2015 NEWDGA Show

Another NEWDGA show wrapped up on June 20th - and we managed to survive the show and the massive heat wave that come through our area around then.

The show was organized much better than it was when we previously attended, in 2013. So, kudos to the NEWDGA members that helped organize and run the show this year. You guys made it a very fun - and less stressful - experience.

Our girls did okay this year. They were up against a lot of other goats and there were some gorgeous does at the show this year. We definitely weren't disappointed - of course we would have loved to win some ribbons, but we were happy with how our girls ranked. Their final placings are as follows:

Pholia Farm LS Bluebell:

  • Best 3-Year Old in 2 Nigerian Dwarf Rings
  • Best Udder in 3-Year Old Class in 2 Nigerian Dwarf Rings

Windsong Dairy BB Gunsmoke:

  • 3rd Place 2-year Nigerian Dwarf Doe in 1 ring
  • Commendations for the volume of her udder

Windsong Dairy FF Dragonfly:

  • No awards, but commendations for her body capacity

Windsong Dairy NC Clair la Lun:

  • 1st Place in Dec. 2013-Yearling Class for ND in all 3 rings

Windsong Dairy PS Larkspur:

  • 1st Place in May 2015 Kids Class for ND in all 3 rings
  • Commendations for the width between her hocks

 

And the count goes up.

Two of our does decided to "surprise" us by kidding 4 and 5 days early, respectively. We beat our previous record of five kids in 24 hours with, wait for it, 7 kids in 3 hours. Talk about a busy day! "Sneaky" Lemon kidded without giving us any notice, producing one buck and two does (one with blue eyes). Gunsmoke, our 2013 NEWDGA Grand Champion Junior Doe, decided to surprise us with four kids - three bucks and one doe (who looks exactly like her dam).

Well, at least don't have to be on kid-watch tonight and can get some Zzzz's!


And so it begins...

Five kids in 24 hours. I would say that is a good start to our kidding season this year.

Our two does expected in May, kidded over the weekend and both have produced a passel of healthy, bouncing kids. I expect to get pictures of the newcomers loaded onto our kids page later this week. For now, I included a couple pictures of the happy moms and their far too cute kids.

As always, if you are interested in purchasing a kid or kids from us, we require a deposit of $50 per kid as a reservation. Kid prices this year vary by doe, but are listed on the kids page. If you would like any more information on our kids, does, or herd, please contact us through our contact page.

 Bluebell, one of our top does and the Reserve Champion at the 2013 NEWDGA show, ended up with two kids - a buck and a doe. The buck is an unusual grayish-fawn color, while the doe is a lovely mahogany buckskin with blue eyes.

Bluebell, one of our top does and the Reserve Champion at the 2013 NEWDGA show, ended up with two kids - a buck and a doe. The buck is an unusual grayish-fawn color, while the doe is a lovely mahogany buckskin with blue eyes.

 Dragonfly surprised us all by having triplets. Her first doe is black with a white blaze on her face. Her buck has coloring very similar to her own, being white with black and brown markings. Her third kid, a doe, took after her sire and is a light Cou-Clair color with plenty of white markings.

Dragonfly surprised us all by having triplets. Her first doe is black with a white blaze on her face. Her buck has coloring very similar to her own, being white with black and brown markings. Her third kid, a doe, took after her sire and is a light Cou-Clair color with plenty of white markings.


Update of Link Page

This will be a quick update.

As many of you who have checked out our site or have purchased goats from us, we have highly recommended using Hoegger's as your goat-supply source. In light of recent interactions with the company, we must rescind our promotion and approval for the site.

Over the course of the past few months, we have had several issues with receiving orders from Hoegger's. This includes orders being drastically late, as well as orders not being fulfilled. When issues have arisen over orders, it is nearly impossible to get a response from their order fulfillment department.

Since dealing with them have given us such a headache, we have no wish to promote a site or company that is managed so poorly. We believe - as should you - that every customer deserves to be respected, especially when they are spending hard-earned money, and to be treated fairly.

So, our links page has been updated to reflect our new patronage to Caprine Supply, another good goat-supply company. We have also added a link for the Golden Blend minerals we recommend; it will take you straight to the homepage of the mill that makes the mineral blend. We have purchased directly from them in the past and have found them to be easy to deal with.

With that, I'll sign off.

