We thought we were tiptoeing into keeping goats but a good friend of mine threw us into the deep end! She brought us three new goats yesterday! We now have five goats and I guess that qualifies as a herd of dairy goats! All of them are French Alpine goats and very nice ones at that. Yes! Next year, if all goes right, we'll be able to offer goats milk to our customers. What a boon this will be to the lactate intolerant as goat's milk is often easier to digest.
Still, I know next to nothing about being a goatherd. My friend gave me a book about goats, a goat equipment catalog, lots of goat equipment, meds and instructions and told me that I had this, I'd do fine. I want very much to believe her. She showed us how to trim hooves and administer shots and drench meds orally. She showed us how to clip hair from the rear for milking. No, these goats are not in milk right now.. just preparing for the future. My friend will be my mentor in this new venture and I'm grateful to have her advice!
So.. let me introduce our tiny herd. This is Loveheart. He's the sole buck goat. We hope he'll be ready to do his job by December so that there will be goat babies in the spring. He's got a lovely heart on his head which is where his name came from. He's a very affectionate boy, but he's starting to 'get bucky' and soon he will need to be moved to a pen of his own, near the ladies but not with the ladies all the time.
This pretty girl is Starlight and she's a sweet little girl, too. She's also affectionate but would prefer that you showed up with a handful of grain, really. She readily comes to children for pets and treats and is a willing participant in all adventures. When she is allowed out of the pen, she gives happy leaps and climbs on everything she can.
This is MJ.. short for Mary Jane. I make no judgements. I didn't name her. lol She is very dominant and wary right now. She'll get used to us but for now, she's busy telling the other goats that she is in charge and she'll go first, thank you very much. I'm sure some sweet grain will bring her around to liking the humans on the farm soon.
This pretty little girl doesn't have a name yet. Her mother's name was Onyx, so we're looking to name her a gemstone related name. She's not as wary or shy as the bigger goats -- she's still young. When I hold my hand out, she's curious to see what I have but won't come all the way up to me yet. Patience will be key.
Finally, there is Fiesta. She's a little skinny and we shaved her tail. She's been ill, which is why most of the herd didn't show up until yesterday. My friend wanted to make sure she had recovered before she brought the rest to me. Fiesta will be treated with loving kindness and plenty of groceries to recover her weight and health completely.
When you come visit Windy Thistle, the goats are always on the tour, along with Henrietta the Turkey, our white leghorn flock - Roo Paul and his Queens and our mixed breed flock, Julius and his Ladies. Wander our paths, get away from the city and enjoy some peace and quiet!
Until next time, Stay safe and wear your mask! Stay Healthy!