Archive for children and goats

Dairy Goat Show at the South Florida Fair

Posted in Goats with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2011 by PickMeYard

We took our two little Nigerian dwarf does to the South Florida Fair to compete against the professionals this past weekend.  It was a whirlwind.  We had no idea what to expect.  We put a lot of time and effort into the preparation and jumped head-first into the learning curve.

Grayson and his goat “Mary” did fantastic in their 1st class at their 1st goat show.

Grayson had such a good time at the show and all he can think about now is … goats.  I’m having the same problem.  They are beautiful, intelligent, playful and useful animals.  The goats at this show were some of the most elegant animals I’ve ever seen. 

Elegant show goats.

A class of dairy goats being judged.

The goats are "set-up" to show their dairyness.

Waiting to go into the ring.

Now that’s an udder!

This show was a doe only dairy show… no bucks.  The American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) sanctioned the show and the winners won cash and prizes.  When Grayson took his voucher to collect his winnings he decided he was in this for the long-haul.  He won a lot of money and some great prizes.  (There was nothing free about getting to the show though.)

Mia's only 11-years-old and won a gorgeous, engraved, silver belt buckle.

4-H kids are smart and wholesome. They know how to take care of their animals and are not to be trifled with.

The show wasn’t all pursed-lips and seriousness.   There was a fun costume contest. 

The lone ranger showed up. Whoa, Silver!

I made "Silver's" saddle and bridle from a old vest and purse I bought at Goodwill.

Goat busters.

Check out Goodness Gracious Acres to see the full range of costumes in the contest.  She’s a fellow blogger and took some great photos.  She also sells homemade goat soap and other items from her website. 

Mia and Grayson. Mia is the “goat whisperer” and has taken Grayson under her wing to teach him.

Mia is such a special young lady and an inspiration to us.  She got us started with our chickens and has been a huge help with our goats.   Her knowledge of animal husbandry is very impressive.  If we could motivate all of our nation’s youth to be as motivated as the 4-H kids, our country’s future would look much brighter.

Mary is getting a much-deserved hug.

It's exhausting, but worth it.

Our two little does did very well at our first show.  We’re super proud of them.

Come grow with us!

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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!