Happy February

If you're like me, you are hoping that every warm, sunny day will mark the start of spring and the end of the gray, dreary days of winter. While the Spring Equinox may still be a month away, days of sun and warmer temperatures have returned to the Pacific Northwest and I - as well as the girls - are enjoying every golden second.

Our girls are still balls of fluff and are growing rounder by the day as their pregnancies progress! We have a total of five does bred this year - a high number for us - and we're hoping that we don't get too many sets of triplets. There were two sets of triplets last year, and they up the number of kids quite quickly!

Unlike last year, we have been able to use two different bucks on our does. One is our retained buck from two years ago - Nick Charles, AKA Scoot. Scoot's kids have been some of the most precocious kids with unique personalities that we have produced. His doelings and bucklings have grown exceptionally fast, with a beautiful dairy character that we love to breed back into our herd. Scoot also gave us some exciting colors of kids last year - including a light gold, two red buckskins, and a cream - which makes us suspect that he carries a dilution gene that he was able to pass on to his kids.

The second buck we used is Prescott, the newest addition to our herd. He has good bone structure and body capacity that we can't wait to see crossed on some of our more delicate does. Prescott is a stunning cou-claire color - a buckskin in reverse - that we're hoping to see on a few of his kids.

Last year was also the summer of blue eyes, as we were able to get our first two blue-eyed kids. Both came from Lemon, one of our resident blue-eyes does. We are hoping that this year's kiddings will produce more blue-eyed kids...

As always, if you are interested in any of our kids - or more information about our herd, the Nigerian Dwarf Breed, or goats in general - please contact us. We love answering questions about these guys!

Why Use Goat Milk Soap?

Why use goat milk soap?

 

If you have never used goat milk soap before, I want you to ask yourself three questions:

o   Have you ever noticed a film of residue on your skin after using soap, especially “hydrating” soaps or body washes?

o   Does your skin feel intensely dry after a shower? As in, use a bottle of lotion dry.

o   Have you ever experienced skin irritation after using store bought soap? Be it in a bottle or a bar.

Hopefully you’ve answered those questions and I’m guessing that you answered yes to at least two of those questions. Two years ago, I asked myself those exact same questions after I noticed that my previously healthy skin seemed to be being absolutely abused by the soaps I had been using. I’m not going to name names, but I have tried nearly every soap on the market. This includes hydrating body washes from the store, all natural glycerol soaps from the local organic market, to beeswax-based soaps and even other milk based soaps.

So, I sat myself down and asked myself why all of these supposedly “moisturizing” soaps were only drying out my skin.

For the mass-produced, store bought soaps and body washes, the answer was quite simple. Nearly all of those products contain sodium lauryl sulfate and/or sodium laureth sulfate. These chemicals are added because they produce large amounts of lather, which is one of the reasons why they are used in detergents like clothes soap. These two compounds can be found to some degree – though they are usually the first ingredients listed – in the soaps, body washes, and even shampoos you will buy at a traditional grocery store.

Now, for the other, natural soaps, the answer was a bit trickier. Those products do not contain synthetics – though it can depend on the product – but they were still drying out my skin. Sometimes even worse than the detergent soaps and they were definitely more irritating to my skin. The only factor that I could surmise was that they did not contain goat milk, especially a high quality goat milk.

So, now back to the original question, why use goat milk soap?

It’s a good question, especially for those who have never tried milk based soaps before. At first, it may seem like a totally strange idea – there’s dairy in my soap?! – but milk contains an abundance of natural fats and vitamins. Just as there are benefits to drinking milk, our skin can also be benefited by the nutrients found naturally in milk.

Goat milk in particular has very high levels of fatty acids that can provide excellent hydration to dry skin. It also contains high levels of fat- and water-soluble vitamins. These would be your A, D and E vitamins (fat-soluble) and several B (B1, B6, B12) vitamins and C vitamins. There are several other components to milk – and particularly goat milk – that can leave skin looking more youthful. Due to antimicrobial properties found in milk, goat milk has also been found to help treat acne as well as several other skin issues. Improvements in eczema have been noted, though a doctor’s input is always important in medical conditions.

What do all of these components add up to? Happier, healthier, and more hydrated skin. The best part, it is all natural! No added chemicals or synthetics.

