Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Goats Have Landed

When we colonize the moon in the not so distant future, guess what dairy animal we are going to bring with us to live in our self-contained biospheres? Cows? Heck no! How could we possibly get them in our rocket ships? The Nigerian Dwarf Goat will be our small savior of all things cheesy and good. These little fuzzy things stand no taller than 20 inches, yet produce about a quart of milk a day with up to 11.3% butterfat. Here at Itty Bitty we wanted to be prepared for our future's new frontiers so we got ourselves a couple of these puppies. Well that's not exactly the reason why, but I thought it might make a catchy introduction to our newest additions.

Our new farm critters came from Oops Ranch in Lake County. They raise all kinds of tiny things up there, including miniature ponies. And to answer your question, no we are not getting one of those. I drove up on Sunday to pick up Lucy and Ethel, a.k.a. Lucille Ball and Ethel Mermen. They are not exactly your friendly petting zoo type of goats. Not having been physically handled too much, they are skittish and shy. I am a touch embarrassed to admit that I was completely unprepared for their arrival. The day before pick-up, I got one of those Dogloos off of Freecycle and didn't actually set up their pen until I had brought them to our backyard. Finding a place to store them while I built the pen was a challenge as the backyard is a giant construction site right now with only one side of a 3-sided fence erected. My DF (Disgruntled Farmhand) took charge here and tied them to a tree where they munched down my peas and the rose bush that we've cut back more times than I can count. I guess we won't have to worry about that anymore. By the way, if you need blackberry brambles or overgrown rose bushes removed from your property, the girls would be more than happy to help.

This is 3 month old Ethel:

She is the friendlier of the two, or maybe she's just smaller and slower and thus easier to catch.

Here is Lucy, looking like the anxious goat that she is:

Ute is in charge of taming the goats. In this pic, she illustrates her method.

That Dogloo, or I guess we should call it the Goatigloo, is hecka rad. So far we've determined that you can fairly comfortably fit (I love split infinitives!) 2 goats and 2 five year olds in there. I think Ute's technique is working:

Stop by for a visit if you would like to meet the girls.


  1. Welcome Lucy and Ethel to the farm family. Grammy is looking forward to meeting them. Didn't Grammy ever tell you what farm life is like - chores every day and you NEVER get a vacation;-)

  2. So I was wondering about producing 1 quart of milk per day. Perhaps you failed a basic biology exam, so let me explain it when you come this summer.

    There is a fundamental requirement in mammals about producing milk.

  3. it's called a stud service dad.

  4. I commented on another blog post earlier and mentioned that i brought one baby goat home. Well, that poor baby had to go back to the goat ranch. She was just so young and tiny and i really should have planned on getting 2 of them. She was sad and lonely, and i'm not at a point in my life where i could really handle it. I thought i did my research, but i wish i'd have seen this post earlier. I see you started when the goats were older, and did the wise thing by getting 2. If i try again, i'll do the same. You inspired me to try it but i just went about it all wrong, with getting such a young one, (one week old). We sent her home after the first week because she wasn't doing well. We brought her back when she was 4 weeks old, but she was so sad and lonely, i just couldn't stand it. Also, if i do try it again (which i'm sure i will) I'll just wait until my toddler is older so i'm not so overwhelmed. Thanks for the information and the inspiration.:)