|Mervy and Marty, two of the triplets.|
An update on our little herd of goats! We've had goats a little over a year now, starting with our three Mamas: Goldie, Mabel and Chocolate arrived last June. We currently have a herd of ten - having added Daddy Randi in December and having seen the birth of six kids through May and June! What an adjustment it's been; the time has been full of laughs, joy and yes, quite a bit of frustration and worry! Being new goat keepers nothing is familiar, routine or 'to be expected'. You can read all you want and watch all the videos you can find, but the best lessons learned are the ones you experience!
Originally adding the three does to our routine was not at all a burden. We already had a pattern morning and night for feeding the chickens and we had, in previous years, had a small group of Berkshire pigs to care for each summer. We did not bring in pigs for the summer we added the goats - one thing at a time. When we added young Randi in December the Farmers Market season was over, the farm was quiet and he just went in with the does and was hardly a 'blip' on the work radar. There were times....like when the does were following Farmer Man around and figured out how to get on the roof of our house! We got into a nice rhythm of feeding, grooming and hoof trimming and all was well.
|Gaffer and Marty: less than two weeks apart in age, but|
being an only child gave Gaffer a weight advantage
from the beginning!
We're still learning lots, each and every day. Randi was very young when we brought him here: we both laughed when we first saw him and asked if he was old enough to 'do the job'! He obviously was, and has produced beautiful kids! Randi is a purebred registered Nubian goat; his father Buccaneer was recently declared on of the top ten bucks in Canada! Our newest experience is a buck in rut: Randi has decided it's mating season now, and he's already putting on his 'show'. Fall is officially mating season, as the days get shorter, and we have no intention of breeding the does again until October. This could be an interesting few months coming up! The mating rituals of male goats involves weird moaning noises, peeing on one's own face and producing lots of musky odors! I guess the does don't mind, but I'm not finding him as attractive these days! It's actually quite 'yucky' to pet him at this time, much to his consternation! He loves a good rub on the forehead but.....not happening right now!
|Marble, the third triplet, and the twins, grazing and nibbling|
on their favorite treat: willow branches!
Having baby goats around the farm has been extremely fun! It's made us very popular with friends and customers; we've become a bit of a destination! Hey, wait a minute, isn't that agri-tourism? Maybe we should have made some money at giving tours! Baby goats are just a hoot - they run and jump and climb and then 'zoom' over to see how you are. Especially the triplets, bottle-fed from birth, are just like pet dogs, although they're getting a little big for our laps now! And soon, now that we're getting extra milk - some serious soap making is going to go on around here! Once we get caught up in the vegetable gardens.......so maybe October for that soap making!