Months ago the twins decided they would like to raise, breed and milk goats. Knowing their dad would be a hard sell they asked me to map out a “plan”. And you know I love a good plan! (click here)
Their part of the plan was to come up with the money end of things. My contribution was along the lines of proving they were responsible enough to add more animals to the menagerie. This may or may not have also benefited me. 😉 We talked about things like, keeping picked up after themselves, and looking for ways to be helpful and keeping our home a calm quiet place . A big point, from my perspective, was whether they even liked goats milk. So, we bought some from a friend and guess what? They loved it. 😉 There may or may not have been questions about whether they REALLY liked it….. but they drank a quart in less than 24 hours, so I was convinced. Next up was a visit to the feed stores in the area to comparison price supplies and feed. The two of them did a ton of research and checked out library books and poored over them. They also spent every spare minute talking about “goats”. However we needed a code word so the dad wouldn’t know. They came up with several, snickers, operation butter, precious cutey chickens…….. anything to make it sound like something else. Money was saved and then we came upon a good deal on 3 month old baby does.
The Big Question
It was time to present their case to dad. They asked me to warm him up. 😉 So I talked about how responsible they had been lately and how they had saved all the money and were going to totally bear any costs involved. How could he refuse??? He says his middle name is cave. 🙂
So two babies were purchased and we scrambled to get everything ready. They are jumpers, so we had to heighten the fence. Since they are Nigerian dwarfs, they won’t get more than 19-21″ tall, so we repurposed a dog house we had.
We were told that goats are noisy, but evidently those who think so have never raised guinea fowl. Now guineas are loud! The goats have a cute little bleat and whenever they see us outside they call to us. They are so funny to watch. The lady we bought them from said goats are like candy, you can’t have just one. I had planned on buying one also, but just before we were to pick her up she died! It was a sad day.
The Frugal Part
Goats don’t really like to eat off the ground and they were continually knocking over the hay pail the girls bought. So we took a pallet we got for free and made a feeder one Saturday. Next project will be a stanchion. So far we trim their hooves by holding them, but it’s a 2 or 3 person job. Here’s the clippers we use.Zenport Z116 Hoof and Floral Trimming Shear with Twin-Blade, 7.5-Inch
Plus we will need one once they kid and are producing milk. The stanchion will help with trimming hooves, milking and any health or grooming needs they will have. We plan on giving our own injections and such.
The Schooly Part
We are learning a ton, like, goats don’t really eat everything, they are kind of picky actually, and they don’t eat tin cans. 😉 And they are very good at escaping! They will watch and learn how to work gates, so be careful. They LOVE chicken feed. However it’s not the best for them and they can get sick from it. Ours make a mad dash for it when the opportunity presents itself. They are herd animals, so don’t get just one. They have flat pupils, which some people think are creepy, but it just gives them really good night vision. Girl goats have beards and horns! Most people have them disbudded and actually shave girls for the fair. We have joined 4H and our girls will be showing their goats this year at the fair.
We are all, even the dad, in love with them already and are looking forward to learning more when they are bred, kid and we can milk them. Oh and their names? Ella and Blossom. They are twins of course. 😉
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