Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Linear Appraisal and Sourdough

You would have thought with how busy I have been that I was canning up a storm but nope, no garden left after the hail. The squash is growing once more and blossoming but it hasn't a prayer before winter of producing. The corn has come up from the roots with side shoots but it will snow next month if my goats coming in heat so soon and growing heavy coats is any indication.

I wish I could say I let me garden sit after the extreme hail storm to see what it would do but the reality is I just haven't gotten around to cleaning it up. Yet in all things there is education. Such as what comes back after a devistating hail storm. Several weeks later and insurance adjusters are still climbing roof around town. Roofing signs can be seen in a large part of the yards.

And life goes on with few leaves to shield us from the blas of heat that all of a sudden is pelting us. It puts this woman in slow motion. I drank three-quarters of a gallon of water yesterday and I had leg cramps last night from dehydration. I hate heat or rather my Addision's disease hates heat and it is a huge irritation when I've so much to do. Wish our huge willow shaded the house but alas, most of the leaves are gone so our tiny air conditioner is doing its best but not quite good enough for this heat hating girl. Good thing I live in Wyoming where heat is a problem for only a short while.

Things haven't exactly gone smoothly though I have lots to tell, hence the lack of blogs. For instance yesterdays hick up when the truck with the trailer hooked on suddenly quit while I was driving around the pen to load goats. I had to borrow a pickup and trailer at the last minute to get the goats to linear appraisal, then worked until midnight because I was running really late all day and after other chores were done I stayed up late making a good lunch for hubby for today. 12:30 bedtime and back up at 5 is not a good sleeping schedule.

And I had things so efficiently scheduled this week. It was to be a real chunk out of my to do list. I was suppose to be taking seven wether goats to the sale barn today but alas, no pickup. We had scheduled to haul hay two days this week but no functioning pickup. I was going to pick up corn on the cob on one of the hay trips at a road side stand. We had tried the corn last week when we hauled a load of hay and thought I'd buy some to freeze but alas, no pickup. If I were looking for a rainbow I would have to say we at least have one load of hay hauled. Good thing since we will run out of last years hay tomorrow. I can live without a car but a pickup - no way. How ever do people do it? I almost cried yesterday. Not that quite a few other things didn't add to the truck problem that caused that and seriously, I rarely cry.

Oh well life goes on, instead today I will make the trip past the sales barn in our car since I took hubby to work and on to my in laws as my sweet mother-in-law picked 21 pounds of berries for me and I'd be a heel not to go and pick them up despite the 4 1/2 hour drive. Then I will make the trip once more another time to the sales barn. I'm scrounging for something to make my vinegar from since the foot of hail stripped my trees of plums, apples, and vines of grapes. Those vinegar mothers I spent all that money on need used.  

That means I will be juicing chokecherries tomorrow and freezing the juice. Yesterday I made an appointment with Mayo's for the end of September where hopefully we will find answers for Kirk. Another push for me to get things done like hay hauling and getting rid of wether goats so our daughter, who will be taking over for us and trying to work full time, will be better set up to handle things. But  with no pickup I guess I will be sitting on the tractor this weekend in the early mornings instead, (Have I told you how much I love my tractor?) cleaning pens as there is ALWAYS lots of work to do. I will fix fence, repair sheds hammered by the hail, and generally get ready for winter the best I can without hauling wood or hay or goats. How ever does one live without a pickup?

