Our herd is now complete. We have added a pair of Nigerian Dwarf goat kids to the barn - Harvey & Ava.
The kids were born locally in North Berwick, and we have been waiting weeks to bring them home! They settled in nicely after making their move to the Homestead (pictures provided from their breeder).
^Harvey in a sweater - swoon!
The Pygmy boys, Sam & Max, gave them a few good sniffs, and appeared a little butt-hurt at first about sharing the barn. To ensure their safety, we penned off a section of the goat barn so that they could investigate one another without physical interaction. We know both pairs were in good health, with vet checks, so we had little concern over placing them together. They were able to play outside with supervision the following day, as a herd.
^sectioned portion of the barn - removable.
The Nigerian Dwarfs (ND) and the Pygmy goats are both considered "miniature" goat breeds. They are smaller than the standard breeds. For us, this meant more manageable, and better for our sized lot.
One of the two ND goats is female (Ava). By kidding (breeding) our doe (female goat), it would allow us to milk her. A doe that has kidded, can stay in milk for up to two years before kidding again, if they are milked on a daily basis. This may be a bit of an undertaking in our routine, but since the Nigerian Dwarfs are so small, they produce a smaller amount and thus we are told, only take 10-15 min. to milk each day. If we can get milking down, we hope to make our own butter, cheese, soaps, or lotions. Ava will be able to relax at home with her three male wethers (Sam, Max & Harvey), and we'll use a local stud buck (in-tact male goat) for breeding her when she is an appropriate age, and when we're ready to take on the task.
^Harvey in a bucket...
Until then, the goats are a great form of entertainment, and have already cleared swaths in the new goat pen/playground area. They'll be great for landscaping our Berry Patch!
We hope to plan some fun agritourism events with the goats such as goat yoga, and open farm days, in the near future!