This is still the best picture of a mother (Esther) tending her new born kid. All the does are pregnant, due the last week in March and the first 2 weeks in April. At least it is a bit warmer in the Spring. Once the kids have their colostrum we will be back in the milk business. This young lady is now 2 years old and a good addition to the milking herd.
In our 40 years of farming we have had just about all the common farm animals we can raise in New England. The girls had their ponies and 4H sheep, we had a family milk cow, beef cattle, 5 breeding sows (pigs) and Bozo our boar ( one spring we had 63 piglets running around the farm, funny), chickens, ducks, rabbits, you name it. Each one had some drawback. In 2007 we went to a Farmers’ Union meeting and a friend from Maine convinced us to try goats—6 8 pound doelings, why not? We brought them home in the Subaru, in my lap. I was hooked! We bottle fed them for another month, we still have 2 of the original does, Priscilla and Esther. They are still my best pets and I go out to commiserate with them as they are very pregnant. They would get in my lap if they were not 160 lbs now, but we can still snuggle. Goats are the perfect size for Marcy and me as we can do all the milking, grooming, hoof trimming and birthing ourselves.
Goats do not eat everything, no tin cans, but they are very curious and will nibble anything. They will check out your hat, shoes and try to see if there are cookies in your pocket (there usually is). It is important to watch that they do not get into anything poisonous to them, laurel, milkweed, chokecherry, rhododendron, or over eat those cookies.
They are as easy to train as any dog or horse. Unfortunately, they don’t have the anatomy to allow house breaking so they need to stay outside, but if you have allergies to dogs or cats you can have 2 (they are herd animals) miniature goat in the garage. The manure doesn’t smell and they don’t bark and they love to be loved. I take mine out for a walk most every day, weather permitting. They don’t like rain, really hot days or bugs, but I don’t either.
And, they give us wonderful milk and cheese. Yes we also get meat from these wonderful creatures.