Posts Tagged ‘Goats’

goat care, kid goats, caring for goats, book about goats, goat health, how to raise goats, how to purchase goats, goat farmMy latest book, Annie’s all about Goats, is now available in paperback on Amazon.com.

I am excited to publish this book for new goat owners, as well as those that have experience, and for people considering goat ownership. This is a great reference book to start or add to any goat care library!

I cover a range of topics including:

  • purchasing goats (things to consider and how to select)
  • bringing new goats to the farm
  • goat breeds
  • fencing, housing, and storage
  • livestock guard animals
  • feed and nutrition
  • health and wellness care
  • coat, hoof, and horn care
  • breeding and pregnancy
  • birthing
  • raising kids
  • milking
  • ways to use goat milk

My husband sat down and read the book proof as I was cross-referencing page numbers. He said, “I’ve learned about goats all over again! I had forgotten so many things.”

This book is a true and absolute work from my heart. I hope many people enjoy and learn from it for many years to come!

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Making the decision to stop selling soap and lotion was not easy, but it became easier as I realized it was part of a big picture, much bigger than myself.

Making the decision to sell the goats was not easy at all. I still cannot look at photographs of goats.  And I do not look at my barn, nor the empty fenced in pastures. I even feed the cats at the house now. My heart flip-flops when I walk inside the barn.

I was, and still am, excited about traveling, meeting new people, and writing, but recently something was not making sense. Something felt all wrong. Big chunks were missing.

Today, after many prayers, and after one comment my husband made to me (thank goodness we love each other and can work well together), all of the pieces began to fit.

I am not going to stop writing this blog.

Why would I?

My plan is to make Annie’s blog a DIY (Do It Yourself) type of product blog. I still will make soap occasionally, and I definitely make my own lotions and creams. And there are other products, including natural perfume blends, that I work on from time to time.

Not to mention the goats that I can write about (I have oodles of stories to tell), books to write, aromatherapy projects to do (I practice on myself and my husband only), and a huge interest (still) in country life. I have a lot to offer.  I have a lot to write about.

And, there will be goats again someday, just years down the road. And only two, just two! Someday, when I have kids again, it will not only be up to me, but it will be up to you too, to remind me, “Sell those kids!”

Just today, the last person that bought goats called.  He wanted to know how I was doing. I told him that I cannot walk, I have torn ligaments, a badly sprained ankle. He proceeded to tell me that he was on his way to the doctor, with what he thinks is pneumonia. He asked me, “Aren’t you glad I bought the last of your goats?” Yes, I am. When a person can only shuffle from room to room, they cannot walk down a hill and take care of goats. And then, he is a sweet young man, with a growing family. He needed the goats in his life. My time will come again.

For now, my time is here, and at the new site that I am still building, Pen And Ink Spot.

I told you, I am not going anywhere. Only the platform under my feet has changed.


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boer and dairy goats www.anniesgoathill.com

Annie’s Goat Hill was not something that I planned out on paper.  The farm and the soap company evolved from a passion for natural things, and from a strong life-long love for animals.

I am excited to share with you the featured article that I wrote for the Orscheln Farm & Home Blog.

Each time I write my story I realize how much I have accomplished, and I find that I am excited to share as much as I can.

Thank you to Orscheln Farm & Home, my hope is that the article helps to promote positive inspiration!

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Hilarious nuts they are, food driven animals…I get so much enjoyment from  watching their antics!


Shared video from the Goats In the Garden blog.  Thank you Jennifer!

Annies Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness

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Slow as it goes, the most concise words for our new farm progress.  But slow as it goes, it is happening!

Last weekend we “cut in” the fenceline for the initial goat pastures.

I began thinking about just what cutting in the fenceline meant.  I must give credit to the animals themselves.

Goats – they provide us with entertainment and companionship, milk, and now, an environmentally safe clean-up.

We do not need gallons of diesel fuel and heavy equipment to clean up the last sections of our farm.  We have goats.

They benefit from the lush green.  There is nothing better for a goat than the leaves from deep-rooted plants, especially leaves from trees.   And the land benefits by the adding back of natural fertilization.  I cannot imagine a better situation.

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The melting of the 20+ inches of accumulated snow has begun.

I could see a blue tinge to the early morning sky at 6:30 A.M., I knew sunshine was to follow.  It did.

Now the beautiful bright sun is gone.  It sure was pretty and uplifting while it lasted.

Now that the thaw has begun the icicles are growing like crazy.  We are going to have to knock some of them down.  Problem is, this old house has some dangerous areas.  When snow and ice melts, everything tends to run down the roof to the old concrete patio (where I took the photo), and down the sloped yard.  This old house, I lovingly refer to, has had several additions, several with different roof angles.  Every piece of ground goes downhill except for a small patch of driveway next to the house.  I think we need guardrails!

Melt, freeze, and melt again.  Repeat.

I had a handful of goat kids born during the snow storms.  Some are in the barn.  Some are in the house.  Two that were born during one of the coldest mornings, two out of a set of triplets, were near death.

My newborn kid revivial system will be posted in the next blog post.   It might help someone in the future with a very chilled newborn goat kid.

Other than loads of snow, ice, and newborn goat kids, there isn’t a lot of new news.  I have been busy.  Which is nothing new.  As I said once before, it will not be long before I will seek help. 

I represent the simple life.   I also need to ensure I keep it as simple as possible, or I’ll be boggled to the point nothing functions correctly.  Then what good would that do for Annie’s Goat Hill?

