We have joined the ranks of so many of our friends in owning milk goats! We have now reached "hobby farm" I do believe - over 50 chicken (25 meat chicks right now) and now goats! We aren't gardening right now, but oh well!
Esther and Carese both have milk allergies, as well as several of our other children. We tried out goat's milk on Esther and Carese about a month ago and they both did so well! We have been thinking about getting milk goats for over two years now, and my oldest three girls have been working that long to convert our horse shed/area into a goat's shed. They finally got all the remodeling done just last week. Just to be clear - this is our big girl's project! I want the milk, but I'm so done with animals (in the past we've had chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats and a pig...but it usually ended up in my doing all the work). So this is a business for the girls. They've paid for everything except the goats, and they will be continuing to purchase all the feed. The plan has been that when we get milk, they will get "reimbursed" for their expenses at a reasonable rate. They are hoping to make a profit...I really have no idea if they will or not!
Just when the remodeling was done, we found the perfect set of goats on Craigslist. And guess what? We knew the owners very well (she used to work for me!). God's timing is amazing isn't it? She was wanting to be finished with goats completely, and so when we bought what was left of her herd, she also gave us a milking stanchion and a few other items that will come in handy!
Caramel and her twin boys, Joshua and Caleb (yes, Ruth D, they are named after your boys as their temperaments and behavior reminded our girls of your boys!), and Peaches (a yearling) and her baby doling, Apricot! Then names of the kids are not set in stone yet...
Caramel is a purebred Lamancha, and her boys' (both wethers) father was a Nubian Dwarf. We will be finding new homes for the wethers later this summer. Caramel is a Lamancha/Nubian cross and is 3 years old, and her daughter has the same father as the boys. We will be testing out a purebred Nubian to see if the noise will be OK sometime in July (after she kids), and if that goes well we will be selling one of the girls, but we aren't sure about any of this yet.
The goats are of the quiet variety and even though the shed is directly out from out bedroom window, we can't hear them unless the window is open! We have an air conditioner in that room, so we don't have the window open when we sleep, so it works just fine!
Carese loves the new goats, Esther isn't so sure yet. Elizabeth did goats for the youth fair this year and really enjoyed it and loves the goats too.
The first two milking tries have not gone well, as the mother's have not been milked much/at all recently. But Jessica did successfully bring some milk in the house this morning. She has much work to do to keep Peaches from sticking her feet in the bucket, and keeping Caramel from sitting down when she thinks milking is finished! Those girls are stinkers!
We can go through a lot of milk around here if I don't restrict it's consumption. I'm sure all our children would think it amazing if they could drink all the milk they want (this is possible if was have two good milking goats!).
Here's a cute video of the fun they had when they discovered our picnic table! Joshua and Caleb were playing King of the Hill - I think they were showing off for Apricot. You can tell which mother is Peaches as Apricot is always by her side! All the play going on for Jessica's dog, Sebastian, all excited and he just had to run in there and do something!
(our camera is missing in action...hopefully I'll post more photos of the goats at a later date!)