Jamani "Expensive Friend" and her 2011 son
It all started with a simple declaration. Hubby was tired of weeding the "back forty". Since we prefer the organic route to life, a logical solution would be a weed eating machine on four legs---a goat. So the plan began, as most, with the notion of adding a couple of goats to our little farm....to eat the weeds.
Research is what I do best and research led me to the Nigerian Dwarf breed. Their small stature and ease in handling is ideal for the over the hill crowd, like us. Their personality, their intelligence, and the colors they come in---my type of goat! As I compiled information, ideas started to swirl and grow.......As with most babyboomers, retirement is just the beginning of a second adulthood; and goats would be our second adulthood career. We started with four registered show worthy kids and a wether named Kosmo. We looked more like a circus act than budding breeders; teaching the kids to do tricks and entertaining our guests. Our buckling, Beau, was a particularly talented performer. As our herd continued to grow, we began to do AGS, ADGA and NDGA shows; and we learned the goat world by both the easy way and the hard way.
And now, another declaration. Hubby
vowed that ten goats would be enough. The goat life has been rewarding and fun. Over time the herd grew to 38 in the "back forty". But over time, the amount of work caught up with our ageing bodies and we had to reduce the herd down to a very small number of beautiful does with excellent show and milk potential. And our fantastic, gorgeous bucks will always live a pampered lifestyle.
There have been several inquiries about the name "Kivuli". This is a Swahili word that mean "a shadow", and the babies are our shadows at every chance they get. We like the melody of the Swahili language and several of our goats have been given Swahili names. For the ones still in our herd, the translation is listed below their name. Others, like Bubujika (playful little boy), Tamu Sana (Very beautiful), and Jumamosi (born on Saturday) now live in other herds.
Our approach to herd management is to keep everything as simple as possible. The girls are fed alfalfa hay, alfalfa/ bermuda pellets and black oil sunflower seeds for daily rations. Grain is offered to pregnant and lactating girls. The boys are fed orchard hay. Sunflower seeds are a treat for them. Everyone has access to pasture brouse and mineral blocks. Copper bolus supplements are given as needed. CD&T vaccinations are given to kids before disbudding and boosters follow in a few weeks.
In order to maintain a healthy herd, we practice strict biosecurity measures. Exposure to goats from other herds is extremely limited and visitors are required to wear shoe protection.
The farm is rounded out with an assortment of chickens and guinea fowl. Our house is supervised by two Maine Coon cats, a tabby, and our new addition, a sweet "who knows" breed. They keep us constantly entertained.
The climate here is ideal for most plant materials. When the goats aren't calling, we are busy with our first love--the garden, over run with heritage tomato plants, and our cottage style flower beds....now very limited until there's enough water.