Friday, July 29, 2005

LOL, LOL.......

I just realized why a lot of those does at the Nationals didn't look so hot, for a change. See, I've seen maybe half of them (or their herds, at least) before, and shown against them. I didn't do well, and I couldn't understand why my does were so lean in comparison to theirs, how they could keep flesh on their does if they were milking like mine do (which is well- I cull does who don't produce according to my standards, perfect udder or no).

I would go to a show, and they'd commnce milking their does some 14-16 hours before the show. (Normally, a dairy animal gets milked twice a day, 12 hours between milkings). Well, I'd milk the very stressed does or those who had gone off their feed (due to the stress of the show and new surroundings) 14 hours beforehand, but most of them got milked about 12 hours before. Its hard, because you don't know how long the judge will take in judging the animals. Some are pretty danged fast and others take a very long time and the show stretches into the night. I don't want to risk my animals being in pain or serious 12 hours is usually enough, by the scheduled time, because it's generally longer than that before they go into the showring.

Anyway, other exhibitors don't usually do that. I was told flatly that I would lose if I didn't have 15+ hours of milk in my doe's udders. I didn't lose, they placed about where they should have.... Sometimes the other does are leaking a lot of milk or standing hunched up and in pain. Most of them don't leak. Their teats have had a special "stop-leak" glue applied to the orifices. Sometimes my does leak, too. They're used to dam raising their kids (others generally bottle feed) and they aren't really used to having even 12 hours of milk at one time, it's sometimes too much for what they're producing. I have been known to milk them out a little before the show because they are TOO FULL...and I don't want my does to be in pain.

Anyway...I couldn't figure out why these other does, who I've stood behind in the local shows before, looked the biggest show they could go to!

I woke up laughing.....because I suddenly realized why.

The National Show requires what is known as a milk out. Everyone has to milk out their does at the same time before the show. It's either 12 or 14 hours beforehand...and there are people who come along and check that every doe has been thoroughly milked out....completely. There was VERY little over-uddering at the National, a whole lot less than I've seen locally. Most of the does who were overfull were very young, their udders weren't used to holding a lot of milk yet.

All this time, I've been unfairly comparing my productive dairy goats to these overfed show animals who don't even begin to produce what mine do...and it never hit home until now....LOL.....I have spent I don't know how much money buying expensive, registered stock at high prices from these people....(and then been dismayed when many of the does didn't produce a whoel lot)...all the while bemoaning what I had...LOL, LOL. Oh, the irony....

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