I thought I would put up a quick post about our goats as a couple of people have had questions about them :-) We decided to go on this getting goats journey when there seemed to be no end in site to Jed's tube feedings. The only milk that he could stomach was goats milk. We have a friend who has goats that we were getting milk from. Goats are not like cows where you can continue milking them for a couple of years before they need to have another baby. Goats give birth late winter or early spring and start to dry up come fall time. Has anyone priced store bought goats milk? Expensive stuff! A huge chunk of our grocery bill was just going to Jed's homemade formula ingredients. We figured it would be cheaper to buy our own goats and milk them ourselves. So a little over a year ago we acquired our first two Nubian goats. Nubians and alpines are good milkers, Boers are good meat goats. There are other options out there, but these seem to be the main three.
Goats are pretty funny! I had no idea how much personality they had! We set up the area in our backyard for them. Jeremiah made a "barn" for them and the chickens, and we fenced it all in. Now, one year later our two goats have had babies of their own. Both babies are male. And here is where 'farm' life gets hard. Male goats are not something you just want to keep around. They get very, VERY smelly. The stink does not wash off! If you touch the goat, you will stink for some time to come. Plus they are a pain as it seems their only goal in life is to escape! We would prefer to give them to someone who just wants some goats to eat up the brush on their land. But if we don't find such a person, then we will sell them come next year for meat. Kind of sad when right now they are cute as a button. But we can't support more than a few goats in the set up we have. When we need our goats to kid again, we can borrow our friend's male goat.
Most of what I have learned about goats has come from my friend, or this web site. We are learning as we go. Jeremiah will be building a milking stand in the next couple of weeks. Then we will separate the babies from their mamas at night. That will leave the mamas full of milk come morning when we will then milk them. After milking we will let the babies out so that they will be able to nurse all day long.
The girls are very excited that they will soon be able to have goats milk. A couple of years ago they were able to drink it, before we learned that goats dry up in the winter. After that knowledge was learned we had to save all the extra milk in the freezer for winter time. So they have not been able to have any goats milk since that time. They love goats milk! Really it doesn't taste any different than cows milk.
I hope that answers any questions people may have about our goats. If not just ask away :-)