New Dairy Goat
Last week we welcomed home our new Great Pyrenees, Mud. He is doing really well settling into his new lifestyle and getting used to people surprisingly quickly for a mostly feral unsocialized 11 month old dog. I figured it wouldn’t take long, as Pyrenees are usually very sweet good natured dogs, but he came around faster than expected. He already wags and smiles when we come into the barn, walks on a leash, and has even started to play a little bit.
The reason behind getting a Livestock Guardian Dog was to protect the dairy goats that we planned to eventually get in the future. Everything fell into place for us to get a goat right away, and we found a good responsible breeder with healthy quality stock from good producers, so off we went to pick one up this weekend.
It is generally advised that you must get at least two goats, as they are herd animals and would be stressed alone. We decided one would be okay, as we planned to bond her to Taco (the mini donkey) and Mud first, then introduce the horses. In theory, goats accept other hooved grazing animals as herd mates in place of other goats.
We picked a beautiful buckskin Alpine dairy goat, about a year old, that has been bred for an upcoming May baby. This will give us time to get her settled in here and establish new routines before the daily milking begins. I can’t wait for goat milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream, soap, etc…!
We have been gradually working towards a self sufficient lifestyle for several years now. We try to produce as much of our own food as possible. We had a major set back when we moved to the new farm, as we had to cut way back on our livestock to somewhat simplify the overwhelming move, as well as not having a garden last year. We will rebuild and be more fruitful than ever here, as this farm offers improved hunting opportunities and enough land to support more livestock. Having a dairy animal is an important milestone toward our goals.
My sister and mom named the new goat Audrey Geil. She is very cute and funny. She is getting used to us and seems friendly. She was not a fan of Mud immediately, so he is on the other side of the stall with a gate separating them until she decides he is not a predator but rather a guardian and friend. Mud immediately recoginized her goat noises as familiar to the sheep he grew up with, and he seems very interested in her, always with a very gentle and sweet expression on his face when interacting.
We introduced Audrey Geil to Taco across a gate as well, but it was obvious that she felt very comfortable with the donkey, so we put them together right away and they became fast friends. Taco’s presence seemed to calm her immediately. Hopefully the stress of the move won’t hurt the developing baby, as the first day did seem to upset her quite a bit.
Does anyone have any goat tips? We used to have a couple Boer goats years ago, but this is our first venture into dairy goats. Should be interesting…