Even if you are not into natural or organic products, goat milk soaps present an opportunity to treat your skin as the living, vital organ that it is. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and it does numerous tasks essential to life – this includes detoxing chemicals and protecting your body from free radicals. Just was you might exercise and eat cleanly to improve the performance of your heart, proper management of your skin is just as vital to health and well-being.

 

Information:

http://www.bioderma.com/en/in-touch-with-your-skin/the-skin-is-an-organ.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/040766_goats_milk_soap_personal_care_products.html

http://www.goatmilkstuff.com/Goat-Milk-Soap-Benefits.html

The Soapmaker’s Companion by Susan Miller Cavitch

Abour Our Soap...

In case anyone is curious about our soaps, I wrote up a short blurb about what goes into all of our 2GOATsoap soaps. We do cold process soap and only make about 2 lb batches, though that may change in the future. We hand blend all of our oils, choosing to do so rather than purchasing a mix to keep our product quality higher - and managed by us. All of the products that go into our batches of soap - oils, fragrances, essential oils, colorants, and natural goat milk - are designed to be used in soap and are perfectly safe for nearly every skin type.

If you have any questions about our products, shoot me an email. I'm more than happy to answer any questions.

All of our soap is available on Etsy.

Our Soap:

The oils we use:

o   Avocado Oil:

We use this oil in nearly all of our soaps. This oil is extracted from the pulp of the avocado and it is, perhaps, one of the most beneficial oils you can use. It contains a large proportion of unsaponifiables, which are components that do not interact with sodium hydroxide to form soap. These unsaponifiables include amino acids, lipids, and large amounts of vitamins A, D, and E. It can be used to create moisturizing soaps that can be healing to sensitive skin types.

o   Coconut Oil:

We use coconut oil as part of our base oil blend. It has several moisturizing properties, but can resist rancidity and helps to make a hard bar that can produce lots of – natural – suds.

o   Olive Oil:

This is another oil used in our base oil blend. We use a pomace olive oil, which is produced from the final pressings of olives and will often include the olive pits. This oil is a lovely moisturizer because it naturally attracts water and helps lock it internally, preventing excess moisture from being lost. Olive oil helps improve skin hydration without blocking the essential functions of the skin.

 

o   Palm Oil:

Primarily, we use this oil in our base oil blend to help stabilize coconut oil. It helps produce a harder bar that can withstand exposure to water. It produces small suds that, in combination with the coconut suds, give our soaps a lovely lather.

 

The milk we use:

            All the milk we use in our soaps is goat milk. We milk our does during the summer season and store the milk for future batches of soap. We do not process our milk (be it pasteurizing, or any other form of treatment), leaving all of the healthy components that occur naturally intact. We raise Nigerian Dwarf Goats, a breed which has been noted for its higher percentage of fatty acids in their milk. A trait that helps us produce the skin-loving bars that we use daily.

 

The colorants we use:

            We use a mix of colorants in our soaps. Some of our soaps, like our Apple Harvest Bar, have pigments and oxides in them. These are inorganic sorts of dyes that were previously mined, but are now manufactured in labs to produce stable, vibrant colors. Micas – which add a nice sparkle – would also fall into this category, but they are still mined. Currently, very few of our soaps use micas. Our other main colorants are FD&C colorants. These are synthetic dyes that work well to create soft hues in some of our bars, like our Pacific Northwest Bar.

            All of the dyes/colorants/pigments that we use in our soaps are safe. They are designed to be used in soap and have been tested and verified as to their safety by the U.S. FDA.

 

The fragrances we use:

            Just like everything else, our fragrances are a blend. Many of the, I use the word, stronger scents are synthetic fragrance blends. These are scents purchased from a 3rd party supplier, whom we also use to purchase most of our other ingredients. They are designed to be used in soaps and, as such, as safe for skin contact, etc. We do sometimes use essential oils. This is partly for the natural smells they offer, as well as for the homeopathic benefits they can have. While we are using them at very low levels, they still may be beneficial to certain skin types and conditions.

Fall Checking In

This has been one of our busiest years, and definitely one of our busiest autumns!

We're done kidding for the year and are already looking towards (and planning for) next year's kids. We plan on competing at the NEWDGA 2015 show in Spokane, WA, so we will be breeding around that date. If you are still interested in any goats from us, we have one doeling left from this year, as well as a junior doe from last year, and a two year old senior doe.

