Saturday, February 2, 2008

Three Nanny Goats Gruff

Meet Abbigail, Clara and Thacia. They are the start of our goat herd. They are percentage Boer meat goats and are all bred to a Kiko buck and due to kid in March or April. ( Boer and Kiko are both breeds of meat goats ) Why goats, you ask? Well.....because we didn't have any!

Actually, there is a better reason. Goats eat "browse". That is, shrubs, weeds, and brush. They don't eat much grass unless it is all that is available. They love pricker bushes, vines, poison ivy and baby cedar trees. Coincidentally, these are all things we don't like here on the farm. So, the goats have a job to do. First they have to give birth to twins, or maybe triplets! Then they have to get to work eating up all the undesireable growth in our thicket patches and woods. We're hoping the sheep and the llama will tag along. The pups, when grown, will accompany them and protect them all. Sounds like a plan, don't you think?


These three are quite friendly and eat out of our hands. We will keep any doelings that are born. The girls will show the bucklings who will be wethered (castrated) at the fair and then we will butcher them for the freezer. ( Oh, come on....goat is, pound for pound, the most consumed meat in the world! More then beef! It is tasty and nutritous and fairly cheap to produce. )

On this farm, we love our animals and treat them all with kindness, but we are also practical. We designate some animals as "pets." Seymore ( that HUGE Katadin meat sheep) is a pet and will never be butchered. The horses, llama and donkey of course, the Lionhead rabbits, the ducks and even some cows with special personalities will never be butchered. ( Okay, we might eat a male duck or two) But....we also need to eat and make some money. So, most cattle, any chicken, our market hogs, the Californian meat rabbits, and the wether goats are for production and consumtion. The girls are fine with it and are growing up with a respectful but realistic attitude about animals that we are very proud of.

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