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Goats…

Posted by --- on Friday 26 November, 2010

Yep you read it right. Goats. We’ve had goats! It was going to be just one, but researching it we’ve learnt that as goats are herd animals they need a companion. I’d decided that the breed I’d like was a golden guernsey goat. I like the look of these for several reasons:

  • Their size, not being too big
  • their milk supply, which is not as much as most
  • the fat content of the milk which is higher making it better form butter, yoghurt and cheese making,
  • I like how they look. many of them have longer fur
  • and finally because they are a rare breed.  keeping them and breeding responsibly from them we should help the breed.

Trying to find one wasn’t so easy. In the end we found two goatling in Wales, When we rang however there was only one left so then we needed to find her a companion and we needed one pretty fast.  We decided that our best bet would be a pygmy goat. We wanted a nanny in case we decided to breed from her in future. We made finding one more difficult by insisting it had to be dehorned (because the guernsey is and it is illegal to keep horned and dehorned, or disbudded, goats together) and wanting a nanny. I could buy numerous horned wethers – which is the name for a castrated male goat. In the end I tracked a lovely nanny goat in Barnsley that was just what we wanted. OHS went to collect it and fell in love with her sister who also has a kid that was born at the end of September so, he ended up bringing back all three and our golden is being collected tomorrow!

Now we’re on a steep learning curve, well I am. I’ve read tons of literature on goats. I have learned tons but books dont cover everything such as why the nanny keeps stopping her kid from suckling…. We’ve got their temporary housing and a pen set up. Hopefully we will have finished their final housing before long. This will be a 12 x 8 foot shed with a stall for living, a milking area, a food storage area and a kidding stall, They will also have a 20 footby 8 foot pen with a concrete floor plus access to grazing.  Right now, although basic and not as big, they have everything they need but they have come to live with us  just as the weather has turned really nasty; the water we’re putting in for them is freezing within an hour or so.  I’m hoping, once I’ve got teh hang of it, to expand my soap making to include goats milk recipes. I’m also looking forward to seeing if drinking goats milk has any positive effects on our health as both OHS and I suffer with gastric complaints. We would also need to get used to the taste. We did by goats milk from the supermarket but it was skimmed and wasn’t really a fair taste trial. I’ve read several times that it doesn’t taste any different from cows milk but we thought that it did. Only time will tell.

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