Goats!!! We FINALLY got goats! Okay, we have only lived here 8 months, so the word finally may be a tad dramatic. BUT, it feels like I have wanted goats for FOREVER. We decided that we wanted to raise nigora goats, we don't tons of land, and we don't have endless streams of money, so the idea of a dual purpose breed seemed to fit the bill. Unfortunately, nigoras are a relatively new breed, and really, they are almost like designer dogs, the yorkie-poos and goldendoodles of the goat world if you will. Most herds still have their foundation stock of the two separate breeds and have a few successive generations from there. Since its a new breed, they were hard to find, and even when we decided that we would just make our own herd from a stock of angora does and nigerian dwarf bucks, we were having a hard time finding angora goats in our area. We finally found a breeder that still had reservations available and we made reservations on two does in early spring. Meanwhile, I still browsed facebook and other sites for available goats. I happened to stumble across someone selling off her small herd of Nigora goats. So suddenly we now find ourselves the proud owners of not two but eight goats!
Let me just say that goats are MUCH different from alpacas. I know this seems obvious, and I knew they wouldn't be quite the same, but goats are MUCH different than alpacas. Our alpacas can be found most of the time grazing peacefully in their pasture or relaxing in the barn stalls if it is too hot, cold or rainy out. When we come home they may peek their head out of the barn or look up from their grazing to give us a vaguely curious glance, the boys may even wander over to see if we have treats to offer, but upon finding us empty handed and uninteresting, they will turn their backs on us and act as if we no longer exist. They are easy to call to the barn in the evening for their grain, they have a designated area to relieve themselves in, and in our case this area happens to be outside the barn which is very convenient. They don't challenge fences, if we leave a gate open they will wander through, but mostly they are content with their quiet country life.
Goats on the other hand...well, they came in like 80's rock stars trashing a hotel room. The first night I heard crashing in the barn and walked in to Dobby on top of the dryer. They broke into the grain room through the gate, after we "goat proofed" that, they learned how to work the kennel doors that lead into the grain room. We barricaded those, and so far, they are holding. We were out working on a duck house one night when I heard Myrtle screaming like she may have been dying, after sprinting across the back pastures into the barn, we discovered her with her head stuck in the gate post. They poop on their mineral block, and in their mineral feeder, a feat I am still unable to figure out how they accomplished. The baby who we named Hermione can sneak out of the pasture, but only does so when she is interested in whatever project we are working on beyond the fence line. The Angora twins scream like they are women being murdered if they happen to lose sight of one another, and Hermione's mother head butts anyone who she thinks may be too close to her kid. And that is just the girls. Our herd sire Finn is a sweet buck with a puppy dog demeanor, except he is a buck so he pees on himself and smells absolutely awful. He is also a tad on the heavy side and goes crazy for food. If he even believes that we are giving grain to the alpacas he charges the barn with a single mindedness that is admirable. Griffin, our 4 month old buck cries constantly, and is, I'm sure, alerting every coyote within a 5 mile radius of his presence.
I am a woefully undisciplined blogger, I started this post 2 months ago, and between weddings, travel, and farm life, I am just know returning to it. I will say however, that the goats have only become more obnoxious, and simultaneously, closer to our hearts. Dobby continues to try to break out of every enclosure we make for her, the angora twins are finally coming around and Finn is just as stinky as ever. They are much different than our sweet, indifferent alpacas, but its safe to say, I am becoming a crazy goat lady day by day.