Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pgymy Goats!

In preparation for Henry's birthday party walk to the local farm, he and I trekked to the feed store (Callahan's for all of you Austin folks) to purchase some goat feed to pass out as favors.

Going to feed stores is seriously a hobby of mine. I loved exploring Wabash when we lived in Houston, and now that I have a child, trips to the feed store are elevated to a whole new level. 

As soon as Henry and I walked in, we immediately spotted piglets. I seriously can't think of anything cuter than baby pigs with their mother. 

And next to them were two pygmy goats--also as cute as could be. Then we spotted some six-week old bunnies--definitely cute. 

While I was petting the goats, I struck up a conversation with the man next to me. I had wanted goats for a long time but then got convinced that they would be too difficult to keep as pets. My conversation with the man next to me, however, reignited my interested in keeping two pygmy goats as pets. 

He explained that he kept his goats in the backyard just like dogs. When he would arrive home after work in the evening, they would run up to greet him. At night, he would just keep them in the backyard. They got along famously with his dog. He said the one thing you have to be careful of is keeping them away from your vehicles because they do love to climb. 

I was flooded with joy by the prospect of letting two pygmy goats (they like company) run free in the backyard with Hoss and the chickens. We love, love, love having chickens as pets in the backyard (they have so much personality!), and I'm guessing I will feel the same way about miniature goats. I also love the idea of Henry growing up around farm animals. He'll learn so much about responsibility, gentleness, compassion, and joy.

I'm going back to this book as well as the internet to do some more research! 

Our current vision is to build a fence all the way around our backyard and down into the creek area. It will be about a 1/2 acre, minus the 25-foot set-back of the house from the street and the house itself. The garden will be in the front yard, away from all the animals (if the positioning of the house doesn't block the sun too much). Now that we're thinking about goats in the backyard, we'll also have to keep the mini-orchard out of the fenced area. It will be on the side of the house.

We'll also have to think about how the pygmy goats will interact with the plants and trees in our backyard. They might just demolish everything! 

Like I said, there's still a lot of research to be done, but I'm excited to dwell in possibility!

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Anthropolochic said...

I'm so jealous. I LOVE goats. I've wanted to keep them for a long while. Sadly, I can't work goat rearing into my tiny apartment :)

Catoctin Mountain Mama said...

Who can resist baby pygmy goats? They are seriously adorable. I can't wait to get some down the road. Are you familiar with the Dervaes family living on a homestead in the middle of LA? They grow 6,000 lb of organic food on a 1/10th of an acre and are my heroes. They have several pygmy goats and their blog is a wonderful resource for raising animals in the city. I wrote about them here...


fuzzy said...

The goats will get out of your fences---they climb them!---and eat ALL of your trees. They are browsers by preference. They do eat briers and multiflora rose, so they aren't all bad, but they kill most trees.

If you do get pygmys---as you can tell, I'm not a fan of goats, preferring a nice docile cow or two---consider getting females. Then you can milk them. If there is a breeder nearby, you can take them to the buck to be bred. You milk them on a stand so you can reach.

Carrie said...

Make sure your local zoning ordinance permits goats before you bother researching anything else about them...

Colleen said...

Oh man. I think about goats.... but I just don't know..... bees first I think!

Ashley W said...

I just found your blog, or I would have commented MUCH sooner. Did you ever get goats, or find out if they'd be allowed? Many municipalities now allow the smaller breeds. If you don't have goats yet, you should look into Nigerians. They're a dwarf breed, so about the size of the pygmies, but they're a dairy breed, and give THE BEST milk. Granted, they converted me to full size girls, as I just can't get enough from the little ones.

As someone else said, they will eat everything. I did find that livestock fencing plus hotwire is enough to keep my girls inside the fence. Without the hotwire, mine never climbed the fence, but they did rub continuously on it, creating holes that they always managed to slip out of. If I had splurged (REALLY splurged - it's expsensive!) for livestock panels, I wouldn't have needed the hotwire, but the babies can slip out of the holes of the livestock panels.

I seriously love my goats, and if you ever want to talk goats with me, feel free to email me. wrightashley 73 @ gmail.com. You can also harvest the cashmere from your goats (any goat can produce cashmere) and spin it!! And if you're more adventuresome than me, you can butcher your excess kids and have really good meat for your family. Granted, the babies are really stinkin cute, so I don't know anyone who can actually do that, but there are lots out there who do. EEE, goats!!!

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