As we approach our thirteenth year of kidding season, I am reminded of why my customers might want to own a goat of their own! Seriously, it truly could be serendipitous experience!
There are so many reasons to own your own goats. First of all, most of my customers are wanting quality milk. Owning your own goats allows you to control your own organic milk supply. In recent times, this is becoming more important. Having a goat in your backyard is about the shortest food chain possible! And the things you can do with goat milk feels endless ... all sorts of cheese, ice cream, kefir, yogurt!
There are far fewer goats than cows in the United States. However, goats are more cost effective than raising a cow since goats are smaller in size.
Less food - just a ton of hay per goat per year!
Easier to handle - I mean, think of trying to persuade a cow to move her hoof versus a goat. I've done it. Trust me, a goat is much easier!
Easier to transport - When needed, I've taken a goat to the vet in the back of my SUV or the back of my small pick up. No horse or cattle trailer needed.
Overall, goats cost less to maintain. So, goats are an excellent gateway to farming! I know some of you, just like me, dream of a small farm. It's a growing desire of self-sufficiency and sustainable living; however, the reality of all can be a bit harsh or feel out of reach. A couple of goats are an easy attainable goal towards that dream. A few goats can be raised in a small area and is a great way to "try on" a farming lifestyle without breaking the bank or your back.
As you begin your goat journey, you will quickly realize many other benefits of goats besides milk. Their manure is an excellent ongoing source of fertilizer for your garden! It is rich in nitrogen levels which in turn conditions the soil. And can we be honest? I'd much rather gather up dry goat pellets and spread in my garden than scooping messy cow manure. Goat manure is not hot so there is no aging necessary. That's another plus in my book!
Perhaps you think you may want some goats but how do goats fit into a life with human kids? Well, we think its a fantastic way of life! It provides a practical education and growth opportunities for your precious little ones. Children learn responsibility, they learn about life and death, and its a great way to distract from the ongoing temptations of too much phone or video game time.
Children can join formal education programs such as your local 4-h groups. 4-h is a great way to teach responsibility, teamwork and leadership skills. And starting out with a smaller animal, such as a goat, is a perfect plan for younger children. And, remember, a goat costs way less money than a cow or a horse!
Owning goats has introduced me to many new and precious friends. Some started out as my mentors as I certainly was not an expert in goats! I'm not an expert now, but I do love sharing what I have learned along the way with new goat owners. I am grateful to all those I've met and know during my journey of goats.
One of the very best reasons to own goats is their personalities! My goats are personable and affectionate. They know their names and almost always come when they are called. Some are more independent than others, some are super affectionate, some like pretzels and some don't. Some days are harder than others but just sitting out with the goats is sure to make one smile. My goats sense my mood. I've sat out in the pasture, a bit sad, and the goats will slowly come and quietly stand by me. Other days, they sense the joy and leap about and clamor for treats. It's been said that the intelligence of goats is approximately the level of a two year old. That's pretty good because we have a little human almost two running around the farmhouse these days and his comprehension astounds us over and over!
And, if you still need a reason for goats, think weed and brush control. This might win the family members not yet sure about owning goats. When we first created our large pasture, there were several wild rosebushes out in it. Non-native rose bushes. The goats ate every single one down to the ground! No chemicals, and no human effort necessary! Now that's a win!
If you think goats could be a part of your future, reach out. I love talking goats with others. And we have goat kids available every spring. Reserve yours today!