I mentioned in my earlier post that we’ve been busy here in Windy Woods for the last month or so. So much so that I’ve neglected posting anything, so now you’ll likely get a flurry of posts.
This event happened prior to the previous chicken carnage post, but was shortly overshadowed by it. May 18th we fetched home our newest family members.
These ladies are extremely charming, and pretty decent dairy goats. Bella is a 1st generation Kinder goat. If I recall correctly, her dam was a Nubian and her sire was a Pygmy. Clover on the other hand, had a kinder for both dam and sire.
Bella is a bit larger, weighing in at 91 lbs. Clover was about 73 lbs.
Between the two of them we are getting just slightly over 1 gal / day from these sweet ladies.
And I do mean sweet. I’m amazed by just how much personality they have.
They also have the annoying habit that when they’re out of the pen, they seem to feel it’s just their right to wander right on into the house if given even the slightest chance.
On the other hand, they are better behaved than Altana on our walks.
That’s something that has surprised me, walking the goats. It all started early on when I was out keeping an eye on them wandering the yard for a bit browsing. I got bored, so I wandered down our trail a bit and let out with a loud maaaa (goat call).
Bella almost immediately replied in kind, so I kept up the conversation with her, and Clover when she joined in, and to my surprise, they wandered down the trail to where I was.
This has become a thing, though I no longer need to maa at them to get them to come. I just start meandering, and they follow.
Goats are browsers, which means they want a variety of stuff, branches, weeds, etc. in their diet. Despite the reputation, however, they are discriminating in what they eat. They sniffed at the wild cherry we have growing everywhere, and just left it alone. Which is good, as it is toxic under the right conditions. On the other hand, they love quaking aspen (poplar), which is nice as we have a lot of it in Windy Woods.
They also adore whatever weed this is, to the point that they actually fight over it. Not a serious fight mind you, Bella is the queen of the flock for certain, but they do butt heads over it. I don’t know what it is, but wish I did. It’s some kind of weed that grows wild around here. Since they like it so much, I would like to know what it is to see if I can get more to grow.
On the other hand, they don’t appear to much care for fern, darn it. We have so much of that growing around Windy Woods, I had really hoped they would help clear it.
They love blackberry plants.
They also like the huckleberry plants, though they wouldn’t touch it at first, I think they were waiting for it to get to a certain stage of spring growth.
I think the dietary item that surprised me the most though was dried oak leaves. They don’t much care for green ones, but the dried up, wind blown, been on the ground all winter, oak leaves. Yup, that’s what they like, especially Bella. She never eats many, but always three or four every trip. Almost like taking some kind of vitamin.
I’m glad that Kristen and I have really been enjoying the walks with them, because I think this time of browsing (I swear, I’m going to name at least one kid Chrome, and another Firefox, but no IE) is very good for their diet.