Friday, December 3, 2010
Friday's Featured Farmer ~ Suriyah in Oklahoma
My name is Suriyah. I am the 4th of 11 children and we live in the country on a ranch, in beautiful Northeast Oklahoma. Let me tell you a little bit more about us. . .
We've almost always lived out, for at least as long as I can remember! In the summer of 2004, my cousin and us decided to buy a herd of 25 Boer-cross goats. At the time, we owned 2 1/2 acres in Southern California, and the only area we had to keep them was in 6 dog kennels. We knew NOTHING about goats, but my cousin knew a good amount about livestock in general, so we doctored them and sorted them out and eventually they moved up to 70 acres of my cousin's.
Long story short, most of those goats were sold due to various circumstances, but we kept a few of the dairy does and were more set up then. We bought various other dairy goats and finally decided we liked Nubians the best. We also brought a couple of nice does and a buck down from Washington. Then in the Spring of 2006, we were searching for a Nubian buckling when we met a very nice breeder in Arizona. She told us about Mini Nubians, and we really liked them. Shortly after, we had a couple does and a buck from her, and a couple of does all the way from Texas!
Fast forward a few years, in the late Winter/early Spring of 2008, my family decided to move out of Southern California. We picked Oklahoma as the place we were going. About 3 months since we decided to move, we were on the road coming to our newly bought land in Northeast Oklahoma. We had about 25 goats, lots of rabbits, dogs, cats, and 13 of us. . . quite the thing to see! I also had about 10 does in milk at the time, so every 12 hours we'd stop, set up the milk stand and milk the does! That's when my dad decided he really really liked warm goat milk!
Thankfully, our 44 acres here in Oklahoma were already goat fenced - how amazing is that!?! That made things much easier, but here we are, 2 1/2 years later, and things are of course still being built and revised - but isn't every farm like that?
We now have mainly Mini Nubians, but also several standard Nubian does, a couple Alpine bucks and does, a few dairy cross does and some Boers. Every winter/spring we kid out between 22-25 (or more) does and are milking normally 20+ during the summer months. A few of my siblings are allergic to cow milk products, so having the goat milk and making goat butter/cheese/etc is a huge blessing. We also have a 6 goat stanchion, plus another small stanchion, so are able to milk 7 does at a time in a comfy, little insulated milking parlor right out the back door.
The goats are really "my" thing, but my Mom and the rest of my family do help out a lot. We also have sheep, rabbits, chickens, pigs, dogs, donkeys, and one llama and one alpaca. . . oh, and a garden! My cousin and brothers also train horses next door.
Last year my mom and I also started the Northeast Oklahoma Hay and Feed Coop. We bring truckloads of good quality alfalfa mix hay in from Missouri, since it is SO hard to find down here in Oklahoma, especially at a decent price!
So, I hope you enjoyed reading about our little ranch! I also keep a blog which you can check out here.
Thank you so much, Suriyah for your guest post. It's wonderful to see a new generation embracing the farming lifestyle!