Goats- Our Beginning

Upon coming to the country from the city, we had decided we wanted to raise goats. Now, that’s not so far-fetched for me considering I have had an Ostrich Farm in the past; so goats that should be easy.

We did our research (we thought we knew enough) and went about the business of buying meat goats, Boer goats to be exact.We don’t do much of anything half way so 50 does (female goats), 2 bucks (male goats) and 5 LGD (livestock guard dogs) came to live at the farm.

Jim (of C & J) still traveled out of the country a lot at this time.We were in the goat business and going to have a bunch of kids (baby goats). Events unfolded. Who knew goats can get out of 4” spaces in the fencing? They were docile (except for the bucks). There is a lot of illness, worms, not to mention birthing problems.

Goats are interesting and complex animals. Contrary to popular belief, they do not eat anything.

Move months into our goat adventure – we learned an immense amount about their diet, the illnesses and how to help with birthing. It’s common for goats to have two kids at a time.The next big learning came while Jim was traveling for 2 weeks. I would sit out on my porch daily and watch the goats. I really did enjoy being with them. I named some of them and would mingle with them daily while feeding, watering and just making sure they were all ok. It was a daily routine to free a goat hung up in the fence by its horns.

Back to while sitting on the porch… I saw a goat go into labor. (I got really good at being able to tell when a doe was going to kid.) We had separate pens set up in the barn where I liked to put the doe until kidding had happened and I knew the kid had nursed. So, I got up and helped her to the pen in the barn.Over the next couple of days, this became a routine; I was seeing does going into labor right and left.Most are kidding fine but now I’m getting concerned… I realized all the does in the pasture together had become pregnant about the same time. Who knew that could happen?

I called a family friend to come stay with me because I was thinking things were about to get out of control. It did! I had two to four does kidding daily. Some having twins as expected, but some having triplets and even quadruplets.We worked for days. Helping does having trouble with delivery (4 is uncommon), having to bottle feed babies because a single doe was having 3 and 4 kids at a time.Unfortunately, 3 -4 kids is normally too many for a doe to feed.

We in the barn down on our knees watching these babies to ensure they are nursing and working to determine which ones will be bottle fed.Within 10 to 14 days all fifty does had given birth. Unbelievable!!!!

By the time Jim got home. I had decided we would sell ALL of the goats we had and start over. He didn’t argue because he had listened to me every day for two weeks.Then we had the best experience ever when we purchased our Black and Spotted Boers and had a herd of 12. They were young, beautiful, healthy and manageable. It was a great learning experience for the years we had goats. We had great success after learning so much the hard way.

Now we have one Black Boer doe who is a pet named Ebony and two Nubian Dairy goats, Goldie and Silver. All of which are delightful.

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