A long-ago promised post on the little bit of animal husbandry that Farmer D and I have been attempting for the past year!
Soon after we settled in on Bee Branch, Dad handed over his little goat herd to us, realizing that we had time to do what he no longer could (in much the same way we ended up with our lovely lady laying hens). So we found ourselves with around twenty Boer goats of mixed health and breeding. While D and I (but mostly D) brought considerable gardening and food preservation experience to our little Bee Branch homestead, we have had to learn about goat husbandry as we go, getting tips from Dad and books and learning many lessons the hard way.
Now don’t let these adorable pictures fool you. Goat work is smelly, expensive, and often heartbreaking. There is nothing more vile than a big Billy who wants to get it on. I saw one especially virile male peeing into his own mouth with apparent glee. No joke. Drinking his own urine. Nasty. And last winter we spent our nights and days bottle-feeding three little runts only to have two them die months later after they had been weaned. So frustrating!
I have come to believe it is something of a calling, one that D has and I lack. Take the simple differences in our approaches:
D’s goat-time = Gather their food and water. Clean their eating and drinking area. Dispense food and water. Stand and watch them for as long as possible. Pet them.
Dora’s goat-time = Throw down the food, tip off the water and scurry out of that poopy place as soon as possible.
If anything this experience has further affirmed our dream lifestyle: Dora bread-winning and D bread-making. (Good one, huh?) But wait, if Derrick makes the bread, then what would you call me? The items-we-want-and-can’t grow-or-make-winner? Yeah! I am the netflix-winner. I am the dark-chocolate-winner…ok, you get it…
Anyway, until this gal gets a job, it is more animal work for me! (Sorry goats…)