Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cart before the Goat?

I'm getting ahead of myself.  I had originally intended to learn small skills and work my way up to the bigger stuff.  But the heart wants what the heart wants and apparently the heart wanted goats!  Part of the push to get goats started because for the last two years I've observed a certain pattern on craigslist.  Come the fall, people start to sell off their extra livestock for cheap.  I have no proof of my theory, but I'm figuring that as people start to evaluate their winter feed needs, they start to liquidate their surplus animals.  I wanted to get in on this trend this year instead of next.  I had made arrangements to rent pasture in the prairie about 20 minutes away by bike/3 minutes by car.  I'm starting out with a 112' x 70' spot.  For the time being, the temporary pen is 25' x 8'.  I'm pretty proud of myself on the construction of the goat house.  Most of the materials used were free for the taking.  The base is free pallets from my husband's work, then 5 bales of straw ($3.50 each) form the lower walls and the top half is an old metal truck canopy.  There are windows and a flip up door.  The whole thing is waterproofed with free billboard tarps.

I've started with 3 goats.  I got the cute little mini togg(Nigerian/Toggenburg) doeling above for $60, $75 each for two sister doelings that are half Nigerian, and a quarter each Lamancha and Oberhasli.   For the time being, I'm just going to learn the skill of keeping livestock alive over the winter.  Once I have mastered that skill, on to breeding, kidding and milking!

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