Our happy goats give healthy milk!
I love to drink raw goats milk. I love cheese, I love butter. I love the soap made from goats milk. I have been thinking for years that I may have to get goats for my own family use. Once I met some great goat mentors then I was able to summon the courage to get a few dairy goats. I asked a lot of questions and spent a lot of time researching dairy goats. The year of 2014 is going to see me own a few girls and I hope my experience with dairy goats is better than my past experience with brush eaters we had more than 25 years ago.
Purchased are my first 2 Nubian does and an Alpine doeling. All will hopefully be bred this year and start my small herd of dairy goats. At this point this is all I want but maybe much later, as I may see the need, I may add a Nigerian Dwarf. But I am hoping these 3 girls will be all I will ever need.
This page will be here to show my journey and share links that have helped me. Stay tuned for photos of my new girls and my successes and failures along a new adventure. And I want to thank my husband for creating this lovely background for my page!
The first thing I have to do is fence in my front pasture where all the blackberry brambles and self started trees are taking over. My farm is totally fenced in but the goats will get fields fenced in different sections so I can rotate them around and keep some of the trees and brush from trying to take over the farm.
I am not sure how much they will eat but having it bush hogged every year or letting the woods get too thick with brush has certianly cost me money. Maybe the girls can enjoy the grazing while I enjoy the milk. That is my plan, anyway.
This was my first purchase of a doeling. I was so happy for Puddin' to finally be born! Sadly, I found Alpines are not the breed for me. Nubian and Nigerians have been the better choice for my farm.
Izabela and Sophia are my next girls.
I think I know who the clown is already.
To start with the Nubian girls were living in the peacock pen, since I had yet to ever get the peafowl home. They are pretty frightened of the big white monster that roams the farm.
My adorable Puddin girl! She is growing so quickly.
The first year of my adventure is coming to a close. I will begin a new page for the continuing journey in 2015.
Stayed tuned for more photos of the girls and boys, as we grow and learn together.
Since Jolie is getting some age on her I decided to add another Livestock Guardian Dog to our farm. In May I brought in a Great Pyrenees/Anatolian mixed and named him Axel.
Axel's first meeting with the girls did not go so well. They may not have yet warmed to the big white monster but the little fluff ball wasn't much better!
In time they will come to tolerate him but it is interesting to see them act goofy over what I know is a puppy and they think is a goat eating demon.
The goat walk. I am slowly adding toys to their paddock.
They seldom go in the shed but it is there for them. My handy work was not at it's best when I made this but it does the trick.
Puddin's first meeting with Axel. Not bad. She is much less frightened of him than the Nubians but she saw and heard dogs from where she was born on the farm.
A lovely Alpine. She is a real sweetheart!
The girls meet and form a new herd. I am growing and learning.
Update: I caved to the cuteness of a Nigerian Dwarf.
SS: ++*B SGCH Kismet Ryde The 8 Spot
Sire: *B Kismet 8 Spot Going Komando
SD: GCH Kismet Rumour Kameo 5*M
DS: CH J-Nels KR Sugar Daddy
Dam: Deep Creek SD Charlotte
DD: Deep Creek NT Carmella
I had wanted a Nigerian Dwarf at the very start of goats because of the rich butter fat. However, they have a whole different set of problems than some of the other goats so I backed away from them. Now that my confidence is a little higher, I decided that breeding IN Nigerian blood lines might be the better option for me.
SS: TX Twin Creeks PKM Avatar *S
Sire: Dragonfly AV Royal Warrant
SD: Dragonfly HFX Yggdrasill (EVEV 89)
DS: Sugar Valley Farm Stud Muffin
Dam: Arcadia Acres Cocoa
DD: Milky Whey's Blueberry
As my desire for plenty of breeding options and my desire for more of the grass and browse to be eaten down, I obtained more goats. I found the longer the year goes on, the more goats were available. This has helped to feed my addiction!
This handsome fella came from Gypsy Moon Nigerians. He was too large to show but I am happy with his size since I will be crossing to the standard size goats. He comes from great milking lines and I am very pleased with him.
