Friday, May 27, 2011

Goatville, Population Two

Ever since we moved on to this property a year ago, we've been thinking about how we can best make use of our back acre of land. Our long-term dream is to be as self-sustaining as we can stand, and to use many of the ideas from The Backyard Homestead by having a garden, an orchard, and varoius livestock. So far we're doing well in the produce category. However, since I never had so ouch as a hamster as a child, I was nervous about venturing into the area of living things. But this week we finally took the plunge and got some goats! Meet our girls Daisy and Swingtail (or Swing for short), three month old Nubian/Oberhasli mixes.

These girls are the sweetest things. They were a bit skittish when we first brought them home, but now they run to us and follow us around like puppies and bleat at us mournfully when we walk away from their pen.

The pen that Mark built for the goats.

The goats' house, which Mark slapped together in a few hours using remnants from the compound. This is where the girls sleep at night to keep safe from predators.

"Swingtail", or "Swing" for short - Tommy's goat. He named her all by himself. The irony is that Swing's tail doesn't actually swing very much. Daisy is much more affectionate and even the slightest touch make sheer tail swish with excitement.

"Daisy", Benji's goat. She's a sweet girl who loves to nuzzle and play with us.

So far the goats' purpose is to be pets and to eat down some of our weeds. We're still deciding whether we want to milk them sometime in the future. Having a supply of fresh, raw goat's milk to make cheese and yogurt with sounds great, but milking a goat once or twice a day and figuring out what to do with a quart of milk a day sounds daunting at this point.

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