Kent Ormsby

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since Jun 16, 2015
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Recent posts by Kent Ormsby

Thank you. Maybe next year!
3 years ago
We've run horned and de-horned goats together for years with 0 problems, this includes pygmies, ND, Nubians, Boers, Saanens, Alpines and many hybrids in between.
Goat genetics are a fascinating study unto themselves. Butterfat content, lactation periods, hoof formation, parasite resistance, etc are all components of selecting animals that "fit your farm." We've a "rough farm" and expect our does to exist on what our farm will provide with no feeding of grain except on the milk stand. Large udders and long lactation periods don't seem to work well for us. Our primary selection criteria is health of the doe. We've also found that running a heard of 50+ does is very different than say 5 to 10.
Hi Judith, I am very interested in propagating your peach trees in our orchard here in NE Texas. Any chance I could get some pits? Thanks!
3 years ago
Yep, those 9 degree F mornings are kinda tough!
My first question to anyone who wants to raise goats is Why? We're long time goat keepers in NE Texas. We love our goats and we still work to discourage those interested in keeping goats. This year for example, I buried the first 11 kids born on our farm, my Nubian herd buck, Woodrow, the healthiest goat we've ever had, Dana, a beautiful two year old, Fauntine, and will probably lose more. Torrential rains have caused significant problems with hoof rot and gastro-intestinal worms of all kinds. Never have we had problems like this year, but many goat keepers we know have experienced these same types of issues in the past. I contend that goats are the most difficult class of ruminants to keep healthy. We do absolutely nothing to our cattle and they are problem free.

Much of what you will want to keep on hand will depend on where you live, the farm you buy your animals from, and how you mange your animals long term. I applaud your decision to build a portable goat shelter, but not your decision to raise your pup away from goats. After raising many guardian dogs and making some serious mistakes, the best formula we've found is to raise a 6 week old pup with two to three month old kids and that females are the easiest to train.

The very best way to learn about goats is to visit farms in your area, talk to the goat keepers and find out what they keep on hand and why. Sometimes local vets are a useful source of information (if goat friendly, many are not) and can tell you what kinds of problems they see.

4 goats will burn through an acre before you can say Jack Robinson so you'll probably want to find a quality feed to use on at least a semi regular basis. If you have Alpines, you're probably planning on milking so you may want o start training them early.
We have five good guardian dogs, small paddocks, are attentive and still lose kids to predators.
We work very hard to provide quality browse and minerals and still have animals that suffer from nutrition deficiencies.
I think we've tried every formulation of herbal remedy on the market with limited success so we changed our philosophy to catastrophic treatment only and very strict culling which works for us.
We've use chain collars, nylon collars, and even some plastic. The only goat we ever lost to entanglement (a beautiful Nubian/Saanen hybrid named "Tubs") was not wearing a collar.
I've hand toted many a gallon of water but for 8 acres I'd spend the money and buy a hose or a drip watering 1/2" supply line, it's cheap and works well if your only watering a few animals.

BTW: Most people only keep goats for 3 years or less.
One could certainly argue that there is nothing natural about milking an animal period. We humans are rare in that we continue to drink milk after we're weaned. If we're going to pull the natural card then we would have to examine many of our permaculture practices. Most of the plants we use including heirlooms are man made hybrids of one sort or another. As far as milking for an extended period of time, I'm in the depends on the goat category. Our Saanens will go a year easy without freshening. Our Nubians, forget about it. We're lucky to get 5 or 6 months before they dry themselves off no matter what we do.
As a long term goat keeper/goat milker/cheese and soap maker, we finally made our decision to dis-bud or not financial. We may not like the world, but many of us that keep, raise and sell goats live in the world. A simple reality in our region, NE Texas, is fully intact meat goats are worth more money and dis-budded dairy goats are worth more money. Our vet dis-buds under local anesthetic and the doelings and keeper bucklings get over it quickly. As for the young kids with horns, poly-wire with a hot charger or a pipe taped to their horns will keep them out of fences.