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The Authors of It All

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Saanen billy tries to get Phoebe to come a little closer. Don't do it, Phoebe!

Quite a strong odor emanated from the billy goats, who were penned separately at some distance from the dairy building. The beard in a billy goat is a potent scent distribution system. He puts various umm... fluids on his beard, and anoints his back and chest with it. I'm told that some French cheesemakers use the billy's beard to swipe through their cheeses for extra authentic flavor. I hope it isn't true. It certainly isn't true of Pipe Dreams Fromage.

The goats at Pipe Dreams Farm are all Swiss Saanan goats, named for the valley in Switzerland where they originated. They're big, tall, usually white animals, and they're the champs for milk production: the Holsteins of the goat clan. An Australian Saanan doe produced 7,714 pounds of milk in a single year. Their milk is sweet and odorless. Goat milk is more easily digested than cow's milk, because the fat globules are smaller and more easily dispersed. It's good for babies, small children, the elderly, and anyone with allergies to cow's milk, or a compromised immune system. But mostly, it's really, really good for cheese.

Brad told me that Saanens come in white, and that the brown ones used to be culled. Now, though, they're calling brown Saanens "Sables" and actually selecting for color. It's silly, when all that really matters is their sweet temperament and great milk production. I just couldn't believe what nice animals these goats were. They seemed so happy to see us, as friendly as dogs, but with a delightful, gentle reserve. Good thing. You wouldn't want a goat jumping up on you.

This billy is a sable Saanen. Here's another sable Saanen in the lower right corner of the picture:
This is a group of kids that squeeze under the fence and lead little goat parades around the farm, free of confinement. Goats will go out of their way to climb on strange, treacherous, high, odd things, and they're great fun to watch. Games of King of the Mountain spontaneously begin and end. In stark contrast to horses, they don't hurt themselves very often. You could never allow horses to mess around things like this.

I can attest that both billies were very sweet, and did not pee on me. Brad said this was probably because it's not breeding season now. He said they will try to pee on you if they succeed in luring you close enough. Nice. And I thought spitting llamas were a drag.Do I look like someone who would pee on a person? Don't believe the bad press Farmer Brad hands out. I wish I could get my horns through this fence so I could whisper in your ear.


I love this big nanny goat with UglyDolls on her black coat. Goats and weathered barns, ahhh ahhh ahhh.

2 comments:

Hi Julie

I am creating a website for the Historic Lewes Farmers Market in Lewes Delaware. One of the vendors is Pipe Dreams Fromage. Doing a search on them I found your blog. I was would like to quote you on their little blurb we have.

"Fresh cheese from Pipe Dreams Fromage is like whipped cream cheese from heaven."

Please contact me and let me know if you are okay with this? If you would like to see how it will be displayed, let me know.

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