This October, we entered some of our soaps in the Bath Products Competition at the 2014 ADGA National Convention. We did not win, but it was still a great experience to get our cold-processed, milk-based soaps out there. Over the next year, we plan on looking for other soap competitions to enter our products in and, most likely, we will enter in the Bath Products Competition next year.

We are also adding to the inventory of our store on Etsy - slowly but surely, I might add! If you haven't checked it out, you can find our stuff at etsy.com/shop/2GOATsoap. We have some great gift packages over there, as well as our creamy square bars and happy sheep bars. Any of our products would make great gifts or stocking stuffers and we have several seasonal scents in the works. Keep checking in to see as we add more soap to our store.

Soap!

We've finished the latest batch of our goat milk soap. Now, it's just a waiting game until the bars dry in another couple of weeks. We're offering both the 4.5 oz hand-cut bars ($6.00) as well as the sheep bars ($8.00). Our soap features a base oil blend of olive oil (for stability), coconut oil (for suds), and palm oil (for lather).

The bars that we currently have available are:

  • Summer Daze: A skin enriching adventure, this bar features avocado oil at a low percentage, making it a softer bar but this fourth oil adds nourishing lipids to the mix. A poignant lemongrass scent will have you remembering the lingering days of summer.
  • Lilac Melody: Enfold yourself in the rich scent of lilac, reminiscent of the early warm days of summer. This soap is speckled with dried lilac blossoms, collected from our own bushes in the backyard.
  • 2GOAT Scrub Bar: With the soft scent of coconut, these bars are exceptionally handy to keep around the house. Coffee grounds serve a double purpose, adding depth to the palate and providing an exfoliating scrub for grime and dirt encrusted hands. Keep a bar at the ready when you come back from the barn or garden.

These are some of the Coconut-Scrub bars. The coconut adds a soft, refreshing scent to the bars and the added coffee grounds are exceptionally useful for scrubbing away dirt and grime. I keep a bar next to the sink, ready for when I come up from the barn.

A snapshot of our Happy Sheep bar. We found this mold earlier this year and have fallen in love with it.

We are heading down to the Challis, ID, Farmer's Market on Saturday, August 9th. If you're in the area, come visit us. After this Farmer's Market, we will be officially opening our store up for commerce.

Kidding Season

Well, it appears as though we have survived yet another kidding season. It's amazing how, in the space of a year, you almost forget the drudgery of tromping down to the barn every couple of hours, in the dead of the night, for several weeks. Personally, I think it's the sight of the kids, bouncing away and growing contentedly, that makes you forget about all the long hours put in.

It certainly has been an exciting kidding season, though. We started out with a doe that ended up coming three days late! After hours spent in the barn watching her - and playing Uno - she decided to kid on possibly the coldest night in May. After weeks of shorts and tank-tops, I found myself snugged down in my flannel lined winter pants and Carhartt jacket. Shocking, to say the least.

Then, we moved on to Zephyr, our most senior doe, who, in the spirit of chaos, managed to give us the slip and kidded four days early. Luckily for us, she has somehow always managed to kid out perfectly fine on her own.

Zephyr's daughter, Gunsmoke, was not to be dissuaded and ended up kidding six days early. She, however, was not nearly as sneaky as her dam and we were prepared. It's the glint in the eye, so to say, that gave it away. She ended up kidding around 1 a.m. with a surprising first-time set of triplets - an early birthday present for me, I suppose.

Now, we are down to just one doe. Hopefully she'll decide to be tricky and kid early, otherwise I'll be dealing with her around the time I head back to college...

Spring, finally.

Out here in the lovely Pacific Northwest, it seems as though spring has finally chosen to grace us with its presence. Last weekend was spent tilling the garden and doing a bit of outdoor spring clean-up. Our new crop of spring peas and radishes have been planted and we almost can't wait until they're ready to harvest!

With the trilling of songbirds returning to our mornings and evenings, we're starting to turn our attention towards the long-awaited kiddings. The expectant mothers are still munching away happily on their hay, enjoying the days nice enough to go on "walks" with us. They seem rather nonplussed about the whole affair - though several of them are now frolicking in the warmer air - but we're starting to get excited about the new crop of kids that will start showing up in late-May.

On that note, we are now starting to take reservations for these 2014 kids. If you are interested in reserving a kid or would be interested in more information, visit our contact page and send us an email. We'd love to hear from you!