Our primary focus so far has been dairy goats, and the production of gorgeous milk from our happy, healthy herd. We raise two breeds of goat, Nigerian Dwarfs and La Manchas, and a cross between the two that we call Lagerians. We were looking for hardy breeds that are easy kidders, intelligent, good milking parlor manners and just plain enjoyable to be around.
Nigerian Dwarfs, as the name implies, originated in Africa. They are characterized by a tiny stature (does generally stand 22 inches or less at the withers and weigh less than 75 lbs) and milk that is high in fat and protein and sweet to the taste, which is perfect for cheese-making.
La Manchas are easily recognized by their very small or non-existent ears, giving their faces a distinctive look. These gopher or elf ears are less than two inches long. La Manchas are great milkers, producing large quantities of milk high in fat and protein, which makes delicious cheese.
Breeding two such different sized goats came with plenty of challenges. We devised ways around the problem, including digging a hole for the LaMancha doe to stand in, offering the Nigerian buck a ramp to walk up in order to reach his target, and tying up the tail of the doe. Despite these awkward interactions, successful breedings resulted in Ember, Honeysuckle, and Comet, among others. Kids born to Lagerian dams can be eared or un, but all are equally charming!
We find all of our goats to be curious, social, and vocal individuals, with their own personalities and quirks. One of the most rewarding parts of farm work is getting to spend time with and know our animals.
Daily goat care routines include feeding,
grain-training to get goats used to the milk stand,
and browse walks on the ridge above the barn.