The milking herd at breakfast. It's time to prepare for breeding. It seems only a few weeks ago that they were pregnant - but they have had a long summer of good health and frequent check-ups, plenty to eat, excellent weather, and irrigated pasture. The second week of September, we will introduce the bucks again, with the first babies due in February.
The babies are slender young goats now, and most will be ready to breed in late fall.
Mark and Ben have been trimming hooves this week. If the goats were feral, they would wear down the unnecessary growth as they foraged over distance. We don't have sufficient hard surface for that to happen on the farm.
Roberto and Mark collecting the three bucks from the pasture over the road where we keep the non-milking goats.
The bucks are returning to the "Buck Pen" where Rosie the donkey lives, so that the milkers and the males can smell each other through the fence for a month, stimulating hormones in preparation for breeding. Here the girls are following them, though perhaps just in curiosity. We expect plenty of tail-wagging and more vocalizations as the girls become interested.
Coltrane is a polled goat, born without horns. Goat horns contain large blood vessels, a plus in hot climates with little shade. Here, though, it's rarely hot enough to trouble the goats, and horns are a liability in close quarters. Horned goats would snag themselves in fencing, or hurt each other and perhaps us and visitors too. However, polled goats have a drawback for us, in that the gene is associated with hermaphroditism. About one in eight births to a polled parent may be a sterile hermaphrodite, with both sex organs. You can't milk those babies.
The bucks will feed inside the shelter, so that Rosie can't eat all their food. Poor Rosie. She needs to lose weight. We'll see whether she likes the male company.
The kids are four months old. They are always keen to see you, because most of the time you're bringing them foodWe kept 49 girls this year and they are old enough now to be one herd. They are used to each other's warmth and comfortThe kids are in a newly fenced run between our house and the hen house. The chickens are making a dash for home; the kids are inspecting the neighborsMark has made a rotating barrel and a seesaw for the kids. They haven't quite worked out the full possibilities of the barrel - it'll be funny to see how quickly they all learn the technique after the first cracks the gameThis is our 25th year - but watching the young goats play is still a joy and a treat
Goat milk is superlative for your skin, a natural combination of vitamins, minerals, alpha-hydroxy acid and essential fatty acids. Our Bath and Body Collection is supremely delicate, effective and wholly natural, ideal protection from age and the environment. This is serious luxury: world-class effective ingredients, hand-made with a sustainable harvest in mind.
Well, a luxury product deserves a luxurious home. We are naturally thrilled to now feature in the world-class Ritz-Carlton Spa, Half Moon Bay.
Our best-selling goat milk soap is aged for a premium bar that keeps its shape and delicate aroma of lavender, rose geranium or lemon verbena. We also make unscented soap and a masculine blend of citrus and spice. Try goat milk soap in the shower every day for noticably softer skinThe Ritz-Carlton Spa, Half Moon Bay makes a blissful splurge if you need a spot of rejuenvenationFind our goat milk lotion, goat milk soaps, bath salts, massage oils and body scrubs in the spa. You can browse our entire collection here Eilís is our Bath and Body Collection mastermind. She is working on more products with deep citrus and spicy scent profiles, as well as a Harley Farms pet shampoo, for your pampered pooches