Twelve years ago, when we first decided that we wanted to live life out of the fast lane, we wrote down our 'want list'. On that list was everything we could think of that we'd want on a small farm. Chickens were part of it from the start and we've had some kind of flock ever since. The bees were on that list and now we have four hives. Goats were on the list and we dreamed about a small milk herd but pricing equipment, meds and the needs of larger animals had us a little fearful.
The universe works at it's own pace though and so a friend of ours, a goat farmer, remembered us when it came time for her to retire. Graciously, and with more generosity than I ever imagined, she sold us her prize Nubian Doe as well as two purebred Alpine Kids. She also gifted us with feed, hay, meds and all the essential equipment needed, including a milking stand! We are all so grateful - words do not adequately express how we feel.
We had a week to prepare a paddock for the goats, so we got some goat fencing, fence posts and got to work carving out a piece of the lower meadow. It's a lovely spot, with three mature walnut trees providing lots of shade and the paddock has a lot of plants that are not grass, so the goats have lots to browse on. My Darling and Boyo put together a goat shed faster than I imagined they could, built the fence and gate and set it all up. My heroes.
The Nubian, Onyx, is a proven milker and a good dam, she's had two pregnancies before and did well, so we're hoping she will do well here. She came to us a little under the weather and my first lesson in goat care was giving her meds. She's still not happy but it's only been two days, so we'll give her a little time. She is eating and drinking and I always consider that a win with livestock.
The two kids are just as charming as you could ever ask for. They were 'bottle babies' and so look to humans for food. They've been weaned but are still affectionate and friendly.
Making these little kids friendly and sweet takes a little work. There is currying to be done, touching, petting, talking to, teaching to walk on a lead and good goat manners. We have two Grandgirls this summer and so domesticating these little kids is a chore the little girls want to do and consider a privilege.
There is a male goat who is white with a lovely heart shape on his forehead. Naming of this goat came to our youngest summer resident Grandgirl #2. She named him "Loveheart" and calls him "lovey" for short. She's only 7 and says he's almost as good as a pony. She's quite enamored and is frequently asking for permission to go visit the goats.
The little female that will become the main doe of our herd is a really pretty charcoal gray lady. Grandgirl #1 received the pleasure of naming her and "Starlight" was the choice. She calls her "Star" for short because she's going to be the star of the farm. Grandgirl #1 is thrilled to be a part of it. She is 9 and ready for a little more responsibility than her sister, so she'll help feeding and watering, too.
We're so pleased to add goats to our menagerie. Now, we've got one more pen to build and that will be a rabbit warren. We always have plans for the future with several different projects in progress at any given time. Our market baskets are now available with all that is fresh week by week. I love the summer time growing season here. Let me know what you love about your summer in the comments.
As always, watching the wildlife around Windy Thistle is a treat that we love to share! I hope folks will be visiting again, soon. Until then - Be Well, Be Safe!