Our journey with Nigerian Dwarf Goats was inspired by our 17 year old Palomino, Rio. He lost his buddy, another gelding named Tucker and we set out to find him a companion. Many friends recommended a goat as a companion. And, of course, when you get one you must get two.
That prompted the research that led us to Nigerian Dwarf goats and then to the notion of milking, making feta cheese and kefir (a delicious, drinkable yogurt).
We got our start and first 3 does from Jennifer Crismon at CadDayPie Goat Ranch in Bennet CO.
After 6 weeks of preparation, we picked up the girls, Stella, Izzy and Jala. (see below).
Our learning curve has been steep but our mission is to breed and sell top notch Nigerian Dwarf goats so we are committed. Most of the learning came from not assuming anything and spending hours each day with them. We watched our milker, Stella drop weight alarmingly, Izzy get diarrhea, Jala get caught 1/2 way through a fence, Izzy hanging upside down in the horse hay bin and more…. Life is rich and humbling
Enjoy this site. This blog is intended to be educational and at times, funny. I still have the heart of a teacher, having been one for 20 years.
This blog is offered from my heart as a teacher. As we learn about our first experience with goats, we hope to pass on our “wish-we-wouldas and will-do-next-times”.
Our blog starts 7 weeks after we decided to find a companion for our Palomino Quarter Horse, Rio who lost his buddy about that time. Quickly, the plan to buy an old wether (neutered male) to 2 young wethers because they need company to maybe goat milk is good to …..why not have babies (not us, the goats). With both of us working full time in our real estate business, those first 7 weeks were a might full. Everything we learned was either from experts or online. A blog with resources will follow. And everything we undertook was more than twice as time consuming as we thought.
We learned about shelter, goat escape proofing, predator proofing, accident prevention, feeding and watering systems, sleeping quarters, how to milk, how to build milking stands, and how to smorgasbord other plants from our 37 acre ranch for them to see what rings their dinner bell. We even learned how to secure a gate properly. After living with horses for years, the technique is quite different….swing the gate into the goat area, dash in with a not so graceful slow swing of your foot as a barrier, then swing the gate closed and secure tightly before they jump against it in pure glee.
Are we ready to rest? No. Our next sprint will be learning about breeding, buck quarters, and pregnancy. Stud service is not an option for us since we live hours from other good breeders. So…. we purchased on top of the line buckling and a wether to keep him company. No rush. We pick both up the the Colorado Dairy Goat Association Harvest Show in Longmont CO in 1 week.
Learn and create and hopefully replicate is our mantra. We start creating quarters and infrastructure for our 6 week old buckling Shelby and his wether companion, Jasper today.
Come join us on our journey.. follow our blog, on Colorado Life with Nigerian Dwarf Goats.