It finally happened. I went to the other side. It was always just a matter of time, really. I’ve come full circle back to where I first started. I got goats. Not just one, or two so they wouldn’t be lonely. No, I got four pregnant does and two bucks. At least I showed restraint this time.
When I first started farming, over six years ago, I thought I would raise goats for meat and milk. Not being the kind of person who sticks her toe in to test the waters, I jumped right in with gusto. Kind of a belly flop, really. I bought 20 bottle baby kids and began a short lived adventure that ended with me swapping out my dream of milking goats for a Jersey cow and a big sigh of relief.
As the years went by and I grew my herd of milk cows, I never forgot about those sweet little bottle babies. There is something completely irresistible about baby goats. This time however, I wasn’t a complete novice to livestock and the unique needs of dairy animals. I started getting excited thinking about the possibility of adding a couple of adult does to our farm. I found myself scouting out unused areas that the goats would enjoy exploring. At night I was visiting goat forums, asking questions, reading up on everything goaty. I made a list of what I needed to have on hand before I brought the goats home, checked it twice and with a quick “click and drag” of the mouse they were on their way.
A couple of weekends later and the goat barn was ready and waiting. I didn’t actually think I’d end up with pregnant goats to start. But as luck would have it, a friend of mine put me in contact with a lovely lady who had been raising goats for over thirty years. She was ready to cut down her herd a bit and had two beautiful Nubian does, both pregnant, that she was willing to let me purchase. “Pia” and “Sister Midnight”. At about the same time, I stumbled across a pair of Saanen goats and their respective boyfriends. The goat barn was full.
The goats have been a comical addition to our farm. They are curious, sweet, and possibly a bit mischievous. I’ve spent a lot of time letting them get to know me. The Saanens are more laid back, they stroll over to check me out. The Nubians are a bit more high strung. The first few nights they spent just as much time standing in an upright position, peeking over the stalls as they did standing on all fours. But things are calming down now, falling into a steady rhythm of routine.
We don’t have exact due dates on the goat gals. So I spend an inordinate amount of time checking out the back end, looking for changes in the udders, hoping to see some clue that will tell me kidding is going to happen soon. I scrolled through the pictures I’d been taking because I wanted to find some that captured the different personalities. Thirty pictures, and every single one of them was a snapshot of udders….
As I stand there in the goat barn, taking in the sweet smell of hay and watching them watch me I can’t help but think of all the adventures ahead of us. And I can’t help but grin as I look at those growing bellies, imagining the sweet little kids that will soon be jumping around the barn. I’ve come full circle and I finally got my goats.