Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Goat Plan

 I will never forget the night I brought my first goat (Archie, who has recently been renamed "that darn goat" ) home. He was just a little bitty thing and I was so thrilled and terrified at the same time. I remember calling my DD while we were riding home and having her do an internet search of baby goat feeding. Click here for the site she found that had all the answers.Talk about an impulse buy. We had NOTHING prepared for the buckling who turned my life around!
 But we had talked about getting goats "someday" and had a pretty good idea of what their purpose would be here. We already had enough pets and even though I believe that animal companionship is an awesome task for an animal, we had decided that any other critters we brought onto the place would have a different purpose.
 Our "Goat Plan" was-and still is- to have one buck (for breeding), one doe (for breeding and milk.) Now let me stop right here and explain that since there are only 2 people living here and one of those people is on the road 21-27 days out of every month, we don't need a lot of milk. In fact, the chickens appreciate that we often share our expired store milk with them. So one doe is the plan for now and we will add another if needed.
 Of course in order to get milk from a goat (just like any other mammal) she has to produce kids. So kids have to be in our goat plan. That is, for us, a double blessing. First, by having dam raised kids, the doe doesn't have to be milked as regularly. If I want to go on the road with DH for a day or two, I can. When I need a little milk for cereal or a cornbread, I can just make sure I've milked out that much in the couple of days before that. And any extra milk can be frozen and saved up for cheese making or creamed soups or..... Second, kids shortly after being weaned can be sent off to freezer camp.
 Ah ha! Now we've gotten down to the purpose of this long post. (It took me forever to get here but I finally made it-pshew!)  And let me tell you, I will never forget the look on your face when you read that sentence about freezer camp (I can see it in my mind.) If you are one of  my friends from the south or the west, you were just nodding along, in agreement, wondering what was the point of all this. And if you are one of my friends from the east or the north, your mouth dropped open in horror and you re-read it to make sure you didn't misunderstand the first time. That should answer the question for you south/west readers.
 So there it is in black and white er green. Sometimes homesteading is fascinating to people who don't live the same lifestyle. And sometimes it isn't. But for now, it is what we try to do and I wouldn't want it any other way!
 Oh, by the way, I didn't forget about the post of washing a goat's udder. Sanitation is the number one priority when dealing with raw milk!! It just turned out to be really boring! So I wrote this instead and got it off my chest. If you are looking for more info about that, click on that link above and dig around, you'll find it.

2 comments:

  1. I live in the west, but couldn't do it, sigh...

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  2. Nancy-I realized later how stereotypical this post sounded, hope it didn't offend anyone. It's just when we lived in the southwest, everyone KNEW about this kind of goat management-even if they couldn't do it :) Here in our neck of the woods, eating goat meat is practically unheard of.

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