We had an amazing weekend at the Arkansas Goat Producers Spring Show! The goats behaved beautifully (for the most part-I’m lookin at you Sassafras), friendships were made, and ribbons were won!
Grand champion Nubian buck-Robinett’s-Caprines Rupert
Double reserve champion junior Oberhasli doe- Bottomhill LIT Mary
Heaviest single day milk volume- Bottomhill Kardashian
10 First Place ribbons
15 Second Place
13 Third Place
Next on the schedule-trip to the Colonies for fresh genetics, Linear Appraisal, and then our Inaugural Open House!
Hey everyone! Sorry for the radio silence, it’s been a little crazy around here.
Kim (aka kardashian) kidded with twin grade bucks, Rebel and Kettle. We are going to keep them, wether, and train them as cart goats.
Caitlyn (aka speechless) had a huge single doeling-9 pounds at birth! She’s 75% grade ober, and her fancy name is Goatroper Farms Joan Aux Arc. We call her Joanie for short.
Zhaan’s registration got done, and her horns finally came off yesterday. She seems much happier!
Ariel and Myriah are due to kid Thursday. Both are wide as whales and fairly miserable.
We are going to give Ariel a year off after this. She’s an older gal, and while she makes beautiful kids, I worry about it wearing her down. Especially after last years bought with ketosis and uterine infection.
Sally has decided she completely hates us and is literally living in a tree. She found a downed tree trunk and won’t come off it. I have to take her grain and back away slowly. This is even more awesome since she is due in 2.5 weeks.
Get into goats, they said. It will be easy and fun, they said. They lie!
Spent most of the afternoon painting cabinets and assembling doors and such. The cabinets are a loving mish mash of Kate’s grandmothers kitchen and Goatroper friends who are also remodeling their kitchen. So it was a bit of a puzzle.
Kate’s grandfather spent the last few years of his life in a motorized wheelchair. And Bob Jones drove his wheelchair with all the caution and delicacy that he drove his vehicles. Aka Mad Max style.
So the cabinet doors at grandmas all have wheelchair divots ground into the wood. When it came time to put the doors on, of course the divots had to stay. Poppaw Bob died a week before we moved in, but now part of him will be a part of the property for a long time.
Thanks to the terrible gift that is Facebook memories, I was alerted to the fact that our original barn burned to the ground six years ago yesterday.
Farming is hard y’all. I know right now farming is chic and people love the idea of baby goats and fluffy chicks and fresh eggs and milk and veggies. I get more and more people wanting to buy a single goat for their back yard for urban farming. Or that want to come visit the farm because they equate farms with petting zoos.
I’m gonna Gibbs smack those people with some reality. Farming is hard, gross, and heartbreaking. It’s a 24/7 job, because even when you are not actively with the animals, you are planning stuff, researching on the Internet, harassing your mentors for advice, and buying things you need but can’t afford until after you won’t need them anymore.
In the last month we’ve had a goat poisoned and another abort. I have 13 does still pregnant, and all have to get prenatal vitamins, shots, and supplements at the correct time to hopefully bring a healthy baby into the world. And the unseasonably warm weather means we are already fighting parasites.
When the barn burned to the ground, we lost 10 of our 11 goats, including five 1-month old kids and the first kid born after Goatroper became official. We had to bury their charred bodies, which were all curled up where they slept like they were simply asleep under a grey blanket.
Except butch who died saving the kids by knocking down the door to their stall. Only Zeus got out because Oscar snagged him and ran him to the house.
The world need more farmers. Those who came before us are retiring or dying, and they aren’t being replaced fast enough. So I encourage people to farm and grow food and breed animals.
But do your research first. Work on a farm for a few months. Be there when an animal is born. Be there when an animal you love dies despite all the medicine in the world. Learn about medicines you can give and what you need a vet for. Learn basic surgery skills. Get over being grossed out because something is always gross. Build your buildings to code, don’t skimp because it’s “just a barn”.
But please don’t get farm animals because they are cute as babies.
Most importantly, farm because it’s what your heart and gut and brain tell you to do. Go into it 100% knowing that for every miracle there might be tragedy. And when there is, don’t succumb to the tragedy. Take it and make your heart, gut, and brain stronger with your grief and knowledge.
Hey everyone, sorry we’ve been away from the site. It’s been a rough couple of weeks at Goatroper. Joshua started a new shift at work, the temps keep fluctuating giving runny noses all around, a stomach bug hit the humans, and someone poisoned one of our goats. More information about that horribleness can be found here
But we’ve scraped together the money and purchased security cameras and signs, and until they get here the goats and dogs are safe and sound (and driving us crazy) in the front yard.
We are five weeks from our first kiddings, the ladies Kardashian and Speechless. Although everyone is starting to really waddle. Poor girls.
The milking room has cabinets! Kinda! Gotta put the doors and drawers and appliances in but the cabinets are in place!
Joshua has the electricity run to the barn so next step is start running the lines and adding the outlets.
Had our ultrasounds done today (with Dora’s complete supervision as you can see) and everyone is pregnant, and while the Nubians aren’t far enough along to number babies, at least 17 will be hitting the ground! Bring on March!
….after the barn is done.
Really it’s the only time of year the goats tolerate doggy snuggles-when it’s cold and those walking carpets give off heat