This is the fifth blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers considerations for how to raise goats on your homestead, including research strategies, space planning, herd management, the fundamentals of milking goats, pasture development, and making cheese and yogurt.
When starting a farm business, make sure you know your states rules and regulations. You can contact your states Department of Agriculture and/or your county Cooperative Extension Agency for info. Make sure you know what you need to know about the basic safety and maintenance of goats to begin with: What are their needs when it comes to health, shelter, food, etc., and what are concerns such as plant toxins and predators?
Goat rentals are a good way to "value-add" your goat herd, as well as provide additional rotational-grazing space. But, sometimes you run into problems. This blog series about how we started our rotational-grazing goat-rental service wil outline what some of those problems are and how to deal with them.
Getting ready for goats means setting up a stall and pasture and making sure you have all the right food for them.
You've heard of a one-horse town? Well, we are a one-goat micro-dairy! That doesn't mean we only have one goat to milk, but that our milking parlor is set up to take only one goat in at a time for feeding and milking. Here is a story about a little goat kid who wouldn't give up so, how could we?
Farm life has its risks and we don't need to add to them by acting in unsafe ways. Read more for 10 Simple Ways we follow here on Serenity Acres Farm to keep us safe.
Rotational grazing can reduce the parasite load of goats, but this is difficult to accomplish with a dairy herd which needs to return to the same location every day for milking. On our homestead, we developed a rotational shelter and management system that allowed us to keep the herd on pasture 24/7 during the warm season. This significantly reduced our reliance on chemical de-wormers and helped us feel better about the quality of our milk and our soils.
Goat packers who have goats with horns that have become an issue around the home or farm is that, depending on age and sexual hormone levels, there may be options less dire than surgical complete dehorning or banding at the base of the horn, which compromises your pack goat’s defensive capability and confidence on the trail. Certainly talk to at least two vets before committing to any plan of action regarding full removal of horns from goats over the age of 6 months old.
Follow these 11 easy tips to experience a good kidding season as shared by Serenity Acres Farm.
Last year was the year from hell. Literally. We lost 7 baby goats, 4 llamas, 2 dogs, and 1 cat due to different causes. But I did have victories. I'll be talking about what I learned here and in my next blogs.
Portable fences made of electrifiable netting allow practical movement and protection of small livestock on pasture. It’s important to use and maintain the nets properly, and to train goats to respect the barrier for their own safety and security. Well-managed net fencing offers significant benefits to the health of herds and pastures, and to the homesteader’s peace of mind.
Goats need sound feet, knees and legs to carry a pack in the backcountry. Here are some problems and solutions that pack goats experience with their legs, including proper goat hoof care.
Not many people in our sphere of influence drink goat’s milk, so we have a great opportunity to educate those we come in contact with about the benefits. These are our four main reasons why we drink goat's milk.
Serenity Acres Farm shares its experiences with WWOOFers so yours will be a good one.
There are many ways to use raw goat’s milk, but these three favorites are quick and fantastic. Let us tell you about them!
Goats tie you down, particularly dairy goats. Even an overnight absence, or a short trip to visit family for the holidays, creates a management problem for the daily needs of your left-behind livestock. By developing working relationships with other goat enthusiasts, you can have your milk and travel, too.
Mark pulled out the camera this week to share a few short videos about our winter garden and goats. Explore our December garden and goat pasture in these short homesteading videos.
How should you choose good hay for your dairy goats? Hay should be composed of plants goats like to eat, cut and cured properly for best nutritional content and storage life, and free of unwanted chemicals and weed seeds. If you can, buy hay fresh from the field of a trusted source, where you can inspect it and its growing conditions.
Our DIY goat barn was built using mostly reused materials and cost us less than $1,000. In this post, we show you how we did it and give you tips along the way!
Starting with gentle livestock breeds is key to success for new homesteaders. Scottish Highland cattle and Dorper/Katahdin cross sheep proved easy-to-handle and good producers for a retired Missouri couple.
Serenity Goats has discovered a sustainable farm revenue stream in creating and selling goat's milk goats. Follow the farm's path from the USDA grant in 2014 to the finished product 18 months later.
Many garden vegetable crops produce excess leafy material perfect for feeding goats. Using these materials as milking snacks helps reduce the need for purchased grain & hay while recycling these waste products on the homestead.
A farmer shares tales from 10 years of living La Vida Goat-a.
This year was hell. No matter what I did, I was losing goat kids at an alarming rate. Here’s what happened and what I learned from the experience.
HOMEGROWN Life contributor Rachel recounts a kidding season full of problems.
Are you planning to buy a goat? Here are 12 tips to consider when you are shopping for a goat.
Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.
There are some goats you don't want, no matter if the price is right. In this case, the goat was free.
21 things you should know—or wish you had known—before starting a goat farm.
Describes the heartache that can come of now observing and working with nature when raising goats.
Goats will get into and out of everything. Some thoughts on why you need to keep your feed secured.
The goat herder extraordinaire, Annie Warmke, talks about the care of breeding bucks, and a life in the day of a goat herder.
Author Maggie Bonham recounts the various ways she's managed to obtain free goats, including Craigslist ads and trading for chickens.
The cold, hard facts about how Annie Warmke, goat herder extraordinnaire, found her calling in a barn with Eleonore Rigby and her two tiny kids.
Maine and Minnesota Goat Schools are over, and a great time was had by all; Janice Spaulding recaps the events and prepares for the next one is in Ohio in September.
Sherry’s son worked hard to raise a goat. Read how he, with the help of family and friends, butchered and prepared the meat for a homegrown Chevron treat.
Raising dairy goats has benefits that extend beyond fresh milk and cheese.