How to pick a herd name?

yay!!!!!! I am finally all registered with the American goat society ! I was so excited when I got the letter in the mail today saying my herd is now registered!!!I spent hours on the computer going to every website,  Google search and forum I could find trying to find a herd name. Then it finally hit me! You have to think about the things you love, what’s around you, and all these amazing things put together get you your herd name. So take my herd name for instance SUNFLOWERBLOSSOMBENCH, I am obsessed with sunflowers its genetic my grandfather is also and my husband loves them too! They were the main flower and theme to our wedding. The blossom comes from my love of spring and how beautiful everything is when it’s in full bloom. Bench comes from well we live on a bench hahah. I would have loved to use hollows and that kind of fun stuff but it just didn’t fit what we have. This summer when we start garden season we plan on planting as much land as we can in sunflowers. So no matter what you do when it comes to naming your herd remember to be original, have it have meaning to you, and have it represent your farm. Oh and remember that with some associations you can only have 30 letters this includes spaces and the goats name! Happy naming!! 

5 Everyday Items Your Great-Grandparents Repurposed (That You Should, Too)

By Savannah H. – Off The Grid News It’s a shame how wasteful the average American is today. Fortunately, for those who want to save some money or limit their contribution to the landfill, there are ways to reuse almost any common household object – just like our grandparents and great-grandparents did. Here are five things […]

http://thesurvivalplaceblog.com/2015/12/28/5-everyday-items-your-great-grandparents-repurposed-that-you-should-too/

Record Keeping for Goats

Eden Hills

I was surprised by the number of people commenting on my organization and being able to keep track of all the breeding choices of my goats.  I really think my years of doing genealogical research has helped.  I also have two forms of written records.  I didn’t start this until about my second year of having kids.

Looking at the spreadsheet below, you can see the year, the buck is in bold print, and the does go across with their kids listed below.  It’s a very basic record that lists all the goats ever born on the farm.  You’ll notice that my Millie was born in 2004 and had her first baby in 2005.

After seven years of kidding, my spreadsheet is on it’s third page.  The page for 2012 is a constant work in progress.  I typically print it out and track the girls’ heat cycles in pencil.  I…

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Shortcuts Can Kill: Learn How To Can Food Correctly For Healthy, Long-Term Food Storage

By Daniel Barker – Natural News (NaturalNews) Learning how to can foods is one of the foundations of prepping, but care must be taken during the process because improperly canned foods can cost you your life. Quite simply, when it comes to canning, there are no shortcuts. If you don’t think improper canning can be dangerous, […]

http://thesurvivalplaceblog.com/2015/12/22/shortcuts-can-kill-learn-how-to-can-food-correctly-for-healthy-long-term-food-storage/

Top Animals for your homestead

We have been doing this for a full year now and still do not have everything down just yet but its a work in progress and its a fun one!! so here is my list of top animals for a smaller homestead, we have 12 acres so this list would work for 12 acres and under.

Chickens for eggs and for meat: Chickens are good for about two years, so the first spring you get them it should be that fall you should start getting eggs, you have lots to choose from when it comes to chickens  you have your Americana’s, your Rhode islands, your leghorns, the list goes on and on. if you have a rooster you can save some of your eggs and incubate them then you can have a turn over rate, if no rooster then you just eat the eggs wait for the next fall and butcher all your chickens, laying hens are a lot tougher then your broiler chickens, so you have two choices you can harvest the layers and use them for your soup stock or you can just keep them until they all retire . Now broilers you want to buy in the spring and then harvest that fall for the following spring because those are your meat birds and you do not want them to get very old at all. The older the bird the tougher. Chickens take up hardly any space and are really easy to care for. We just let our free range the whole farm and at night they tuck themselves in bed all we do is shut and lock the barn door!

