Thursday, November 7, 2013

Homestead Goats Are Coming!

Oh, dear. I just put down a deposit on two baby goats. My stomach is actually in knots I'm so excited.

Who can resist the enthusiasm, the joie de vivre, of a goat?

I have been considering adding goats to our little homestead for a while now but it just never seemed like the right time. All of a sudden it seems like the right time. We are not fully prepared but we are going to leap in anyway. That's how we tend to do things around here and it has always worked out well for us!

Can I blame Craigslist? Two ads caught my eye last week. The first was from a man offering up four free  goat feeders (free is my siren call). What is a goat feeder? These are just a hay rack with tubs at the bottom and a metal roof over the whole thing to keep the feed dry. My mom showed up Friday afternoon for a visit and I promptly handed over the kids and dragged Mr. Chanclas out to look at goat feeders with me. We decided on one and then ran around trying to find a pickup truck to haul the damn thing, which was too tall to fit in my minivan. We couldn't get a truck that night so it looks like I'll be picking it up on Sunday with some help from a friend. It's probably TOTALLY overkill for the two little goats I'm planning on having but if I don't need it I can always sell it, right?

Two of the little doelings available
The second ad was for Nigerian Dwarf goat babies. I've had my eye on these Nigerians for a while. They are much smaller than your average goat (about 20" tall and 40 lbs full grown) and they give superior milk. Since they are smaller than other dairy breeds they give a smaller volume of milk but they produce a lot for their relative size. Plus, the butterfat content of their milk is the highest of all the breeds (5-10%) so it makes excellent cheese and butter. This particular ad caught my eye because the photos were good, the ad was very well-written, and the babies looked really healthy and well cared-for. (This alone makes the ad better than 99% of Craigslist ads). Plus, it turns out these folks are into permaculture and are doing all sorts of things that I do or would like to do (chickens, rabbits, garden, etc). I like to support folks doing good work.

So, as my friend Wendy would say, "This is happening! This is really happening!"

3 comments:

  1. I did not know these facts about milk from nigerian dwarf goats! These are my favorites but for some reason I thought they didn't milk very well b/c of their size and cuteness. You know - like holsteins milk better than jersey cattle, but I think jerseys' are cooler looking...?
    What? Just me?
    I cannot wait to see what the mammoth feeder looks like.
    And I have found that jumping into shit is far superior than planning forever. A certain amount of adrenaline is needed to carry us over the fear.
    You're getting goats.
    Go on with yer bad self.
    :-)

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  2. Oh, my gosh! So cute!! We are still on the fence about goats/mini cows, etc. Need to give our livestock guardian dog a job, y'know? Congrats on jumping in! Keep us posted!

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  3. This is so completely awesome. I can't wait to hear about your goat adventures. Also loved that part about the well-written Craigslist ad. I too give those preference.
    Congratulations!!

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