Although I firmly believe that the term “homesteader” can be defined broadly, as it applies to your individual situation and goals, I have been known to jokingly say that I wouldn’t officially feel like a homesteader until I had something that poops larger than a chicken. Well, now that we are the proud owners of two super adorable goat kids, I can finally say that we have graduated to a whole new level of poop! (Side note: Poop size is actually not entirely accurate when classifying farm animals. You would not believe the size of some of the poop piles that come out of my chickens!)
However; busyness, physical activity, and number of available hours of free time, seems to be an excellent measure. Being goat owners is a blast, but I haven’t been this tired in a very long time. I think it might have something to do with the early morning bottle feedings and helping Tim build a pallet pen.
How do two people that have been on the fence about getting goats suddenly find themselves waking up to the sweet sounds of Maaa-aaaaa!! wafting through the bedroom window? Well, let’s just say that when a friend mentions that her neighbor has a newborn Boer kid in need of someone with the time to bottle feed, I turn into a big softee. And when you mention to your dubious, yet equally big softee husband, that we could turn the grandkids’ playhouse into a goat shelter, you suddenly find yourself searching Craigslist for a second bottle baby, because, well, goats are kind of like potato chips. You can never have just one. And they are just plain happier when they have a buddy to hang with.
So allow us to introduce Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Our new “spice babies.” Cinnamon is a lovely Nubian mix buckling and was born on Saturday, May 7. He is 15 pounds of curious, rambunctious energy, with the amazing ability to run across the yard at amazing speed and suddenly come to a skidding stop right before totally bulldozing poor Nutmeg. (Or sometimes he just flies over top of her. Crazy goat.) Nutmeg is a tiny little 5 pound Boer mix that we are hoping will eventually grow into her ears. She was born exactly a week after her spicy companion. She thinks she’s a lap goat, and loves to follow people around until they pick her up and snuggle her.
Now we have to consider the question that we keep getting from people. What are you going to do with goats?! Well, right now, we tend to spend a lot of time feeding them and playing with them. But yes, before we know it they will be eating hay and breaking through fences, and getting into all sorts of big goat trouble. To be honest, we’re still trying to sort that out. Do we want to raise meat goats? Do we want to milk? All that still remains to be seen. For now I’m just enjoying sitting in the playhouse-turned-goat house with a tiny Nutmeg sitting in my lap sucking down her bottle, while I listen to the chickens rustling in the coop next door, the robins singing a morning lullaby in the nearby pines and taking in the amazing smell of lilacs on the early morning breeze.