Hello From Oregon

| 2/1/2012 4:25:35 PM



Well, I suppose I should start off by stating that the chubby goat in the picture is NOT me! I'm actually the person behind the chubby goat. Yeah, the black boots. That's me. Many people simply know me as 'Goat Song', and some people do actually call me "Goat Song". But if we want to be professional here, my real handle is Caitlyn Menne. And the four-legged miscreant is a Nigerian Dwarf doe named, 'Poppet'. I'm the newest goat blogger here at Mother Earth News, so this first post will be more of an introduction, rather than a compilation of useful goat knowledge. But the goat knowledge will come. I promise.

My two passions in life are very simply summed up: Farming, and goats. The farming part has always been a given in my life, but I didn't fall into goats until about six years ago. I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, which offers many challenges when raising livestock. It's very wet here! I primarily raise Nubians, as I'm a sucker for their noise and drama. But I am always willing to *ahem* take in other breeds, which has put me in a position in which I have now tried all the dairy breeds (including the rare Guernsey), and many crossbreds. Besides the Nubians, I also have a rogue Nigerian Dwarf (I had to buy her... How do you say "No." to something that's only eighteen inches tall?!), and a grumpy Saanen/ La Mancha doe. 

My herd name is "Goat Song", and online it's usually my alias. People ask why I chose that name, and I simply smile and state one fact: I have Nubians. Fellow goat raisers will nod in understandment. Folks who are new to goats will look puzzled. 

Not all Nubians, but MOST of them, are talkers. They are a vocal breed and love to voice their opinions. It didn't take long before I started defending their noise level by calling it "singing". It seemed a better way to put it... My "girls" sing when they see me coming, and they sing when they see me leave. They'll sing when something new happens, and they'll sing simply because they can! I can't blame them for their noisiness though; I love to sing too. I am forever singing old celtic ballads when outside, and I sing while milking and doing chores.

2/2/2012 11:13:30 PM

All goats need hay, loose minerals, and baking soda, to supply them with fiber and nutrients, but grain is not always necessary. It just depends on each individual goat. None of my goats are receiving grain right now, since they are dry and open (i.e. not pregnant), and they are all doing fine like that. You will however, want to look at getting two goats, to keep each other company. A pair consisting of a doe and a wether (castrated male) is always a good choice, since the wethers are quite cheap to buy and maintain, and you can eventually breed the doe!

Jennifer Berg
2/2/2012 10:26:48 PM

That is great information. I am going to start looking into the Nigerian Dwarfs. It will be for a pet and berry control but I think it would be interesting to try milking to make cheese, although I am not sure that I would want to start that this year with my first year garden and chickens too. It is hard to keep patience when I want everything up and thriving. I need to go step by step so I don't get ahead of myslef. Do the Nigerians need supplimental food or can they thrive on foraging?

2/2/2012 10:08:56 PM

Thank you everyone for your welcomes!

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