From Goat-less to... Not

It has been a year since we brought home our first goats; three adorable, scared Oberhasli kids. I can’t remember ever being so excited about anything in my life (except when my 19 chicks arrived, or when I went to pick up Layla, or maybe when we bought a farm). We loaded Violet, Daisy, and Basil in the back of David’s Compass (much to his disdain) and embarked on an interesting (and wildly entertaining – to me at least) two-hour drive home. I’m not sure that David will ever forgive me for what those goats did in the back of his pristinely clean vehicle. He was so worried they were going to soil his car that he put down about a four-inch layer of cardboard, blankets and towels. I took photos and admired my little goats in the backseat, and even commented on how well they rode.

We made it to the one-hour mark before any real excitement started.

David kept one eye on the road and one eye on the rear view mirror the whole drive. At that hour mark, he looked in the back seat just in time to see the back side of a goat, aimed in his direction, raise a tail and poops start flowing. No sooner than one started, all three were pooping! A rank odor suddenly filled the car, and before I could finish saying “at least it’s solid,” we suddenly had three rushing waterfalls. If the odor was bad before, it suddenly took on a life of its own. Gagging, David started rolling down windows. I was in the passenger seat laughing hysterically. The harder I laughed the less amused he became, and I got a stern lecture on my lack of respect for other peoples' vehicles and how the situation was not funny. I laughed until my sides and face hurt.

When we got home I got the goats settled in while David immediately pulled out the soiled sheets. The dog was enjoying that part immensely. I tried to tell him all he needed to do was put Lydia in the car and she would see to it nothing was left behind. That comment merely received an eye roll. Of course, his car was perfectly clean under all the added protection.

Knowing it would be another two years before I got any milk out of these girls, I found myself a bit impatient, and that is what started my goat math. My initial research compelled me to get into Oberhaslis, but my second choice was Nigerian Dwarf, because of the rave reviews on the taste of their milk. However, they don’t produce nearly as much as Oberhaslis, which is why I settled for Obers. The only solution I came up with was to just have both. I contacted a breeder about purchasing a bred doe, and I put in a deposit on Cocoa Puff. It would be three more months before we brought her home. In the meantime, I found a doe and kid combo for sale and just couldn’t pass them up. That is how we welcomed Lucy and Crescent. Since Crescent was still nursing, I thought I might be able to milk Lucy. Nope. Lucy wasn’t having it. One evening a few weeks after bringing home Lucy and Crescent, I was playing on Facebook and I saw a “Doe in Milk” ad pop up in one of my groups. The doe in question was a Nigerian Dwarf, and colored just like my Oberhaslis! I just had to have her and within minutes of talking to the breeder, put in a deposit. The following weekend I was scheduled to pick up Cocoa Puff so I made arrangements to pick up Wind Storm (all the way in Alabama) the same day.

Lucy and Crescent had been so scared on their ride home, they had just laid down and stared wildly the entire trip.

Wind Storm was not scared, and didn’t seem to be the least bit fazed. I was prepared for the long, stinky ride, and after experiencing so much poo and pee out of the Obers in just an hour, I needed to prepare for a three hour drive with her. David told me I was crazy for putting a goat in the back of my little sports car, but after putting Lucy in there (to make sure Wind Storm would have enough head space) I knew it would be just fine. I laid down puppy potty pads, a tarp, and lots of hay. David did so much clucking about the hay in my car I asked him if he was part chicken.

Wind Storm rode wonderfully. We took selfies, she munched hay, did some pooing and peeing (of course, cause that’s what goats do best) and aside from the stench, it was a pleasant ride home.

I dropped her off at home and headed out for Cocoa Puff. Cocoa Puff wasn’t selfie friendly, and wasn’t the least bit interested in being anywhere near me. She was also much less impressed with her new home.

Two weeks after adding the final Nigerian Dwarfs to the farm, I took two to the vet. Low and behold, that little sports car can hold two dwarf goats. Lucy had to go for a pregnancy test. As we were leaving the farm from picking her up, the breeder let me know there was a possibility Lucy was pregnant. They had brought in a new buck the weekend before and he was quite the Romeo, breaking into the doe pen several times throughout the week. They didn’t think she had been serviced, but wanted me to know, ‘just in case.’

We got confirmation Lucy had, in fact, been bred, and was pregnant. And Cocoa Puff was pregnant as well. Lucy gave birth to Malih (Mel) and Cocoa Puff delivered three boys a few weeks later. And here I am, exactly one year from the date we started with three, with a nice herd of 12 with a deposit in on just one more (a second buck for fall breeding, Armani arrived about two months ago). And now you see how goat math happens.

But I’m also here a year later making and selling my own goat milk soaps and lotions from a booth at the farmer’s market and hoping to turn my meager little farm into a small business. I’m also enjoying fresh squeezed milk every morning, and that is just the cherry on top.

#Daisy #Violet #Basil #Lucy #Crescent #CocoaPuff #Malih #Mel #Armani #WindStorm #SweetgumAcres #NigerianDwarf #Oberhasli #goatmilk