We have been raising goats off and on for about eight years. Our first herd of livestock was Suffolk sheep. We learned a lot about caring for farm animals from them. Then we got up the nerve to try goats – milk goats- and milking. It has been a lot of learning, trial and error, and a lot of fun. So – here are our current ‘kids’ which are Nubian milk goats. We love the long ears and the temperament – most of the time.
One Stripe is our ‘old lady’ goat at 5 years of age. She is a wonderful mother and a great milker. She is unusual in that she is friendly with everyone, she seldom meets a stranger. She will be one goat that grows to old age here.
Velvet is One Stripe’s doe from 2012. Velvet had her first kid this spring, so she is a first-time milker. She is a dream to milk and has trained very quickly to the milking routine. Over the years I have become much better at training the does to milk without much kicking or fussing. It sure makes it easier on both of us. This is one case where experience really pays off.
Ivory is also a yearling from 2012. She had twins this spring and is doing well as a first-time milker. She loves to holler when we go to the barn, which we don’t find very amusing. We lead quiet, calm lives and appreciate animals with the same temperament.
Copper is One Stripe’s doe from this year. She loves Pearl, our Pyrenees. Copper was our ‘accident’ baby this year. We went up to the barn one day last August and the gate to the billy goat’s pasture was open and he was in with all of the does. We didn’t know if anyone was in heat and breeding, but we found out One Stripe was when she had Copper in January instead of March like we planned.
Here are Copper and One Stripe in the barn after a morning meal. Copper is growing well and will be ready to breed in November. Her first kids will be born next April. Since Copper was a single and the only baby goat we had in January she got to come in and play on the milk stand while I milked One Stripe. This allowed us to handle her a lot and has produced a very tame, sweet young doe. If all goes well, she will be with us for years to come.
We will continue to post more information about our daily routines with the goats. They are an important part of our lives and allow us to harvest pure, nutritional milk everyday. This in turn provides us with the opportunity to make cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream which will be part of our future posts.
If there are any questions we can address concerning benefits of raising milk goats, we will do our best to answer them.