My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, ... thank you!

Pix of goaties

We took the drive up to the mountains yesterday. Snow had accumulated -- lightly -- over the past few days, and still felt ever so lightly. However, as we curled up the mountain, the roads became a tad slick, and the fog thickened. Pea soup doesn't begin to describe it. Visibility hung at around 20 feet in some parts. We barely found our exit, but caught it just as as passed it. No problem. We made a u-ey and rectified that.

Sooo glad we took Hubby's 4x4. The driveway sloped steeply, and with the addition of ice and snow, felt quite treacherous. Finally got there. Safely. Hubby pointed out that a lady in with the horses was waving but by the time I caught my breath and looked, she was trudging through the snow to us, head bent against the wind.

Really enjoyed our time there. Once we met the goats and looked around, they invited us in to warm up and drink tea. (My toes were froze!). We left with (hopefully) new friends and a meticulous Nigerian Dwarf breeder. And a verbal contract.

They had two goat areas, separated by the driveway and a few extra feet for good measure. (Remember, keeping boy goats - bucks - near your does makes the milk stinky and yucky so you need separate pens for them.) Both pens (not really barns) were made mostly of fencing, with the smart use of tarps and a solid roof.

The girls had extra room. In addition to the out-of-the-weather run, then had a completely sheltered area in the back loaded with hay, with panels on all walls, and a tarp to be brought down when weather got blustery. We assume that is where the goaties kidded. They had installed heat lamps. It's important to keep goats dry and if they get wet, say by falling snow or by being born (!!), you need to heat to prevent severe illness and possible death.

Can you see the text I added to the above pic? This is the girl's area, and shows the run to the left (where they had things to stand on and play with), the tarps blocking the worst of the wind, and the sloping ceiling (very important in snow territory).

The boys (bucks) just had the one open room plus a run. They kept warm from the heat generating off the composting hay-floor. Plus the tarps and the top panels around the fencing kept out the worst of the wind and weather.

This pic to the right is of the boy's home. It was well-tarped but notice that they had plenty of open fencing too, and the run off to the left. Leaving plenty of ventilation is key to healthy livestock. They have NO heat in here at all, so the tarps and decomposing hay-floor is important to keeping them warm, although they tolerate very cold temperatures well.

Here is CM2, the Nigerian Dwarf that we will bring home once she has her babies (her first!) and they are weaned. She had distinctive markings on her side - our goat lady says it looks like a cat. I'm thinking rooster. Didn't get a good enough pic to post here. She was pretty leary of everyone... maybe confused about what the hairy heck was going on with her bod! She did sprint a couple of times towards the run and then the enclosed back area. We hope she warms up to us after she's had her kids. She's beautiful and will look good on our little homestead. She's mostly tan with white spots.

This huge (read: very pregnant) Nigerian Dwarf to the right is Lili. She is actually CM2's mom, and is pregnant with a group that may hold as many as 4 kids. She was so friendly, and when I tried to feel for movement in her side, she let out such a burp! We rethought things, and since she's due any day, her kids will be ready to bring home before CM2 will be. So, assuming Lili has 2 or more doelings, the goat owner keeps the best, and we'll next the next best, along with a wether (castrated boy) to keep her company. NEVER have just one goat.

This fine young stud is Nitro. He didn't care to be petted, standing regally in the corner. Beautiful blue eyes. He's the father of CM2's babies. AND, if I remember correctly, he's also the father of Lili's babies (this time). He got LOTS of action this Winter!

So there are the three big players in starting our little goat herd. The ones that let us pet them were so sweet, with coarse/soft hair.


Rivenfae said...

Those goats are cute I hope you get to have them soon. I wish you lots of luck with your future herd.

Vikki said...

Thanks, Rivenfae. I'm so excited! See the comment I left on your blog. Vikki