Monday, June 27, 2016

DHI Testing Supplies Have Arrived!

Our supplies to get started on DHI test came from Dairy One today!

The following pictures show what was included in our shipment.

The sample dipper, sample tubes, freezer packs and shipping container.

Dip Sampling must be done in a manner
that assures a representative sample from the
entire milk volume collected.

When milking twice a day you fill
half of the sample tube with the
first milking and the second half with the
second milking of the day.
If only milking once a day,
a full sample will be taken
from the single milking.

Be careful not to fill the sample tube to the very top.
There should be a little space (1/2 inch) from the top.

Samples should be kept at room temperature
and out of direct sunlight.

Samples should be shipped so that they arrive to the lab
no later than six (6) days after the test is performed.

The color of the sample tubes is random and in no way
does it matter which color tube you use.

When you ship your milk back
be sure to label the top of the sample tube
with the corresponding
sample # for that Doe.

You only send back sample tubes that contain milk,
keep your empty sample tubes for later use.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Does your Nigerian Dwarf Measure Up?

The Nigerian Dwarf is a Miniature Dairy Goat

They originated in West Africa and were
later developed in the United States.

According to the ADGA Guidebook
The Balanced Proportions of the Nigerian Dwarf
give it the appearance of the larger dairy breeds of dairy goats.
Does should stand no more than 22.5" and Bucks no more than 23.5".

Anything over is considered a Disqualification.

We have recently started Milk Test and measuring
our does is part of the testing process.
ADGA does not have an official
measuring device so we found
one for miniature horses
and it meets the requirements of ADGA.

Heights are also routinely checked at:
Official shows (as required by the judge)
Linear Appraisal (all)
DHIA milk test
One Day Milking Competitions

If a Nigerian Dwarf exceeds the maximum height at any age they are:
Disqualified from shows
Cannot score Excellent in General Appearance in Linear Appraisal
Cannot be ranked in Top Ten for production

The only way to keep these great little goats
a miniature breed is to only use
those goats that are within
the height limit in your breeding program.

You can check the height of
goats your interested in
by checking out their linear appraisal score
if available, it is found under Stature.

This can be found on Pg. 12 of the LA SOP
The conversion is as follows:
20 linear equals 20". 
 Plus/minus 5 points for every inch. 
 A 25 stature is 21". 
 A 30 is 22". 
 A 15 is 19".

Monday, June 13, 2016

Dairy One Certification Exam

When we decide to go on milk test we had so many
questions, one of which was where do we send the milk?

Well you send the milk to an outside lab,
from recommendations from a few friends we decided to go
with Dairy One for our milk test lab.

So I got in touch with Dairy One,
they were very helpful and sent me the
Dairy Goat Technician Handbook
along with the Certification Exam and Instructions.

Let me just say that I feel like I am a
fairy intelligent person but
this test and handbook are so confusing.
I have reached out to others on milk test
and they have relayed to me that it's not
just me, its the handbook and the test.
Most people on milk test are milking cows
and so some of the information is geared more towards cows
so you have to get over that aspect of the test.
The other thing about the test that is frustrating is
that it seems the test was written by someone
that has been doing milk test for years so they
know the answers and the answers probably seem like common sense.
But if you  have never done milk test before, let alone seen how
things are done, the test and handbook can seem like
they are written in a completely
different language.
There are questions on the test that
the answers can not be found in the handbook.
My best advice is to reach out to someone that is on
milk test and have them help you if you find yourself
utterly confused.

The test consists of 17 questions,
mostly fill in the blank with a few true/false.
Then there is also a part where you
practice filling out the barn sheets and charts.
You are given a list of does and what is going on with
each doe and your supposed to chart each does milk weights
and any conditions affecting their record.

Another complaint I have about the test
is the size of the font on the charts.
It's really difficult to read the CARs and Status Codes
on the pages that were sent with the test.

When you send in your exam you have to send in payment
for the test which runs $20 if sent in prior to March 16th or
$25 if sent in after March 15th.
This is the prices and dates for 2016.

You have to re-test every year and
certifications expire in April each year
regardless of when you tested the year before.

