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.
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?
They eat leaves, sticks grass and other plants too. Oh and bark off of trees. Uh-huh!
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 more exercise and some “browse” time. Yes, this does defeat the “poop free zone” purpose of the fence, but it’s not like it’s working with the chickens anyway. 😉 They will have more space of their own once the barn is complete and we can also fix them a yard. Right now they don’t mind hanging out in our yard for awhile.
Also I had a conversation all about poop with Myles who was hanging out with me while I cleaned the pen. I was explaining to him how we can use manure (which he of course needed a definition for that word) on gardens to help plants grow….. Pretty sure he may never eat another vegetable again. 😉 Oops!