The season of goats

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I heard a Neil Diamond song the other day and it reminded me of when we had goats. It always does. (I’ll get to ‘why’ in a minute.) So I was inspired to write this post in memory of Spot and Bluebell.

It all started with a visit to the zoo. There was a big round pen with pygmy goats in it. You couldn’t reach in and pet or play with them but they amazing to watch none the less. We went off and looked at everything else in the zoo but then found ourselves back at the goat pen…taking pictures!

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Those goofy goats never left the back of our minds. So when we were exploring how to get our hands on raw milk, the discussion really came up.

I was a stay at home mama of 4 kids (the human kind). My youngest 2 were growing up and Mr. Evolving was away 14 hrs a day for his job. I had been obsessed with evolving my knowledge in the kitchen. (Think, Nourishing Traditions) Naturally, I needed to introduce raw milk into our diet. So I had a few reasons for needing goats. (I can justify anything 🙂 )

  1. We were going to have to produce our own milk. Since we actually lived in town limits, cows were out of the question. But who’s to notice a couple of sweet pygmys??!
  2. I was bored. Even though I made a huge garden that year.
  3. I didn’t want to mow the lawn. With Mr. gone long days and even some weekends, who wanted the hassle.
  4. We had a wooded area to clear of weeds and grass. You know, for mice control.
  5. Maybe they make good pets and manure is a always a bonus!

We went to pick up a breeding pair and for some reason came home with a young male who wasn’t even old enough to breed and a female that had kidded previously. So we would just have to wait for nature to take it’s course…..including puberty? which took way longer than expected. In the mean time, we were pretty proud of ourselves for ‘rescuing’ those poor goats. The conditions of the farm were a little shocking to us. We were disappointed at the garbage strewn everywhere and then shocked when we discovered dead chickens laying around on the ground. Not that the goats were treated badly, but we felt good about taking them home as our new pets.

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Well we waited for Spot to grow, and he just didn’t. He measured in at a tiny 18 inches and stayed that way. She was 22 inches tall. Not really a match made in heaven, plus he wasn’t ‘maturing’. lol So we had a couple of really great eating machines!! We built them an awesome pen and little house. They had fresh straw and I had a great supply of manure. I learned how to trim their hooves from a homesteading magazine and even made them their own apple cider vinegar cause I heard it was good to put in their water. Our back bush area got cleaned up really nice and they even ate the thistles down to the stalk, so much so, that I was able to go grab and pull them out barehanded.

 

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I bet you’re wondering about this Neil Diamond thing, huh?! Well… sometimes the goats would get a little ornery and loud. So we would play them Neil Diamond and they would calm down. lol

Great memories 🙂

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Bluebell was the worst. If she caught me peeking out the window at her while she in the pen, she would start yelling at me. As winter started setting in, we were feeding them hay inside their pen. They would each get a pile, but that wasn’t good enough for her. She would bunt little spot out of the way and go in on his pile. No matter how many piles you put out or give to spot, there she was. It was getting frustrating and we were feeling really bad for poor spot. He was always such a sweetheart. And she was too at first. It just seemed like the wrong thing to do to keep them together in the pen all winter. We were able to find a farm for them where Spot would breed with other pygmy’s his size. And Bluebell would be with bigger goats that would put her in her place. We were thrilled for them. It was bitter sweet. But we knew it was best for both of them.

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We sold the house in spring and moved on. Every now and then I would find a shoe or piece of clothing that held even the slightest hint of their scent. I reveled in that moment hoping we would again have goats. They left a huge impact on me and I’ve been obsessed with all things goat ever since. I wonder if I could feel that way about chickens!? baahaha. Some how I doubt it, I’m not a real bird person, but you never can tell. Maybe I’ll be the one knitting those chicken sweaters 😉

 

 

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