Hani Khouri of Redland Mediterranean Organics is waiting for his kids to arrive. Actually, his does (female goats) are pregnant and due to deliver their kids (baby goats) in mid-February or early March. Giving birth to a baby goat is called kidding, I was told. Really, I’m not kidding.
Hani keeps a small herd of Nubian goats, six pregnant does and one buck, and they’re all about one to two years old. This is the first kidding for the goats. This is also Hani’s first kidding and he’s excited, nervous and watchful of his herd. One doe named Cleopatra (whose picture you might have seen in the CSA newsletter last Saturday) is huge and very round. She started standing off to one side and went off her feed, which goats do when they’re sick, and that gave Hani the worries. But the vet checked out Cleo and said she’s ok, that’s also what pregnant goats do. So it’s watch and wait for now.
All this family excitement means no cheese and no ice cream in the CSA shares and at market. Too bad for us humans! The does need to save their milk for their kids. Hani can start milking three to four days after the births, after the kids get the colostrum. But even then he can’t milk as frequently or as much, until the kids are weaned at about two months age. Only then will Hani be back into full production.
Can all you hungry cheese fans wait until April or May? Looks like you’ll have to. Hani checked with other goat cheese producers in the state, and all their does are pregnant too. No fresh, local goat cheese to be had anywhere. Eating with the seasons — including goat seasons — is part of eating local food supplied by local growers, so you’ll have to be patient!