During August 2013, I was making my breeding plans realizing I was very interested in expanding my herd. I knew the way to get where I wanted to go was to buy the best so that I could breed with them, developing my own style of Nubian along the way. I poured over websites, researching different breeders and what their styles were and figuring how they would intermix with the herd I currently own.
I settled on getting some goats from Goldthwaite and Blissberry. Both herds are very powerful and well designed. Goldthwaite's herd has been in existence since the early 1970s and Blissberry consistently has herd members making the top ten list for production and also succeeding in show. So our plan began, I needed to coordinate a trip that would take me both to Minnesota and then to Wyoming and then home. Since Dakotah, my daughter, is already a year old this past January (2014) we decided it was only fair that we extend the journey so that we could drive through Michigan and see my side of the family, since many have not yet had the chance to meet her.
We also knew that one of our biggest uses for extra goat milk is feeding pigs, at the time we had only ever considered buying weaner pigs, but I thought with the amount of goats we would have in milk for 2015, it made sense to consider buying a breeding pair. Then doing my research, it's a little more cost effective to have two sows and one boar, so I started to study breeds. I settled on Berkshires as my favorite. They are a heritage breed and have very good maternal instincts, best of all, their meat is marbled, meaning no more dry pork! I looked at the American Berkshire Association, looking for a breeder who was along my route, I really liked Albright Swine Farms, located in Coldwater, Michigan. I spoke with Pat from there and he liked my idea of two sows and a boar. He suggested I complement my Berkshire Boar with a Duroc Gilt, it is more of a commercial breed, but he said it crosses very well with the Berkshires. I am very excited to meet my new pigs!
I have had such great help with my journey and I'm lucky to be transporting many animals people across the country. I have to put out many thanks to Debbie with Jacob's Pride, Marshall with M's Sagebrush Acres, Becky from Goldthwaite, and, of course, Pat with Albright Swine Farms! Without all of your help, this wouldn't have been possible.
As I write this, the trip is a mere four weeks away!