March 26th, 2010

Firefly: Jayne in hat

:arglebargleugh:

It's cold and damp here. I thought it was SPRING, dammit! Where's my 80* weather???? (It was 34* this AM when we went out to milk. The high today is supposed to be 72*. Would someone PLEASE reset the thermostat to SPRING???)

The doelings and LaDue are doing great. Both li'l girls HATE to be picked up - they just know we're gonna kill 'em. :grin: They like cuddles.....as long as it doesn't involve the whole "scoop and pick up" thing.

Ali wrote a nice post about goat care the other day (AND she wrote a fantastic one on Passover - I keep going back and re-reading it, it's so profound!), and she mentioned she sends her milk out for testing (I think she said once a month or so - don't remember). Well, I was intrigued, so I did some googling....one of the things tested is the SCC count (cells/bugs in the milk. They point to problems with the udder, to put it simply). Hmmmm. I asked Sweet Geek if this wouldn't be something we might need to do as well, and he said yes.

So, I did some digging. Ali says it costs (roughly) $10/month to test her 3 does. ($1 for each test, + $7 for postage). I figured the costs would be the same here - only a little higher, since we'd be testing 5 goats.....so, $12/month.

I found a test kit at Hoegger's (the Porta SCC, if you wanna play along). It's $12.95 for *8* tests, or $59.95 for 40. We discussed it......and I bought the 40 test kit last night.

Why? Because we'll get results in 45 minutes, not days. IF you've got a mastitis case coming, you want to catch it fast.....we figured, test ourselves. IF we see that we have a problem, then we can send it to a lab for a firm diagnosis, so we know what drugs to give to clear it up. (I don't know if TX A&M does milk tests, but they have a good goat department - so does the Univ of OK. Both are within driving distance - for TX. (A&M is about 4 hours away, and I think UoOK is about the same.) Since mastitis is usually caused by lack of cleanliness in the barn, and letting your goats lie down with "open" orifaces, I'm not *that* concerned - the girls get dipped after milking, and they don't go into the goat area for a few minutes (they have to first get down from the stand, which takes a bit, THEN they have to be shooed away from the alfalfa cubes/feed scoops, THEN they have to be ushered into the loafing area....so, yeah, it takes time. :lol:)

This weekend I am going to clean - gotta remove all the chametz from the house! - and Sweet Geek is going to finish the milkstands, spread gravel, and start on the milkroom wall. When I get done, the kids and I will be cleaning out the barn, then we get to stretch wire so the babies can go out and play. I want Calvin OUT of my house. He now has playmates his own size....I want my bathroom back. And not smelling of baby goat pee. :lol: