We’ve just moved the goats onto fresh pasture and they are loving it! We are an organic farm so there are lots of herbs and different varieties of grass. Goats seek out long rooted plants and this is why they love trees so much, they munch the branches and leaves and devour the bark. They must be kept away from an established tree or they will kill it, a metal tree guard is the best way. Shrubs and bushes are no problem though, they will soon grow back and they are very health giving for the goat. This is one of the reasons that goats milk is so good for you, the favoured caprine diet consists of mineral rich food from deep in the earth, that is if the goat is allowed free range on natural land. Farmed grassland with it’s heavy doses of artificial fertilizer does not suit the goat at all. Does it suit any animal? I doubt it, except that it produces heavy yields of meat and milk in the short term. The poor beef cattle have short lives anyway so any ill effects are not apparent. There are buttercups in the fields we have just let the goats on to – they look pretty but are actually a poisonous to animals plant. After a month or so the buttercups will have disappeared and this will be a meadow full of wild flowers. Goats change pasture for the better, they don’t actually eat the buttercups and they don’t much like lush grass but when they have been grazing a field for a while, it will be transformed and full of clover.
Goats always head for home when rain threatens, they hate to get wet. Our goats have plenty of space to roam about and live a natural life. They come in on their own before dusk, like most animals they have a built-in body clock. They have a large shed and are not kept in individual pens as they are herd animals and like to be together. It’s quite possible to keep them separately if they are used to it and sometimes we do this if one or other of them needs special attention. Mostly they have their friends and stick close to mom or aunty or a cousin. Goats have strong family ties when they are allowed to be together. Kaboobie, one of the white goats, won’t let anyone share her feed dish except for her daughter, Missy. The goats have a feed before bed time and a rack of hay for the night. Minerals licks are always put in the bottom of the hayracks. Goats have a very high mineral requirement, which is why they like mineral rich food. They need four times more minerals than a sheep does. If a goat is milking her nutritional requirements must be carefully watched as she may produce up to a gallon of milk a day. Sometimes this is at the expense of her own condition so she will need access to good grazing, plenty of suitable hay and a ration of corn. The hay and the browsing on scrub are the most important though. Goats also love comfrey, which is a deep rooted plant, and this can provide a lot of their nutritional requirements.
The goats love to get on to the lane and trim the hedges for us! Would you like to adopt one of our goats? A yearly contribution of £12.00 is all that it takes. We’ll send you the story of ‘your’ goat, a picture and an adoption certificate, updates and goat info – your new chosen friend is likely to send greetings at Christmas too! Goat adoption makes a great gift and the cost helps a lot with their upkeep. One of the biggest goat expenses is fencing…. and fencing …… and more fencing. Goats are the ultimate escape artists. Please get in touch if you are interested in adopting one of the goats and we’ll send you an info pack straight out. Name and address and s.a.e. please. [donate]