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.
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....
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."
linking up with New Life on a Homestead Barn Hop