where the animals come first
Farm life snuck up on us. After retiring from our life in the big city (Denver) we thought it would be fun to have a few chickens & goats. Our "few chickens" has become a flock of 50 free range birds. The chickens produce wonderful, organic eggs that sell out every week at our local farmers' market and the guinea fowl are the queens of pest & parasite control. Our four original goats are all still with us and have paved the way for a mixed herd of Nubians and Nigerian Dwarfs. They spend their days on mountain pasture and provide wonderful sweet milk for us, our shareholders, and our goat milk soaps and lotions. Our dogs have become keepers of the flock & herd, and on occasion, nannies to baby goats who need a little extra TLC. We have learned much, and have a long way to go. Our goal is sustainability and we function with deep respect & love for all of our animals. They have brought us to where we are now.
Kidding season usually starts in February. When new kids join the homestead they spend the first month of their lives with 24/7 access to mom. Once they are a month old they sleep in the nursery so we can milk mom in the morning. The first night or two is sometimes tough, but soon the kids realize that every night is a slumber party with their pals and the moms seem to enjoy their adult time. After milking, moms & kids enjoy all day together on pasture. We do sell kids each year but will not sell to dealers or those who want them for meat. Our goats have gone off to many wonderful new homes where they are now living life as homestead dairy goats, foundation stock for new herds, pets and companions for other animals ~ horses and goats make great buddies.
Although we do things as naturally as possible, we are not organic. Our first course of treatment with any injury or illness is always herbal or homeopathic. If that fails we use whatever is necessary to help the animal. If however, a goat is on any type of medication, her milk is disposed of throughout the course of treatment and for at least a week thereafter. The goats are fed a diet of pasture, supplemented with local/organic hay, Alfalfa Chaffhaye, and grain when they are on the milk stand. They are also partial to Animal Crackers. The chickens are out on pasture all day and are fed an organic lay ration every evening. They also have continuous access to oyster shells and salt. We could probably operate with a much lower overhead but since our animals feed us so well we think it's important to take good care of them.
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