What’s in my Birthing Kit?

Here on the Tennessee / Kentucky state line we have had 2 weeks with the temps blow freezing so far. Our Nigerian Dwarf goats are doing OK albeit have their coats puffed up to take full advantage of their cashmere undercoats.  Thank goodness for immersion water heaters with thermostats and a handy husband who designed our farm systems not to have the pipes freeze!

Birthing KitI was contemplating January babies this year, but now am so glad we stuck with a kidding schedule starting in February!  My logic: even if I could keep the babies warm in their first couple weeks of life in their birthing shelter, I couldn’t wrap my head around how they would be able to jump around and play outside and be their immensely silly selves if the winter was freezing cold (they might like teeny weeny toboggans or a mini luge course  though)!    Of course, this could happen just as easily in February but the odds are it wouldn‘t be 2+ weeks of misery.

In my abject freezing misery my thoughts turn towards the absolute joys of kidding right around the corner.  Many folks who have bought goats from us are going to be having their first kids this winter and spring.  It is with much love and high hopes for a successful first kidding I dedicate this blog to you!

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My Farm Book Library

BookLibrarySo many people have asked my advice on which books they should buy, it is time to publish that list for everyone to hopefully benefit from!  And yes, we have a real physical library with a bookcase and all…  such an old-timey thing in today’s digital world isn’t it?

As a self-described “Research Queen”, I studied for 2 years before we bought our first goat, sheep, chicken, turkey, and livestock guardian animal.  My studies involved a lot of internet research, but also through buying books from subject matter experts.  Be careful any internet research you do…. if we had just gone by the internet opinions we wouldn’t own any bucks. The bucks have turned out to be easy to handle, our biggest babies/best pets, and don’t affect the taste of the milk *at all* if they are not housed with the milkers. Continue reading

What do all these letters and numbers around a pedigreed goat’s name mean?!

Yvonne example for awards blogThis blog assumes that you are looking for a goat with specific genetics/pedigree & not simply a pet goat with a flashy coat and blue eyes.  You are looking for things like everything in Red for Yvonne’s info in the pic on the right. If you’re like me & want to know all this dry & sometimes boring stuff about pedigrees and tales from the trenches…. Read on :-).

When I first started out acquiring Nigerian Dwarf goats I wanted them to be registered with the top registries.  With having AGS (American Goat Society) and ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) goats, my head was swirling try to find out what a +*B and a +*S meant.  I’d find out about +*B & then have to go searching for the +*S.  It turned out they were for the 2 different registries.   I started compiling a list that not only details what all the designations mean, but a cross reference between these two registries.  I have posted this list on a web page that can be accessed here.  Hopefully it will save someone the pain and agony I went through LOL.  If you know of anything that is missing that would be helpful for others to know, please let me know and I’ll add it.

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Hay Feeders for Miniature Goats

feeder-4One of the biggest challenges we faced while building our miniature Nigerian Dwarf dairy goat herd was trying to find the ultimate hay feeder.  We went through a bunch of trial and error the first year, and finally came up with a year-round design that works really well for us and our herd, and saves a lot of time and hay costs.

You can’t just buy a cattle or horse hay ring and adapt it for goats… especially for miniature goats.  Goats need to be eating their hay at a particular angle (up and with their throats extended) for healthy eating habits.  Aside from that, the following was our list of challenges for the design: Continue reading

How long do goat kids nurse?

ginger-nursing-1If you have ever wondered how long kids will nurse on their dams (moms), I have had 8 month old doelings going in for glugs!

All of my females that are dam raised and left with their moms for at least 6 months are much larger and healthier than those that are:

  • Separated from their moms at weaning (usually 7 – 8 weeks if they are eating hay and grain) ;
  • Rejected by the mom and bottle raised;
  • Bottle raised due to multiple births;
  • Bought/sold as bottle babies

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Thank you for stopping by to see our farms located on the Tennessee / Kentucky state line…. up on the Highland  Rim where the air is clear and pure water is in abundance.

We specialize in organic and non-GMO fed rare breed and purebred livestock.  Our chickens are pure French Black Copper Marans, our turkeys are Bourbon Red, our dairy goats are Nigerian Dwarf, and our sheep are “Olde English” Southdown Babydoll.

Please come in, sit a spell, explore the site and let us know if you have questions about our operation!  We’d be happy to hear from you….