20-30 min old!

We now have two new baby goat kids! Our Gabby was pregnant when we got her in late April…or was it early May, anyways, we weren’t really sure how far along, or if she was pregnant at all when we got her. But she started getting wider as the days went on and we were sure she was pregnant. We just didn’t know when the kids were due. We started seeing some signs that she was getting close. She started moving slower, the area under her tail started protruding out and she was laying down a lot more. But a day or two before she had the kids, she was as lively as ever. So we figured she still had a ways to go.

Yumm!

Yumm!

I was out in the garden on Friday night picking lettuce and kale for dinner. I had been out there for about 10 minutes and I heard this loud high pitch balling. I knew it wasn’t one of the four goats. So I ran up to the pen and saw Gabby with her two new little ones! I was SOOOO excited to go and tell my boys. I ran to the house and shouted for Charles to come out and see the new babies. He popped off the couch so fast and ran to get his shoes on. I think he was just as excited, if not more so, as I was. Keep reading


OK, I am making slow progress on my goat situation, but quite speedy unforeseen progress on the chicken side of things. I was hoping to have our goats by now, but as things come along life’s road, priorities change. We still have 2 goats reserved for us. I just need to get the time to put up the fencing!

As for the chickens, I came hoe one day to see that my wife had bought two baby chicks! Things went well and they were growing. Friends gave us some necessities, like the mason jar caps that you can use for waterers and feeders. That was a big help in keeping things clean. They got to a point where they had all their feathers and were hanging out freely in the yard. Chubby (our dog) was always on a line or inside when the chicks were out. There were a few times when the chicks were in the cage that he got a chance to run around the cage and get them in a frenzy. I cant blame him, he’s a bird dog!

Well, one day, our back deck door didn’t shut all the way, the wind blew it open, we were taking a nap, and Chubby had a golden opportunity! We woke to realize what had taken place and found the chicks. Chubbs didn’t eat them, just played with them too hard. I knelt over one and Chubby stayed away knowing he had been bad….but I would hate for this to carry over  in the field when hunting for pheasant!!

So the need for a coop suddenly went high in the priority list. We were also given two older chickens by friends of ours. One is a young white rooster and the other an older red/brown hen. We decided to keep them in the future goat shed. I made a perch for them which they love. And I started building a coop on the side of the shed. So far so good. At night they make their way back to the perch and I close the shed up, then open it in the morning. The hen was laying an egg every other day at our friends place but she hasn’t here yet. We  filled a wagon up with grass clippings in the shed hoping she would nest there. So far she has no interest.

Happy Chickens

Happy Chickens

Coop framed

Coop framed

Chickens on the perch

Chickens on the perch


The days are getting closer to when we have our own goats. As stated in another post, we have decided to go the pet/meat path for now instead of dairy goats. I know goats shouldn’t be seen as pets  and meat at the same time. But my goal is to have meat goats…but for now may be considered pets. I don’t think at first that I will be able to do the butchering. I think it might be easier to take them somewhere.  I think it will be too easy to get attached to only two or three goats as apposed to many.

So in preparation we have measured out  a 100′ by 100′ enclosure which will include our old metal shed. The roof on the shed had holes  rusted through it and holes in the plywood. Last night we cleaned out the shed and I ripped off and replaced the roof with some leftover metal roofing I had from our house re-roofing project. Everything went real easy and quickly.

Shed roof repair

Shed roof repair

I also started weed whacking around the perimeter of the area we are going to fence so that installing the fence will be easy.

Our next steps will be making a better floor in the shed for the goats and then purchasing the fence and fencer. We were going to go with the electric netting fence, which is quite expensive. But we talked with a friend of ours who suggested that we use 4 strands of 9-wire electric fence and get a mature goat along with one or two that are still young. So the older goat will be familiar with electric wire fence and also know how to graze.

This route will be much less expensive and allow us to expand our pasture area over time.

Some our pasture

Some our pasture


This was used from www.sheepsheep.com

(The above picture was used from http://www.sheepsheep.com)

If you have been following this blog, you’ve noticed that we like to keep busy. Between two children under 3yrs old, an energetic dog and restoring an old house, we keep busy. We are either rushing to visit friends, driving downstate, working on the house, or taking time to be together as a family.

Our latest idea/project is to raise goats. We have mulled this over for some time now. We have a few friends that currently raise goats and we have made visits and talked with them about the pros and cons of raising goats. Many of our friends have a family cow and maybe a few beef grazing around. Seeing firsthand the benefits of raising such an animal is inspiring, but when you only have 1.3 acres, there’s not much you can do but continue to watch. That’s when the idea of goats seemed to just pop in my head. I found out that you can raise them for meat or for dairy, and they are quite tasty providers of both! Also their size is a lot more convenient for those without large tracts of land. We are currently looking into Nubians and Boer goats.

I must say though that we did get permission to use an adjoining 1.5 acres to our land. This has really been the green light we needed to start looking a bit more seriously. Otherwise, I’m not so sure how it would go, if at all. If you look at some of my past posts of our home, you will see that on the hill side above our house was used for steer a few years ago. It is now perfect goat pasture. Lots of brushy stuff, and lots of grass along with fully grown shade trees.

Showing the pasture behind the house.

We also have a temporary shelter for goats until I can build or purchase something more convenient. Its our old metal shed. It already sits right next to the adjoining land, so that works well.

Our shed right next to the pasutre already.

Our shed right next to the pasutre already.

The next thing we will need to do is work on fencing. Figuring out what kind and how much. I’ll keep you up to date as things progress!