Goats for milk and meat:  Now I am really in love with this, this has changed my whole out look on the homestead! If you don’t have alot of space this is where your meat and dairy goats come into play(And my latest adventure) You want to go with the smaller goats, Nigerian dwarfs, pygmy, Fainting goats, and your boer goats. Nigerians dwarfs are a dairy goat a very small and stocky goat, they produce about 3 to 5 cups of milk and unlike the bigger diary goats there milk is sweeter and has a way higher butter fat, same with the pygmy, now with the higher butter fat you get fuller way faster and stay full longer so if you have a family of 4 and you all drink a giant glass of goats milk in the morning you will not be able to eat the rest of the day! Trust me!! so i like the little cups of goats milk its just right for our family. Now fainting goats are a meat goat and they taste wonderful, same with your boer goats, these animals need some space but not a lot as long as you have lots of things for them to chew on and climb on they wont escape (all the time) and are really easy to care for. And a blast to watch!

Pigs: While pigs probably aren’t a great first animal for your homestead, once you are comfortable around livestock, they can be a great addition. Not only will they happily devour all the scraps, along with excess milk and whey from your dairy animals, they will convert it into the most delicious pork you have ever tasted.

Pigs are, however, a little more difficult to control and a bit more intimidating than your typical livestock. With their combination of brains and brawn, they rival goats in terms of escaping from fences. Loading them into a trailer for processing is no easy feat either! However, if you have a keen sense of adventure and want delicious pork for your table, pigs are an awesome addition to your homestead.

 

Ducks: Ducks are one of my favorite homestead animals! I find them endlessly entertaining. Although mine love the pond, they can be perfectly happy with a baby pool to splash in, although you will need to be prepared to dump and refill it at least twice a day! Ducks do not typically make much noise, with muscovy ducks being the quietest. They lay big eggs that are nutritious and wonderful for baking. They can also be processed for meat, much like a chicken.

So their you have it that is my list for the perfect small homestead animals.

 

 

What to feed your goats?

Its always good to know what to have on hand if your thinking about owning goats. People tend to buy goats at the sale barn for one reason only and that is to eat down there weeds, So they buy the goat, chain it up to the fence and in 2 weeks the goat is back at the sale barn because it didn’t eat all the weeds. while yes some will eat down a bit of the weeds they wont eat them all.Goats are browsers which means they pick and choose and tend to eat the most leafiest stuff rather than standing in a field and grazing, they like to keep on the move. They will not eat pop cans and yard furniture like so many people have lead you to believe they are easy keepers but need to be kept on a good diet for their health and better well being and they have differing nutritional requirements depending on gender and what sate of life they’re in.

When it comes to how we raise our goats we try to raise them as healthy and organic as possible. Seeing as how we use them for milk its a big importance that the milk tastes good and different foods can make the goats milk taste different.

We feed our goats alfalfa hay or a alfalfa grass mix, and they do wonderful on it. Alfalfa and other legume hays such as clover usually have more protein, vitamins, and minerals, particularity calcium, then grass hays. Each goat needs 2 to 4 pounds of hay each day.

You want to make sure you have a salt block, or a protein and salt block or bucket in with your goats so they can use it when they need it, Fresh water is a must! And i grain my goats one time a day, we have a local tractor supply and i love the dun-more brand of sweet goat feed, (be careful in the grains you choose the cheaper the grain, well its cheaper for a reason, so watch what you feed them, some grains can cause constipation, or scours and that is not good at all) its a pellet and some rolled oats in molasses and they just love it, plus its good for all stages of life and it doesn’t make the milk taste or smell funny. I also have goat treats on hand because they are just fun, but i also get the tractor supply dun -more brand and they just go nuts over them.

You can also give your goats your kitchen scraps anything that is veggie related can go to your goats remember goats are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. A goats diet is very simple, hay, small rations of grains and plenty of water and your pretty much good! good luck!

