Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Here Come the Critters

Last spring we started doing some research for what kind of animal we could raise on our farm. We ruled out large animals like cows and horses, (though I really kept thinking about horses) because we wanted to be able to handle all the care and upkeep ourselves. We looked at regular goats - specifically dairy breeds, but still the size seemed a bit difficult to deal with. Remember, hooves need to be trimmed, vaccinations given. Not to mention the input and output. We found pygmy goats, but were kind of put off by the scale of this breed. They seemed like little walking barrels. Then we came across Nigerian Dwarf goats, also a dairy breed. Medium in size, something like 50 to 60 pounds. A friend gave us some milk to taste and we were hooked!

Milk from a goat is nothing like what you find in a store. I found most store bought goats milk to be somewhat bitter and grassy tasting. The milk we drink every day now is sweet, and is good on cereal, and works very well for cooking. I have found since I switched to goats milk that I have less problems with indigestion and heartburn.

Research tells us that the fat globules in goats milk are smaller and therefore easier to digest. I was told that some years ago, goat farmers in this area sold milk to the local hospitals who then pasturized it for infants and elderly. True or not, it sounds reasonable.

We started with the two little unregistered goats in the above pictures. Rosebud, who is queen of the herd, and her sister Buttercup. We purchased them from a local breeder. They have been wonderful additions to the farm, entertaining us with their social and inquisitive behavior.

Next Post: Buddy & Petunia~