The Blog‎ > ‎

Our three new alpine goats!

posted May 22, 2011, 4:29 PM by Admin at Yacolt Mountain Farm and Nursery   [ updated May 22, 2011, 5:34 PM ]

It has been a long time since I have dreamed about having goats and last Sunday it became reality. Producing milk and particularly goats milk is of course the bigger purpose of why I wanted goats but I've wanted to be able to interact and get to know goats themselves as well. After looking at all the requirements and regulations about selling goats milk it became clear that unless I had a stable demand for the milk I wouldn't be able to afford selling goats milk. It would take a lot of investment to build a certified milk processing kitchen and get the necessary licenses. However, since our family still would love to drink goats milk and eat goat dairy products, and they are quite expensive at the store, we decided it would be worth it to get goats. That said, I do not consider it impossible to expand our goat operation in the future, it is just not a short term priority. And after all, they do eat blackberry bushes and weeds our sheep do not seem to care for and we could certainly use the manure they produce. 
My goal was to find some affordable goats from good milking lines and I really liked the alpine breed. I found what I believe is a perfect match. I found
 the Too Much Bucks ranch online and got to know the owners a little. They ag
reed to give us a tour of their ranch and I soon started to realize how great of a deal I was getting. Though they have only been in the business for 7 years they have managed to breed great milking lines and their goats have won several shows. I believe they probably could ask more for their goats, I was soo impressed with the quality of their operation. I didn't get my first and second dam choice due to one dam producing three bucks and no does and the other dam having a miscarriage, however, the goats I ended up getting come from dams that are proving to be great milkers as well. They are being milk tested this year.
So finally about the three goats! We bought two does, Shyla and Spice. We also received a free wether who seems to have an irregular heart beat and which we will take good care of even though he will be a meat goat, we just call him Mr. Man. Since last Sunday it has been so great to interact with them and 
they have been so incredibly friendly. 
They are very affectionate and high energy. We put a big round log in their pen and they love playing "king of the hill" or do all kinds of acrobatic jumps off of it. Especially if they are just coming out of their
stall. They are still drinking milk twice a day and I was very lucky to find a great supplier of goats milk just a couple of miles away. I made a bucket with three nipples attached to it to feed the milk to them and watching them suck the milk up in just a couple of minutes is truly impressive and mind-blowing. The quality of the milk is great and I could feed it to them raw, however the previous owner of the goats practiced a strict CAE and CL prevention program and I want to continue that by pasteurizing the milk.  Although it is a lot of work, cleaning milk buckets, pasteurizing and feeding, I'm truly enjoying this dream come true.