Spring is here! Baby Goats, ducklings, and chicks are popping up in every corner of the farm. Though we don’t have any baby goats this year, our plans for Spring of 2020 will be filled with lovely little kids (the four legged ones!) hopping around Fieldway Farm. In the meantime I am absolutely getting my fill of kidding season while visiting my friends goat farm, and preparing our own micro dairy!
Below I drafted up a bit of a crash course in case you are adding some goats to your family this spring- this crash course leaves out the basics like what feed to get & what supplements to give. Moreso, a couple pointers on what I forgot (or nearly forgot) when bringing home my wee ones.
Goats are fainting, goats are hopping around in pajamas, and goats are even doing yoga. These mighty little ruminants have captured our hearts.
Though she be but little, she is fierce.
They understand humans are a tool, they seek us to feel better, get food, and for comfortable living. They are smart they understand and they adjust. Which brings me to my first suggestion when getting your goats : Have. Proper. Fencing. They are mini Houdini’s in disguise, looking for and greedily taking every opportunity to escape. When you add the smallness of the nigerian dwarf goat – you are really in for a mischievous treat (in the best way!).
Barnyard goats conjure up the image of a hairy smelly snaggletooth animal chewing on a can. While the bucks are quite smelly, and they do get into just about every grain bag you have (opened or unopened) they are much more endearing creatures than most depictions. Suggestion number two is very important, Keep all grain secure & locked away! ESPECIALLY other animal’s food. Some horse feed has too much copper and will result in belly aches & bloat for your poor goat. We had an unfortunate run in with an open feed room & Rose spent a few scary nights at the hospital two years ago.
Goats are herd animals, they play, and they love their family. They will absolutely need a companion. It’s best to get two. Starting out, I wanted to move slowly and add one to my farm. My thought was that this lucky goat would live happily with my 12 year old (ancient) sheep. Baaaaa’d idea. Thankfully I brought home both sisters. So I mentioned goat’s play – they play hard. Head butting and chasing are common occurrences.
Sheep, although seemingly similar are absolutely not the same as goats. It’s helpful to think of sheep as the quiet children that prefer quiet activities like reading and puzzles as opposed to their ruff housing neighbor the goat. Goats are most happy when climbing and getting into trouble. I cant stress enough how much they need props. So something to climb on is important to keep them occupied & out of trouble. Happy (occupied) goat = happy garden
Honestly a children’s jungle gym would be useful for occupying your new friend. If you threw out your childhood tree house I would recommend bring some fun objects into their pen. Pallets, water troughs (upturned), old furniture, logs etc. etc. be creative!
So to recap:
1)Have a good fence system
2)Keep all grain secure and locked (out of reach!)
3)They should come in two
4)Goats are active; get them toys to play on!
I hope this helps you dive into your goat experience a little bit more prepared. These little darlings at the very least will keep you entertained.
If you are at all interested, every one of these kids are for sale, feel free to reach out for details (5 doelings and 6 bucks which will be weathered before they leave)