Wheeeeeew, okay Holly get a hold of yourself before you cry again. Yes, I do talk to myself and yes, I am crazy. Anyone who is Autistic, has Addison's, and does all I do is crazy. But enough bellyaching, let me tell you a little of what I learned this week. I'm going in the wrong direction with my goats. Yes, I got a good butt whipping figuratively at linear appraisal. Definitely trashing one blood line I had been working on and heading in another direction. Sweet Betty did answer lots of my questions and I learned a huge amount. Every appraiser seems to focus on something new. Probably because the goats brought before her bring a new fault to light.
I learned that where the udder attaches at the escutcheon determines if you will have tight or saggy udder. Not just how high it is attached. My sweet Meagan who milks like a dream, fed two kids and still gave a half gallon a day of milk for us, is sagging lower and lower like an old woman and she's only two. Don't know if you can see real well from these older photos but from the vulva she angles slightly udder. You want the udder to attach a short distance from the vulva, have a round wide, arch and attach outside, not at an under cut. I thought I was a good judge of udders. I see I've only begun. I'd never experienced this problem to the level I am now so it never came up. Imagine something this busy brain is not thinking on, shocking I know. LOL
This is Meagan's daughter who does the same thing though she is one and still up tight. No not in personailty. We are talking udders here. The girls will milk like a house a fire but not win any beauty contests. They can hardly be called Wall Flowers either. Not that I don't think beauty is as beauty does since these girls have so many wonderful qualities but this is not something I can except in a production / show herd. Though our goats haven't been shown in years. Our grand daughter is thinking on it so I really must prepare in case. So off goes Mercedes who is a doll and excellent plus on the milking stand and will likely milk up a storm like her mom since she is following in her mother's footsteps BUT is on the wrong path from where I'm headed. Know of anyone needing a sweet, sweet goat that will produce lots and lots of milk?
To confuse me further Betty told me about how the fore udder and this attachment is also connected on top of the rump. That part confused me a bit and I'm trying to rethink it bit. Amazing how one part of the body a effects another. "The thigh bone is connected to the leg bone and the leg bone is connected to the ...." Sorry, I just had to burst into song there -- lack of sleep I'm sure. It's true we are all connected. Just ask my Adrenals and thyroid.
 Meagan will probably go next year but we need her milk right now and she produces lots and lots of cream so we shall see where she stands in another year. She might just be the family milker. 
 Daisy from my doe, Chicory that died of cancer in December and Mercedes scored the same this year.  But Mercedes will likely score a bit lower next year and Daisy a bit higher next year. That was what I learned the most was some fault traits just get worse and some probably won't change. Take for instance the angle of the hock. You want a sharper angle as a kid for the doe will become more posty legged with age. There was so... much information flying by my head yesterday I felt like my jaw was just hanging open and I had the deer in the headlights look. Producing quality goats requires a library of knowledge and though I've had dairy goats for 28 years, I'm a babe in the woods. 
It is so much easier to buy a good goat. You walk out and pick the ready to wear package. But creating one through a breeding program is HARD. My three goats I took last year scored so... much better but two were ones I'd bought. I needed to sell Touch the buck, and Chicory died so that dropped my scores by four points because of my ignorance. I headed in the wrong breeding direction with one of my lines and ended up with a udder I don't want. I need to back track. But the bright side is I'm not very far down the wrong road. Bummer though, it takes a whole year to produce new kids. Maybe it was a good thing that we had 8 bucks and only one doeling this year. There is another rainbow. 
The appraiser did fall in love with the doeling, Abagail. She said that she was one really pretty girl. She said Abagail just kept drawing her eye all morning long. Her mom didn't score as well as I'd like but her grandmother scored a 91 at 7 years old yesterday so we'll keep the two and see if we can't improve. My Daisy is also a keeper she said so I'll work on that line too. You want your herd pretty uniform in looks and those two does from different lines will do. One thing ever appraiser has said is to have your herd look very similar and then breed to improve one trait at a time while retaining what good traits you have. Not an easy thing especially since it is years in the making.
Lesson number two, sourdough is great in cornbread but the recipe I tried wasn't a winner. I'm going back to my beloved cornbread recipe and start playing with adding sourdough to it. Liked the crisp crust that a cast iron pan gave with a high temperature. Need to turn it down part way through though because it was hard to get middle done before the outside was too done.
Found this article and want to read it more carefully tonight. the effects of modern breads versus sourdough breads of the past. It is a real eye opener on how sourdough helps the digestion and stomach health. It alters breads for the better so jump on the bandwagon and join me on my sourdough quest to add it to many of our foods. Here is the website and a few lines from the article."Sourdough bread significantly lowered serum glucose and insulin responses. Sourdough bread as "the staff of life," for it enhances the entire immune system. " If Americans do not change their eating and drinking habits
within twenty years we will have nutritional obliteration.
Dr. James Beasley
Ford Foundation Project
 I'll try and get the soap recipe up tomorrow. Got to shower and go, chokecherries await. Plus I need to gather information to renew my drivers liscence. Wow, it is a whole lot more complicated than it use to be.

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