For my birthday Lindsey and her parents Ronnie and Jake surprised me by telling me they were going to get me goats! I had a fun night and day looking around, making calls, and checking the internet seeing the goats available in our area. These goats are the first ruminants we’ve got on the farm, and we look forward to them helping us reduce the weeds and brush that have been encroaching on the pastures and garden areas.
We decided to look at Boer goats since they are the most commonly available in our area. I looked around and asked around and most things indicated that some of the best Boer goats in our area come from Triple Holler Farm. We checked them out and ended up buying two of their young doelings. Lisa and Dan really love their goats and they were so patient with our questions (we had a lot of them since these are our first goats). They patiently and sometimes repeatedly answered our questions and told us about their goat operation. I learned that the goat block – a mineral and protein supplement that most animals out on pasture need – I had bought was a brand that their goats usually didn’t like. They told me the type they used and where to get, even tearing off a label from one so that we would wind up with the right product. Lisa and Dan didn’t even laugh too hard about the dog crates we are using to move animals around in until we can afford something different. At least the goats fit easily in them, although I think Lindsey wanted the little one to ride home on her lap.
Please allow me to introduce you to the goats…..
The 2 pictures above are the older doe. She was born 12.10.09 (hey hey Scott!), so she’s about 9 months old right now. I would guess that she weighs about 65-75 pounds right now, but that is strictly guessing. As you can see, she’s almost entirely red. She has a little white patch on the left side of her belly that you can’t see in these pictures.
And this is the young doeling. She’s less than 3 months old, being born on 6.12.10. She’s roughly half the size of the older doe, so probably 30-35 pounds at the most. Lindsey’s face just lit up when she saw this one playing and prancing around. She looks a little more like a “traditional” Boer goat except that her head isn’t as solid-colored as most.
Both of these goats are full-blooded Boers, and we got registration papers with them as well so that we can breed and sell registered goats in the future if we want to. The two we got are actually half-sisters, as they have the same sire. The older one has been doing a good job of playing big sister since they got here. She stands guard anytime something new makes a noise or moves, and the little one runs over to her whenever she needs reassurance. It’s pretty cute.
Right now they are in our backyard. We did that because it has a secure fence and is close to us and the house. We thought that would be best until the goats get settled in and they tame down around us a little so that moving them will be less stressful on everyone with less risk of “escape.” Once we get them to where they will follow us we’ll start rotating them around using portable electric fencing.
We had over a hundred step-in posts that the previous owners left. I bought some turbowire and a Gallagher solar fence energizer yesterday and set up a small paddock behind the yard for the goats to move into once they’ve reached their first goal of following us. There’s lots of browse in that area that we’d like the goats’ help in clearing out. Then we can rotate them through other areas as well, keeping the brush down, keeping the goats fed, and keeping them moving away from excrement and parasites.
Thank you Lindsey, Jake, and Ronnie!