The Goat Adventure

by Azreel | May 10th, 2009

I’m still trying to figure out how it happened, but it seems I got horn swaggled into getting into the goat business.  It’s a bit of a blur it happened so fast, but somehow between late Wednesday night and yesterday afternoon I apparently became a goat farmer.  And not much of one at that.  A pygmy goat farmer.

The Nanny Goat has a smiley face on her side.

The Nanny Goat has a smiley face on her side.

Let’s go back a bit.  We’ve got a decently sized place on a couple of acres.  Ever since we bought the place my wife has mentioned that, one day, she wanted to get sheep and goats and chickens.  I always protest that they’re too much work.

Wednesday my wife’s brother in-law came over for our regular Wednesday night get together. Over the course of the evening he mentioned that he had a friend who needed to get rid of some goats.   She’d recently separated from her husband, and he wanted them gone pronto.  In fact he threatened to kill the goats.  Pygmy goats are not great meat goats, they’re more well known for their milk in addition to their small stature.  The wife had kept them more as pets to breed and sell and put the word out that they needed a good home.  This is how Dreamer Dez’s brother in-law came to be in my living room offering to fence the back 40 so that his friend could sleep easy knowing that her milking goats wouldn’t be the next cabrito especial at the local carniceria.  Which left me in a quandry.

You have to understand that Dreamer Dez has always wanted to get goats, and her brother in-law was now offering to pay for us to fence in half an acre with goat mesh for the critters.  I’ve wanted to fence in that half acre for a while, but never could quite find the time.  Since I have recently been laid off, that was no longer a good excuse.  And he was willing to pay for the materials, so there went another protest.  I’m still not convinced that agreeing to take the four legged lawn mowers was the right decision, but I reluctantly agreed to take the critters.

The billy goat.

The billy goat.

So, Friday and Saturday J and I fenced in the area while the brother in-law brought over the goats, hay, sweet grain, etc. They got introduced to the existing critters, namely the dogs, who learned quickly to not go near the baby goat lest Nanny goat give them a head butting.

The male is a very pretty looking goat. He’s sweet as can be and follows us around like a little dog.  The baby is about three weeks old and is just a blast to watch as she frolicks around the field.  Nanny goat is kinda shy, but tolerates people around her.  She won’t let the dogs anywhere near her baby, but seems to be ok with them near her when the baby isn’t around. The dogs are still curious why the goats don’t want to play.

Now I’ve just got to build a milking stand so Dreamer Dez can milk them.  I don’t know how long the milking adventure will last.  Anyone who has ever had dairy animals can tell you that it’s quite the commitment to milk them day in and day out every twelve hours for ten months at a time.  But, she wants milk goats and is already busy planning all the goat cheese and yogurt she’s going to get from the females.  We’ll have to wait for the Nanny to get preggers again before we can start milking her, so maybe they’ll just end up being lawn mowers and breeding goats.

Personally, I’d rather have meat goats like Boer or Spanish goats.  Suffice to say I’ve been put on caution that I’m not allowed to barbecue these guys.  Not that they’d have much meat on them anyway.

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