Archive for Nigerian dwarf goats in Southwest Florida

Chloe’s Baby

Posted in Goats with tags , , , , , , on December 5, 2011 by PickMeYard

This definitely isn’t Rosemary’s Baby. The devil didn’t have anything to do with this one.  Well, maybe a little, because we haven’t been able to get a single thing done since she was born.  Our Nigerian dwarf goat, named Chloe, had a baby girl last night (a female goat is called a doe).  Nigerian dwarfs make the cutest babies.  If you don’t believe me, judge for yourself.

She isn't even 24 hours old yet.

Chloe's such an awesome mom!

Most dairy goat owners take the babies away from the mothers immediately.  It is especially important to do this if the mother has a common disease called CAE because it is easily passed to the baby once it’s born.  We’ve chosen to allow our Nigerian dwarfs to keep their babies for a short time (probably a month).  Our goats are CAE free which is one of the reasons we’re letting them stay together.  If you want to learn more about birthing goats, check out Fias Co Farms website.  I believe it’s one of the best for goat information online.  Nothing beats having friends with goats though.  We’re very thankful for ours.

No social issues for this baby goat.

Chloe can't stop licking and cuddling her baby.

Neither can we.

Lots of hugging...

... and more hugging.

The maternity ward.

The cream colored Nigerian dwarf is next to kid (give birth). Her due date is today!

Loring and her two LaManchas. They are a breed of goat with small ears and a BIG personality. They're my favorite breed. Everybody has their favorite breed.

 The 5-year-old in the tutu has named the new baby goat “Glitters”.  We laugh every time we say it.  I was hoping we could persuade her to find a different name, but I don’t think we’re going to win this one.  However,  the baby will be going to a new and wonderful home at Alva Island Farm  soon.  She’s planning to name the next babies… Puddins’ and Sprinkles.   Great.

Glitters.

Come grow with us!

Backyard Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Posted in Goats with tags , , , , , , on September 28, 2010 by PickMeYard

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!

Kids!

Posted in Meet our Family with tags , , , on June 22, 2010 by PickMeYard

I try to post a blog at least three days a week, but some weeks are tough.  It is especially difficult when we have new additions to the family that are this adorable.  

This is Chloe... she was born a few days ago.

This is Mary. She's the older of the two... by a week.

We’re taking turns bottle feeding the kids.  We’re using a nipple that we bought from Tractor Supply made for feeding baby goats.  The nipples easily screw onto a Dasani water bottle that we fill with a powdered formula made for kids.  We’re using KidMilk made by MannaPro and mixing it with cow’s milk.  They’re really easy to feed.  We purchased the doelings from the Alva Island Family Farm.

A couple of people have asked me if I feel bad for taking them away from their mothers.  My answer is that they will be much better pets because we’re raising them.  They’ve been eating, sleeping and playing non-stop with my children.  If they had the choice to go back to their mothers, I think they’d choose to stay with us.

They're sleeping in a playpen.

Chloe... a baby Nigerian dwarf dairy goat.

Mary

Female Nigerian dwarf goats only reach about 17-19″ in height at maturity.  We don’t have a huge yard, but we have three acres and can certainly accommodate two dwarf dairy goats.  We’re really looking forward to learning all about them.  It’s going to be an awesome journey. 

Come grow with us!

Alva Island Family Farm

Posted in Inspiration with tags , , , , , , , on June 17, 2010 by PickMeYard

It’s not every day that we get to visit a family farm on an island… their very own island.  It was such a treat for us.

They even have their own island taxi.

The Caloosahatchee River in Southwest Florida.

This is the taxi for the other occupants on the island... goats.

The family raises honeybees and goats on the island farm.  They have honey and goats to sell most of the year. 

Southwest Florida honeybees on Alva Island.

This is where we’re getting the latest additions to our family… two baby Nigerian dwarf goats.  Only one has been born and we’re still waiting on the other one. 

The Nigerian dwarf goat is a liliputian dairy goat.  The females (does) only reach 17″-19″ in height and the males (bucks) only reach up to 21″ when they’re fully grown.  That’s only up to our knees.  They do get wide though, especially when pregnant.  This special and rare breed has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a livestock dairy goat, which makes them eligible for our 4-H projects.  Both my kids want to show their goats in 4-H.  I’m sure my 3-year-old will knock their socks off with her husbandry skills in the pee-wee division.  Nigerian dwarf goats can produce a lot of milk for their size… up to 2 quarts per day.  Their milk is known to be higher in butterfat than other goat breeds and taste sweeter.  These goats are gentle, lovable and playful with the sweetest personalities. 

Entrance to Alva Island.

I love hammocks. I dream of them. One of these days I will have to time to get one of my own and actually use it.

A swing on Alva Island.

... and a see-saw,

... and lots of trees to climb,

... and the baby Nigerian Dwarf goats.

She was determined to keep this one.

This one is ours. Do we have time for this? No. Are we going to make time? Oh yeah!

She's a doeling with blue eyes.

The Nigerian dwarf goat nursery on the Alva Island Family Farm.

They have a vegetable garden as well. This is the entrance.

The island still has all of its native Florida landscaping which makes it incredibly beautiful.

Hog plums are all over the island. Click on the picture for information on hog plums.

They have pineapples growing everywhere too.

This is a huge passion fruit vine that went to the top of this tree! There are hundreds of passion fruit all over the ground. The kids were throwing them like baseballs.

Ripe passion fruit are delicious!

If you would like to see how they got their goats onto the island, check out their website at AlvaIslandFarm.com.

Come grow with us!

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