Saturday, December 12, 2009

Photo Phriday: Hot Date

Patsy and Edina are off on what, in the goat world, is considered a double date.

They don't mind the young fellow they went off to meet, but the inlaws are beastly.

I'm glad they still fit in the car, which saved me the trouble of building a stock box onto my trailer. I'm even gladder that neither decided to profane the (tarp covered) car.

Foster dog Barry White helped me load them.


  1. Ha! Dr. Patty Khuly took her goat to meet her Prince Charming in the back of an aging Lexus SUV. I kidded (!) PK that her surgeon BF didn't love her enough to put Tulip in the back of his sporty sedan.

  2. I envy you and your future supply of homegrown goat's milk!
    Here's my problem w/goats. I would love to have fresh goat's milk. So I would need to get a female and breed her. But then what to do with the offspring? I don't want a male goat (if the kid is male) and if female, then I'd have to breed her too. A potentially endless cycle of conflicts.

  3. The problem with buck goats is they stink!

    They have musk glands and they also pee all over their bodies, including their heads, which is a very interesting ritual to watch.

  4. Shirley, you sell the offspring.

    To keep guilty conflicts low, choose a breed that is in demand for pets. Nigerian dwarfs are a good choice for combo pet/home dairy, and good for small spaces and less serious fencing. Getting registered stock and breeding good registered stock also increases the value of the offspring.

    Keep at least two goats. (One goat is no goat at all. Actually, one goat is out of her pen eating your neighbor's prize roses.) Either a doe and a wether or two does. If you only need as much milk as one doe gives and you have two does, you could try to breed them on a staggered schedule so you have milk for much of the year. (Works best with the African breeds, who will breed out of season.) Or just don't breed one of the females. Or let them alternate years.

    You can pack them off to a breeder for stud service, as I've done, or go the AI route, as Dr. K tried at first.

    (Fair warning. When transporting goats in the back of a passenger vehicle, be prepared to be rear-ended by drivers who are staring at the goats instead of your brake lights.)

    I do not want a buck here because of the stench and additional management.

    Since mine aren't registered stock, but are mixed dairy breeds selected for production ability and sturdiness (offspring will have Saanen, Toggenberg, Nubian, and a little bit of Kiko meat goat in their mix) I'll be wethering any male offspring and handling them a lot, so that they will be suitable for pets and cart/pack goats. They will be big goats, so good for packing and carting. People like them for brush-clearing, too.

    I've found the goats to be remarkably little trouble. And unlike some goat keepers, I have arranged their housing so that they get handled twice a day without fail -- so I have made more work for myself than strictly necessary.

  5. Lee Valley Supply sells a really nifty heavy-duty tarp made to cover the back of a minivan or SUV. Suction cups and cords hold it to the windows and it wraps up the sides snugly.

    I used it to haul straw in the minivan and was thrilled to haul three full van loads (24 bales) and end up with only a few stray straws in the back.

    I'm sure it will prevent more than $30 damage to the van. I plan to haul dirt and manure in the spring.

  6. I once showed up for a group hike with my dog on the same day someone else brought her pack goat. It made for an interesting hike! My dogs aren't used to livestock, so I kept the one I had with me leashed and we had the goat bring up the rear.

  7. H,

    Where are you getting your info on training goats for carts?


  8. Dorene --

    This page has a link to a 4H cart goat booklet (PDF) that is pretty good:

    I love 4H materials because they assume the reader is starting from square one, so all the basic information is laid out there very plainly and clearly at about a 5th grade reading level. But they don't talk down, either.

    There is this magazine:

    This place sells carts and harness:

    And miracle of miracles, check this out:

    We don't have any immediate plans to cart with our goats, but if we ever keep any wethers, I'll train them to pack.

    Cart training is more problematic for us because our farm doesn't DO smooth and level. Though it would be kewl to do the Independence Day parade in a goat cart one day. Maybe with Pip in the driver's seat.

  9. Oh, and here you go:

  10. Ooooooo! This will keep me busy reading through all the rain. I'm 0 for 2 on farms -- we've made 2 offers and been turned down twice. But I'm getting approvals so I can do farm auctions in the Spring.

    Will get farm, will get goats and will be the Garlic Queen of Southeastern PA who can't have her land given away for political favors! :-P

    Thanks for the links.


  11. Don't forget the goat-powered cultivator!

  12. Good point Megan, I have one of those high-wheel cultivators.

    I think it will only work for pre-planting work in the garden, though, based on the girls' demonstrated ability to grab a nosh off my brussels sprouts when I am blinking.

    I'd either have to muzzle the ox that pulls the plow, which is, as we know, specifically verboten (may be the oldest recorded animal welfare law), or harness Rosie behind said goatie in order to bite their behinds when they goldbrick.

    Oh, and Dorene, for general goat information, the most comprehensive place on the web is this:

  13. I love The Fiasco Farm website. It's my main resource for all things goaty. My goats are fiber goats (pygoras) and all-purpose grass/brush mowers. When I first got them, I worried about all that could go wrong (bloat, various illnesses, etc.) The more I read, the more I worried. Definitely a case of TMI. The Husband was quick to remind me that goats haven't survived for millenia by being delicate animals. Our goats get handled multiple times a day since I find their fleece irresistable. They eagerly greet visitors to the Goatel, whether human or canine.

    XL varikennels are perfect for hauling an adulty pygora doe or 2 pygora kids. They also make nifty "dens" for goats that are so inclined.

    The Royal Caprine Court (Fergie, Di,Grace, Queen Mum)

  14. I have come back here three times to read teh follow-up comments. :)

  15. Gina, we've provided you with a caprine reading list that should keep you entertained for quite some time.

    I'd say "fill those long cold winter evenings" but you don't have those, now do you?

    I was going to refer to vicarious online caprinity as "goat p**n" but there are people who I do not want teh Googles to bring here, no matter how much it would goose my stat counter.

  16. Well, I'm set now for whatever winter can dish out!

    Just to goose the comments more -- we're looking at a 5 acre property on Saturday that was spun off from a horse farm, so it is level and smooth (how rare is THAT!!??!!), so now I'm looking at East Friesian Milk Sheep (Deutsches Friesisches Milchschaf) [got to give the German as a tip to my PA Dutch hertiage! :-D] since there doesn't appear to be any scrub!

    Off to find some good 4-H info on sheep raising!

    Thanks for the links!


  17. The back of my Durango was profaned by its contents yesterday... could I trade 9 puppies for 2 goats? Wait... I don't think I want to do that...


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