Another beautiful day here in the Black Forest at Albergue Garcia. Busy day for us today with milking Dolly and preparing the milk for our milk share families. 5 gallons of delicious milk left at our cooler at our front gate today. Because of the heightened COVID situation we are doing contactless exchange of our farm produce at our gate. We started separating Dolly’s little heifer calf during the night from her stall this past weekend. Ellie, the calf is now 1 month old and she has been drinking more and more of her Mama’s milk and our vet has warned us that there is such a thing as getting too much rich jersey milk for the calf. Ellie is now having sleepovers with Mary, our retired Alpine/Nubian cross goat and 3 shy protective Alpaca Mamas and each of their babies. Not milk and cookies and getting tucked in at night. Ellie was very willing to rejoin her Mom after we finished milking this morning and has been attached to her Mom’s utter for pretty much the whole day today like a tick.
I am Mary’s baby. Mary is almost 15 years old and she was born a triplet around Christmas time. This is before we knew any better as adventure farmers to not have baby goats born in the middle of the winter. We named the triplets Mary, Joseph and Jesse. We kept her brother Joseph as a pack goat and he was probably the biggest and most sweetest goat I have ever seen. He had deformed ears from them getting frozen at birth when it was so cold. We had to sit by our open oven in the kitchen warming up the triplets that first night. Late spring and summer births are the way to go with goats as far as we are concerned at our farm. We sold the sister Jesse and kept Mary as our milk goat. I milked her and served as the pediatrician vet for her kids until she became too old to breed. She is now living out her retirement at our Albergue shelter farm as our one and only goat. She is queen of her pasture and reigns over the alpacas and is a strict nanny goat to the calves she has had to babysit through the years. I say I am her baby because she really saw herself as my Mama when I would milk her. She has always kept an eye on me and we have a special bond. She keeps me in line. I am her human.
He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.