Goats are my all-time favorite farm animal. I wish I had 100 goats. Alas, I have 2. And I love them.
Two lovely little Alpine does – Cordelia and Shyla. Cordelia means “Daughter of the Sea” in Norwegian and Shyla means “Daughter of the Mountains” in Hindu. My favorite place is the mountains and Farm Fiancé’s favorite place is the ocean and those were the prettiest sounding names in different languages.
Cordelia is actually Shyla’s mother and they are only a year apart…a bit of a teenage pregnancy situation.
The moral of this rambling story is that I want to get them pregnant so I can have goat babies and goat milk ASAP.
But that’s not how that works. I’m making sure they’re both happy and healthy first. I also need to make sure they have babies at a time that I can be around A LOT to take care of them…i.e. Not during my wedding next June, not during a honeymoon whenever that may be and making sure I’m not about to have 60 hour work weeks. Shyla is also only 5.5 months old. I’d prefer her to be AT LEAST 8 before she gets pregnant and realistically I should probably wait til she’s 10 months to a year.
I’m no good at waiting.
Here’s where my other ideas start bubbling to the surface.
Do I get a buck for a few months – keeping Cordelia and the Buck together until she’s bred?
Put her and Shyla back together and the Buck separate. Then the Buck and Shyla when she’s ready? Where am I getting this buck?
Would I … AKA Farm Fiancé have to build him ANOTHER shed?
If I do that, there’s a chance I wouldn’t have a wedding or a honeymoon next summer J
Or do I buy a doe already in milk???!!!
Wait, that’s tempting.
Thank you for letting me think out loud while you wonder why I haven’t said anything of any importance yet.
Ok fine – what’s my goat care schedule/regimen look like?
I keep them in a shed over night because they have SO MUCH grass to eat. I give them a handful of oats each to get them in the shed. And sometimes I don’t because they’ll follow me in anyway. I’m trying to keep them as grain free as possible for money saving purposes as well as health reasons. They have fresh water at all times. Not feeding them hay yet – they have plenty of grass and forage. They will get Timothy hay in the winter. Once a month I have been giving them some free choice baking soda, mineral and a splash of ACV in their water. Baking soda helps reduce bloat, mineral is…well…mineral that they might not find in their diet and the ACV is for a fresh, healthy coat and I think it cures everything. They also get their nails done J I’m going to add garlic to their feed for a week this month as an herbal dewormer. It’s not a dewormer specifically but it helps with heart health and a healthy heart is a healthy worm free goat. I have a few other tips and recipes for dewormers but good pasture rotation really helps with that so I hope I’ll be ok.
I’m obviously not an expert. So don’t do what I do because I said I do it. Do some research. Find people and literature that you trust. Do a little trial and error. Hopefully not too much error.
I hope your days are filled with goats.