Welcome Elvis and Skunk
Last weekend our small goat herd increased by two - Elvis and Skunk. Well, that's what I call them - my wife and kids call them something else. It matters little - they won't be around for long (read on). Both are Alpine/Alpines from our new buck and two of our does. We are now on our third generation of goats so I think we have most of it figured out.
We got goats a while ago to help out on our quest for self sufficiency. Goats can provide milk and meat. From the milk, my wife makes cheese. They are very easy to care for and really, pretty pleasant to have around.
Originally, my wife planned on milking both moms and bottle feeding the goatlings - you get more milk this way and the goatlings grow up a bit tamer. But after a few days those early morning feedings got old and so both goatlings now think our eldest doe is their mother and nurse off of her. The younger mamma goat will have nothing to do with the little kids. My wife milks both mammas twice a day - the older one isn't giving much now as the kids are pretty much drinking her dry.
Both Elvis and Skunk are males. With males you either leave them intact so they grow up to be billy goats or you castrate them to make them wethers (goat steers). We did it ourselves this year and it was very easy. My wife (who really does most of the work vis a vie the herd) held the little goatling in her lap and spread his hind legs and I applied a special rubber band around the base of the little guy's scrotum with a device that spreads the band open so you can slide it in place. Oh, they didn't like that and both walked away a bit stiff legged. But after a couple minutes they were acting fine.
Our billy came to us young and small and in just half a year he has put on significant size and gotten pretty ornery. He also urinates all over his face and beard - real fun when it comes to leashing him out to feed in the woods. He is currently for sale.
Next year we are going to breed the alpine females to a Boer male so we have milk/meat crosses. Elvis and Skunk won't really put on enough weight to make it worthwhile (in my opinion) to kill them for meat so we have already sold them to a family who wants them for pets/companion animals and brush eaters. As soon as they are weaned we will deliver them to their new home.
Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savory meat for thy father, such as he loveth: Genesis 27:9
This whole chapter (Genesis 27)is pretty good - I recommend it to you. There is more there than meets the eye at first.
If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prepared Americans for a Strong America