intolerance really are reacting to the opoiods that are formed when digesting A1 milk. A2 milk is unmutated and assumed to be the natural form of milk. Goat milk hasn't been known to have the A1 mutation, it's the cow milk and it seems to be mainly associated with the Holstein breed and spread to other breeds from the interbreeding.

Goat milk has been wonderful for some of our herd owners(it's a herd share so people buy shares of the goats and cow and so become owners receiving their own milk while we just take care of the herd - legally) whose children have had severe intestinal problems and weren't improving with medical treatments. They've all come around after just a few weeks of goat milk. I'm guessing it helped the children by increasing their beneficial intestinal flora so that they digested their foods better.

Cheers, Brian and Linda
4 years ago

Andrew Morse wrote:Thank you Brian and Linda! What type of goats do you work with? I know as a whole goats are suited to hot, dry mountain environments like the Middle East. I'm looking to have two dairy does with a donkey or a gang of Guinea Hens to protect them and a buck with a couple wethers for friends. That way meat and dairy for just me (and occasionally friends and family in the area) will be no problem. I need to find a local 4H or FFA student that I can hire to care for my animals after the first year in case I go backpacking or to a pdc or any reason I might want to leave over night.

We have Nubians with a bit of Alpine and we call the crosses Albians. FYI: a good doe will produce a gallon of milk a day when it freshens. That's 7 gallons per week. You may find your ideal solution is to find a local goat dairy and exchange for milk from them so that you can take off when you choose. You can raise the boys(wethers) for meat from your local dairy. Or you can raise meat goats: Boer or Kiko. In general, an animal farm will tend to tie you down. It's a decision we had to make - for us it's every day, 365 days a year. We provide milk for 42 families in Klamath Falls.

Andrew Morse wrote:I also need to have more water. I'm going to bite the bullet and install a 2,500 gallon tank and have a local construction/excavator service come bring 3,000 gallons. The extra 500 will go partially in my 300 gal tank and the other 200 can go to the pond I've been working on. This will get me through the year and give me enough storage capacity to always get through the dry seasons. Check out my hand dug spot for the tank... Looks like a perfect terrace for growing and slowing rain. I'll have to do these all over the property.

We were looking at a similar issue and Linda had the brilliant idea to set up a used above-ground swimming pool instead of spending so much for a tank. We haven't got there in our plan to buy and install but we have checked craigslist and found pools for sale at a very reasonable price. They hold a lot of water for the price.
4 years ago
Howdy Mr. Morse,

My name is Brian and my partner Linda and I have a natural goat dairy across the border in southern oregon - the Klamath Falls area. We've been concentrating on the animal aspect of responsible farming (POOP!) and are just getting our feet wet in hugelkultur beds and considering swales if we can swing a solar well. We're in high desert where it's extremely dry but it's ideal goat country and workable cattle country. Just letting you know you have some neighbors up here. Wishing you success from 4300 feet!

4 years ago

Jacque Ence wrote: I got a crash course in banding them this week too. What a week.

Howdy, well done on taking good care of your friendly animals. I have a goat(and 1 cow) dairy here in southern oregon. My comment is on banding. Haven't done it but have run into older wethers that have been banded and developed urinary trouble. We use a tool called a berdizzo. It's a plier type tool that crushes the feeder tube to the testicles on boys. It's done later in the maturation of the animal than banding and from what I understand gives the animal more time to develop their urinary system before the stress of castration. There is no breaking of the skin using this tool and the boy retains its scrotum, it's just the testicles that slowly dissolve. Always good to check them later on to see if the testicles have dissolved properly. You may decide to continue banding but it's always a good thing to be aware of your options.

Brian in southern oregon

PS. As a joke, showing a guy a berdizzo and explaining its use is a good way to keep him in line
Have built an underground greenhouse here in the high desert of southern oregon. (just north of Klamath falls at about 4300 feet altitude) As seasons change, it's not only temperature that effects growth but hours of light.

The greenhouse was very simple construction with a combination of lumber and t-posts for the walls and a slanted 2x4 roof with plastic on both sides of the 2x4's to create an extra barrier to the cold. Inside, after we dug down to the local hard layer of rock(hardpan) we then built the floor back up using hugelkultur. Large pine logs were put in rows leaving the middle of the greenhouse open. The middle was vertical pallets covered with a mesh fabric to prevent dirt from falling through the pallets. Halfway up the pallets a simple wooden walkway was nailed in leaving an open space below the walkway about a foot wide and a foot and a half high. The idea here was to use this as a cold sink like is used in igloos in the far north. The cold air will sit there instead of on the plants which are a bit higher on the hugelkultur bed. After the logs for the bed we added a mixture of goat poop and hay(we have a goat dairy and this is what we clean out of their living area).

I built this in my nephews place and he has since moved on so I only have input from the first winter in which kale and cabbage survived the winter where temperatures dropped to -30F.

As in any underground greenhouse the idea is that the steady temperature in the surrounding earth keep the temperature inside the greenhouse higher than the frigid winter air.

Am still experimenting up here now with an above-ground hugelkultur bed but can't report on that yet.

For a few pics of the above-ground bed and the underground greenhouse construction with center walkway you can check out this facebook page:
4 years ago
Just got 1 of 2 is all. Checked spam for part 2 and not there either. yahoo mail.
Thanks for the pics Sam. Great job. Helps us to continue to feel connected with you guys from a couple states away!
6 years ago
I help out on a small natural goat dairy occasionally. Mostly Nubians. There are three that are half Alpine and they are more aggressive and more flighty. Two Nubians were from a 'professional' breeder/dairy. Both were pulled off their mothers and bottle fed with pasteurized milk [disease prevention protocol?!]. They're the ones that have been sickly, insecure and (one male and one female) in the case of the male - pushy and disrespectful.(the other males are not)
The point is that there are different personalities with the different breeds/animals with some traits coming from the breed and some from how the animal is raised. The one neurotic Nubian doe that was bottle fed her mother's pasteurized milk has calmed down due to being able to nurse and naturally raise her own 2 little munchkins this Spring. She's not only able to feed her babies but give us 1/2 a gallon of milk per day.