So many years later and my wife and I are now raising goats. And the stories we've got could fill a library! How about the time we went to get "one" goat. Ended up bringing back five and a Great Pyrenees dog as well! But isn't that the way it is with goats?
Rocky and Caboom were the first two goats we purchased for $50.00 each from a family in Ozark, MO. Registered French Alpines. Both goats were very young and Rocky had a problem where his horns had been clipped to close. Despite all of our attempts at helping him, he developed serious health problems and expired a couple of months later. Caboom followed suit about one month after that so we were pretty devastated and determined to not let it happen again.
In the meantime, we perused ads, attended stock animal swaps meets and came home with four more young goats - two solid black male pygmies (Dante and Cosmo) and two nubian cross females (Alpha and Omega). We also got the address of the person who had raised all four from birth and ended up purchasing three of the mothers (Beauty, Fawn and Mary), a daughter of Beauty (Tanya) and two other male goats unrelated (Doc & Casper).
The next part of our goat raising efforts came with the building of the fence (I think I'd much rather eradicate Kudzu as erect a fence). Fencing for goats has got to be the most difficult thing; especially if you went about it the way I did. I tried to run an electric fence figuring that the shock would keep them away. Nope. They go right through it. A goats hoofs offer them the protection from grounding out. I finally ran ten wires spaced about 5 inches apart from the ground up and that seemed to eliminate the problem, most of the time. A few of them will still "horn" their way through the fence from time to time.
Ultimately we ended up going to a complete hog and cattle panel fence system. While these panels can be somewhat expensive (up to $15.00 each), I found by purchasing in bulk, one can save quite a bit - if you have a way to transport them from the point of purchase. For anyone considering raising goats and want either a temporary or permanent system, this is the way to go. But a quick warning - never argue with a cattle panel frozen to the ground. Thy will win every time!
So there you have it. The beginning of Rock Lane Farm and the end of my lily-white, blister free hands. The lawnmower has sat idle in the garage ever since the first goat arrived on the scene. It would not be fair to measure this whole project in terms of cost because the fun and enjoyment we have had with our goats is worth every penny - priceless. While there may be a few days every now and then where I proclaim, "that's it. They are all getting sold in the paper", I know it will never come to pass as I think I'd feel pretty lost without their near and dear little bleating hearts. Once you've had the pleasure of owning goats, the family dog just doesn't stand a chance!
While I still play music and my wife Pam still engages in her artful ways, we have found that the "farm" is a very pleasant endeavor with its ever challenging and interesting twists of life it can deal your way from time to time. The ultimate accomplishment was the development of GoatWorld and meeting people from all over the world who share the love of their goats the same as we do.
All pictures and images are ©1999-2003 by Gary and Pamela Pfalzbot
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P.O. Box 586, Monte Vista, CO 81144-0586