Goats, We Have ‘Em

We have a lot of pasture, and like anyone in this part of the country, we have a lot of brush and blackberry bushes that tend to take over the pasture in quick order if not maintained.  That would be great if sheep ate them, but they don’t.  What does? Goats.  Goats are the worlds best weed eaters.  Through my research I’ve learned that goats co-pasture really well with grass eaters because they prefer weeds over grass.

The Dude Abides

 So I have been looking for goats.  I researched different kinds of goats, what they were good for and what I really had time for.  I didn’t want a doe that I would have to milk, I didn’t want a miniature because I would worry about predation.  What I really wanted was a Nubian because I had fallen in love with them 2 years ago at the Ventura County Fair. 

Oops

 What I got was 2 Nubian crosses and one LaMacha cross.  Nubians are known for their huge floppy adorable ears.  Mine have been all crossed with Boer goats which are a bigger meat goat.  Charlie – the LaMacha – has the tiniest ears I’ve ever seen.  LaMacha typically have no ears and look a little alien.  I’m glad that Charlie has ears even if they are a little silly looking.

Charlie & Dude

 Being a sheep owner I don’t think I was prepared for these little guys.  Sheep – my sheep at least – don’t want my attention.  They want food, shelter, water, and to be left the hell alone.  They have no interest in people.  Maybe it’s because Icelandic sheep are primitives (they don’t even flock!) or maybe because sheep are just a more nervous animal, but my goats LOVE me.  They come out to see me when I’m in the yard, they maaaa contentedly as I give them a scratch and actively seek out attention.  Even if it’s from Tank!

Having these boys is pretty fun.  They are playful and kick up their heels as they chase each other around their small pasture.  They are kept in one of the smallest of our pastures and brought into the barn each night.  They are obviously too small to be left to their own devices.

Charlie No Ears, The Dude Abides, & Oops walk the walk.

 They are only about 3 weeks old and still bottle babies so the Mr and I haul ourselves out to the barn at 6am every morning with 3 bottles for 3 eager kids.

Oops shows his sass.

 Soon these guys will grow into large weed eating machines and will be a flock for a ram lamb if we decide to go that route.

The Dude Abides lets his wonderful ears flap in the wind.

 Dude really is beautiful and he knows how to work his ears like a model!

Jumpity! Dude grabs some air!Oops is a little shy but so sweet.Dude gives ya a smile!Charlie has tiny ears but they are adorable!

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