Monday, November 17, 2014

Dairy Goats: A One-Year Update

Clementine being curious

It has been one whole year since I bought two Nigerian Dwarf doelings to be our milk goats. They were just six weeks old when I brought them home. They've spent the last year eating and growing and making us laugh with their silly goat antics and ridiculous noises. Today they are nearly full-grown and weigh about 40 pounds each.

The goats today, at one year old and 40 lbs
In early October I decided it was time to breed them so we could have goat kids (and milk) in the spring. I put a personals ad in the Craigslist Farm & Garden section and waited for the stud offers to come rolling in. None came. So then I trolled the Craigslist listings for goats for sale and found one ad that mentioned that the doeling on offer could be bred before sale. A buck on the premises! I contacted the woman and she turned out to be an experienced farmer and goat breeder with two Nigerian Dwarf bucks. Best yet, she was just a few miles down the highway from me!

We worked out the details and a few days later I dropped off my does at her farm for a two-week stay with their new boyfriend, Amos. Amos was young (only 6 months old- a younger man!) but seemed to know his business. He is the white and black goat in the photos below. He also has blue eyes, which is a highly desirable trait in goats because people will pay more money for blue-eyed babies. I'm keeping my goats for milking and have no plans to expand the herd so I will be selling their babies once weaned.

I love all the stuff going on in this photo. That white duck in the middle is a Muscovy.
After the two-week honeymoon I retrieved my ladies (transported by minivan) and now they are home and, hopefully, pregnant. I really won't know until near the end of their 5-month gestation. (I wish there was a goat pregnancy stick they could pee on. That would be nice. Can someone invent that?)

Chillin' on the igloo
Kiki, the herd queen
So now I have less than five months left to build my milking stand and a little goat shed! Plenty of winter work awaits me. But if all goes well we will have at least two kids born in late February. And after that....MILK.


  1. Why won't a pregnancy test from the pharmacy give you a result? Is it just the logistics of getting your hands on the goat's urine? Or is the biochemistry just totally different?

    1. The biochemistry is different. Boooo! If it were just a matter of getting the urine I would be crouched out there near the hindquarters of my goats right now, pee stick in hand. Hahaha!

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  2. So excited for you and your girls! I am planning to get 2 baby girls this spring and have them for milk goats in the future too. Just doing my research and found your blog. Can't wait to see a post of your babies, good luck!

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