Hi Everyone, my name is Zimba! I’m one of over 300 dairy goats living here at Redwood Hill Farm, the first goat dairy in the nation to be labeled with the Certified Humane® designation—animal welfare is very important to the folks who own and manage Redwood Hill.
You might have seen me on postcards or even on a truck and trailer that delivers our natural, delicious, dairy goat products to health food stores everywhere. Well, now I’m so famous they even want me to write a blog! Actually, Farm Manager Scott Bice and others on the farm will be contributing to the blog as well, but we all know that I’m the one capacious in writing creativity! Read on as I’m excited to fill you in on happenings at Redwood Hill Farm from the goat’s perspective.
We had an extra special delivery recently. One of my herdmates, Rihanna, gave birth to a beautiful doeling named Rayne. Her Great, Great, Great Grandmother was so proud! That’s right, this little “Rayne drop” that hit the farm makes a family tree of six generations alive and kicking here on the farm.
Companeros Ranita is the matriarch of this gregarious and enduring family. At fifteen years old, she is the last goat still here on the farm that Steven Schack, Jennifer’s late husband, planned the breeding of. We goats on average live to about 10-13 years old. I’m nine now and starting to feel my years, and to think glorious Ranita has six years on me! It’s pretty amazing to sit back and ruminate on all the times and changes Ranita has seen during her years at Redwood Hill. Ranita has long since been retired from milking and now spends her days contentedly shuffling about the barn, eating hay, and finding sunny spots in the pasture to warm her bones.
Ranita’s daughter Reina is twelve now, also retired from milking, and is best known for her flowing locks of hair that cascade down from her topline. Reina and I are good friends. A few years older than I, she helped “show me the ropes” when I entered the milking barn as a first time milker. Reina gave birth to Raindrop who is now five. Raindrop is sired by Tempo Aquila Freelance, one of the most famous bucks (and quite the gentleman) in recent Alpine dairy goat history.
Raindrop’s first kidding (giving birth) produced Rima in the fall of 2008. Rima was quite the looker from the start and as a junior dry yearling in 2009, was named Junior National Champion at the ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) National Show in Sacramento California. The elders of this “R named line” of goats could not be more proud! Known for their longevity, strength, and work ethic; now they had a top beauty queen residing in the family as well. When Rima kidded for the first time and had Rihanna, she came into milk with a beautiful mammary system and went on to be named first place in her class at the 2010 ADGA National Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Yes, she’s quite a filly!
And now a promising Rihanna (who sports the same locks as Reina) has given birth to Rayne. That makes six generations of this strong family here at Redwood Hill Farm. It’s a real tribute to the animal welfare commitment and care owner Jennifer Bice, Herd Manager Trinity Smith, and all of the workers provide for us. Well cared for goats make great tasting milk that can be transformed into delicious cheese, yogurt, and kefer. Rayne may not grow up and remember much of Ranita, but we will tell her stories of the matriarch and let her know of the qualities she passed on. In life; coworkers, friends, and family come and sadly sometimes go. This “R-line” of goats is an example of Endurance, Strength, and Quality and it’s nice to come in the barn and know they will be around. Hmmmm, it’s probably not surprising Redwood Hill Farm starts with an R as well. ~Zimba~