After the difficulties we had last summer with our pasture we have been slow to add new livestock to the farm. After clearing out all the toxic perilla mint we could find last fall, we got one new goat, named her Hope and hoped for the best. Not only did she survive but she surprised us with a healthy kid early this spring! We suspect she probably get in with a buck while she was at the livestock auction where we bought her. Feeling hopeful, we decided to bite the bullet and buy more goats.
On April 6th we brought in 6 Kiko does and 2 doelings. These ladies will, hopefully, be the matriarchs of a herd of meat goats. The plan is to use them for breeding and sell the offspring. I’ll be adding a buck to the herd later this summer. All of the does kidded in February or March so I want to give them at least one or two more months off before breeding them again. Right now I’m thinking of using a Boer buck so that the kids have more of the traditional boer “look” that most buyers around here are accustomed to. I’m using Kikos as the does, though, because they have much better maternal instincts and abilities than boers and are generally much hardier goats an easier keepers. Since I need lots of does and only one buck, I’d rather have lots of easy keeping Kikos and only one delicate Boer.
Of course, I can’t have a herd of goats without having at least one dairy goat. I miss all the fresh cheese and icecream! So on April 28 I added Nelly, a Saanen dairy goat, and her two kids (one male, one female). The kids are half boer so they will probably go to market, but I could potentially keep the doeling as a second dairy goat. Saanens are big framed goats and can easily handle being bred to boers so in addition to hopefully being a good source of milk, Nelly can also serve as a breeding doe for market kids. She was given a dewormer a month ago that can get into the milk so I’m not supposed to milk her for a few more days (its fine for her kids to drink but humans aren’t supposed to drink it), but fingers crossed that she is as good a milker as her previous owner promises!