Ever since seeing Deborah's talk at the Mother Earth News Fair a few years ago about her nigerian dwarf goats, we've been talking about a dairy animal(s) at some point. Deborah and her family fulfill all their dairy desires with their goats. That's something we want to do one day. One more piece to our food independence puzzle.
We've been oscillating between goats and a cow. There are so many things to consider when deciding between the two, but the biggest thing for us was making butter. We sure do love butter! We had tentatively decided on a cow and put our plans on the back burner for a few years. I recently ran across Leigh's post about making butter and it reignited my desire to look further into goats.
I did an Internet search for nigerian dwarf goats and West Virginia and ran across Becky at JCH Mountain Farm. She's only about an hour away from us and today, the littlest one and I went for a little field trip.
And we fell in love. They are the most adorable little goats ever! They currently have around 25 goats. Becky has worked hard to build up her herd for traits that she finds desirable and it shows. She was so open to answering all my newbie goat questions and welcomed us for nearly 3 hours! She made me feel better about housing concerns and pasture. And she may have two kids for us if we want to get started sooner rather than later!
I came home excited about the possibilities. She said her family loves fudge and ice cream from the milk. We want to make cheese. And I'd love to make soap! The world will be our oyster when we take the plunge. While I know a dairy animal ties you to your house a bit more than most, I don't mind so much with sunsets like these:
And everyone who said chickens are the gateway livestock was absolutely right!
Do you have goats? What breed tickles your fancy?