That time came to us here at Ruit Farm a few weeks ago. Our girl Betsy the Guernsey was quite overdue for weaning, actually. A few weeks ago I put her in with the larger group of does, which shares a fenceline with her mother and auntie. (Big debates in the dairy and sheep world over the best ways to wean, whether it be whisking the babies away so they cannot hear or see mama, or whether it is to the opposite side of the fence.) And a week later, I took our girl Pippi out of the larger group, and moved her in with the two Guernsey girls.
The acclimation time has differed for the two different weaner groups. Betsy has had a very difficult time being separated from her mama. She gets pushed around by the big group quite a bit, but she is holding her own. Pippi’s two babies have been sad to be separated, but they aren’t inconsolable. And the difference is that I left Pippi’s twins in with their cohort, but Betsy not only got separated from her mama, she had to go into an alien group. Poor girl! I am hoping that if I re-introduce her back in with her mother in another month, that she will not nurse, but just be happy to be back in her element.
And so we have milk! I have been madly making cheese. A few batches of chevre, one small batch of Haloumi, and a batch of cheese that I hoped was going to be chevre, but turned into something halfway between a partially cooked-curd cheese, and something indefinable. I kept it, pressed it, and may just have to use it as you would use curds. Poutine anyone???