Saturday, March 28, 2009

Busy goat day

This morning I awoke bright and early except it was foggy out. Snow fog. Not a good farm day, after all. I decided my goats weren't too wet for a comb, though. First I did Nic's feet since he was way overdue.

Then I combed Daphne and got quite a bit of fiber off of her. I had the Firebird helping, so I put him on Obi, then Moonie, then Ani. They were all giving him a hard time. By then I had moved on to Genevieve, who was being very good. Last year I could barely comb her, she wouldn't stand still and kept trying to horn me. Not this year-she has learned it feels good on all those itchy places!

Anyhow, I let the Firebird take Gen over and went on to comb Obi, Derek, Ani, and Moonie. I didn't spend a lot of time of any of them, but they are all shedding some nice fine cashmere. I love Moonshadow's-it is nearly black with white marble where he has the lighter spots. It is very short, but very fine.

I figure when I send it off for processing I might have them blend in Nic and Obi's longer cashmere. Or, if I have enough, I might separate the long from short, since the short is so extra fine. I need a pound minimum of raw fiber for processing, so I will weigh it over at the farm at the end of the season and decide what to do then.

Nic and Ob's and Ani's all have a lot of long guard hair mixed in, but the others have nearly clean fiber, so it may be worth doing it in two batches since one might not need the de-hairing process, which removes the long prickly guard hair.

Later the herd came out of the woods for a drink, and I noticed Nic was limping BADLY. He was fine when I released him earlier. I put on boots and coats and rushed out to see what was wrong. He had picked up some kind of stick-it might have been barberry-and had at least a half inch stuck right into the sole of one clew! OUCH! I plucked it out and doused it with hoof and heel, but I will have to keep an eye that puncture doesn't abscess.

He was much better once that was out. I couldn't help but notice he is loaded with cashmere and needs a combing too. Maybe this afternoon if I can get the Firebird to hold him.

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