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.

Farm life heartbreak

Today I had to experience first hand death of a farm animal.

What started as an ordinary day quickly went very wrong. One of our Nigerian dwarf goats was suffering from urinary calculi. It was immediate and sudden. He was suffering and in excruciating pain. As the day went on his suffering continued.

My husband works long hours leaving me to make big decisions alone sometimes.

Today was that day.

Anyone who knows me. Knows that I love animals probably too much. My heart can’t take much heartbreak.

But as the day went on sweet Gus began to suffer unbearable pain.

With no vet available and the prognosis so grim I had to mercy kill my sweet Gus.

I’ve never killed an animal.

I’ll be honest I was nervous. I prayed over sweet Gus before. His goat crying was to much for my heart to handle. And so I sent him on his way to heaven.

I like to imagine all animals happy in heaven. Eating all their favorite things.

Frolicking.

Today opened my eyes to the fact that I’m too sensitive for this farm life.

I can’t stand to watch anything suffer. I never want to play God and choose to end a life.

But today I was faced with no better choice.

It was quick and I hope painless.

Has anyone started their homesteading journey to realize they aren’t cut out for certain aspects.

I never would have thought that I’d have to mercy kill one of my sweet beloved animals. I adored that sweet animal and his silly gentle nature. He will be so missed.

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