"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Thursday, April 4, 2013

May I Introduce...

Hello friends,

What a busy 2 1/2 weeks it's been! The goats are taking even more time than I had anticipated. It's a good thing I have re-enforcements: my children. I am so thankful for their willingness to help out and they love taking care of the goats. 
As I mentioned in my last post,  I was concerned about having the time to milk and care for the goats properly....long before they arrived.  We've never had livestock before...only chicken, turkeys, and ducks.

I wondered....
1 - Would I be able to actually care for livestock??
2 - What about trimming the hooves and giving shots?
3 - Not to mention milking twice aday??
4 - Won't they tie us down, and we won't be able to go anywhere??

1.Turns out, goats are very easy to care for. I have already had to treat a minor bloat  problem (with a homeopathic remedy). It was actually easy to treat and not that big of a deal.

2. I trimmed their hooves this week. Again, not a big deal as long as the goats are munching on grass. And I have a  friend  who will be showing me how to give shots when the need arises.

3. I can carve an extra 60 minutes out of my day to milk them. It's taken us awhile to get used to the actual milking mechanics, but we're getting faster and more efficient at it. 

4. We're basically home-bodies anyway, so "being tied down" (as people called it) isn't a big deal. We are planning to go to family Bible camp this summer, but our neighbors have volunteered to take care of the goats for us.

We are getting almost a gallon of milk every day. And last week, for the first time in 30+ years of marriage, we didn't buy need to buy milk at the grocery store. (Yippee!) We consider having the goats as one more small step toward becoming self-sustaining.  :) 

  And I use the milk in all my recipes and I have even made yogurt and pudding with it. I was concerned about whether or not the children would like the milk; all they have ever had is cow's milk. But I didn't need to be concerned - they love it.  Hubby does, too.

Now to introduce you to the newest residents on the farm....
...the Toggenbergs...

Helena, who is 4 years old, is on the left. She is calm, mellow, and behaves quite well on the the milking stand.
 Fiona, who is 5 years old,  is on the right. She is the feisty and aggressive one. She has to be the first to get to the hay and any other food that becomes available. She gets very impatient on the milking stand. So I'm working hard to be a very efficient milker.  I also purchased a hobble, which is a huge help.
Fiona and Helena are watching....and waiting for the children to come back from the treehouse.
Even though we don't have a watch dog, the goats do just as well; they don't miss a thing!
Fiona would like one extra-large order of sweet feed, please  :)
I was asked if we're going to use an electric milking machine. Nope. Ian is my milking machine.  :)
Asher feeding Darcy. (Boy, am I glad the bottle-feeding stage is over!
The 2 kids are not the offspring of either Helena or Fiona. So we had to bottle-feed them til they were 10 weeks old.)
Darcy is the calmer of the 2 kids, but she is still very rambunctious.


Natty and Duffy. Duffy is the "Tasmanian Devil" of the twins. She gets into, on top of, and out of everything. We also call her "Houdini". 



The kids will eat anything from Mimi's zipper....
...to the bark on the cedar posts.  :)


And they never seem to run out of energy.

We are enjoying our goat-herding adventure. It has been a big adjustment, but I am learning so much, and my children are, too. My husband is also learning alot, and has been my biggest cheerleader in this endeavor.

As I said, we're one step closer to becoming self-sustaining.

Lord willing, we'll eventually get there. It might take awhile, but that's ok; we're enjoying the journey. :)

Hope you all have a blessed week-end.

"She also rises while it is yet night, 
And provides food for her household, 
And a portion for her maidservants."
Proverbs 31:15


16 comments:

  1. Love to hear about your farm adventures and I enjoyed your daybook too. Just haven't had time to comment when I've visited. Love to you!

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    1. So glad you stopped by, dear friend. I visit you often too, but don't always have the time to comment. :)
      Love to you, too!

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  2. Amazing job!!! They are definitely a job!!! So happy for your family!

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  3. Replies
    1. They are soooo much fun, Kendra! Never a dull a moment - especially with the kids. :)

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  4. Wow Lisa! This is so exciting. I sooooo love my. Nigerian Dwarfs but if I were ever going to do a full size breed I would do Toggenbergs. They're so pretty! I'm glad you are loving them! Were sooooo excited for May goat babies to be born. We might have one doe due at the end of April. Time will tell :)
    Love all the pictures :)

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    1. Hi Nicole,
      We have friends who have Nigerian Dwarfs. They are adorable.
      Hope all goes well with your babies next month.
      And thanks for stopping by. :)

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  5. Congrats to you and your sweet family for taking on such a time-consuming task as goat herding! We remain a goatless farm, but I'm hoping to show my dh your posts as inspiration that we. can. do. it! Did you mention previously that you wanted to try cheese making? We have friends (the ones I hope to get goats from) who make cheese and all sorts of other delicious products from their goats' milk. So glad you are having fun with this endeavor, my friend. :) Blessings, ~Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa,
      You can do it! (If I can, believe me, anyone can!)
      We are going to try cheese making, hopefully next week - just need to get the starter. How blessed you are to have friends to help you get started on your goat herding journey. :)
      So glad you stopped by, dear friend.
      Have a wonderful Wednesday. :)

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  6. I just want some hens, just some little hens... but my hubby isn't convinced (yet) how we NEED some hens, lol! I would love to have fresh eggs:)

    The goats are so cute. Glad to read that you're finding it's not so hard tending to the goats after all.
    But, I can't imagine the milking time two times a day... I find it hard to water my garden that needs is daily second dose per day because of the HOT sunrays beating down on them here in Florida, lol!

    Those pictures of your kids and the goats are priceless!!!
    Really love the last one of the kids and the goats running along with each other!!
    Blessings & Fun to you and your household:)

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  7. Nice of you to stop by, Deanna. Oh, you would love hens! We get so much enjoyment from ours.
    Hope your day is blessed, my friend! :)

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  8. I loved this post! I am hoping to own my first dairy goats within the next few years, so it is nice to hear of the successes of others in the adventures of first-time goat ownership! :)

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    1. Hi Raven,
      It's so exciting to hear that you are getting dairy goats in the future! It's a wonderful experience. I am sure they will bring you lots of enjoyment, and lots of delicious milk. :)
      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Thanks so much for stopping by. I love to hear from my readers, and your thoughts are welcome. And I try my best to respond to each and every comment. :)