August 9, 2012

My New Nigies

Remember I mentioned I had two new goats? Well, here they are, two purebred Nigerian Dwarf does. I bought them from a gal who was selling because of health problems. She gave me a very good deal for taking both of them.

This is Nessie...

She is a registered blue-eyed buckskin.

Blue eyes are not uncommon with Nigies and I think they look pretty neat.

This is Edy...

Like Ziggy, she is not registered because of her udder. Her flaw is supernumerary teats. These are extra teats which make her undesirable for a breeding program. Sometimes these teats are "blind," sometimes they have their own milk glands. On rarer occasions, they have milk glands but no orifice so they produce milk can't be milked. CryBaby, one of my first goats, had these as well. In Edy's case, they are just like little bumps and cause no problem with milking. Still, I admit I hesitated to take her, but she was practically free and I really wanted a companion for Nessie at least.

Nessie and Edy were not advertised as being in milk, so I wasn't expecting that. I did ask about kidding history and whether they'd been milked in the past, and was told they'd each kidded for the second time about 6 weeks prior. They were milked their first freshening, but not this year.

I didn't think anymore about all this until a few days later I noticed their little udders were full of milk! The seller hadn't mentioned what happened to the kids, but obviously they're mamas had been feeding them until now. They needed to be reintroduced to the milking stand, but caught on quickly. They aren't giving me much, but daily milk production has gone from 3 cups per day to 5. I'm happy because now I can start making mozzarella again.

I have to add that Surprise has been a real grump about the whole thing. Animals like consistency and predictability, and her world has been anything but since Jasmine. She absolutely did not like Ziggy, but lo and behold, with the arrival of Edy and Nessie, she and Ziggy are now best friends.

That's a goat for you.


  1. How awesome is that! Good luck, goats are on our list of "wants", but until we actually build a home at The Compound, it's at the bottom of the list. But I'm learning all I can, so please share your successes and failures along the way. We need to know them all.

  2. Cheap cute goats, AND in milk! What a deal. Glad they are getting along. Although I have to admit, I think the blue eyes look a bit zombie-like. But that's just me.

  3. Oh, now you're up to 6! Glad you've got a good milk supply now. I like those blue eyes - so surreal. My daughter showed me this video of baby goats yesterday, and I thought of you. I won't put a link here in your comments, but look up "Buttermilk plays with her friends" on YouTube. SO cute - and bad!

    How long does it take you to milk all the does in the mornings?

  4. They are beautiful! :) And the bonus of extra milk...good find!

  5. They sure are pretty little goats. What a nice surprise about the unexpected lactation! That's a nice bonus. I hope they find their place in the herd quickly.

  6. They're sweet! I had looked into goats, and then wasn't enamoured with goat cheese so I sort of decided I wanted a cow instead. But with some major changes in the employment situation in our family coming up, we are thinking of moving up north in a couple of years where it would be cost-prohibitive to keep a dairy cow through the winter (and spring and fall--the area we are thinking of is zone 1A for plant hardiness, and has almost no organic matter in the soil, if you can imagine!!) so I'm thinking a couple of little goats again. I'd really love for you to post about goats milk mozzarella. What does it taste like? It is one of the cheeses I really want to make but I would think it would taste a bit weird made from goat's milk. Not to sound impolite, I would just like to hear a little more about it. :) Maybe I can accustom myself to the more musky flavour of goat cheese over the next few years, and then I'll be quite happy to work with it.

  7. When my property grows up and I can have goats, I want to come to Goat Camp and learn how to work with dairy goats. They just look so CUTE!!!!

  8. wow! I bet you're busy now. Your new additions look great.

  9. They are just beautiful! Good luck with them.

  10. Congrats on the herd increase and milk too.

    I have a black/grey Angora with blue eyes, all my others have brown eyes so don't know how she turned up with blue.

  11. Nothing like having common enemies to make a friendship.

  12. Awesome! Both that you are back on line and the new goats. Elizabeth

  13. They are so cute! And I'm so happy you got them for a good price. That always helps too. Yum mozzarella cheese.

  14. Nice! Very pretty!
    I wanted to stop by and say Hi, I have seen you in a bit. Melissa

  15. Izzy, thanks! I'm always happy to share both successes and failures. It's actually from the failures that I learn the most. :)

    Carolyn, pretty cool, huh? Now that you say it, those blue eyes do look like there's nobody home, LOL

    Mary Ann, good to hear from you. :)

    Debbie, I'll definitely have ato take a look. Goats are a hoot. Actually I'm only milking Ziggy in the morning, all there in the afternoon. I reckon it takes about half an hour to do all three, but only because Ziggy is such a pokey eater.

    Stephanie, thanks!

    Nina, so true, Things do seem a bit better and I think Surprise enjoys her new role as queen.

