We have owned close to a thousand animals over our Homesteading life.
A quick estimate of our animals over the years
500 Meat Chickens
100 Egg laying Chickens
Oh yea… and 2 Camels.
We really love raising livestock.
I can honestly say that we have enjoyed working with each and every animal on that list.
They all have good things about them.
Take for example, meat chickens.
The cornish cross chickens that we raise are kinda like walking drumsticks. (funny, as I write that I realize that all’ “drumsticks” walk, as they are in fact chicken legs)
Little tiny head on a big ol’ fat body, flopping around the farm looking for a easy meal and a place to sit down.
Nothing majestic about these creatures.
BUT, something we love about them, they are easy for the smallest kids to handle. They never are aggressive either.
They are a great starting place for new kids and new homesteaders alike.
And dang they fill a freezer real fast!
Every animal we have ever raised has good things about it.
Of course, there is truth to the other side of that sentence too.
Every animal we have raised has some downsides.
Guineas are loud. Turkeys fragile. Sheep flighty.
As we experiment with different animals, management practices, and products on our homestead, we are able to make decisions about our future and what we will or wont do in future years. For example, we know we will never raise a heritage breed turkey again, as we find them quite hard to manage and the end product ( a very small tougher turkey) not something we want to produce. But broad breasted turkeys? Yeah, I have 5 ordered this year!
In almost a decade of homesteading, having owned almost every farm animal out there, There is only one animal that has made our never again list.
Dairy goats to be specific.
Don’t be mad dairy goat people. We gave them more of a fair shot.
We have owned 25 different goats over the years. We have milked 5 does, and had a boat load of kids running around.
There are plenty of good things about diary goats, even I can admit that.
Goat cheese… for starters.
Personality. They have that in spades.
And there is the cute baby kids every spring.
Did I mention goat cheese?
But as with all farm animals, there is a list of cons too.
Goat milk. We just don’t really like it. (I mean, we raise Jersey Cows for a reason… BUTTERFAT)
Then there is the escape artist element to raising goats.
I could go on, but basically we have finally decided after years of experimenting with diary goats that the product they give us do not outweigh the burden they place on our daily lives as homesteaders. And so no more will we have dairy goats on our homestead. BUT…
THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE THEM ON YOUR HOMESTEAD.
Homesteads are like super hero utility belts. No two should be exactly alike.
Where one guy needs a grappling hook, another needs a…. hmm…. what else do super hero’s put on their utility belts?
Anyway, point is diary goats, while not a good fit for us, may be a great fit for your homestead.
And that is why tonight we are going to be talking all about raising goats, and what ways they can be a power for good on your homestead with Liz and Aaron from Syman Says Farms.
Through their Syman Says Farms Youtube Channel, Liz and Aaron have opened up their home and farm to help teach and inspire the next generation of farmers. They feel a strong sense of purpose to give back and share their love animals and knowledge of husbandry with those who may never otherwise step foot on a farm.
Together, they shared their tips and tricks of how they manage and keep their goats, chickens and rabbits healthy. In early 2019, Aaron suggested setting up a live stream in the goat barn during kidding season. What better way to educate than to share the birthing process Live?!? A few weeks before the first doe was due to kid, Aaron hit the button that would forever change everything!
The Live Cam quickly became a place of refuge, peace, solitude and community to a great deal of people. Affectionately called Goat Aunties and Uncles, the “Village” supports, uplifts, celebrates, cries and laughs together daily. It’s become a place of acceptance and healing.
Aaron & Liz have received countless emails and messages of thanks and gratitude from people all over the world who have said the Live Cam and the goats literally saved their lives or allowed them to be strong enough to seek help for their own struggles.
Liz & Aaron’s passion for sharing their knowledge and animals with the community, quickly became about sharing the power of animal therapy AND husbandry with the world!
Liz and Aaron obviously feel different than we do about having goats on the farm. If you are interested in dairy goats, or just raising goats in general, you will not want to miss tonights live interview!
Homesteady Pioneers can join me LIVE for that interview.
Just click here —> Homesteady Live from the Barn Show at 5 PM eastern time today.
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Hope to see you tonight,
-Doesn’t Like Goats Milk Aust