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Why I keep goats

 
Livia Blaszak
Posts: 19
Location: North Plains, OR
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It's hard work if you want to properly care for them, they can and do get into things you don't want them to, they can kill trees, eat poisonous plants and get sick, get parasites, and get sick and so on.

BUT, I love my goats dearly! They are smart, loving in their own way, hardy for the most part and if kept in conditions closest to their natural environment, and can I say goats are witty?

Plus, they eat the stuff I would otherwise have to employ machinery to chop down, in our area Himalayan Blackberry is one of them, and convert it into yummy milk, and "yummy" in a different way poop.

All of you that keep goats, and want to keep doing it, why are you doing it?
 
Kurt Stailey
Posts: 36
Location: Indiana, zone 6
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Cause they rock!!?



Had I kept rubbing his jaw he would eventually fall down and go to sleep lol
 
Livia Blaszak
Posts: 19
Location: North Plains, OR
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Yes, they do rock!!!

 
Kurt Stailey
Posts: 36
Location: Indiana, zone 6
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They do, but I am assuming you wanted actual reasons, so here are ours.

1. They are easy on the ground. Try keeping no bare soil with horses or cows, almost impossible. First rain the larger animals will stomp a mud hole, which is fine if your building a pond I suppose.

2. They are browsing foragers. They eat much like a deer. I have watched hundreds of deer from a tree stand and they are very much like goats. They eat here walk over there, eat there, walk back here eat this. Smell that and pass it over then walk back and eat 4 leaves off the thing they just passed up 2 minutes ago.

3. They eat almost anything (pro and con) they will eat all those nasty briars for you, or that gnarly Osage Orange tree, thorns and all. But they will also eat your shirt or the checkbook sticking out of your back pocket. (ask me how I know)

4. They are relative easy keepers (debatable of course) Like any other prey animal, you MUST watch them, know their normal routines. If you just feed and water them daily and don't watch them, by the time you notice them out of sorts, they are probably too far gone. Animals that get eaten by other animals are very good at hiding illness and disease.

5. They fit very well in our geography and climate. We are mostly wooded, rocky in places. Not too hot in the summer, not to cold in the winter. 48-ish inches of rain per year, a good long growing season, few predators large enough to take an adult goat, and plenty of steep hollers they love running up and down.

6. They can clear places you would never get a tractor or mower, never want to take a weedeater, and do it fairly quietly (unless you have nubians!), without using one single ounce of a fossil fuel.

And they do all this while giving us awesome pelletized fertilizer that needs very little if any composting, yummy milk that is good to drink, makes great ice cream and cheese, and that even most lactose intolerant people can consume due to the difference in the fat molecules. Oh, and every animal on our farm will gladly drink extra milk or milk we dropped a hair or bug in, even the plants enjoy it

--Kurt

 
Livia Blaszak
Posts: 19
Location: North Plains, OR
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All wonderful reasons, Kurt! Thank you for taking the time to write them.

I laughed at your remark about them eating your checkbook.

In our area though, predators are a real issue, so we would never dare leaving them out there without protection, which is why we have our wonderful Anatolian shepherd, Sven, who loves his goats, and watches over them all day long while I am at work, or doing other chores. Though he watches over me, too, when I am out there with them

Regarding watching them, a wonderful goat keeper I know, said she recommends "coffee management", which means very often one should take a cup of coffee or their drink of choice, and go out there and just watch the goats. Every day. After a while one starts to recognize what is normal and what not for any goat in the herd. I just love to "let them out" in the evening for a stroll, and watch them eat a sprig here, a leaf there. It is such a pleasant activity for me. I do only have a handful of them though, and not a big herd, so all the things I have posted about are easier than would have be if I had a big herd.
 
Deborah Niemann
Posts: 72
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Love this discussion! Y'all have done a great job summarizing everything I love about goats!
 
Aaron White
Posts: 3
Location: Midlands of South Carolina - 8a/7b
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As someone just considering getting into goats it is so nice to hear from people who love having them. I run across so many people talking about all the difficulty they had with goats, all the horror stories of goats getting out, etc. that it is discouraging some times. After reading the above comments I can not wait to get out onto my land and get my own goats.
 
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