FoxDog Stampede: Goats on the Farm
In the Beginning
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 nurturers and companions, even the boys!
We started with 5 and now have a permanent herd of around 25-30. Currently our herd is even larger, as we are downsizing it, and have had 9 babies born in 2019! (see the Sales Page if you are interested in buying some adult or kid goats). The herd grows in size every year when the babies are born, and reduces as they are sold to new homes.
We enlarged our herd size beyond the original size by acquiring two bucks; AJUD LD Senor Bandido (we called him 'Frito') and Poppy Patch Casanova ('Cas'), who greatly improved our herd. Both of these bucks have passed away due to old age, but we acquired three more bucks; AJUD Shekel (known here as 'Stinky'), FoxDog Stampede Ozzie Osbourne ('Ozzie' or 'Damn, you are Handsome') and Mighty Meadows AJ Hot Jalapeno ('Peno'). Ozzie is the only buck bred here that we've kept. He is gorgeous; the product of 'Stinky' and Foxdog Stampede Florence (now sadly passed on; again due to old age) one of our best does.
With the exception of Ozzie, who as mentioned above was born here, we have acquired all our bucks from other, reputable breeders who live half a state, or more, away. We do this because we keep a closed herd. Aside from the original foundation does (and wethers), and our few bucks, all the goats we keep have been born here. A closed herd means our stock is kept disease free (the bucks are kept in quarantine for a few months once acquired until they pass vet inspections and can shed any 'non-native' parasites they might have brought in). Keeping a closed herd can be difficult, but it does mean that our goats are very healthy and have few parasite problems. It also means that they die of old age (including cancer) or weird accidents (including cougars), rather than disease.
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!