Okay, so I have been upset with some issues regarding the nigerian dwarf breed of goats. I find some of the regulations for breed standards to be wrong in a production animal, and spoke out about it on Facebook. I was directed to a new group being formed called Nigerian Dwarf Society (NDS). This is a group of breeders fighting for the right to be on the same page as standard breed dairy goats in regards to buck height limits. ADGA (American Dairy Goat Society) has been in a muddle over the height issue of nigerian dwarf bucks, and recently has proposed action to remove from registries bucks that go over height and all their offspring. This would be a major problem for many who suddenly find out a sire of their animals was over-height and their registration be revoked just because at maturity the buck went a little over height. Currently, nigerian dwarf bucks have to be nearly the size of does, something not found in any of the other breeds where there is a much larger number of inches allowed between bucks and does. NDS is seeking to find more reliable ways of measuring the nigerian dwarf so there is not such a discrepancy from one person to another measuring, and they are also seeking to change the buck height limit to be more in line with the difference allowed other breeds. Also in consideration are bucks that go over height but consistently produce offspring under the height limits at maturity not having their offspring discounted just because of the sires height.
Since this group is in the founding stage many things are happening. The secretary position became available, and I have put my name on the ballot. I am excited at the prospect of being active in changing things so those of us breeding for milk production while preserving the smaller height of the nigerian dwarf goat can continue in our endeavors without fear of being excluded due to some buck used in his youth reaching a mature height later on that is perfectly normal for a nigerian dwarf buck who matured over the imposed height standard. That said, what am I getting myself into?! Wow….
In addition to this, I have agreed to do our homeschool group’s newsletter. I am hoping to get some help with it from teens, but will be allowing my children to assist me in creating it quarterly to give them practical experience with something providing information to others. I feel this is an important skill, and intend to use it to develop skills they can use later in life. I almost turned it down as I have so many things that already take my time that I didn’t want another thing to do that took away time from my children, but then I thought how much they would enjoy working with me on it and I decided to go ahead and give it a shot. If it doesn’t work for we just won’t do it next year.
While these two things have been added, we are also working on our fall/winter garden and preparing for a large number of goat babies to be born, plus getting ready to order fall chicks and move our coop. I need to cut our current flock back to just the hens I want to winter over, and get rid of the rest, either as food for us or as layers for someone else. It is a lot to tackle, but we are hanging in, despite illness for the past two weeks. Thankfully most of us are on the mend, and able to make strides forward in work and school.
The fall garden is producing well, and I am in the process of planning a winter garden and procuring seed. I want to build a greenhouse over one of the raised beds so that I can grow more crops later into the year. I also bought annual rye grass today to spread out in the lawns and pasture to provide additional food for the animals over the winter. Chickens and goats both love it.