Goat Spotlight: Gabriella

Goat Spotlight: Gabriella

Apr 03, 2024JACK RUDOLPH

Meet Gabriella, or Gabby! She's the champion milker of Stepladder Creamery!

Gabby was born on the ranch on February 27, 2018. She has unique markings that make her easily recognizable in the herd as she is all brown with one white rear leg. She is extremely friendly and loving and is always looking for a good scratch when we are out in the pasture with her. 

Gabby the goat

Gabby is also very quirky, and will usually stick her tongue out when we approach her - it seems sometimes that she does this because she is looking for a treat from us and it makes her absolutely hilarious and adorable. When she was just a yearling, she was extremely vocal and would always yell at any human she saw wandering past. While this isn’t uncommon for most goat breeds, Lamanchas tend to be a very quiet breed of goat so that made Gabby stick out like a sore thumb in the herd.

Gabby the goat sticking her tongue out at camera

Gabby sporting her characteristic tongue-out expression…

On top of being friendly, quirky, and chatty, Gabby also happens to be the absolute best milker in the entire herd. At her peak, we recorded Gabby producing 2.25 gallons of milk per day. To put this in perspective, the next highest producing doe in the herd produced about 1.8 gallons/day and the average human produces about .2 gallons of milk per day! For a doe like Gabby, who weighs about 165 pound, this means that she was producing about 12% of her body weight in milk every day!

Gabby in the pasture

Hard to believe that Gabby’s small frame produces 12% of her body weight in milk every day!

As you might expect, producing that amount of milk can take a lot of a goat’s body. While our herd is extremely well-fed and we pay close attention to their weight, at one point we noticed that Gabby was dropping weight. So we took action and started supplementing Gabby’s feed; now every time Gabby comes up on the stand for her twice daily milking shifts, we go around to the doe’s grain feeder and give Gabby an additional pound of grain. This has helped her maintain her weight and she certainly seems happy about the addition as she gobbles it down as quickly as the other does eat half that amount!

Gabby with her babies

In addition to being such a lovely doe and excellent milker, Gabby also happens to be an exceptional mother. She tends to have large “litters” and will often have triplets. Luckily, she produces more than enough milk for them and also happens to be an extremely patient, thoughtful, and loving mother. 

How many babies do you count in the picture?!? This was taken in 2023 - Gabby had four of her own kids and actually ended up adopting another kid who had been rejected by her own mother! So Gabby got an extra big pen and was perfectly happy to raise all five of these little buggers, two of which are still with the herd and will begin milking in 2024!

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