    Rosalyn, zone 1A???? Good grief Girl! If you ate a piece of pizza with my goats milk mozzarella, you wouldn't even know it was goats milk unless I told you. Goats milk does have a different taste, but it's goatiness depends on the individual goat. Actually, cows can produce strong flavored milk too, but since it all goes into a commercial mix from 1000s of cows, you don't realize it. The breed makes a difference too. Nigerian milk is very sweet and creamy. I just made my 1st mozzarella from it, but we haven't tried it yet. I'll let you know!

    We got goats because neither Dan nor I can drink cows milk. Then too, cows are much more expensive to buy, as well as keep. I can get a doe in milk for around $200 here. I haven't seen a cow for under $1000. $1500 more like.

    Barb, LOL. Are you still debating goats versus sheep?

    Bridget, thanks!

    Debbie, you were right the first time. We now have 4 does and 2 bucks. :)

    TL, I'd never seen blue eyed goats until I started looking at Nigies. I love all their colorings as well.

    Benita, ain't that the truth!

    Elizabeth, thanks!

    Barb, me too! So happy to be making cheese again!

    Melissa, so good to hear from you! I've been offline for about 3 weeks so I haven't visited around much. I'll be over for a visit soon.

  16. Hooray! I'm so happy for you! They are beautiful girls. Having milk for cheese making is such a blessing, isn't it?

  17. Aww, Nessie and Edy are beautiful, and I love those blue eyes! Queen Surprise, such a title to be oh-so-proud. I would imagine the five cups of milk should increase a bit on a daily basis until they reach their peak, right?

    Yummmm. . . mozzarella cheese, nothing better than home made!

  18. NIce goats for the perfect price and milk to boot! Very, very nice. I hope you they produce more and more milk for you. We like to make our own mozzarella too but have to purchase our milk from the store. Ah well...

  19. Thanks for giving me a big smile today with your goat stories! We sure enjoy ours even though they serve no purpose but to entertain.
    We haven't been without a goat for more than 20 years....that tells how much we like them!:)
    Is all mozzarella cheese made from goat milk?
    Thanks for coming over to visit at The New Season. My focus at this new place is getting it to look like we are settled..hence the flowers. Jim has begun to work long hours during the blueberry harvest and hazelnut harvest is coming next. I'm so grateful to live in the country where I can enjoy the land. I so appreciate reading what others do, too!

  20. Michelle, thanks! I so agree about the milk. Once we got used to our own cheese, it was hard to think of life without. :)

    Janice, those 5 cups a day really add up. We don't drink it, but milk for yogurt and cheese as well cream for coffee and butter is highly in order! I'm not sure what their peak production might be. Kids tend to gobble small amounts here and there. Milking done twice a day (or even once) drains the udder completely. Since Edy and Nessie were nursing kids for 5 or 6 weeks, they would produce to meet that demand. Next year I'll start milking after a week or so and I'll probably be able to get a better idea of how much they can actually produce.

    Bernadine, it worked out really well!

    Julene, you are welcome! Your place is starting to look really good.

    Mozzarella is traditionally made from cows milk, but can be made from goats milk too. To me they taste the same, so I'm just happy to be able to use what we have on hand.

  21. Yay, new goats. And what a pleasant surprise to find that they are milking already. So much better than all the unpleasant surprises you've had lately!

  22. That's great news and bet the cheese is delicious. I adore goat's cheese and eat it almost exclusively.
    Hope you're enjoying being home!

  23. When she's dry again, you can put elastrator bands on the extra teats if they are blind alleys. They will slough off quickly once the blood supply is gone. If they do have milk ducts, who cares... The goatlings can nurse off of those too!

  24. Oh they are precious!!! So happy you have the extra bonus of milk too :)

    As to the comments on goat cheese/flavor.... I've NEVER had "goaty" or "musky" goat cheese that was fresh made... If I would have tried commercially prepared goat cheeses first, I would have never touched goat cheese again, it was NASTY (I've yet to purchase a goat cheese from the store that I could tolerate, "goaty" is on the top of my "most hated flavors" list)....

    But the cheeses I've tried from friends, cheeses I've made & the cheeses I've sampled at 3 different small licenced goat dairies was DIVINE. Proper care, sanitation & gentle handling ensure yummy milk & exceptional dairy products.

    Enjoy your new babies Leah, they are just too cute :)

    Best Wishes,

  25. How awesome that they are in milk! And Ms. Blue Eyes is quite the looker. Someday, someday, we will have enough land for some goats - or at least so well-cordoned off areas for a couple of goats to have at it.

  26. Sue, I know! It was a welcome blessing and they are both really sweet. :)

    Sandra, my 1st mozzarella from the Nigies has been delish. It's slower to get enough milk for a batch of cheese because they produce less, but really, for the 2 of us it's perfect.

    Laura, good idea! Thanks. So far they haven't bee a problem for milking. I noticed CryBaby's kid didn't mind them either. At least they aren't making problems for her (or me.)

    Crystal, thanks! I so agree about cheese. What's unfortunate, is when someone's 1st taste is a goaty or poorly prepared product. We're loving the Nigie milk though, so I know we'll love the Nigie cheese!

    Christie, isn't it! You will love having goats. Just know they can go under fences as well as over. :)


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