Maria

My kids are the biggest fans of The Book of Life.

So it’s only fitting that are newest goat member goes by Maria.

This sweet little beauty has joined our mini farm.

Goats are social animals and do best with a friend or two. After Gus was sent to heaven we needed to find Randy someone to spend his days with.

We have sweet friends that also have their own little ranch. So it was easy to add this gem to our mini farm.

She has the sweetest blue eyes. And a gentle demeanor.

Once her nerves dissipate I think she will find that she found a loving little farm to spend her days weed eating.

I am not sold on my ability to be a farm animal owner.

I can’t stand the heartbreak when something goes wrong.

But seeing the joy on the kids faces makes it all worth it.

Welcome home Maria.

The ugly reality to living a sustainable lifestyle

When we started our homestead and decided to try and live a more sustainable life I had no idea the work it required. With my husbands job he is gone more hours than home a lot of days. Leaving me to handle the homestead alone.

The idea of chickens was enticing. Goats seemed an easy way to control the landscape on our little farm. Gardening seemed so magical. And mini cows seemed like a dream come true for my animal loving self.

With the state of our country it seemed unwise not to add a little sustainability to our lives. I don’t think an apocalyptic ending to earth is on its way. But I do think there are a lot of benefits to sustainability.

But there is an ugly side to running a small little farm. And a reality that it isn’t as easy as it may seem.

Living a more sustainable life is a lot of work. On Pinterest you see screenshots and images of how to homestead. How to live a sustainable life. But I’ve yet to come across and article that depicts truly how much work it can be.

Some days it seems easier to just forego all this homesteading business and shop at our local grocery store for items we want or need.

Making most things from scratch is time consuming.

Farm animals love early mornings. I personally despise them. I’ve never been a morning person. No matter what voodoo potion or positive self talk I give myself.

I don’t like them. And never have. I’m not a morning person.

Farm animals poop a lot and they are dirty. It’s a lot of work keeping their stalls clean.

Farm animals don’t only need cared for in fair weather. With bad weather comes the same responsibilities.

Their food bags weigh a ton. It’s not for the weak to carry animal feed across the property.

Goats are incredibly stubborn. Sweet. But stubborn. They will demolish your beloved plants in seconds if you aren’t careful.

They are little Houdini’s. At least once a month discovering a way to break free and unleash the rest of your farm animals.

Chickens can and will eat their own eggs if you aren’t careful.

You have predators to worry about (depending on where you live.)

Chickens need their wings clipped unless you want them flying out of their pen and pooping all over your property.

Making most items from scratch is a LOT of work. Some days I find myself in the kitchen cooking my days away.

Call me little house on the prairie.

Gardening can be a fun experience but is also a lot of work. There are bugs to battle that want to enjoy your hard earned garden goods. Wildlife will take a few bites from your garden as well. Where we live in the high desert gardening is a lot of work with the harsh seasons and crappy soil.

So if you are thinking of starting a more sustainable life. But want to know some real ups and downs about homesteading maybe you will find some answers to questions you may have.

Maybe you too love the idea of self sufficiency but struggle with the work that it entails.

What do you despise most about homesteading?

And of course what do you love about it?

I love a lot about homesteading as well but thought someone else could benefit from reading the negative side as well.

It’s nice to know full well what you are getting into.

Danielle

Pros & Cons to goat ownership

I’ve been discussing autism lately, and thought I’d switch gears for a bit and share in our homesteading journey.

I want to talk about goats.  And share just some thoughts on them.  Maybe you are a long time goat owner, maybe you are considering getting a goat (remember if you get one you should get two.)

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Goats are social animals so you should always get at least two, that’s how we ended up with Gus and Randy.  If you were a fan of Love on Netflix you might recognize the names.

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So here are just my personal pros and cons to goat ownership from my own experience.

We purchased two baby nigerian dwarf wethers.

Side note a wether is a castrated male goat.

I know I can still get confused with goat lingo.

Pros

  • They will most definitely eat your weeds.
  • Gentle animals.  Ours are so gentle with our kids.
  • They don’t cost much to feed especially if they have some where to graze.
  • You can feed a lot of your yard trimmings to them.  I’m all about recycling.
  • They don’t require much time or effort.
  • They are really cute and funny.  (The humping cracks everyone up)
  • It’s a great experience if you have kids
  • It doesn’t cost much to startup.  We built our goat house from repurposed barnwood.
  • Goat poop when added to compost is great for gardening.You can make a little extra money renting goats out to neighbors needed help with weed control.  With the recent fires in California neighborhoods are seeing an increase in rental goats to help control the brush.

     

Now let’s talk the cons.

Cons

  • They will most definitely eat something of yours that you don’t want them to.
  • They are little Houdini’s, ours eventually find a way to jail break at some point, and they let all the animals out too.
  • They poop everywhere.
  • The poop is seriously hard to rake up.  (just being honest here)
  • They beg, and beg, and I usually give in and give them a treat or two.
  • They jump on everything.
  • One of the most stubborn animals I’ve ever owned.  Have you tried pulling your goat somewhere you want him to go?  It’s harder than you’d think.
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All in all I think adding Gus and Randy to our mini farm has been great.  It’s nice to be able to throw them a lot of yard waste as we clear more areas on the farm.  They are really sweet and gentle with the kids and our other animals.  I think it teaches the kids such a valuable lesson as well.

If you are considering adding goats to your homestead do you have any questions?

I know before getting goats we researched and researched.  But overall it’s been a pretty simple adjustment and we’ve really loved having them around.  I’ve been letting them wander in the evenings while I do yoga, and I think the belly laughing has done some soul healing.  It’s not nearly magestic as people on social media would have you believe.

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Danielle