Goat Feeders

Goats are amazing little animals and they can eat some hay! The funny thing about goats and i did not realize this until i owned them, is that they prefer the leafy stuff! who would of thought right? everyone buying goats to eat weeds when in fact they wont eat the weeds! they will however eat the leaves off of the weeds! and leave you the wonderful stalks. This was a lesson in the making for us, we have 3 pins right now for our goats and in each pin we had over 2 feet of old moldy stalks from the alfalfa we were feeding(way bad management on our part) so on a nice warm snowy day we cleaned out all 3 pins and put it in the garden for compost. I could not believe the sheer amount of waste we had! how much hay had just gone straight to waist! we were going through a small square bale every other day, and that was to only feed 4 goats at the time!!!! So i did a little pinterest search and found some awesome ideas for goat feeders! These are some of what i found on pinterest.

So i decided what was easiest and cheapest, that i could make by myself and i decided to go the garbage can route! and boy am i so pleased with how it turned out!! i now go through 1 small square bale every 3 days for 10 goats!!!!!! talk about saving some money!!!!!!

I spent 15.95 on two rubber garbage cans from ace, drilled some fun 4 inch holes in them and that is all folks! filled it with hay tied it to the fence so they cant tip it over and knock the lid off, and that’s it! its been so amazing, i do have to go out every evening and just push the hay down to make sure it fills the holes and that’s it!

So no matter what you decide to do for your goats just make sure you have a feeder of some kind! it really helps out in the long run and saves you lots of money and lots of extra work!

Goat disbudding 

Their is a even split between people who think goats should and should not have horns. Goats use there horns for defense against other animals and other goats, in summer time they help cool the animal, there are many other factors that go into leaving a goats horns on, as the same for taking them off they get stuck in fences they hurt when u get snagged on them, they can poke out eyes and if other goats are mean enough they can really hurt a fellow goat. But I think in  this day and age they are our pets, companions and our little babies . We provide shelter and shade and take really good care of our critters so we decided to have our little babies dehorned or disbudded, now don’t get me wrong, it smells bad and they cry for a minute but then they are fine and go back to happy bounceing babies! I do recommend however that if you are getting them disbudded to make sure and give them a tetanus shot goats are very prone to tetanus so this is a must. So no matter what you choose make sure it’s what’s best for your fellow goats!  

 

Why Raw Goats milk instead of cows milk??

 

Everyone i have ever talked to keeps going crazy over goats milk! “how can you drink that awful stuff” “it tastes horrible””it smells awful”

I do not know where these people have been getting their milk from but a week ago just for fun i milked our pygmy goat, i did not get a lot of milk, but it was AMAZING! it was sweet and had no after taste, and was not gamy like raw cows milk, it had no smell, it was amazing!!!

So that has started me on my quest for Nigerian dwarfs because they can produce to up to 4 cups of milk a day or more, and that is plenty for us! So i thought i would explain some of the benefits of raw goats milk compared to raw cows milk.

First off Goats milk is easier to digest then cows milk, the fat content in cows milk is similar to goats milk but the fat globules in goat milk are smaller making it way easier  for your body to digest. Only about 2 percent of goats milk is curd, compared to about 10 percent in cows milk! There fewer allergenic proteins in goats milk and causes less inflammation. Most people who are intolerant of cows milk actually lack the ability to digest the protein A1 casein. Cows milk contains more than 20 different allergens that can cause allergic reaction, including inflammation affecting everything from IBS and leaky gut to acne and autoimmune diseases. Goats milk contain only A2 casein, making it, protein wise, the closest milk to human Brest milk. one study suggests that goats milk when used as the first protein after breastfeeding, is less allergenic for babies than cow milk. Goats milk improves your skin, the fatty acids and triglycerides found in goats milk have moisturizing qualities and keep skin soft. With high levels of vitamin A, it can improve your complexion, fight acne and improve overall skin health. The lactic acid found in goats milk helps rid your body of dead skin cells and brightens skin tone. Goats milk has ph level similar to humans, so its absorbed by the skin with less irritation and helps keep bacteria at bay. Goats are high in calcium and fatty acids but low in cholesterol, Nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium an phosphorus were more easily digested and used by the body in goats milk than cows milk. Because of these minerals bioavailability, goat milk may help treat nutritional deficiencies like anemia and bone demineralization. The list goes on and on when it comes to the benefits of goats milk! And trust me its tastes great!!!