Shades of Ireland

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Waiting for Ellie May

Many years ago, I raised some truely great milk goats. I showed heavily and was on milk test. We did very well in the ring and I have had 3 does make into the Top 10 milker list for the US. I've been milking a goat for way over 20 years.
As time went by, my passion for them has waned and life has just moved on to other things. I still have some very nice milkers but I haven't shown in a couple of years. DHI milk test has gone by the wayside, too.

I am an Alpine breeder at heart but I have raised some very nice Saanens. About 5 years ago, I sold some nice Saanen does and one of them was named Ellie May. Recently, I had the opportunity to buy her back and I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, poor Ellie May has lead an interesting life since she left our herd. Somewhere along the line, she has caught two pretty serious goat diseases, CAE and CL. They are widely known by these initials because their names are long and complicated to spell but these diseases are very common in goat herds in the US. I worked for many years to eradicate CAE from my herd and fortunately never had much problem with CL. Since my herd is totally clean, Ellie May cannot come back into the herd.

Our farm is divided pretty much by ponds and streams. The goat herd is on the barn side of the farm and Ellie May has to live alone on the house side of the farm.  She is very pregnant and if I remove her kids at birth and raise them on pasturized milk, they will be healthy, disease free kids.

I have no idea when she was bred or who the sire of these kids are. I do know that she is probably one of the biggest goats that I have ever seen.... and she is ready to kid any time.

Normally, she lives in a hut on the edge of the woods near the garden. Since it was going to drop down below zero last night and she is begining to develope an udder, Iwas afraid that she would kid and they would freeze. So the boys moved her into my garden shed right out the back door.

It made getting up in the night to check on her much easier. We ran a heat lamp in there to at least make an attempt to warm things up a bit.

This is what she looked like first thing this morning.......

Still pregnant!

If she will just hold off until tomorrow, it will get above freezing and improve daily after that.

Bless her! She is just as big on the other side, too. Someone suggested that she might have triplets but I have learned not to count my kids too early. The guy that I bought her from told me that she had an 11 lbs single buck kid last year!!!

Since she is in permanent quaranteen, I will have to milk her in the garage. Looks like I need to find all the parts to my pasturizer pretty soon......

Update for Friday: Still waiting......


  1. I'm so sorry to hear she contracted CL & CAE. But how wonderful of you to take care of her.

  2. Her mother and grandmother were the most wonderful does..... for old times sake, I had to bring her home.