About Our Goats

We have a fairly small herd of mixed-breed dairy goats (21 does & 12 kids in March 2018).  We love their milk (which we drink fresh, make into yogurt & cheese, and use in some of our soap), their meat, and their wonderful personalities -- going for a walk with the herd in the woods is a joy second to none.

The goats live in a large barn (originally built for the horses) with constant access to the outdoors.  In winter their play area is about 1/2 an acre with numerous things to climb & play Queen of the Castle on.  In summer, their stalls exit directly to large pastures & wooded areas so that they can browse at will.

Our farm was not being farmed when Jocelyn bought it in 1986, and we have operated it with organic methods since then.  There are no herbicides or pesticides used and we have never used commercial fertilizers.

The goats eat the following:
    * locally grown hay (no pesticides/herbicides, but the farmers do use commercial additions to the soil)
    * free-choice grass & browse (trees, bushes, etc) when the snow-cover allows and trees Lyn cuts & drags
       into the barn in the winter
    * local grown peas, oats, barley & wheat (this farmer uses glyphosate at the beginning of the season)
    * sunflower seeds, bran, soy & flax from a commercial feed source (Hi-Tech)
    * calcium carbonate
    * blackstrap molasses
    * free-choice access to cobalt iodized salt, organic kelp, mixed minerals, and sodium bicarbonate

De-worming:  the goats are de-wormed with fenbendazole only if necessary.

Other shots & health care: 
    * our area is selenium deficient, so does are given a shot of selenium before they kid
    * antibiotics are used only to treat a specific bacterial infection
    * Vitamin B complex injections are given if a goat appears to have a deficiency
    * Copper capsules are given if a goat appears to have a deficiency

How are the kids raised:  we used to bottle-feed, but the year we had 20+ kids spread over 3 weeks broke Lyn, so now the does nurse all their offspring.  Kids are born in a separate birthing pen, where they stay until they (and mama) are ready to join the herd (usually about 4 days).  The does & kids then live with the herd for 12 weeks.  Starting at 8 weeks, the kids spend evenings in a group in a separate stall next to the does (this gets them used to separation and encourages them to eat less milk & more solids before the full change happens).  At 12 weeks, the kids are moved to separate barns & grazing areas (bucklings & doelings have to be apart by this age).  We generally give them some grain along with a bit of hay in the mornings and free-range pasture & browse.  We do not dehorn the kids who are destined for meat, but we do usually castrate most of the bucklings (intact male bucklings spend hours & hours beating the snot out of each other and injuries can result).  All the kids are named, cuddled & petted constantly, and well-loved; they live happy, well-rounded lives in every way we can manage.

The photos on this site are now several years out of date and we do plan to update them just as soon as time allows.

We do not sell live animals as our herd is CAE-positive.  CAE is a disease that affects only goats & sheep (in a variant version) -- it does not transmit to other species.  We've done considerable research and decided that we are not prepared to slaughter our whole herd and start again (which the latest, large-scale, multi-year studies say is the only sure way to rid the herd of CAE if you don't have the ability to create an isolation sub-herd).  If you already have CAE, or if you can not access CAE-free goats, we will be pleased to discuss selling goat(s) to you.