Chloe, a Nigerian dwarf goat.
I have a few friends that have goat farms nearby. I’ve always wanted my own goats… and so did the rest of my family. My friends and husband would always tell me that if I want a goat, then I should get a goat. I knew I was capable. I was raised with horses. But still, I was apprehensive about goats. Would it be too much work? Would I regret it?
Grayson bottle feeding his Nigerian dwarf goat, Mary Quite Contrary.
We’re absolutely elated to have two little Nigerian dwarf goats. Not only do we not regret getting them, but now we want a whole herd. We looove them! We love taking care of them too and race each other to get to them first with our bottles in hand. They have such adorable personalities. Mary is sweet and not contrary at all. Chloe is feisty but loves to be picked up and hugged. Actually, they both live to be hugged. Their size makes it very easy to stay in control of them.
Chloe & Mary.
4-H has started this year and both my children are going to show their goat. Our club is going to teach the kids all about beekeeping, gardening and goats. Grayson is so excited to learn everything he can about goat husbandry. We’ve got some incredible teachers in our group to learn from. The Nigerian dwarf breed is known to be an excellent dairy goat and we will be milking ours.
Grayson is milking a friend's goat for a 4-H event.
The goat barn under construction.
Why do these things always get built in the dark? Because I kept changing the plan, not because my hubby is a ferocious procrastinator. I’m not complaining… I think he added some really clever details. He built our little portable barn to keep our goats dry at all times. Goats do not like to get wet and it can be detrimental to their health.
Goats doing what goats do.
Our goat shelter has ventilation at the top and can be placed on bricks for more ventilation at the bottom. We’re going to place it on top of a pallet with some fresh hay for bedding. Greg made the roof of the barn so that it can easily be taken off if we need to move it a considerable distance in the yard. It has poles that go through the entire structure so that two people can carry it with ease. It looks heavy, but it’s not. We learned our lesson with our chicken tractor. It ended up being way too heavy to move easily.
My husband made a little window on each side for the food and water buckets. He designed the buckets to be on the inside or the outside. If the bucket is on the outside, the goat has to reach her head out the window to get to it. It keeps her from pooping in the water or food. For now, we keep the buckets inside at night so we can shut the window over the bucket. It keeps the barn completely secure against predators. We usually switch the buckets to the outside in the morning. The inside of the structure is high and we plan to build a platform that is up, off the ground. The front door locks securely. Our goal was to provide our goats with a totally secure and completely dry house to sleep in at night (and shelter during the day).
This is the children's favorite part of every project.
The finished project... a portable barn... for Nigerian dwarf goats.
Mary peeking out from under her playground.
Their entire area is fenced in. We have another area fenced off as well so we can rotate them. Goats are extremely prone to parasites and rotating their pastures helps to keep the parasites under control.
They have a gorgeous playground and fun stuff to jump on. Goats have invisible wings. We set up chairs to watch them play because they make us laugh hysterically. They do actually slide down the slide… over and over.
Come grow with us!