FoxDog Stampede: Goats on the Farm!
Something about a goat... the beautiful eyes, the airplane ears, the earthy smell, the grace and joy with which they move. There's just something about a goat. We acquired our first goats in July 2003, and immediately fell in love. We'd bought 5 goats, 2 wethers and 3 does, to be brush eaters. But they soon became treasured pets; valued for their companionship, their beauty and their milk!
Because they are such a joy to be around, they make chores easy. It's fun to be with them; so fun we often plant our lawn chairs in their enclosure and bask in goaty kisses and love. Our goats are small because they are of the Nigerian Dwarf breed. They are curious, intelligent, friendly and excellent nuturers and companions, even the boys!
We started with 5 and now have a permanent herd of around 25-30. The herd grows in size every year when the babies are born, and reduces as they are sold to new homes. We quickly acquired two bucks, AJUD LD Senor Bandido (Frito, as we called him) and Poppy Patch FM Casanova, both of which grew old here and have passed on recently. They greatly improved our herd with their genetics and wonderful dispositions. We now have three bucks;, AJUD Shekel who is a cute little friendly man nicknamed 'Stinky' or 'Quiffboy' for obvious reasons, Jalapeno, or 'Peno' as he is known, who is a short little dude just coming in to his own (born in 2015), and FDS Ozzie, the only buck bred here that we have ever kept. Ozzie is the same age as Peno. He is a gorgeous buck; the product of Stinky and Florence, one of our best does.
We kept our original two wethers for their whole lives. Both have passed on, Scottie at 13 years, and Travis at almost 11 years old. We miss them. Of the does, some of them are retired, having reached a time in their lives when giving birth is not generally safe any more and some have passed on. The rest are bred once every two, or sometimes three, years. We are in no hurry to make them grow up; we like the does to be full grown before giving birth. We also feel no need to breed every doe every year. We don't want that many babies!
Time and nature being what they are, we have now experienced the full range of goat keeping, from the excitement of the first young goats on the property, the first babies, to the tragedies of old age, difficult births, cancer and cougar attacks. Despite the admittedly sad and difficult aspects of goats, the positive, fun, and satisfying parts of goat raising keep us going. We love the little ruminants!
We enjoy helping new goat owners learn about their animals, and give classes and limited tours of the goats and the farm when and if we have time. All tours are compensated and set up in advance (see the sidebar for contact information).