Our Care of Goats
We keep our milking does for their natural lifespan. Unlike more efficient farms, we don’t “cull” them when their production drops or their “usefulness” to us wanes. We keep the newborns with the does for at least the first month; after that, the kids sleep together at night separate from the does, so we get the morning milk. You should see the sight of the kids streaming out the gate to rejoin and rapturously nurse their moms every morning! They nurse their moms until she weans them – sometimes yearlings are still at it!
We keep our herd small so that we can love each goat and take good care of them. They trust and love us back. We always try to find good homes for our young goats if we have to sell them. Having too many kids would make this tough, which keeps me in check every spring when I want to keep all of the adorable kids. They grow up and multiply! We don’t sell our goats for butchering. We love selling kids to new goat keepers, and joyfully teach and assist them in caring for their goat family. Some of the questions are so fun, like 10 yr. old Emily, who took on goat keeping for a home-school project. “I think my newborn kid is biting his nails!” (hooves)
We have had very little disease or illness over the years. We try to use natural healing methods and rarely use an antibiotic. We use an herbal wormer weekly and we feed a balanced program of minerals. We always seek wholesome ways to heal. At times we’ve even had to splint little crooked legs on newborns and a couple broken bones, but they’ve always healed so wonderfully. I am so grateful for the awesome healing ability created within us.
Our goats have a well-rounded, healthy diet. They eat alfalfa and oat hay and graze our sunny pastures. Goats are very similar to deer and prefer to browse the wooded hillsides. Ours are like mountain goats climbing and munching acorns and live oaks, poison oak and wild berries. They love leftover organic veggies and fruits from Live Earth Farm. Our milking does’ diets are supplemented with a grain mix for added protein. For lunch every day they nearly inhale their barley mash from a local brewery.