Hello From Oregon

Reader Contribution by Caitlyn Menne
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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.

After awhile, all this singing between handler and goats morphed into our herd name: Goat Song. I have a certain song for each doe, which I sing during milking, and they each have their own unique song which they sing back. It just seemed like a natural choice to call ourselves that. 

Along with being a goat raiser, I am also an herbalist who is working towards certification, and I’m a teacher. I’ve had the privilege to teach many people about goats and small-scale farming through various workshops, and I love being able to share my knowledge, and help others get started in the wonderful (and addicting!) world of goats! 

I look forward to blogging here at Mother Earth News, and not only teaching, but learning here as well. 

Do you have goats? What kind? I love hearing other’s experiences! You can read more about my goat adventures on my blog, To Sing With Goats.