Duke and Meyla

Duke and Meyla

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Birthday, Calves and Appraisal

My birthday came around again, as it seems to every year.  I received a wetsuit from Mom & Dad and use it to swim in the pond. I don't like all the chlorine in the pool, and neither does my sensitive skin. 
I made my birthday supper of teriyaki chicken and artisan bread, and also the below cakes. S'mores pie, toffee crunch, and, for me, a walnut crust pumpkin pie. It was so good that I ate two pies between  Friday and Tuesday evening, and declared to myself that I can only make it every first Saturday of the month to keep myself from overdosing. 10 more days until I have more! 


I noticed that I was wearing the same shirt that I had been exactly one year ago on my birthday, when I was given Kate, so I felt compelled to attempt to replicate the picture with Kate now.


She's slightly bigger now, but we both appear to be happier than in the previous picture, so I guess that's good. 


I talked Mom into getting a couple of calves to raise on the excess goat's milk that we will soon have.  Both are heifers. 

The Holstein is Betsy. 


And the Jersey is Tallulah. 

 
Fastword to this past Monday.
We participated in our second Linear Appraisal this year. For us, it's a way to prove to our customers that we have high quality stock without showing our goats in fairs and such. 
Another breeder and I met at our friend's house in Hood River, because you have to have at least 16 goats at a stop, and none of us alone had that many. The same as last year, I was the only one with big goats. The others had Nigerians.


Our does waiting their turn.


Bluebelle was up first because she needed milked first. She was a good girl.





Skitz.  


Marion. She kept spooking, bolting and trying to get back into the pickup, but we got it done. Afterwards, she leapt into the pickup and I figured she would just stay in while we loaded the rest of them, but no, she jumped out and tried taking off. When I caught her, she gladly leapt in again, and then turned around and tried jumping out. I had to grab her collar and try holding her in, while attempting to help Mom with the other does. I finally got upset with her a smacked her a good one, which sent her in the back on the canopy. After that, a pretend swat every time she started coming forward was enough to make her back up again. You're lucky you look so nice and give so much milk, Marion! 


Bunny


So, here are their scores. I really like how the appraiser took the time to explain everything she was seeing very, very well, and answer my questions, but, though I agreed with what/where she said the faults lay, I did not agree with the final scores. I feel like she hit us much too hard on the faults, and didn't take their good traits enough into account. All the does have bad shoulders, to which I agree to some extent, but I don't think that that should have made the overall score go down so far. 

Anyway, here is Bunny. She got the highest at VV+V86. I do agree with her score. 


Here is our new doe, Clare, (I have an interesting story to tell you about her!) who got the lowest at ++V+ 81


Bluebelle got +V++84


Skitz got ++AV83


Marion got ++++82


Marion and Skitz are the ones that stumped me. How a doe with a body like Skitz's can score higher than Marion is beyond me. Even though Skitz has better shoulders, how does that outweigh the difference, especially in udders? I don't normally post udder pictures on my blog because I don't think you folks will appreciate them, but I'm going to now. Marion is on the left, Skitz is on the right. Look at Marion's nicely shaped, symmetrical udder with good teat, vs Skitz's udder that is vastly uneven with huge, nasty teat that Mom says she can barely fit her hand around to milk. But whatever, I guess. Marion will get a better score next year, and in the meantime, I'll take what I got and keep breeding better goats. P.S. while we're talking about udders, Clare has the best udder in the herd(except that it's slightly small) and got no credit for it whatsoever.



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