Ok, now for the goats post.. I'd always had a passing interest with goats.. I mean, they're animals.. Of course I'm going to be interested.. My interest took on a new life when I realized I could do the mini farm thing.. I then started researching breeds and found the kinders which are a meat and milk breed.. There's the multipurpose thing I love so much..
Of course, I didn't have $300 for a really nice doe.. The kinder website suggests maybe leasing or borrowing a doe.. So on a whim I put on a local goat forum that I was looking to exchange the use of a doe for some farm work.. I'd never worked on a farm but figured this would be the perfect way to get some hands on experience which is the way I learn the best.. A lady about a half an hour responded saying she didn't have a doe I could use but she'd pay me for my work.. Good enough.. That would help pay some of the bills around here..
After a couple of weeks working there they offered me Blue Bell.. (Click on the pic for a bigger image..) She's half mini-nubian and half purebred nubian.. Wouldn't work for my kinder herd but would be a good start on providing milk for the family.. Only thing was that she'd never been bred before so they didn't know how well she'd milk.. But her mom had milked well and her dad had excellent milkers in his background so she should provide us with plenty of milk..
As the months went on and the economy got worse, they informed me that they could no longer pay me but offered me two american nubian does instead in exchange for my work.. Primadonna and Blue Velvet.. I was of course delighted.. Not only something to start my kinder herd with but my own does.. The only problem was that the two does are CAE positive and I really want to start my kinder herd without that.. So all three does have been bred to a couple of their spotted bucks that I'd admired.. And the two bucks are sweethearts so that's always a big plus.. Blue Bell was bred to Leprechaun and the other two were bred to Patrick.. Patrick and Leprechaun were born on St. Patrick's Day.. = )
So anyway, I'm going to have nubian babies to start with.. I'll bottle raise them on CAE free or pasturized or even cow's milk from the store.. Then I'll pick a couple of the nicest doelings out of Prima's and Velvet's babies (hopefully with spots) and sell or butcher the rest.. If I get a really really excellent buckling I might keep him too.. But that's a slim chance I'll get something that outstanding.. But Prima and Velvet are beautiful girls and the spotted bucks are awesome purebreds.. So you never know..
After the doelings I pick are big enough to breed, I'll find a nice pygmy buck (or two) to bring home.. Then the kinders start! The first 4 generations will be registered as a merit, which is recognizing them as the start of your kinder herd.. Then the fifth generation is actually registered as kinders.. I'll have to registered the kinders as mixed or experimental with the ADGA since they don't recognize kinders as an actual breed yet..
Anyway, after I worked off my girls, I worked there for another month and they paid me so I could get the fencing and stuff done.. Now everything is done and ready and we just need to get them home.. I plan on renting a Uhaul cargo van.. But of course money is stalling that.. Bills have to be paid first.. For now the fenced in goat yard is being used as an occasional dog run..
Here is what I started with for the goat shelter and yard.. Yes, very overgrown and used as a junk pile.. It took a lot of work to get that all cleaned up.. We just never had much use for it before except for the junk.. Of course, now that it is cleaned off the kids have been playing basketball and such on it.. If I'd known they would do that I would have cleaned it off long ago..
And here's a shot of the back yard after we moved in here.. The black willows didn't grow in until later.. We didn't plant them.. They just appeared on their own..
And here is the goat shelter and fenced area now..
But anyway(again), I guess that's it for now on the goats.. I was hoping to have pics of them in their new home by now.. But we'll get there eventually.. Even if I have to bring them home in my little Ford Festiva hatchback.. Can you just imagine three full grown does in a little hatchback? You wouldn't believe what I've transported in that car before.. The biggest thing would probably be a couch.. We've had some trouble with her, but for the most part she just keeps on going.. Much to be said about the little economy cars that are built to just be run to death..