This one is a Throwback from August 2008! Enjoy!
I checked my email night before last and a lady on one of my Gardening Chat groups was trying to find “Pet Homes” for a pair of twin buckling Dwarf Nigerian Goats. We have been working on getting some sheep and goats and so then these two presented their availability we acted. We were the first callers, as they were going for ‘free’ (nothing in life is completely free) so we knew we had to.
Anyhow, we ended up bringing the little guys home yesterday. They are very cute! My daughter had a name picked out for the little brown/red goat, his name is now “Flame” and his little, more timid brother, is “Java Chip” or “Java” for short… I figured before long we might be calling him “Jumping Java” 🙂 . He may look black in the pictures, but he actually a deep chocolatey brown. (sorry no pics available)
The goats’ owner, Erin, runs a small family goat dairy and they also have chickens and 3 alpacas that they harvest wool from once a year annually. With the wool, they dye it and use it for knitting, etc. They were such interesting people, into gardening and organic husbandry as much as possible for all… vegetables/fruit and animals. Anyway, they are a really neat family and I do believe we’ll be back out to glean some really cool info from them.
I’ve always been wary of Goats milk as I’ve had some very bad encounters with the “stuff” previously, but Erin offered me some of theirs. It was funny because she poured it in a large mug for me to try. I was concerned, and thought to myself… ‘…oh man, now I’m going to have to pretend I like it.’ Not so, it was really delicious, I was really impressed. It was just about as good as the raw Jersey milk we purchase currently. We may end up with a few nanny milk goats instead of that one miniature Jersey… we’ll see. We have 2 weeks to decide at this point.
Now the dogs… it’s funny because every time our dogs have encountered livestock (aside from the pup) it has been on someone elses property and for the sole purpose of …herding. They are now beside themselves with excitement to imagine that they now have their very own source of pleasure in one of their own pens of all places. We are having to take some time to remind them there is a particular time these activities are permittable. Everyone else seems to be “getting” it, but Ronen is convinced they are strange smelling dogs and he wants to investigate further. I’m waiting for him to calm down about their presence before we attempt that introduction.
A friend emailed me and was warning me of the dangers I’d have to look out for as a new goat shepherdess, and contemplating something baaad (in a goat baah) happening to the little guys I had my dd go look and she came back a little panicky and asked if she could go out and get a closer look because she could not see them.
I was a little worried too, and I went to look out the window and sure enough… I couldn’t see them either!!! Yikes!! We threw our boots on and headed out. As soon as we came out the little brave buckling, Flame was standing in front of the fiber board my dh had placed as a baracade in a particular spot in the pen, it was designed to close the entry above a large wire dog crate, but inadvertently also blocked the entrance to the crate. A little puzzled, because we didn’t see where Flame came from, we went into the pen and just as we entered we saw little Java squeeze out from behind the Fiberboard. They had squeezed into the dog pen and were resting in there. How sweet. So I took the fiberboard and one of the trellis’ we had setting there tucked next to the wall of the lean-to that is now the goat shelter and set them up by the workbench. I took the x-pen that had been around our now ~gone~ ash pile and closed in their area so they can’t access the crate anymore. I just feel paranoid that something could jump the crate, but I don’t know what else we can do. I picked up some coastal today and they LOVED it!! I think it’s because they were used to it (I had misunderstood the owner and purchased a small bag of Alfalfa do-not-feed-alfalfa-to-goats unless you understand why you are doing it, this was a BIG mistake on my part, just FYI> which they liked too, just not as much) as soon as I got it, I put one flake, but they are so little Flame climbed up on top of it to eat it. Java just walked up to our little hay manger and as timid as he is, he went ahead and just ate it with all 4 hooves on the bench. They are such little cuties. I hope they’ll be alright.
Comment on this story 2015:
On the Alfalfa comment:
At the time I wrote the above post I did not truly understand alfalfa. I truly misunderstood the lady I got the goats from and thought she said I “should” feed alfalfa BUT what she told me is that her milking goats ate alfalfa. In that context it is ok. You should not feed any other goat alfalfa. It is rich in protein and it is far too high for the goats needs. So save that for your milk goats. I had heard of a Buck milk goat that was ‘accidentally’ fed alfalfa and their intact MALE goat began to LACTATE! My understanding is that Alfalfa is high in Progesterone, so it is best left to the Momma Goats and ones intended for milking!
The things we learn! 🙂
Until next time – Yah bless!