This is the second post in my Hobby Farming series.
I love goats so much. They are smart and inquisitive. Each little goat has their own personality. Once you figure them out they are so much fun to deal with. I love sitting out on my front porch in the morning and watching them frolic. They just always look like they are having such a great time!
We have five goats that are a Boerr-Kiko mix. This cross of breads is ideal for raising disease resistant meat goats. When we first purchased them we intended to raise, sell, and slaughter them for their meat. That was fine and good until we named them:
Houdini is the head of our heard. She’s the oldest goat and she’s not afraid to assert her dominance over the other four. Her actual name according to our farm paperwork is something that has long been forgotten as Houdini is a nickname that has been given to her affectionately. This girl has a habit of showing up places she shouldn’t be and escaping fences: hence the name Houdini
Bitty was once one of our smallest goats, but she has since grown. She has a calm temperament and never bullies any of the other goats. As you can see her coloring and markings are drastically different than those of Houdini. Bitty’s coloring and markings are more typical of what you see with the rest of our goats.
Don’t let the name fool you, George is a girl. George’s mother was a Kiko goat named Nancy Drew. If you’re a fan of the Nancy Drew books like me you’ll know that Nancy Drew’s sidekick was a girl named Georgia who had the nickname ‘George’. Our little George is very friendly and loves people.
Pumpkin Spice is the most temperamental of all of our goats. She’s not a huge fan of people, but she’s can be rather docile. Most of our goats will actually come when called, but not Pumpkin Spice. She retains a certain distrust for humans. Regardless, her name comes from a spot on the back of her neck that looks quite like a pumpkin.
Sunshine is our sweetest goat. She is the one who is most interested in humans and loves a good petting. Sometimes I think that Sunshine’s behavior resembles that of a dog. She is our smallest goat, and sometimes gets bullied by the others in the herd. For the most part, though, she is able to hold her own quite well. We’ve had a few ups and downs with Sunshine and her health, but we’re happy to say she had pulled through quite well.
So what do our goats do? Obviously we first intended them for meat production, but that didn’t quite work out. Now they are used mostly for land management and companionship. Our land is heavily wooded and our goats have done a fantastic job of clearing the underbrush where they have been allowed to. With the advent of portable fencing you can actually run a rather successful land clearing business with a small herd of goats. My family, though, does not do this. Our goats have helped us manage underbrush in areas, but they are mostly kept as pets. You wouldn’t think that goats make good pets, but they really do!