Currently Browsing: Goats

A hunting we will go

Yesterday when I went to the chicken coop, basket in hand to get the egg “haul” of the day, I discovered only one egg! Boo-hoo! What I believe happened was this. The wily goats have discovered the chicken feed in the coop. And they like it! Mucho! Which is fine, it’s organic, no problem well except that little goaties shouldn’t be eating a lot of grain, and can in fact gorge on it and cause themselves some pretty significant issues. So to avoid that problem, when the goats are out (because we let them out nearly every afternoon for browsing and exercise) I close the outer door to the coop to keep them out of the grain. Apparently yesterday when I did this, most of the gals hadn’t laid their eggs yet. *sigh* So I imagine they found someplace that would “do” and dropped them all there. Arg! I kinda wandered around and glanced at some of the places the girls like to hang out, but didn’t find anything. Oh well. We’ve still been getting 5-7 eggs a day from our 8 remaining hens. I have plans to get some chickies to enlarge our flock hopefully sometime in February. I’d like to get them settled into the brooder in the garage and growing well between when our goats kid. I’ve been looking on the My Pet Chicken website and have pretty well decided that I want to get Easter Eggers as my next batch of layers. They are called that, you may wonder, because they lay eggs in a variety of colors, most often blue and green, but also cream and pink even! How fun! With 15 of those we’d have a colorful egg basket for sure! 🙂 As for the goats. I’m getting nervous! We are within a week of Polka’s possible due date! And guess who gets to be midwife? US! Ack!!! It’s weird but I’m more nervous about helping these silly goats have kids than I was having my own… well, sorta. Anyway, I didn’t have to be on the “catching end” with mine. 😉 I’m looking forward to seeing what and how many babies we get! It’ll be fun to have bouncing kids around. What I’m not looking forward to is having to disbud them. 🙁 That means burning the “buds” where the horns would grow in. Not fun, nopers! But having a goat with horns is not good either. They are hard to rehome,... read more

A trip to get goats

Pretty sure I never actually blogged about our trip to get the Ladies. These goats are amazing and come from REALLY good (read champion) blood lines. Since they are dairy goats that means that they are bred for maximum milk production qualities. We were even sent home with several of Polka’s blue ribbons that she’s won! Polly had not been shown. All of that to say that it was a fabulous opportunity for us to get our hands on goats of this quality right out of the gate! I can’t wait to start getting milk from these Ladies! Woo-Hoo!! So we had to take a little trip to the Valley or Phoenix area to pick up the goats. They lived less than a mile apart so that made it relatively easy. 🙂 Originally Polka was going to be shown one last time at the fair, but she “dried up” faster than expected (which could indicate more than 2 babies!) and her previous owner opted to just forgo the fair with her. We’d already made plans for the weekend to be there and were going to take the boys to the fair, so we just changed it up a bit and spent time with the boys doing other stuff. We dragged them to IKEA! 😉 They were less than impressed, silly lads, but they did have a great time in the pool! We had it to ourselves for most of the afternoon which is not surprising because even in Phoenix November is not the best time of year for a swim! But it was warm enough for a little bit so we all had a good time! (look for the cameo of Stu’s foot in the following photo to prove that he was there!) Keeping little kids quiet enough in a hotel is stressful for me. Uh-huh! Fortunately they usually come equipped with a tv. and if that doesn’t work we bust out the iPad! They also experienced Chick-fil-a! This is me the morning we were to meet our goats! I’m kinda nervous… dunno why. And here they are snug as bugs in the crate for our trip home! You can see by their wide eyes that they are not so sure about this adventure. 🙂 A huge thanks to our friends Matt and Rachael who kept the girls for us that weekend! They had a blast! And so did... read more

A Post About Goats

Ya know how I talked about having that “moment” when a new addition to the family finally kinda clicks in and everything assumes a new normal? Well, I was of course referring to babies, but it kinda applies to our hoofed additions as well. The Ladies. Polka And Polly We haven’t had that moment yet where things fall together, and may not for awhile. Goat keeping…. goat herding? (High on a hill was a lonely goat herd…) anyway, we don’t really know what we’re doing. This is our first experience with these animals, and I just hope that we don’t do something drastically wrong! I’ve been reading up on Nigerian Dwarf goats for months now, but the thing about information online is there’s a lot of it… and the thing about goat keeping is everyone does it a little differently. So, rather than find something that says THIS is exactly what when and how to feed your goats, there’s a zillion and 2 variations on what when and how much to give them. Grrrr! So basically, we’re winging it and just trying to make sure they don’t starve and don’t get too fat. I know they aren’t starved, but I’m more concerned about the fat part because (hopefully) they are both pregnant. And when it comes time for those little goaties to arrive, I don’t want complications because the kids or the moms are too fat! Ya know? 🙂 What? You don’t know? Hmmmm… me neither actually. Here’s a few things that I’m learning. Despite what I have read, goats WILL eat hay off the ground. Apparently they are notorious hay wasters, and we’ve had plenty of wasted hay. But I have seen them eat it off the ground too. No worries, once Stu gets the amazing hay rack built there will be less waste. 🙂 And less eating off the ground too! Goats don’t drink as much water as you’d think… and they like it warm. Spoiled beasts! 😉 Goats love carrots! See? Yummmm! They eat leaves, sticks grass and other plants too. Oh and bark off of trees. Uh-huh! Our kids like the goats! Despite the fact that Ella was in tears over the thought that “The doats are dunna bite Daddy!” when we first brought them home, she’s warmed up to their presence and doesn’t view them as something scary. 😉 I like to let them roam around in the fenced yard to get a little... read more

The two P’s and some chicken stuff

Today I found a friend for Polly! Another Nigerian Dwarf named Polka! How cute is that? Polly and Polka! Polka has been raised by a lady who’s been breeding goats for 42 years!! She is also vice prez of the Arizona Goat Breeders Association, so she knows her stuff! She was so sweet and helpful, and full of information! I plan to talk to her again to learn all I can about these amazing goats. The idea of helping a goat have babies (kidding. Seriously, that’s what it’s called!) is a bit on the scary side for me, so I can use all the tips and advice there is! Polka is currently pregnant and even though they were not able to see the babies on the ultrasound yet, I’m told that she usually has triplets! Wow! And the Buck she was bred with apparently has really good lines, so her kids should be excellent! I’m hoping she has a least one doeling so I can keep her! 🙂 Polka is also still “in milk” and will be able to produce for awhile yet before she needs to dry up before kidding. I’m so excited about this! We are going to meet this gal and our other gal Polly, who will hopefully be pregnant at that time, at the state fair where Polka is showing. What fun! I’m hoping to take the lads with us when we go so that they can have a “fair” experience and get to know a bit about goats too! I know that this is going to be a steep learning curve, but I figured that we just needed to stop talking about it and just do it when the opportunity for these really good goats came up! It’s going to be a challenge, but we’re going to make it a family endeavor and get the kids involved from the get go! I know the ladies that I’m buying these goats from have a wealth of knowledge and information and will be able to help us out and get us the resources we need for networking with other goat people. It’s going to be fun even if it is a challenge! My goal, in my mind for now anyway, is to have 4 does eventually. Then I can breed 2 in the Spring and 2 in the Fall and have good milk coming in all year! Plus with 2 there will be plenty for our... read more