Today's take isn't really much to speak of, except to mention that Sidney's milk production seems to finally have begun its decline. We "only" got about a quart and a half from her for the past few days, instead of the usual half gallon. Drying off time is approaching.
Drying the girls off to give their little bodies a break, and, to prepare them for breeding back, is a bit of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, the milk will definitely be missed for the 6+ months that we won't have it. On the other hand, milking during a cold, wet, dark Washington Winter is zero percent fun for the farmer and the goat both, so it makes sense to take a break then.
The hens have been laying a bit less too, not on account of the weather, as we have a pleasant Indian Summer going - for now. Most likely, it is because some of the gals have begun their molt. Molting is the yearly bad-haircut-grow-out phase of chicken adulthood. In years past, the gals have left it 'til much later in the season, counter-intuitively commencing their feather loss just when the temperatures take their great initial dips. This year, it seems that the hennies & roos are slightly ahead of the game.
The real news for today is the booze. ;) Bill and I did our first racking of this year's ciders. My batch is about 2 gallons of blackberry apple cider, made from the juice of 30 pounds of apples and 6 pounds of wild blackberries, and using a packet of Lalvin V-1116 Montpellier cider yeast. Bill's is nearer to 3 gallons of all-apple cider, made from 70 pounds worth of homegrown apples, and a packet of Nottingham ale yeast. Both tasted very promising, with mine having a very full body, sort of the cider-y answer to a Merlot, and Bill's being very light and crisp, reminding me a bit of champagne on my tongue.
I can't wait to see how these babies finish out!
*Eggs - 4
*Goats Milk- 1 1/2 quarts