Actually, she dried herself up. Milk production just dropped until it was less than a cup per day, so I stopped milking. I've had this happen with mature does before and can't help but wonder if they know they need to do this for the kids growing inside them.
I admit that it's nice to have a break from milking, but I'd still like to have a year-round milk supply. This is mostly to keep my kefir alive, but it's also nice to have extra to feed the pigs. On top of that, I was in the middle of experimenting with quick cheeses, and had to stop when the milk stopped.
|Cheese is the traditional way of preserving milk.|
Happily, this year's came out very well (so far).
I found a neat little book at the library entitled One-Hour Cheese by Claudia Lucero, and it's been fun working through the quick cheese recipes. I think quick cheeses would be wonderful for my summer cheese making, especially considering how much trouble I seem to have with my hard cheeses (wax cracking being the latest - with both bees and cheese. More on that another time).
One to the thing I love about Kinder goats is that they can go into heat any time of year (aseasonal breeders). To ensure a year-round milk supply, all I have to do is breed them at different times of the year. Before I sold her, I intended to keep Helen in milk until Daphne kidded. But I think seven does is too many to overwinter, so Helen was the one to go, which leaves me milkless.
So Daphne should kid at the end of February, with four of my first fresheners due in April and May. Those will be my busy months, hopefully. I don't do pregnancy testing so we'll just have to wait and see.
I'll save Violet for a late summer or early fall kidding.
That will hopefully ensure next winter's milk supply. At least that's my plan. Only time will tell as to whether or not the goats will agree to cooperate.