taken from the south side of the barn and shows the area where the does enter their side of the barn. This area has about
an acre fenced with it and the does can be left in this area or shut out as needed. They also have access to an older
barn that has good grass hay available year round.
Below are pictures of the goat feeders and a picture from the loft of the goat loafing area.
When not being fed on the milkstand, they reach through the panels into the main section of the barn to reach feeders.
This helps keep the feeders clean although occasionally a doe will manage to mess in a trough. It must be difficult
to manage this feat! The old pygmy goats can go into an area under the barn steps to eat and have low feeders.
The does can be fed from inside and no one has to go in with a bucket and be trampled. The milking does enter the center
of the barn through a gate from this area and then head on to the milk room. Most of them know their names and come
in when called although a few does always go first, no matter what! They exit the milk room into the pasture and head
to the hay feeders in an older barn. The bedding in this area is a mixture of pine shavings and cedar shavings.
This seems to really help with flies and gnats in the summer and there is a ceiling fan in one area to help move the air about.
We can drag the soiled bedding out of this area with the tractor and front end loader although the corners have to be cleaned
with a shovel. The hay barn is bedded with grass hay and the kidding pens are bedded with straw when available and grass
hay when straw can't be found. Also pictured is the feeder that holds mineral salt and soda. It is also reached
through a panel helping to keep it clean. Under the old hay feeder is a favorite place for babies to snuggle as their
Where the boys live!
The bucks have their own 2 1/2 acre pasture with two ponds and a creek.
At times, when the creek is dry, they go visit the neighbors and help clean up the brushy areas next door. When
this happens, the neighbors' cattle often come visit us and eat the tall grass that the bucks don't care for.
After years of trying to keep a good fence up in the creek, we have all given up and the animals go where they choose!
We have wonderful neighbors on all sides. The bucks have grass hay available year round in a north facing shed.
They also have an older shed that is attached to an old metal carport salvaged from another neighbor. In this area is
the grain feeder for the large bucks. The old pygmy buck has his own feeder on the fence to the right and the big bucks
cannot get into this area. The feeders are accessed through the back of the doe area so there
is no need to go in with the bucks to feed them. One benefit is that the does will come down to this area and "visit"
letting us know when the timing is right for breeding.
There is a breeding pen (not pictured) that has a
gate to both the doe area and the buck area. Most of the bucks know their names and respond when called but during breeding
season, they all answer to any name! A little creativity is often needed to get the correct buck in the pen and he is
brought in before the doe just in case the wrong bucks make it in. As you can imagine, they all love to come into this
pen and this also makes it easy to bring them in for worming, trimming or any needed medicating. In early 2013, our
older Nubian buck, Bond, is fed in this pen as he takes longer to eat than the others and he seems to need more feed at this
stage of his life.
Our bucks do all live together and they do fight some during rut but normally the pecking
order is well established by this time and fighting is minimal. We try to never introduce a new buck to the others during
breeding season and have a different area for young bucks. We will later let the young bucks meet the older bucks across
a fence and then finally put them in together when breeding season is over and they have all settled down.