For pricing with Dairy One look here

Or contact:

Kayla Turcsik: 1-800-344-2697 Ext: 2120
Kevin Henry: 1-800-344-2697 Ext: 2159

Milk Test Scale & Certification

When you start on the milk test journey you will find
very soon that you must have a scale to weigh your milk on.
We made the mistake early on in thinking
that any ol' scale would do.
Unfortunately not.
The first scale we bought off of Amazon was a hanging scale
but when our scale certifier came out to certify the scale
for us he said he couldn't because it didn't meet NTEP requirements for certification.
So he pointed out several scales that would meet the requirements and we
finally settled on this scale by Torrey.
The most important thing to look for when
purchasing your scale is that it is a
Legal for Trade Scale.


Once you settle on the scale you want and get it in,
you need to have it certified.
If you are in Georgia you can reach out to the
Georgia Department of Agriculture

We originally spoke with
Jason Hitchcock Tele: 404-656-3605
Fax: 404-656-9648

He then put us in touch with
Mike Tanner

You will need to have your scale certified annually.

You must also have your scale certified prior to sending in your
testing materials to start the milk testing process.
You will provide proof of certification with your test.

Target and Snap Dragon Confirmed Bred!

We did ultrasound pregnancy checks on Target and Snap Dragon and
they have both been confirmed pregnant, each with at least twins!

Both of these girls are due beginning in August.
Target is bred to Riser.
Snap Dragon is bred to Fletcher.

There are open reservations for kids on both of these does.
Check out our website to see the pedigrees on both sire and dam.


Our Milker has come, almost!

We ordered our milking system from Simple Pulse and part of our shipment came today!
We chose Simple Pulse for the price, the great reviews and the ease of use and cleaning.
You can find more information about Simple Pulse here.

We went with the system that would allow us to milk two goats at once
you can see the exact system we purchased here.

Only part of our complete milking system has come in so far,
it actually shipped to us directly from Amazon
so I suppose you could order all of the items on your
own and create your own custom milker.
We choose to order ours from Simple Pulse because
honestly we don't know what exactly we need
as we are just getting started with using a milk machine!

You can find the Vacuum Pump we got with our
Simple Pulse milker on Amazon here.

So here is what came in our shipment:

Front of the Box

Side of the Box

Close Up of the Specifications of the Pump

Pump, oil, power cord and instructions

Pump Oil

Monday, June 6, 2016

Buck Kid Available

Buck Kid Available:

 Gold & White, Blue Eyes
DOB: 5/25/2016


ADGA Registration available.
Kid will be disbudded, tattooed, up to date on vaccines and de-worming.
Whole Herd Tested Negative Spring 2015, CAE, CL & Johne's.

Intact Price: $350 Wether Price: $75

  Can go as bottle baby or at 8wks/after weaning.

Dam is a first freshener, udder pics are at 10 days fresh, 12 hour fill.

Starting Milk Test- It's So Overwhelming!!!

I am taking the next step in proving my herds worth and
starting on Milk Test DHIR.
If you haven't looked into doing DHIR let me tell you
it is so overwhelming!
ADGA does have a checklist on their website but
I am planning to write up a really complete step by step
instruction blog post once I figure it all out myself!
So far what I have is the following,
(and not in exact order either):
  • Choose a testing lab, we are going with Dairy One, based on a recommendation from a friend.
  • Decide which testing program you want to do
    • The test plans are in the ADGA guidebook starting on page 56 in the 2016 guidebook. The guidebook is on the ADGA website under publications.
    • We are going with OS 40 AR, it seems to be the easiest for most newbies and is better than OS 40 ST because if for some reason you don't make 240 days/8 tests, you can always switch to ST... But you cannot switch from ST to AR.
  • Get in touch with said lab and get a handbook
  • Take the test to become a certified tester
  • Find someone else willing to become a certified tester so they can do your verification testing
  • Buy a Scale, don't make the mistake we made and just buy any ol' scale, make sure you get one that says "Legal for Trade", otherwise it can't be certified, at least not here in Georgia.
  • Have said scale certified, we found a someone here.
  • Get your herd enrolled with ADGA DHIR program

So, that's what I have so far.
I plan to make a more complete list with detailed steps,
but I honestly don't understand what I'm doing enough
at this point to give you more than this!

If your already on milk test please let me know if I have missed anything!
If your going on milk test or thinking about it let me know
and we can learn together!

One place that has been really helpful is a Facebook group I found, DHIA Goats.