Goats

Goats and chickens live together quite well.

Goats and chickens live together quite well.

Why goats?

Again, I have heard that they are stinky, stubborn and loud.
A male goat that still has his boys is terribly stinky. A female is not. The only reason that a person would normally keep an intact male goat would be for breeding purposes. A male that has had his (ahem) vasectomy, is called a wether; is not stinky and makes a very sweet pet.

All animals have their own personality. I know a lady farmer who has 30 goats, they will all run to greet you and push to the front to be loved. The adults will climb in your lap if you allow them to. They believe that they are puppies. I know another lady who has goats that are just out there, and would rather not be messed with.

Goats can be trained to obey (when they want to), like any animal; you just need to take the time with them- and know what makes them want to.

Some goats are loud, expecially if they are hungry or lonely. I know a goat that never says a word. I know another goat that lives alone, and does not seem to mind. But most goats will cry constantly if left without a friend to keep them company.

In my quest to provide as much food from my backyard as I can, I have discovered goats. I would choose the Nigerian Dwarf breed for several reasons. First, if I were going to try this, I could not keep a cow happy in my backyard, besides I am 5’1 and do not want to have to man-handle a big animal. Also, they give way too much milk for me to deal with.
There are 2 breeds that I am aware of that are from Africa, and do just fine in our arid desert. The Nubian and the Nigerian dwarf. The Nubian is a full sized goat. Most of my friends that own them say that they are very noisy. They can give up to 2 gallons per day. Steve and I would not need that much milk, and I would want to be considerate of my neighbors.

The Nigerians that I have visited with are about 18′ at the withers (shoulders), That is about the size of a large dog. Even I could push, pull or drag one (if I had to) Because they are smaller, they make a better choice for the normal backyard. They are very smart and need to be kept penned off from the vegetation. They do not seem to care much for tender grass, but anything else is a temptation for them. They love the rougher stuff, weeds, rosebushes, appletrees; ask me how I know:(

Look at these precious babies.

Look at these precious babies.

Nigerians are very cute, and their milk has a higher fat content than many other goats. I have tasted goat milk at many goat farms, and found that the Nigerian milk seemed to taste sweeter to me. These little girls can give a whopping quart or two per day. That would be more than enough for Steve and I. It is the rare goat who will be happy alone, so two goats would be happier, and quieter than one. When you live in a residential area, that would be important. But the voice of the Nigerian is much quieter than the Nubian.
Since I started learning the benefits of raw milk, I have found it important to have a source for that product. I would love the fact that I could name, and care for that source myself.
One other discovery I have made about goat’s milk; the cream does not naturally separate from the milk like a cow, so the milk is like drinking very yummy whole milk. It can also be used for ice cream, yogurt, kefir and cheese.

The down side is also an upside. A goat needs to be bred every year into order to keep giving you this wonderful milk. You would need to think about what to  do with the offspring.

In order to rehome your babies, you will need to become a dairy goat promoter. But once you have owned one, that will just come naturally. You will be so hooked that you will be starting blogs and telling all your friends. Like me (tee, hee).

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2 Responses to Goats

  1. Kristin Cook says:

    I love goats! They are so cute (especially the babies) and they are very similar to dogs 🙂

  2. Yes, Kristin they are very smart. They know their names and can be annoying at time because they beg for attention.

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