It was time. I had never owned a goat prior to coming to the Fat Ewe Farm, and I hardly knew the difference between goats and sheep. Some goats, like Angoras, can look like sheep and some sheep, like Barbados, can look like goats. I started with small goats, two Pygmy goats that were children's pets, but as children grow, they lose interest in their pets. So I bought the goats. They were wonderful, comical, tiny and fun. Louise and Lester had free run of the yard. They were too small to do too much damage really, too short to eat the trees or knock the branches down. Louise, lovingly called Weezie, did love grain though and would do almost anything to eat it, so every precaution was taken to keep it away from her. Weezie had twins not long after she arrived, a boy and a girl and they were so tiny and so adorable, that I thought I had to have more. Then other little goats arrived at the farm the second year and they had babies and whew, it was fun, but goats are hard to feed, contrary to popular belief. Ideally, the soil and feed hay should be tested to determine what minerals and vitamins are present and the percentage of protein available. Then a special mineral mix should be made for the farm goats of that specific farm. I bought goat salt and goat minerals and hoped for the best, but Weezie started to get washed out fur, then started to go bald. The vet came and took skin scrapings and blood samples. She was wormed but that was not the problem and the vet did not determine it.
She lacked copper as it turned out, because on this farm the well water has a lot of iron in it and iron binds with the available copper. She did not eat enough of the goat mineral which likely would have corrected the copper imbalance and she died. I was greatly saddened. Two other goats died too before the real cause was discovered. Since then, everyone seems healthy.
But then they had babies and oh, it is so hard to part with some of them. So, the little goat herd grew quickly to 13 goats and although they were marketable, they did not pay for the feed they ate or the supplements. I got thinking.
And bought two purebred registered Nubian goats, diary goats, and one non related buckling to keep them freshened. One is able to be milked now, and the other is pregnant and will deliver in the winter. But a purebred registered Nubian costs upwards of $400 while the little Pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf goats were only $150 to $250 and did not provide any other benefits, like milk. I will use the goat's milk to make cheese and soap, eat the cheese and sell the soap. So then, the decision to sell the little goats was made and today I said good bye to Cookie and Taffy, the two blue eyed Nigerian minis. Thanks for the fun girls. Enjoy your new home and the kids there.