Baby Goats Were Born on Our Small Farm!

Baby goats were born on our farm! Ah, I can hardly believe it. I feel like we are actually (kind of) goat farmers now!

We brought lamancha goats onto our homestead a little over a year ago while on the quest for more self sufficiency. Now, I was not for purchasing goats at first. Goats were not my favorite animal of all time. I heard that they could be quite the troublemakers, which wasn’t super exciting. Also, I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to try goats milk!

At this point in time, I do not drink dairy milk at all, but my children do. I thought after going without milk at times during the pandemic, purchasing goats would be a good idea. Hopefully they would like the milk, right?

Over time, the does have really grown on me. They are dear little creatures who love a back scratch and a special treat. The bucks however, are a different story. If they didn’t have a vital role to fill, I could take them or leave them!

Related: Spring 2022 Homestead Projects

We bred our doe Nora in late fall, and she was due to deliver in April. I was quite nervous. I realized that most of the time goat deliveries went smoothly, but what if it didn’t?

I had no reason to be alarmed, because the birth went off without a hitch. She actually went a few days earlier than expected, which caught us off guard. My husband and I were actually walking our property, trying to figure out the exact lines so we could build a fence. When we got to the goat area, Nora was not with the others. We asked the goat girls, “Where is your sister?,” before continuing on our way. Well, she had walked into a stall to give birth!

We found her later that afternoon, with two babies standing on wobbly legs! She gave birth to a buckling and a doeling. The buckling is an adorable with brown, black, and white coloring. The doeling is whitish-tan, and looks a lot like her mama.

We gave Nora molasses water to help boost her energy, and added extra grain and sunflower seeds to her feed ration. We also helped clean her off, which she seemed to appreciate greatly!

We kept them in the stall for about 48 hours before letting them out. The kids love to jump and skip around! As I’m writing this, they are four days old and are doing fabulously well. My husband is taking them to get dis-budded this evening, which breaks my heart. At the same time, I feel like it is necessary for dairy goats.

So, that’s the story of our uneventful goat birth. I am so grateful to the Lord that it all went well.

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Bringing Home Our Lamancha Doelings

We are so excited over here, guys. Our lamancha goat doelings were finally ready to leave their mama, and we picked them up yesterday!

My husband has been all for getting goats for as long as I can remember, but I’ve been hesitant. I didn’t think I ever cared to try goat’s milk, so why bother with dairy goats?

Our Great Pyrenees, Bella, introducing herself to our new lamancha doelings.

Well, 2020 changed my mind about a lot of things, dairy goats being one of them. When milk was taken out of my cart by a cashier last April, I knew I wanted a more sustainable option for our family of eleven.

My first thought was a milking cow, but we just don’t have the space. So I started to learn all about the world of dairy goats, instead.

Related: Welcoming Spring on our Small Homestead

Our first thought was to research the Nubian breed. With long floppy ears, they are adorable! But after looking into them further, we decided they probably wouldn’t be the best fit for our family as first-time goat owners. They can be very loud, and we’ve got the loud factor going on already without adding goats into the mix.

After looking at several options, we decided on the lamancha breed. They are known to be very docile, and are great milk producers. They also can be in milk for up to two years between freshenings (giving birth).

Once the decision was finally made, my husband and son got to work on fencing and building a goat shelter. I’ve heard lots of stories about how it is best to have infrastructure in place before bringing home goats, and while it was difficult, we didn’t start to look for our new homestead additions until everything was in place. After about a four month process, we finally found them!

We answered an ad about five lamancha kids very close to home. Two of the five were polled (naturally hornless) doelings (baby girls), and were just what we were looking for.

We put down a deposit, and then waited another month until they were ready. We purchased what we needed to feed them and (rather impatiently) looked forward to the day we could bring them home.

Related: Our Homestead Goals for 2021

Our feed options look like this:

Hay. Goats get most of their nutrition from foraging and eating hay.

Alfalfa pellets. These little pellets of grass are another good option for feeding goats.

Bagged goat feed. At first I thought bagged goat feed that you could purchase at a store was how you were supposed to feed goats, but I was wrong. It should be fed very sparingly.

Minerals. We plan to make free choice minerals available to our doelings.

Yesterday, the day finally arrived. We got the call that the girls (Sadie and Nora) had been given a clean bill of health by the vet and were ready to go! We put a dog crate in the back of my husband’s truck, and away we went.

The previous owner had them ready for us, and they were wearing the cutest matching collars and leashes. This made loading them so much easier!

Welcome to your new home, ladies!

Once we arrived home, my nineteen-year-old daughter said that watching me walk a goat on a leash was the funniest thing she’s seen all year, ha! Our kids were smitten, and they clamored to take turns walking them. Once we released them into the goat yard, they started eating right away. Hooray!

They seem to be getting along well with our two Great Pyrenees, Bella and Copper. I hope they continue to adjust well, and I’m just so excited that we finally took this step. We probably won’t get milk out of these two for one-and-a-half to two years, but I’m hoping that getting them as doelings will help them have a great relationship with our family. I think we will be adding more goats to our tiny herd down the line as well, which is exciting!

I hope to share more soon. Thanks for stopping by our little homestead!