Wow, this post could be long but I'll do my best not to bore you all. I am posting about lessons learned about goat raising - For those of you who might be just starting - you have a hard but rewarding journey ahead of you which is Lesson #1 - Anything worth doing - IS HARD. I've learned that the stuff that's easy is usually put on the back burner quickly in favor of more challenging stuff. When we started out in goats, we had stars in our eyes, not milking stars my friends - those pie in the sky - we will have the best herd in NM next spring after kidding time stars...HAH! YEP lesson #1 - We realize quickly that our Oberhaslis aren't the best quality animals available and they have terrible udder attachments etc. (but are great milkers) and well, not a bunch of folks beat down our doors to buy our not so good quality animals. AND not every goat you breed has a REAL pregnancy - NO MARTHA - there is this nasty little thing called a false pregnancy that produces, not babies, but TEARS in the eyes of the expectant goatie owners. What do you mean Dr. Zimmerman that she's 1 week late and there are probably NO BABIES but she's as wide as a house!!!! This can't be!!! YEP- lesson #1 hit home in a HARD way.
But lesson #2 hit just as hard - even though you may do things right - you make dumb decisions (or at least they seem that way at the time!!!!) Lesson #2 is to NOT be so hasty - one my DH likes to point out to me regularly - Year #2 - the Nigie does really get pregnant and produces two doeling only to have one be stillborn with the cord wrapped around her neck - MORE TEARS. And because we don't know what we are doing we decide to sell the remaining doeling
who we are NOW happy we sold but were a little sad when realized that we actually had sold a good doe - she has gone on to do well in the ring and in the milk pail and she produced triplets her first freshening. YEP - our stupidity did give Camino Allegre a great start in the their goatie adventures and NOW we don't regret the decision but it sure made me think twice before I sell a doeling!!!!I am now of the opinion that other folks actually do a lot for your herd so it's not a bad thing to sell a good goat and have someone else toot your horn though!
Lesson #3 - YOU should resist at all costs the urge to buy 10 precious, cute, adorable doe kids and buck kids your first year - I call this being overgoated and frankly it is the danger of being a goat breeder because REALLY how can you resist that cute face that crawls in your lap and awwwwww - you just have to fork out the $300 (or more) pricetag......OH SO HARD. But see, we forget, these cute little fluffballs grow up and REPRODUCE, oftentimes multiples - yes- twins, triplets, quads, quints and OCCASSIONALLY sextuplets. Okay so your herd of 10 is now a herd of30 and you can't bear to part with them all and after a summer of trimming hooves, banding, dehorning, giving shots, and general goatkeeping and milking your 10 goats you realize you are exhausted and WHAT WERE YOU THINKING????? Seriously though, while some of this is true of me and some of it is lesson learned from other goat keepers (and maybe a tad exagerrated - NOTICE we haven't quit yet and we are down to 7 goats with babies and at least one, possibly two adult milkers to leave this year - WE are learning from our lessons! Oh, and if you read all this and want more - I was published in December's COUNTRYSIDE and Small Stock Journal - Avoiding Mistakes in Goat Raising. And resist the urge to buy too many goats your first year - they DO multiply.