3/31/15

Goat jumped over the fence of course.

One of our favorite children's book to read with Alida is The Little Blue Truck, a rhyming tale about a helpful old truck that is friend to all the farm animals. When Blue gets stuck in the mud trying to push out a big mean dump truck, the animals come running to help...

Everybody heard that beep, beep, beep.
The cow came running with the pig and the sheep.
Upon at a gallop came the big brown horse.
Goat jumped over the fence of course.

That last line has been the anthem of my life for the past couple of months. A local NGO recently closed down and they were trying to get rid of their small animal stock. A couple of friends (or who I thought were my friends) gave me the wonderful "gift" of two goats - one big (named Pasas- Raisins) and one small (named Gota -Drop) - supposedly dairy goats. At the time, I wouldn't have known a dairy goat from a.... regular (?) goat even if it would have had "2%" branded on its face and leaked gallons of milk with every step. So, I spent the following month doctoring a legitimate case of mastitis involving pussy, bloody milk. I then spent the next month trying to "cure" my "dairy" goat of it's low production. At one point, I let her go a day or two without milking, it looked like her little teats were going to explode - even then she gave 10% of what a dairy goat should give. A little late to the game, I called my goat friend Marco. When asked what's up with the goats and if they're really milk goats...

"No Kaleb. They're some sort of meat mix or something. Sorry about that."

I cured that particular "dairy" goat with $25 dollars from a neighbor that wanted to buy it with a hungry look in his eyes. Goodbye Pasas. Another glassy-eyed neighbor stopped by with $25 to help me out with Gota, who spent the majority of her time either tied up somewhere or loose outside of her fence eating my flowers and scattering poop all across the porch. Goodbye Gota.



The only one who legitimately misses these goats is my goat-wrangling little neighbor Jose, who showed up bleary-eyed every morning to help inject, milk, feed, and move the goats around. Sorry buddy. 




The same day that the goats were sold, I had gone to another community recommended by Marco about 2 hours away where I could buy real dairy goats... only to find that there was one goat in town and it wasn't for sale. I was told that about 20 minutes off the beaten path that there was a community that had a lot of goats, so, I took off. Long story short, that community did have a lot of goats. I bought one with two tiny babies and a great big udder.


Then drove her home in the back of our Pathfinder. 

Overall, the goats have been fun A huge pain, but fun. We've finally the big one with teeth and an appetite under control with a good fence and let the toothless babies wander in and out as they want. Momma "Snow White" is gradually getting used to the Homestead and is starting to let me milk her a little. She has plenty to give, but is hesitant to share with the big Gringo that kidnapped her. She is holding most of her milk back (not letting it down) due to change of environment and her babies, but she is doing better. Concerned that she might just not have much, I popped with a shot of Oxytocin one day to check... there was in abundance, it's just  a waiting game for now. We'll soon start separating the babies at night to be able to milk her first thing in the morning. We plan to let Alida try it soon, especially since she seems to have a Cow's Milk Protein Allergy. We're hoping she'll take well to the goat's milk.


All of Las Lomitas is wanting to buy goat's milk, so, if she gives what she should be good for (2-4 liters a day), we'll be selling fresh milk as well. Maybe even buy another goat if the demand is high enough. We hope to pass along what we learn to others in town so that we might be able to improve the local diet a little. I intend to improve my diet primarily with fresh butter...

Below are some pictures of the finished goat pen.






2 comments:

  1. I've been dying to know the goat details...so glad for this post!

    ReplyDelete