Goat Cleared Hillside

I am amazed! We put our 2 wethers (Dos & Basil) and our new buck (Warrior) in the new pen we built out on the hillside. This pen was built out of recycled materials, fence we salvaged from old dog kennels that confined German Shepherds. We may have spent a few dollars in screws and wire. The rest was what we had on hand. I had heard of goat rental services to clear brush, and now see why someone would rent a bunch of goats to clear a hillside. Wow, these boys have seriously impressed me with their skills.

And this is what it looked like the day before we put them in there.

So yeah, they are very good at their job and we really want to give them more of the hillside to nibble on. We are welcoming any fence donations to expand their forage area. We would love woven wire for cattle, at least 4′ tall, with this tougher fencing we could even run the pig out in these paddocks from time to time. If you have some fencing you’d like to get rid of and are local to Versailles, we could come take it down and haul it away if you have unwanted fencing. Also we have a paypal you can donate to if you want to help, but don’t have any unwanted fencing, payable to paypal@earthenstewards.com, Thanks!

2016-05-09 Garden Pictures

Grabbed the camera and went for a walk around my beautiful gardens and snapped pictures of what grabbed my eye. I just love how our place is creatively evolving ❤

 

 

Getting Adjusted with Goats

This is what I get to enjoy everyday now, they are the CUTEST! All are eating well, and growing fast. I was so nervous in the days before we brought them home, hoping the transition would go smoothly, hoping that changing from the milk and  milk-replacer they were getting at their original home to the milk I was going to give them would be an easy switch and wouldn’t cause health issues. Luckily the breeder I bought them from was kind enough to give us 3 quarts of her goat milk to make the transition easier. So thankful, as I feel that helped greatly smooth the transition from her milk-replacer to the milk-replacer I got.

For the first days feeding, the youngest goat (Dos) I fed strait goat milk, 1/2 the milk I got from my breeder, and 1/2 of the goat milk I bought from our grocery store, then I switched him to what the other two were getting.  The other two (Basil & Milkyway) got 1/2 replacer, 1/4 breeder goat milk, 1/4 store bought goat milk. I would also add in a generous splash of milk kefir. I gave kefir to add in some healthy probiotics to help their guts be colonized by good bacteria.

For the first few days they all had a soft poo, which indicated slight diarrhea, and I didn’t want to see this get worse so I went to my herbs. I made an infusion of dry Echinacea (I foraged last summer) and dry catnip (harvested from my herb garden last summer)- Put a good size handful of each dry herb in a 2 quart jar, and then filled the jar with just boiling water. Then I let it sit out on my counter overnight. I poured off the herbs and the resulting tea is what I used to mix the replacer with instead of plain water.

Echinacea makes a wonderful immunity boost, and my go-to herb for darn near everything.

Echinacea in the Ozarks

Catnip is a wonderful herb for diarrhea and cramps and I felt would work well here.

Catnip

I would have used Blackberry leaves or even Raspberry leaves but didn’t have enough in stores, so I’m glad I had so much Catnip on hand.

So after a few days on this they are doing super fantastic! They are poo’ing perfect healthy little goat berries, and are growing well. I’m so happy they are thriving! So far so good 🙂

Multilevel Pallet Goat House! Oh yeah!

So, being that we live on steeply sloping land, we are big on putting darn near everything on stilts in order to make level floors for our structures, and the goat house is no exception! Our Nigerian Dwarves will only get around 23″ tall at most, and so we built this “2-story” goat house with that in mind. Above will be the slumber loft, where it stays nice and cozy warm, with pallet platforms leading up to the entrance, so even going to bed involves their favorite activity… JUMPING! lol! Below the loft is the “barn” area, we will enclose 3 sides (North, South & West) to keep drafts minimal, and here we will put their feeders, water and minerals so they stay dry underneath. Then we plan to use 2″x4″ welded wire fencing to enclose a large area for them to frolic and play. This is where we are so far…

Pictures taken 2015/03/11 on our progress for what I am lovingly calling the Goat Hut. Coming right along, this whole structure was built using free pallets, recycled lumber, & timber from our property. The only thing we had to buy for the hut is the screws and nails. Now we just have to put some tar paper on the roof, then some sheet metal, build a set of steps so the goats can climb in and fence it. We also got some super huge tractor tires today from our neighbor to put in the goat pen as fun objects for them to jump on. Without further adoo, here are today’s pictures of our progress on the Goat Hut.

2015/03/12 Update – Today we built steps for the goats to hop up into their new hut, rolled huge boulders & tires into their area, put in the gate and start putting up the fence. The rocks were tough to move, but we managed it… but we are surely feeling it tonight, oy veh.

2015/03/16 – We did it! For the most part the goat hut is finished, aside from being painted and the metal roof being put on. We’ll get to that asap. As for now the goats are now living in their new habitat! We got the fence and gate up, and last night they spent their first night outside! They did great, I went and checked on them and did a perimeter check around midnight and again around 4am.

Bon Voyage on our Journey to Goatkeeping

Rocky Hollow Gardens Goat HerdWe are so blessed to be starting our very own dairy goat herd this spring just as we have been wishing too! Thanks to the incredible generosity of my sister and brother in law, Chriss & Mitch Dunham for donating the money we needed to buy a pedigreed doeling, plus two playmates for her to get us started off right in our dream of having our own sustainable farm fresh raw dairy! So far the plan is that we’ll get to bring them home by this coming weekend! Holy Smokes! Also a big thanks to the Mathiot’s, for being so kind and generous in sharing their time and experience showing me the ropes of goat care, and even taught me how to milk a goat! So I’ll be ready when MilkyWay is 🙂

2015-02-19 MilkyWay front

F21 Mathiot’s Paradise A Milkyway

    Sire: Mathiot’s Paradise LS Armani

     Dam: SG RHV CTO Peppermint Patty 7*M

 

http://www.mathiotsparadise.com/