Friday, January 6, 2017

Totes Ma Goats!

Not all of our most recent events have been scary and concerning. Some have been down right fun.

Case in point:

Meet Nigel. We got him when he was about 15 weeks old. He's a Nigerian Dwarf (mixed) and just sweet as honey. He loves to play with my sons more like a dog than a goat would. He has a great disposition and has been a wonderful addition to our farm.

After Nigel, we added a pregnant doe to our herd. This is Nellie. She is a 2 year old Nigerian Dwarf and is very pregnant. Like, I expect to walk outside after running in for just a quick minute and finding babies on the ground pregnant. 

She was not as quick to warm up to us. I believe she wasn't handled nearly as much as Nigel was before we got her. But, she has come around and is very friendly and lets me do what I need and even seeks us out when we are outside working. If what I have felt in my checking of her each day is correct, she should be having two kids for us soon. 

Our most recent her additions came just this past week. They are Judah and Evie. Judah (top picture) is a 2 year old pregnant doe. Evie (bottom picture) is a 10 month old pregnant doe. Both are Nigerian Dwarf. I am not fond of the idea that Evie's owner let her breed at such a young age, so we are hoping for the best for her pregnancy. We hope for the best for all pregnancies, but she's just quite young and smaller in stature. 

Judah and Evie's previous owner had nearly no contact with his goats. He pastured them and only dealt with any issues. So they are very stand-offish. I am working with them to try and warm them up to me. They have, thankfully, accepted Nigel and Nellie (though we don't allow them to be together yet due to pregnancies and Nigel's small size). But the huffing up at each other and such has stopped within the first 12 hours and they now lay next to each other on opposite sides of their nighttime pens. 

I am the only one who feeds and waters them right now. We want there to be one single face that brings them good things until they have warmed up to me. This will help them to see they can trust me and that I mean them no harm. 

If all goes very well with our goats, we will go from a herd of 4 to one of 10 within the next 8 or so weeks. Nellie should be our first to kid and that should be followed by both Evie and Judah as they were bred around the same time.

Photo Credit
When we first decided that we would raise goats, I was on board but not stoked about it. All of that has changed. I have found my niche. I love raising goats. It's only been a few months but I love it more each day. I find pleasure in even the small duties I must attend to each day for them. Cleaning out nighttime pens doesn't even seem like a chore because I enjoy the rewards of the goats.

Photo Credit

Life has changed on our little farm. We don't go as many places as we used to because we have animals to care for. We wake up and, even when it's cold or raining (or snowing like today), we head outside before we have eaten to care for animals. But my kids are loving it nearly as much as I am. We have our running goat jokes, we laugh about some of the things they do or some of the things we do thinking it was a good idea, and we are learning so much.

Are you interested in goats? Well, I have a few resources for you. There are websites, blogs, and even Facebook pages all dedicated to the care and raising of goats. Who knew?

Goat Wisdom

Goat Vet Corner

National Pygmy Goat Association

Backyard Herds


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