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So if I don’t already have enough on my plate as a work at home mother of three….I decided to add goats to the mix.
Why Goats, you ask?
Well my husband and I wanted something small that we could keep nearby in our yard, unlike our other larger livestock, so that our sons could start to learn to work with livestock without the possibility of being crushed. Now when we got these guys I fully expected them to be like our other livestock and kind of keep to themselves. But I was very wrong and as a result I absolutely fell in love with our goats. They are more than just livestock they are members of the family. They are the goat babies, as my husband says.
They are the most entertaining, loving, social and crazy little animals. They cry when they want attention and because they are bottle fed right now they are on a schedule just like a baby. As a matter of fact my husband says I bought them because this is the first time I have not been pregnant in a couple of years. LOL! He may be right. 🙂
So what can I tell you about our goat children? (The logistics)
Gus (aka Augustus Maygoat) and Gertie (aka Gertrude) are mini Nubian goats so they will get to be roughly about 50-60 pounds (vs a standard goat which can be 150+ pounds). These two specifically are half brother and sister and came from a wonderful lady in Elizabeth, CO. My BFF Jen and I went off on this adventure to get these little goat babies in my mini-van one frosty February day. Mini vans….not just for kids! They are a milk goat and Gertie will be bred so that we can milk her after she matures (roughly about a year old). We do have a “boyfriend” for Gertie coming next week named Moose (more on him when he gets here). They are a social animal so if you ever decide to try and get a goat you MUST have two or they get lonely. You can’t really substitute any other animal to be their buddy like a dog, they really need a goat buddy. They do like to eat weeds and are great lawn mowers because they just snip the tops off of the grass and don’t eat all the way to the ground like cattle. The goats milk is supposed to be really rich and creamy (I have only had store bought goat milk…it was good). It is naturally homogenized so it does not separate like cow’s milk does and we can use the milk to drink, make soap, lotion, cheese and butter. Milking will be a new adventure for me so stay tuned…that will be interesting. I anticipate a lot of spilled milk….no crying. 🙂
The Fun Stuff!
Aside from the logistics these little goats have the most amazing personalities. They play with the kids and me when we are running in the back yard. Just last night Gus was hopping and jumping and running around with my sons and me as we were playing “racing” around the yard. They hop on my back, they eat my hair and they love to cuddle up with us while we sit out in the yard. They are truly an amazing animal. We did have them in the house for about a week and a half after we bought them to keep them warm while it was snowy and cold but that quickly became ……well…. really gross. Goats are not really great at potty training. Plus it goes against their nature. They like to forage and eat and while they do that what they ate before generally comes out the back end. It’s a whole “circle of life” thing. But they do stay in our yard so they are with us all the time and are such an amazing part of our family.
Should you get a goat?
If you plan on getting a goat, make sure where you live allows them. There are a number of urban areas that do allow a certain number of goats and/or chickens for the urban farmer (I will warn you that when they do “baa” they can be quite loud and you may get a noise complaint).
If you do get goats make sure to get two so they do have their goat buddy. Also, if you plan on getting goats make sure you have time to take with them, more than just dropping their feed and water in their pen. Goats can be naughty and can be escape artists. Just like dogs, if left to their own devices for too long they can be destructive. But if you socialize with them regularly they become attached to you and they don’t tend to wander or be as destructive. Besides, with their little personalities how could you not hang out with these little clowns? They really are unlike any other livestock I have dealt with in my verey short livestock experience.
So that is the story so far. There is much for me to learn, I am no expert by far. But I can say without a doubt these little floppy eared goats have captured my heart and become a fun addition to our family. BAAA!!!!
The 226Mommy (and the goats)