We're thrilled to be bringing some LaMancha goats to our little homestead in just two weeks (I had to laugh when I read another blogger comment on the fact that some people impulse buy shoes, but she impulse buys farm animals...I can so relate)! Its something that we've wanted for some time now, but thought might have to wait a year, and so to prepare/cram, I've been reading lots, researching more, and getting some great hands on practice/instruction from more experienced goat owners (even got to feed/milk goats for a local friend while they were away for a few days recently which was a huge confidence booster and helped me put what I've learned to practice).
At this point, here's what I know we're getting (though I can't promise that an extra young doe might not sneak into the truck on pickup day...remember the impulse comment?): an older doe that's been freshened (still got some good years in her & should make a nice foundation doe for us), another doe with her young doe kid in tow, and a young buck. Yes, we're going against what many recommend and starting out with a buck...we have our reasons though (other than the fact that he's very handsome) & are aware of the challenges that come with keeping a buck (and we have a local wether we can lease to keep our little guy company if need be). Here's a sneak preview of our little Jack Frost...
And here's a headshot of Dark Rain, our older freshened doe...
I promise there will be no shortage of pictures once we've got our goats home!
The to-do list is, predictably, a bit overwhelming at this point, but I did manage to finally get the bulk of my supplies ordered from Hoegger (again, goat sitting was a big help in deciding between what I truly needed and what was just fancy fluff...as my friend reminded me, its a lot like having a baby in that you are sometimes made to think you need all sorts of fancy gear, when in fact you need just a few key items).
In the event that we don't have their pasture areas ready in time (cause we're taking a little trip while we don't yet have to find a goat sitter), we've got barn stalls just about ready as a backup (we even got electricity ran to the barn & automatic waters working in the stalls in the last couple of days). Still high on the priority list is a homemade milking station and a trip to the farm supply store for hay & water containers, goat minerals, and a bit of grain mix to get me through until my next Azure co-op delivery (I plan to make my own grain mix daily to keep it fresh & all organic, while still being cost effective by purchasing barley, oats, & molasses from the co-op). Thankfully I was warned by a friend of the current alfalfa shortage in CA, so I bought 4 bales just in time which will hopefully last me us until the new crop comes into feed stores next month.
And I'm not the only one anxious to bring the goats home...after having a fresh supply of raw goat milk from the days I was milking for our friend, my two oldest children were NOT happy to be back to drinking cows milk from the store again ("NO, we want goat milk mom...its creamier & much better!").