WE NO LONGER HAVE GOATS, BUT WHO DOESN'T LOVE PICS OF BABY GOATS? THESE ARE FROM 2017
Who's for sale? As we get into the year, we will post which doelings and does are for sale. In addition to this year’s kids, we often have a few older does who are no longer producing well enough to keep them in our dairy rotation and we're too small to keep them all after they retire from the dairy. That doesn’t mean they can’t still produce more than enough milk for a family or make great additions to your farm or homestead. Keep an eye on this page for sale updates.
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509.624.3262 • PO Box 30986 . Spokane WA 99223 US
What do you do with the boys?
We chose Nubian goats for two reasons – the first has everything to do with cheese. Nubians have very high butterfat content making fantastic cheese. The second is that they are a dual purpose breed. They make good meat goats. Most of the world eats goat meat – it is lean and flavorful and fairly inexpensive to produce (goats grow on weeds after all). We are fortunate to have a friend who loves to bottle feed babies. She buys all our baby boys, feeds them and loves on them and grows them through the year. They run and play in her fields - they have a great life. Later she sells them to a neighbor who finishes them for butcher.
Are they really in your house?
Yup! The first 24 hours they get fed every 4 hours. It is easier to put them in a playpen and get up in the middle of the night to feed them in the living room than to get up, get dressed, go outside in the snow ... you can see where we're going with this, right?
Every year we have approximately 30 baby goats. We have a lot of fun naming them and we get a lot of help from our Facebook fans! First, we ask for ideas about the year’s naming theme. Past themes have been herbs and spices, trees and shrubs, characters from 50’s & 60’s sitcoms, fairy tale characters – you get the idea. Once we have our theme, then we ask for name suggestions. From there, we distill it down to a smaller list that we use as each kid is born. The naming theme for 2017 is Washington State towns, cities and places we live!
How we raise them
We bottle or hand feed all of our kids (baby goats are called kids) – they do not stay with their moms. We do this for a variety of reasons, but it all comes down to that we are a commercial dairy. When you hand-feed the kids, they bond with people - people become their herd. They are far friendlier and are easier to handle(which helps when we have to milk them, trim their hooves or do any vet work).
Also, as a dairy, we want to maximize milk production. If the babies were to nurse, as they weaned from milk and transitioned to hay and grass etc, they would drink less and less and mom would produce less and less. By hand feeding, we keep the milk production up as we wean them from mom’s milk to fodder. We do feed the kids milk for 8-9 weeks before they are fully weaned.