After eight weeks of waiting for the kids to be weaned, one hundred and fifty days of waiting for them to be born, a year of waiting to get to the top of the list, and a lifetime of wishing for goats, our triplets finally came home last week.
Three happier, more social and friendly goats I do not know! Kudos to Sunflower Farm, who bred them and raised them with frequent visiting hours for schools and the public, so these kids are totally used to being picked up and handled all the time. For the drive home, where they were loose in a tarped off section of my Volkswagen, they just cuddled up and napped.
Once we got home, they had to meet the geese. Geese and chickens gathered at the doorway to the goat stall, calling out (and hissing) with curiosity. After a few moments of staring, these three bounded on by and started enjoying munching on all of the greens the pasture has to offer.
We have set up our pasture with 4 foot no climb fencing, recommended as the best fencing for keeping goats in. To keep them amused when they aren't enjoying nap time or food, we put in a few large stumps for them to hop on and a small lean-to shelter to rest in. Once they are a little bigger, we'll be using temporary fencing to bring them around the property and help us in our clearing land.
Of course, while we planned plenty of amusements for them, the goat's favorite pastime is leaping up and running down the rock wall the provides support underneath the barn. They find racing from one end of the building to the other and leaping off the most fun pastime they could dream up.
Inside the barn, the goats have a spacious stall which is outfitted with hay nets full of second cut hay, a mineral block and open access to water and baking soda (yes, goats need baking soda in their diets), and plenty of grain. They'll eat grain with open access until about six months, when we'll reduce them to a small daily feeding. Their stall, like all of the ones we put into our barn, was designed with a herd about twice the size in mind, allowing us to expand our group without having to rebuild.
We purchased two does and one wether (neutered male). Wethers are known for their quiet, friendly behavior and we thought he would make a nice companion for the girls, who we will eventually be breeding and milking. They were born as triplets, and so they got to stick with their siblings as they moved to their new home.
Mr Jones is our wether. With a chestnut head, front legs and chest and white "pants", out of all of the thirty-three goats born at Sunflower Farm this spring he was one of the most distinct looking. We named Mr Jones after the late, great David Bowie (his pre-fame surname), and his pants do make him look a little like the Thin White Duke. His attitude, however, is all about nap time and snuggles. He's the most quiet personality, and will walk up to you and plant himself in your lap, closing his eyes once he's comfy.
Sweat Pea is the first of our girls, a multi-colored doe with deep eyes and an eagerness for attention. If you walk over to the goat house, she will come running while the other two keep munching on their hay. She's also the biggest nibbler, a habit that we will have to work on breaking.
Finally, Tater is cream colored like her father, Rosaharan Whelk. She is the most curious of the three, the first to engage with the geese and go exploring on the wall. She's also the acrobat, doing mid-air twists as she leaps from fallen log to stump.
It is truly a dream come true to have these three on our farm, gracing our daily moments with little bleats and endless entertainment. I'm looking forward to snuggling with them for years to come.
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