Goats

Anytime you are worried about what your goats might be doing, they are usually doing it. Gordon Whitefoot (OK, newly home from New Zealand had me leaning towards Canadiana) was the first addition to the farm: before the chickens hatched and before we had any fencing, we had a goat. What can I say, I went to buy fencing for the chicken coup and came home with Gordon. Who could resist such a sweet face?

Gordon Whitefoot with ill-intentioned gastronimic intentions.

Gordon Whitefoot with ill-intentioned gastronimic intentions.

Below is Fatty-fat. Fat-Fat-Fatty-Fat, to be precise, but her nick-name is Nanny. When she and her sister Shiraz came to the farm they were fat, really fat. They had been on another farm in the valley living with the herd of pigs. I’m not sure what you are supposed to call a ‘herd’ of pigs, so it will have to do. The farmer wanted to get rid of the two goats because they were jumping on his tractor; and we can’t have that now can we? Anyway, an extra two goats wasn’t quite what I was expecting to have upon my husband’s return from the liquor store.

Trees they kill make good horn scratchers.
Trees they kill make good horn scratching posts.

Yes, goats climb trees. Well, ok this is a large shrub, but still you get the point. Actually, this is a good example of why many people dislike goats; they wreck trees and shrubs, basically anything edible. In those terms, that includes a vast list of delicacies like your roses, your kitchen chive patch, and the grapevine you planted close to the house to keep away from the Grizzly bear.

If there ever was a petting-zoo goat, Malcom is it.
If there ever was a petting-zoo goat, Malcolm is it.

Malcolm was born in town at a friend’s place. He then moved to a neighbour’s place with his mother and a few other goats once they’d outgrown their place in town. Malcolm came to us last year when his mother and the other goats were killed by a cougar. How he survived a cougar attack no one knows. He didn’t come out unscathed, but alive. He really is the sweetest goat I’ve had. I think he’d be quite happy hanging out inside the house with us like a dog: a dog that can tap-dance on all our furniture.

9 responses to “Goats

  1. Jeremiah

    Do you keep goats for milk, or just for entertainment? My mom and my sister always kept goats, but they were really just pets.

  2. To date, they are mostly entertaining and generally educational; they are teaching me how to build fences!

    But seriously, they are part of the long term plan: I do want to breed them and milk them because I enjoy making cheese and I also would like to be more protein self-sufficient. But, to do that will require a lot of effort since the nearest stud goat is at least 460 kms away and I don’t have enough land to keep my own buck.

    Also, I have to be emotionally prepared to butcher the kids (and possibly the buck if I have to bring one in) and I’m not quite there yet (I don’t have the room to grow my goat farm). It was a huge emotional learning curve this year to get to butchering my ducks, chickens and turkeys by myself.

    Finally, the farm developments always come down to time. This year we did two major building projects: a greenhouse and poultry barn, along with huge garden expansion. I’m learning to develop patience; all in good time. Breeding the goats and getting bee hives are next on the ‘wish-list’.

  3. El

    Hah! I had to laugh at your last paragraph in the comment above. That has been my hardest lesson upon moving to a farm: time. Baby steps work best I have found and every year I work on adding something new to the holdings…next year it’s goats, a dairy girl, her baby(ies) and a wether. But yes, had I my ‘druthers I would have. it. all. now. And how I could have a job and do all the other food stuff and have all that I want and still sleep? I am working on that!!

  4. Good luck El, I don’t have an off farm ‘job’ and I don’t have time to sleep! There simply is never enough time when you farm; always something that could be being done. You know it seems like I had more time when I did work full time off the farm, go figure.

    HDR

  5. kim1708

    I’d have to say, killing goats is tough, but killing stinky bucks with buck attitude, is the least tough.

    I don’t like killing goats, of any age, and we’ve never killed anything under 8 months, but once they are completely dead, the rest is easy to deal with. We have La Mancha’s, Alpines, Nubian, Oberhasli, and 3 Nigerians. 1 of them is the dam, who is producing quite a bit of milk for a 60 or so lb goat. I got her just for milking, but when one of our lambs needed extra care, we put him on her, and he is now growing quite well. We also do Kefir grains. And make smoothies. It’s soo good, curbs our diet, and we are losing some weight. My mom has lost like 20 lbs, and I have lost a bit of weight too. Between the two of us, we’ve probably lost the equivalent weight of a small dog. Probably a Cavalier Kings Charles Spaniel dog. Quite the mouthful for a dog breed name, but quite a cute dog.

    • chang

      hi, Kim, you said you never killed anything under 8 months, so what’s the best age to butcher a goat at? do you butcher a goat by yourself? what’s the best way to do it? do you have to tie it up?
      thanks

  6. Janet

    i like your goats!

  7. Melissa B.

    HI I like this stuff. Its all interesting

  8. Pingback: Home dairy goat milking machines | All Things Goat

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