Planning the barn for a homestead is a very important step, and the better you know exactly what you want to do on your homestead, the better you can design your barn to accomodate your needs before building it. Some important things to consider are how big, siting, flooring, electricity and water, livestock accommodations, feed storage, and handling manure. We could have done a better job of planning, so these are some things to think about and lessons learned.
Our barn is 28′ x 46′, and when it was built, I never imagined that we’d outgrow it. However, with 5 dairy goats and more on the way, [...]
Continue reading The Homestead Barn (Important Questions Before Building)
It’s obvious now that four of our Dwarf Nigerian does are pregnant (these pictures are of last years kids – see the Kidding Schedule for delivery dates this year), but we carefully considered their maturity and needs during pregnancy before taking this step. Basically, there are three stages of care to consider: 1) breeding, 2) early gestation, and 3) late gestation. At each of these stages there is a preferred BCS (Body Condition Score) that should be maintained, specific feeding guidelines, and preventative vaccinations/health precautions that are recommended.
Before breeding, it’s typically recommended that first freshening does be at least [...]
Continue reading Basic Goat Pregnancy Care
It’s hard to believe, but we’ve had the goats here with us for a month already (see The Goats Are Here). They seem to be doing just fine, and we love having them. It’s hilarious watching them run and play outside, they bounce and contort themselves in the funniest ways.
As we were preparing to get goats, one of my biggest questions was what I should have on hand. This was the list I used to prepare for Tinkerbell and Honey (some of these are obvious I know).
Shelter – they need protection from predators and inclement weather
Fencing – it needs to [...]
Continue reading Goat Starter List
I just never paid much attention – what’s straw versus hay? It seems I need to know this to keep goats:
First of all, straw is the leftover stalk of plants, like wheat or oats, which have had the seeds removed. Because the seed part of the plant is removed, it lacks nutritional value and is typically used as bedding. Even as bedding, the goats seem to think that any grains the harvester missed are good for munching.
Hay is comprised primarily of grasses which still have the seed or grain attached at the time of harvest, and is used as feed. However, [...]
Continue reading Hay vs. Straw