Hello fellow readers,
I had the privilege of meeting with Josh of Stillwater who adopted Skippy and Jay Jay in March at 5 weeks old weighing in at 15 pounds each. His ‘Kids’, the actual name for baby goats said Josh, are Toggenburg goats named after the Toggenburg valley in Switzerland where the breed originated. They are the oldest known dairy breed of goats, though he opted for two males as milk production was not his wish. In fact, Skippy and Jay Jay are his alternative to having a dog.
Josh chose two goats that were hanging around each other at the breeder as he wanted them to be friends. They play by butting heads – their horns intact as opposed to burning the buds to keep them from growing. Usually you disbud kids at 4 to 10 days of age which would have made them 4-H show-worthy. Josh has attended 4-H to learn about caring for his goats but does not plan to show them. Skippy and Jay Jay now weigh about 30 pounds in just 3 months and will grow 150 to 185 pounds (big dogs!) and live for 11-15 years.
When asked what two important tips he would share with a goat owning newbie, ‘Have lots of money’, he paid $100 each and would have paid $350 if he opted for a pygmy. Plus the shed and fencing he and his Dad constructed; very impressive job I might add. Then there’s the monthly cost of grain, hay and pine bedding at around $55 a month now but as they grow their appetites will too.
Tip 2 – ‘Don’t have a garden unless you have a fence’, advised this 12-year old goat whisperer. They’ll eat just about everything as I witnessed having a few less buttons when I left. They are charming and fun to watch as they follow Dad around the property; licorice flavored goat treats in hand may have something to do with it.
I shared Josh’s goat wisdom with a Gwili of Annandale who learned of a family taking on goats to clear the invasive Multiflora Rose that were overtaking their hillside – awesome garden application. Goat get ‘em!
Garden Dilemmas? firstname.lastname@example.org