How are you doing this winter? Thawing out? Ready for the spring garden?

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Snubian Goat

Chameaqua - Snubian Doe

This season I am experimenting with management of the dairy goat kids.

In the dairy world (cow, sheep and goat) the herd keeper either bottle raises their dairy kids, or they allow the kids to be raised by their dams.

I normally bottle raise my dairy kids. 

Bottle raising kids is a huge undertaking, especially in cold weather.  One year, during a blizzard, we had 19 kid goats in the house at once.  We had dog crates everywhere.  Sleeping, eating, bathing, all of the normal human functions in the house were difficult.  The washer and dryer ran constantly.

Why did I do it? I wanted to protect the dam’s udders.  I wanted the udders symmetrical (goat udders have 2 compartments), and I did not want their udders to suffer any injury from the kids.  Goat kids really “knock” hard on their dam’s udder when they are nursing.  Knocking on the udder helps to release more milk.  The releasing, or dropping, of milk is entirely hormone/mental/physical. 

This year I decided to allow the first dairy doe that freshened (to give birth) to raise her kids.  So far it is working well. 

Chameaqua (a snubian doe, one of my own past kids) gave birth to two doelings.  She took to motherhood like a champ.  She came back to the milk-stand like a champ as well.  I do not excessively milk her out.  I basically even up her udder, releasing any pressure.  Like a God-send, her twins are pretty much nursing from one side of her udder.

I have been able to put precious colostrum back in the freezer, which is always a necessity for a goat person to have on hand. 

Note:  I ensure a kid has colostrum in their belly within the first 4 hours of birth.  A kid’s first drink of colostrum affects their health for the rest of their lives.  And, a goat kid cannot maintain their own body heat without fuel in their belly. 

With Chameaqua passing the dam-raised test, I will be allowing all of the dairy girls to raise their kids.

No more heartache for me.  It was not easy to remove their kids.  Plus, I will still put milk in the freezer (for soap or kids) and/or have fresh milk on hand for lotion.

Everything will work out perfectly!

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How about that heading? Warm weather? It is a LOT warmer than it was!

We are cleaning the barn this week.  A much neglected part of our farm this season. 

I am ignoring the aches and pains, and focusing on how much better it will be once things are back in order and kidding pens are set up. 

The boer girls are rather large.  Their bellies make me think of weighted down slings, heavy with something.  That something would be kids!

The dairy girls seem a bit less pregnant.  Some do not look pregnant.  They are though.

I have no expected due date calendar this year.  I actually had thought of only breeding 1/4 of the herd.  But the buck made his mind up for me.  So I check the ligaments, watch the behavior, and watch their udders. 

I hope to never go without a birthing calendar again.

Never say never? Well, I am definitely going to work on a major separation in boys and girls! Miles apart would be best (but impossible).   Until then, in high hopes that it never happens again.

If I seem missing in action…I might be, but rest assured I will be much happier once I see the much improved set up for the girls!

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Lucy The Boer Goat

No, there are no kid goats on the ground.  But they are definitely growing from the looks of the does. 

Lucy (in the picture above) is my smallest boer goat.  She always has one nice sized kid.  We love Lucy.  She is a dandy, a sweet girl.  A little odd she is, with long hair that drapes from her hind legs.  From the looks of her right side, she has a nice sized kid blossoming again this year.

For those of you unfamiliar with goats.  A doe shows pregnancy in her right side, the left is the rumen.  Notice the difference between the left and right side of the doe in the photo below.

Peep - Boer Doe

Some of the girls are very much wide loads.  I will attempt good pictures later this week.  Each year I think, “They did not look that wide and heavy last year!” Annie, Valentine, Oreo and Sunday all look as if they could drop triplets tomorrow.  I do not expect kids until at least March.  I could be wrong.  We had planned a very small kidding season, but the buck made the decision for us.  He paid more than one romantic visit.  He made his rounds. 

Last but not least, I have another breed of animal that is pudging out (not due to pregnancy in this case), Henrietta (the largest pig), and her un-named sister.  I estimate Henrietta’s weight at 80 lbs.  I still know very little about pigs, but I know this pair have grown very well, very quickly.

Fast Growing Piglets...Henrietta to the Left

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Today I arrived home a bit late.  The animals knew I was late.  I do believe they have internal sun clocks. 

The deep glare of all of the hungry critters, accompanied by the time I spent away from the farm (enjoying a beautiful countryside ride), brought out sheer appreciation of my farm life this evening.

They  were squealing…

Goats and Critters 007

Henrietta and Friends - Growing!

Caleb, our great Pyrenees mix, said…

Mom...I have done a good job today...I am hungry too! See me do my dance?!

I have been a good guard dog...now I am dancing for my food!

The cats were lined up at the gate…ready for warm goat milk…

Goats and Critters 009

More cats in the feed room…

Goats and Critters 013

Protecting the feed sacks...looking for a "live" snack...

Come on…are you going to feed us or take pictures all evening????

Goats and Critters 006

Left Camille (nubian), Right Carmella (nubian), Frosted ears in front (nubian/boer) Ms. Red

And the beautiful nubian that is finally beginning to grow…

Goats and Critters 002

Amelie - Whom greets me with kisses on the chin and a nubian hum every day.

And those that seem to be expanding way too much…a boer doe that looks ready to pop…could not possibly have been bred in June!

Goats and Critters 011

Valentine - Going to need her own personal electric scooter soon!

What a troop they are! I love them all. 

Have a wonderful Friday!

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