While Scott's dad has had goats on his farm for several years, Scott & I didn't particularly care if we ever had goats on the homestead. But that all began to change with the birth of Kaycee. She was breastfed until the well went dry. We researched other healthy alternatives & found that goat milk is highly regarded as being the closest alternative to human milk. Kaycee was raised exclusively on goat milk from 5 months until she was about 2 years old. After buying 1-2 gallons almost weekly for a year or so, we finally decided to buy our first two milk does. They were good old gals & were such an integral part in keeping Kaycee healthy. Those two does were the beginning of our love/hate relationship with goats that has grown to the 34 we have now.
Our love of goats is strongest during kidding season and at the sale barn. Our ladies have birthed many babies over the years. Baby goats are just the cutest, sweetest little creatures we've ever been blessed to tend to... so far (until piglets). Unfortunately, there is an occasional orphaned or abandoned baby that will need bottle fed. Oh boy, it is as fun as it sounds! When we have babies in the throes of winter, the last thing we want to do every 2 hours is warm up a bottle, bundle ourselves up for subzero temps, & trudge through snow to get to the barn. So, in the house little babe comes until such a time that a new momma who might've lost her baby is willing to adopt. When it comes to naming the new babes, Kaycee can recall most of the names already used. Of course she can't have a name used twice. They are excellent at cleaning up low branches, brush, & weeds. When Fritts mourned the loss of his pal Peppy leaving him as the only horse on the farm, the goats provided Fritts new attention and companionship. Another thing about goats, they do well at the sale barn for buyers looking to use them for meat or milk to fill their fridges.
I cannot leave this story without the honest disclosure of our "hate" relationship with them. Let's see, there's the frozen water buckets (only because winter is still fresh on my mind & we can't seem to keep good heat bulbs around), stillborn babies, bruises from getting rammed with a horn, back breaking hoof trimming, rescuing goats stuck in the fence, wrangling goats who've escaped into the hayfield, cords that have been chewed, a missing glove stolen out of a coat pocket, & the feed expense to supplement hay. They are hard on gates, feeders, and tear up just about any type of equipment you put in front of them. If they venture into my yard, before eating the abundant weeds, they will nosh on my flowers & trees.
Watch for future blogs about Scooby (our boar goat) and 4H goat projects. We will also start utilizing our website to sell goats so watch our "For Sale" page if you want goat(s) of your own to raise or for their milk, or goat(s) to butcher for tasty meals.
'Til next time folks!