Chevre… The Goats behind the Fromage

On our second Workaway experience we are volunteering at a Fromage Chevre farm in the Rhone Alps region of France.

Thus far its been an awesome experience!

Dan has fallen right into his natural role as ultimate farm boy,     DSCF0952

And I have been happily making cheese, cleaning, cooking, with a side of hard work thrown in there on the rare occasion.

No matter how much I resist the domestic housewife role, in a farm situation it just WORKS. I try and try to include myself in the physical labour of running a farm, but somehow unconsciously sneak back into the kitchen to concoct a masterpiece for lunch. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy scraping the goats shit off the ground, replacing the hay and milking the goats!

As for the goats, the chevre behind the fromage. They are hilarious! I have never spent much time with goats before, and at first I was hesitant- looking at the size of their horns. But they are very friendly, inquisitive animals, with a gentle nature. Even Yoda!DSCF0901

This is Yoda, the ultimate ladies man, and only buck.

Goats are very sensitive and require a lot of care. Every night they are brought into the barn, given straw, hay and a grain. If it’s raining or the ground is wet, they can’t go out as their hooves get infected very easily.

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Every morning they are given a grain, straw and hay and milked. Their milking season begins in March, and ends early to mid November once they are pregnant.

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Currently we are in the process of ‘drying them out’. Because all 30 female goats are pregnant they require as much energy as possible to care for their babies so are fed less and less causing their bodies to go into starvation mode and stop producing milk. Once their milk ceases their food goes back to normal over the winter season and they have babies in February.

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When you rub their cheeks their top lip goes up revealing their top gums and showing their affection. They only have bottom teeth!

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DSCF0968 SMILE!

They enjoy rubbing their horns on your side.

 

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The kids are very playful and sooo cute!!DSCF0927

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Dan and Yoda having a moment. DSCF0972

 

DSCF0888“Who’s there?”

 

 

 

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