Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hi everyone, I have a question about freshening 3 year olds. I am going to be breeding My two 2 year old ND does this fall and was wondering if freshening them at 3 would have any impact on their milk production?  Would the amount be significantly reduced than that of a 1 or 2 year old FF?

Here are some pictures of them

Picture 1 Picture 2  Picture 3  

Credit to My Sister for the photos :)

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Beautiful soap, Bev! It's interesting that you didn't cover it. I don't see any ash on the top. I initially didn't worry about covering mine, but it did get that very thin coating of white ash, and some customers would think it was lye or something else bad, so the only reason I do cover it is because of that. Beekman actually says something silly like -- the thin coating of ash is your assurance of the purest soap or something like that, so they make it sound like it's a good thing. LOL I don't insulate at all -- just put a piece of freezer paper on top so that the soap doesn't come into contact with air during saponification.

Thought I'd chime in on this information and maybe shed some light on why this information exists.  I'm not an expert soap maker, but I make and sell quite a bit of it, and use lots of ingrediesnts like berries, natural coloring agents like spirulena and tumeric, honey and hotter oils like cinnamon.   I've learned a lot from experiments that sometimes have surprising results (in good and bad ways).

The purpose of covering and insulating (or placing on a heating pad) soap is to get it to go through gel phase, which takes quite a bit of heat.  It's really something that's used for soaps that don't contain milk or other ingredients that heat the soap up a lot (honey, berries or other sweet things, hot oils).  Gel phase enhances the colors in soap and also can make the bars firmer.  If you've ever had your goat milk soap heat up a lot, and it has a discolored center, that's because it has achieved a sort of partial gel phase.  It really isn't a good idea to try to achieve gel phase on goat milk soaps, because they can heat up too much and rise and fall, causing a hollow middle, or a volcano like situation where the soap leaves the mold.  It may be that people have had trouble getting their goat milk soap too hot, so have begun refrigerating it after pouring?  Certainly, it isn't necessary if the oils and lye mixture aren't allowed to get too warm.  I like to keep my oils and lye mixture for a lot of my soaps, those containing hot oils, or sweet ingredients, at around 95 degrees.

When you start learning about soap making, there seems to be no end.  The chemical reactions caused by different ingredients added at different times in the process are so amazing.  For instance, adding tuneric to soap at different temperatures, or different times in the process can make shades from pale yellow to a dark brown/orange.  It's sort of adicting to think of what to try next. :)


Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

Julianne's recipe looks good, but there are a lot of little things that you need to know about soapmaking before you actually do it, which is why the instructions in my books (Homegrown and Handmade, as well as Raising Goats Naturally) are 10+ pages long. If you make some mistakes, the results can be disastrous. For example, you cannot use anything aluminum because lye and aluminum do NOT play nice together. The lye will start eating away, and you'll have black smoke billowing out of your container. And there's a lot more than that. Like I said -- I wrote 10+ pages of info on how to make soap.

FYI -- There is no need to put soap in the freezer or fridge. That's the new "thing" that's been circulating online for the last couple of years. Some of my students asked me about it last year. I've been making soap since 2003 and never done that -- never even heard of doing it until last year. Unless you've overheated your oils, it won't turn an ugly brown color. And if you've overheated your oils, your biggest problem will be seizing, which means your soap mix turns into mashed potatoes and will be lumpy-bumpy ugly. It's weird how these things get spread around online. When I started making soap, everyone was talking about insulating your mold with blankets for 24 hours and NOT peeking even for a second, as if that would completely ruin the whole process because the soap would cool off too fast. It's very weird how the info has swung 180 degrees in the other direction.

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