3 years ago we decided to get our first dairy goat. This is Melody when she first became a part of our family. She is a Toggenberg x Nubian. She is living at the dairy now, but she was the start of our herd. At her peak Melody can give up to 4 litres of milk a day. She is a lovely goat, although temperamental, and I have *fond* memories of trying to insist that she serves me, not the other way round While she was with us Melody produced 3 bucks and one doe. Earlier in the year we sold her to our friends who sell raw goats milk, and she is very happy in her new home.
Here I am milking Melody a couple of years ago.
Melody with her kids last year. This is her daughter, Devorah. She is almost fully grown now and is currently spending a few weeks with a lovely buck, so she will be due to kid late October. I am very much looking forward to seeing how much milk she produces, given her excellent genes!
This is Frannie. We took Frannie as a doeling shortly after getting Melody. She is a bit of a mixture of Boer and Saneen. Frannie was such a naughty teenager…jumping fences, getting stuck in places where she shouldn’t have been…typical naughty goat kind of stuff! But once she got an udder she settled down to being a mother and was a very well behaved milker, for the most part Frannie is with another family now, but while with us she produced 4 bucks and 2 does and provided us with around 2 litres of milk a day at her peak.
Harmony was a boer goat that we bought as a companion for Melody. Boer goats are better for meat than milk, and so we had no intention at the time of breeding her. However, little did we know that she was in kid when we bought her, and a few months later gave birth to triplets!
2 bucks and a doe.So needless to say, we got into the meat side of raising goats also. For the first few we used the abattoir, but after awhile Jono felt that it was more humane and far more practical to learn how to do the butchering himself. So now he prepares all our meat for us. The following year Harmony gave birth to 5 kids! 5! We had to bottle feed 2 of the really little ones, but they all did very well. Unfortunately Harmony didn’t cope with the extreme change in weather earlier in the year. The rains brought on a widespread occurence of intensinal worms in livestock in the area, and she didn’t make it through. But she was a lovely goat, and she produced 5 boys which were meat for our table
This is Gerty. Gerty is a pure boer, Harmony’s daughter from her first kidding with us. She gave birth to 2 bucks last year, one of which was our ‘passover lamb’ this year! She is also at the dairy now with Melody, and even though she only produces about 1/2 a litre a day, truly believes herself to be a dairy goat now
This is Heidi. We bought Heidi in kid from an organic farm. She gave us a doe and a buck on her first kidding, and two does on her second. Heidi was never milked when we bought her and it took some time and energy (and frustration!) but we broke her in and she produced up to 2 litres a day at her peak. We sold her along with Frannie earlier in the year. We still have her daughters Tikva, who kidded a doeling 5 weeks ago, and Sufa, who is with Devorah and the buck and due to kid in late October.
Clara, Heidi’s daughter from her first kidding. A lovely, lovely goat! She is part Boer so she didn’t give a lot of milk but she was always a joy to milk. She had two bucks last year that were sold as weed eaters and we sold Clara along with one of Frannie’s does just before we moved. and the man responsible for all these goat children????
Jack the Buck.
Bridget hand raised Jack and he was the most gentle, happy, affectionate buck you could ever want. Here he is as a baby…We sold Jack after he went over his daughters, as the first generation is ok, but not the second in terms of genetic problems. He is now a stud buck at a lovely farm not too far from here
So we are up to our 3rd generation of goats. Frannie’s girl Az and Heidi’s girl Tikva have kids and are milking well, and we have 2 bucks for the freezer. I can’t say that raising goats has been easy, but it has certainly been rewarding, and satisfying to know that us and our children are eating and drinking our own organic, chemical free produce