With Spicey came a wether named Bob. Wethers are practical in many ways and I hope Bob will be useful for helping eat down the weeds and company for places where I may only have one goat.
Bob has accepted the challenge to eat as much as he can to stay fit and happy. I think he is a bit put out because I am not giving him grain though.
For those that do not visit my FaceBook page, here is a cute friendship I will add to my website.
Java and his best buddy, a Guinea named Friend.
Ears!!! I love the Nubian ears. But there is more to the Nubian that attracts me. The higher butterfat in their milk than most standard size goats and the laid back disposition.
My original plan and one I hope to get arranged, is for this to be the buck paddock. Right now it is the best fenced place I have on the farm but I am working on the front pasture for my does to have for themselves.
I saw a few girls advertised for sale locally and fell in love with their photos. Behold, I have 2 new Nubian girls! They are marvelous and I am excited. My small herd is growing.
This little 3 month old is sweet and charming and loveable. I love her laid back, carefree attitude.
I named her Pepper.
She will be registered Spicewood Pepper Berry.
SS: The Bee Branch Garrett M
Sire: The Bee Branch Cocoa's Galahad
SD: The Bee Branch Apache's Cocoa
DS: Beaver-Dam Dashing Dave
Dam: Spicewood Cocoa Bean
DD: Spicewood Poppy Seed
The 2014 breeding season is coming up soon. I will try to get my girls bred in Oct and November, as they cycle. Stay tuned to see who I pair up with whom and how it all works out. With 4 girls and 2 boys, this is going to be interesting. I have barely even begun to think of the possibilities.
One thing I have found out about goats, they love to waste hay as much as my horses did. Fortunately I have found a barrel feeder to work well and Java is pretty good with his bag feeder.
I will be making a barrel feeder for the girls later on, too. Right now they won't eat hay with all the grass and forage they have for grazing.
The boys were well in rut in Sept. They were blubbering at the girls and each other. It was hilarious for a first time goat breeder!
Keeping Bob in with them was excellent since he would let me know when a doe was coming into heat. As if I could not tell from all the tail wagging later on but he let me know a day ahead of time and was a great help for the breeding season.
Breeding girls need their nutrition. They get very little grain each day and manage to spill most of it on the ground for the Guineas to clean up. Chaffhaye is the largest amount I feed them. Before breeding I also gave them Selenium and Vit E, checked fecal's and dewormed accordingly.
Pretty Puddin', my Alpine dearling. She has been bred to Spicey for a late March delivery.
The lovely and distant Sophia was bred to the little Java man for a late March delivery. Simply amazing how easily they are led to the breeding pen when they normally do not want to be touched.
And little Pepper, well, she was going to be bred with the rest of them but her size and weight were not enough that I warranted having her bred so maybe in December I can announce her due date if I feel she is big enough. She has cycled again since the other girls had been bred and they did not cycle so she is still receptive as of the end of Nov.
Puddin' has been sold Aug 2015 to a loving Alpine home in GA. I know they and she will be very happy!
Dixie's Ellis Farms Java (pending)
He was a little mite but just so gorgeous that I had to get him. His dam and his background in milk producers was satisfactory for me to start out with in my breeding program.
Friend came to me because he was being raised in a home with a Silkie. Friend was a few months old and had no idea about farm life. He had not been outside to know what the outdoors was like and my Guineas would not tolerate him so I put him in the enclosure with Java.
I had hoped that he would see the other Guineas and become a part of their group but he didn't. He stayed with Java constantly. They ate together, slept together and had a great bond for the long hot summer.
There is more on my page Goats 2015 about Friend after you read this page.
Unfortunately, I lost Izabela a few months after getting her.
Puddin' was sold, August 2015. Her disposition did not fit our farm.
Sophia has matured into a great beauty and in 2016 she has become a fabulous milker. I have 2 daughters out of her. Follow these next few goat pages for our adventure!
The bag feeder is great for temporary situations but most of my goats just waste the hay from it. Java was much better with it than any others.