Tuesday, April 21, 2015

...and so a few years later...

I finally realized that, although I rarely have the time to sit in front of an actual computer screen to make a blog entry, there's an app for everything! This means that I can blog while nursing the baby, which even at almost a year old he still demands a lot more than of than I'd prefer. 

And since there's so very little out there in the way of practical, experiential information on the nigora breed, I think it's important that I share what I've learned over the last 5 years of breeding and managing my little herd. So let me introduce you to my current breeding stock. These photos aren't of the crew at their best- we had a very wet winter which got the better of their fleeces. And our winter lodging leaves a lot to be desired, so they're also pretty dirty, but these are the photos I have on my smartphone while I'm nursing ;)
Belta is our f1 herd matriarch. She was bred by Becky Hammond at White Fireweed Farm in Fairbanks, Alaska. Her dam is WFF Hope, a registered colored angora. Her sire is Twin Creek BW New Attitude (William), a registered Nigerian dwarf. She's going on 7 years old now, has freshened 5 times with no complications or assistance needed, and gives a quart of milk a day for at least 6 full months at one milking. Her fiber is a beautifully fine, lustrous type b. 
Olga is out of Belta and CSPN Spring's Buck (Peter). She is in her 5th year now and had kidded 3 times with no complications or assistance needed. I did milk her the first two freshenings, and her milk was ultra creamy, but she only gave a cup for a short period of time. I don't think I was consistent enough to really push her production. Her fiber is a gorgeous ivory type A with very little kemp. All of her kids have shown nice fiber traits when she's been bred back to Nigerian.
Aurelio is our Nigerian dwarf buck. He is an absolute sweetheart. He is now 2 years old, and threw his first kids last season. Two sets of twins. He was born in December in Nikiski, Alaska, and his dam was a first timer & didn't dry his ears off completely so he lost the tips to frostbite. 
Zinc is our new angora buck. He will be a year old this may. I tried to use him for breeding this fall, but he wasn't ready. His  dam is WFF Glacier and his sire is an unregistered colored angora with two registered parents. 
Chummy is a wether out of Olga and our previous Nigerian dwarf buck Loki. He has beautiful taupe type B/C fiber. I plan on attempting to make him a cart goat for my boys, but I know it will be a chore because he, like all the kids on our farm, was dam raised & she is still a bit of a wild thing. 

I'll try and get some better pictures posted of the goats as time permits. 

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