Cappers Farmer Blogs > Nana's Ranch

Goat Politics

NanaNoOb goat herd management on a hobby farm is interesting. We tried three breeds, not knowing how they would get along or that we would end up getting rid of some. We also didn't plan on a fatal mauling and an accidental poisoning. Ah, goats.

 

Buck

We think our Boer buck died after ingesting a plant that was poisonous.

Before we moved to our ranch, we already had our first goat, a Boer doeling I named Bordeaux. At the time we planned to raise and sell meat goats. After a while though, Grandpa's habit of finding goats that needed new homes not only led to the purchase of a Boer buck but also two fainting goat whethers and two Kinder does, Bonnie and Nonnie.

Bonnie1a

Bonnie is one of our two Kinder does who needed a new home when her previous owners lost their jobs and had to hit the road as long haul truckers.

With six goats of different sizes and temperaments, we had our hands full. The Kinders were at the bottom of the pecking order and had trouble getting enough food when they weren't open grazing.

The Boers outgrew the fainting goats but weren't as aggressive. When either coyotes or dogs mortally wounded our meanest fainting goat, the herd calmed down a little. Everyone was (almost) getting along.

We bred our buck to all three does. Soon after, we decided to sell off our meat goats and Cookie, the remaining fainter. I had fallen in love with Kinders.

twins1

Our first kids; twins by Nonnie

Although the fainting goats were funny to watch (both of ours were great fainters), Cookie's attitude wasn't something we wanted to have around. He was nice to humans but a battering ram to his pasture mates. Finding a miscarried goat fetus in the pasture was the last straw because it may have been caused by him hitting one of the pregnant does in the side.

cookie1

Cookie was pretty chill around humans but was too mean to the other goats.

Another reality that hit us: People aren't willing to drive an hour out of the city to buy a meat goat when they can get on just down the road. The valley is full of Boer breeders we would be competing with. A good idea at first (how better to let the goats earn a living?), in reality, breeding meat goats made no sense. Selling Bordeaux and her buckling to another breeder was a good decision for us.

Junior

Our only Boer kid

Our herd now consists of two purebred Kinders and one Kinder – Boer cross from last year. All three of them have kids. Bonnie has given birth to a single buckling both times we bred her. Nonnie has birthed twins both times; a buckling and a doeling. Nonnie's doe from last year, Abba-Zabba, birthed a single buckling this year. Although she isn't purebred, we'll keep this year's doeling, Rainbow Cherry (she's 75% Kinder) and sell all three bucklings once they are whethered.

cousins

This season's kids, three bucklings and one doeling.

I have not started milking my Kinders but I am planning to start in the near future.

I hope you enjoyed reading my rambling goat chronicles today. God bless.

Nana

Goat Politics

Nonnie and her kids from 2013, Snickers, Abba-Zabba and Bonnie.