processed with resulting beautiful garments.
We have adamantly told our children that
there will be no camels on our property.
Even we have to draw the line somewhere.
We have what we consider to be a small
farm or hobby farm. We have 9 acres, and
the animals live on approximately half an
acre. While the animals are in pens with
shelters, we often let them out to run and
play and graze.
Goats have a reputation for eating
everything in sight and damaging property.
Our experience has been just the opposite.
They are very picky eaters and actually
refuse offers of bananas, apples, or an
occasional cookie. Our goats seem to like
only the food and hay they’re used to,
although they will take an occasional
nibble out of a shirt you’re wearing if
you’re not paying attention and would love
to eat something in the flower bed or
garden if given a chance.
Our children show goats, and their
business will focus on showing and
breeding goats and selling kids (young
does) for showing. The people they know
who have similar businesses have reported
selling does within thirty minutes of
posting their pictures on their farm
websites. These are show-quality goats
selling at prices of $300 and up,
depending on the breeding.
There has been discussion about
milking goats and producing goat milk
soap and goat cheese, but that’s still in the
discussion stage. Some of our friends who
produce goat milk on their farms and make
the resulting soap, cheese, and fudge sell
every bit they produce, including the plain
goat milk. In fact, one friend has a line of
people at her back door every morning
waiting to purchase every bit of goat milk
she has from her morning milking.
Similarly, our friends who raise meat
goats have no lack of customers waiting to
buy the goats for the meat (or the meat
already processed). Like the dairy and
meat goat folks, the fiber farms can’t seem
to produce as much wool as the market
demands. It’s a great market for the caprine
industry in general.
We love the goats, and our children have
seen an opportunity to turn what has been
RIGHT: Joe and Emily conferring with their
brother, Zeke, and sister, Hana, in the show
ring. This was Hana and Zeke’s first time
showing, so Emily and Joe had permission
to be in the ring with them. They were a
little afraid to go by themselves.
ABOVE: Hana holding her Junior Champion
Goat, Prairie Wood Memo (recent mom, as
of August 5, 2008, to Ping and Puck)