The boy has been wanting goats for quite some time. We happen to live literally in the middle of nowhere and have a lovely barn that usually sits empty (minus all the boats, campers, etc that the boys’ friends drag up to our house for “storage” – I’m still convinced we need to start charging…). So we had what one might call a goat haven. So with the potential of the nicest goat pen that ever existed, the boy’s unrelenting (slightly odd) desire for some goats, the boy’s dad’s helping hand, my mom’s enthusiasm, care and help and my inability to have a backbone, we got goats!
Now let me tell you a few things about goats. Goats are crazy little creatures. Not only do they look kinda funny (hello horizontal pupils?!) they are also so lovable, hysterical, spastic and calming all at the same time. By no means am I a goat expert but after having four little baby goat buggers for a bit over a week, I have concluded that they are wonderful, little, bizarre creatures.
So here is a run down of the newest members of our family and of course a goat load of photos for all of your inquiring minds!
1. who/what are these goat friends? We purchased our goats from a lovely family in Southern Idaho that we found over the internet quite quickly after inquiring how to buy baby goats. It turns out goats really aren’t hard to come by in Idaho (surprise, surprise). Our goats are Nigerian Dwarf Goat and are bred as milking goats (more on that below). They will get to be about 30-40 pounds of goat fun and hopefully will continue to thrive in the Idaho elements.
Our goat babies are named Lemon, Farrah, Bernard and Zoro. Lemon and Farrah are two girls of triplets and are pretty much like two peas in a pod. That is except for when Lemon is being the head goat and not being so nice. Lemon has definitely been termed the “beez” of the family, while Farrah is quite possible the prettiest and most easy going goat you will ever find.
Bernard was not originally part of our plan, and the boy made another trip just to pick up little Bernard after he wasn’t claimed. We gladly took another boy goat into the pen after falling in love with Lemon, Farrah and Zoro. Bernard got head butted (likely by Lemon) upon his arrival and has a battle wound to show for it. But since then he has fit right in. Word on the street is that he looks a bit like a My Little Pony (future identity crisis?).
And Zoro. Little Z-Man, Z-Baby, Z has become a fan favorite. We suspect Zoro was the runt as he remains tiny. Zoro is such a little lover and the best goat snuggler. He will drink his bottle and then curl right up to you to take a cat nap. We have been nursing Zoro back to life and giving him a ton of TLC. He is starting to show his spunky goat self and can pull off some pretty incredible jumps and goat tail wags for a goat his size.
2. what do these goat friends do? Pretty much nothing. We got them with the intention that they really have no purpose other than just being. And it’s amazing. They are just for pure entertainment, companionship and fun. And let me tell you, goats are fun. They jump, play, head butt, snuggle and nibble on anything in sight.
While Nigerian Dwarf Goats are bred for milking, we have decided to likely forgo that whole milking process. Because physiologically there is no goat milk from a female goat (just like cows, male goats don’t produce milk either….) without breeding and without pregnancy (I know, crazy how the world works!). And that just all seems a bit more than we bargained for with our goat friends. So for now they are just goat friends who like to hang out and suck down bottles full of milk.
The boy used to make fun of me for my love, devotion and pure obsession with pugs because he says they have no purpose. But that’s the beauty of a pug. They are just a companion and are there to love you, just like the goats. Now look who has four little baby goats who have no purpose…who is the sucker now?
3. how do you get more friends? Get baby goats. No joke we have had so many visitors since getting baby goats. Everyone loves baby goats. We have even contemplated charging a gallon of milk (whole milk please?) to come visit the goats and partake in a bottle feeding.
I mean how can you not love this?
4. do you know what a group of goats is called? No? Neither did we but according to good ole Google, a group of goats is called a herd, a flock or a trip of goats. A trip of goats? Yes, and now we see why they are called a trip of goats because they are just a trip!
5. how the hell do you take care of a goat? To be honest I still don’t really know the best way to take care of a goat. Every time I Google something I think we are doing it all wrong. But let’s be real. Goats have been born since the beginning of time (or almost) outside in the elements without a plush pen with a straw floor, heat lamps, a mineral block, bottles four times a day and nestling cubby and survived. So I figured we can’t go that wrong.
But so far we have been feeding the babies cow’s milk four times a day with homemade bottles made out of soda bottles and a nipple (store bought, people…). And the goats love being fed. They act like crazy, crazy goats and jump everywhere and nibble on your fingers until their bellies are full and they have milk beards. There is nothing cuter than a milk beard on a baby goat. And if you happen to know how to wean a baby goat, I am all ears!
6. where do the goats live? Now I might be obsessed and have had a few dreams or two about the goats but they do not and will not come in the house. The baby goats have a lovely barn with a window and a pen inside that has a straw floor and plenty of wood stumps and a nestling cubby to climb on. They seem to love their pen and will sprint back to it. Pretty much every time we go out to see the goats we sneak up on them to spy and they all seem happy as clams. But if you would like to have a goat sleep over you are more than welcome to bring a sleeping bag (and a gallon of milk of course). Think Nativity Scene with an Idaho goat flair.
7. when is the goat party? As soon as the weather clears up! Come one, come all!
Huge thanks to the boy’s dad for helping us create such a lovely little goat haven and a ginormous thanks to my mom for helping our wildest goat dreams come true all while lending the most helping had when it comes to bottle feeding!