(ANIMAL) DECISIONS DECISIONS
I’ve wanted to add animals to our homestead for a while now. We’ve not gone beyond the chickens we got in 2012 other than adding a couple of gray cochins last year. They are the nicest chickens. I wish the black sex links would leave them alone. We lost our remaining Ameracauna and one of the brown sex links this past winter.
I always thought ducks or meat chickens would be next. Due to a heavy weed problem we have on our 7 acres, I’m leaning more toward goats being the next acquisition. I’ve done some research on which goats to get and it looks like any that eat weeds are good choices! Since goats are social animals it would be best to get more than one. Larger goats will eat the leaves off trees as high as they can reach. I don’t necessarily want the leaves eaten off the trees, so I might have to pass on large goats. Instead I’m planning on medium and small goats. Actually, I’m planning on whatever goats I can get for $50 or less per goat.
My original plan was to start the goats in the back yard and hope our dog would appreciate the company during the day. Our dog is a border collie and pointer mix and I suspect he will be ok with them. Worse case we could tether them during the day outside of the backyard. Though I’ve heard stories from friends about goats that end up strangling themselves. I don’t know the details, but I don’t want that to happen.
I will eventually get panels when the goats are done in the backyard. The recommendation I’ve found is 16’ x 4’ cattle panels. I’ve only found one store so far that will deliver them. They’re around $26 each. I figure 4 of them should give a good size area. They are supposed to be easy to put up and also easy to move as the goats need to be moved around the property.
Desert Husband and I talked about how cool it would be to have goat milk to make products we can sell. We both work full time outside the home so that might be a possibility in the future, but not currently. Neither of us care for the taste of goat milk so I plan on getting wethers. If they aren’t already castrated, I have a friend who will take care of that for me.
Maybe in the future we would raise goats to sell for meat. I came across a statistic that said a lot of the goat meat is imported in the U.S. to meet the demand. I’m so naïve I didn’t even know goats were eaten in this country. I live in an area that has a high demand for goat meat which is something I learned through the grapevine after finding out people eat goat meat. I’m keeping that information in the back of my mind for when I can make the switch from full time employment at a J-O-B to full time homesteading.
© 2016 by Marge Fox