Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spring 2011 Goat School Day 1

Does this post sound familiar? Are you thinking, "didn't I read this about a year and a half ago"?
You are right! I went to Goat School at Stony Knolls Farm in St. Albans Maine October of 2009. Janice and Ken Spaulding have put on this very informative program twice a year in the spring and fall for several years. They have been breeding and caring for goats since 1989. Together they have a wealth of information to share and share they do with Goat School. Why did I feel the need to attend this program again? Well, there was just so much information to take in the first time around. We still call Janice and Ken with questions and problems about the goats. Secondly, Ted did not attend the previous session and he needs to develop his knowledge base too . We work this farm together. This is the Goat Bible of sorts. This manual has a wealth of information. I refer to mine all of the time.The Table of Contents is easy to follow. Your goat has a problem, the answer is here. Janice and Ken are not Veterinarians nor do they portray themselves as such. Life experience here. What works is here.

I love getting here early just to look around and see who is new. Ted found the kids first. A whole bunch of lovin in this pen.

We got started at 10am sharp. The pace is easy so questions can be asked and answered. Nutrition is subject near and dear to Janice's heart. She has a tendency to get on her soap box....

Literally...about goat nutrition. "You don't feed goats sheep food, and you don't feed sheep goat food. EVER." This said she introduced Andrew from Poulin Grain. He makes the subject of nutrition understandable. It has to make sense to put it to use.

We had lunch provided by Janice. Her recipes are so delicious. We had goat chili, salad with goat feta cheese, corn chowder with goat milk, noodle casserole with cheve and oh my goodness goat milk fudge. If you notice I didn't take pictures of the food? I think I got carried away and forgot. Janice has a cook book coming out on and I will be pre-ordering this book. I feel it coming on. After lunch we had some sweet talk time with Velocity. This handsome gentleman is the father of our Annie. Just look at that sweet widdle face. Smooch. Yes folks, I did kiss this goat. I love goatie kisses. Don't let Ted know that I said this, but, he does too.

We aren't the only ones with this past time. Janice is guilty too. Yep, she is a goat kisser.

I want one of these. It is a special edition covered hay feeder made by Ken. It keeps the hay and goat dry while they eat. Now, if you know anything about goats you know they don't do water. Not puddles, snow, or the dreaded rain shower. Best of all it keeps the goats out of the hay.

We spent time learning how to tattoo ears. This baby required extra lovin after the trauma of having her ears tattooed. Remember DRAMA QUEENS!

Finally, we could see it in action.

Next. A subject that I don't plan on putting into action unless necessary. The emasculator. Just looking at it make me have sympathy stomach cramps.

Janice and Ken demonstrated how to apply and when to apply the band.
Don't worry. This guy was left intact.
Again, there was so much information provided. At least this time we have some experience and know what questions to ask. Day 1 done. Before we left I had the chance to ask Janice what to do about Isabella not putting on weight. We have de wormed her but she just isn't snapping back. After we got home Isabella and Corina got de wormed with Valbazen. Sometimes it takes a different de wormer to get the job done. I don't think the girls appreciated the Goat School. Sometimes you just got to do what's best. Like it or not.
Back tomorrow for Day 2 of Goat School. More subjects to cover and questions to have answered. Thank you Janice and Ken.

I'm tired and need a shower.

Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm, the home of many caprine friends.

Feel free to visit Janice and Ken's website to find a Goat School near you. They do Goat School on the road.


Lili said...

I'm quite sure I would be a goat smoocher too. They are so cute. There's so much to learn about them and you're such a good goat Mama to go the extra mile like this. Hope you never have to use the emasculator though, yikes! ~Lili

Diane@Peaceful Acres Farm said...

Yea for the Goat School again!!! I wish I was closer to join you. Hey watch out for the Emasculator....our little BUCK has one testicle. The doc just couldn't get that one side and sure enough....he's gonna make babies this Fall! She musta crimped that thing 12X and she couldn't get it every time. Oh well, he's a good tame buck, but non-the-less a buck!

Marigold said...

Now this seems like a good way to spend a day - learning about and in the company of goats! I vote for that. Philosophically speaking, "You don't need fancy highbrow traditions or money to really learn. You just need people with the desire to better themselves."

Michaele said...

Wow! What an education on goats! I wish we had goat school around here - with lunch.