Goats

With the whole aspartame in milk thing going on, I am looking into getting dairy goats which I’ve wanted to do anyhow.  If the dairy groups are successful, I won’t be able to drink store milk anymore.   Just for safety reasons with small children around,  I do not want a cow.  A friend of mine has a farm in Connecticut.  Her family raises, and shows, American Oberhasli dairy goats.

She has offered to sell me two orphaned does (their mom died of milk fever last week), that are about 2 weeks old, for half-price of their normal cost. I’d have to bottle feed them which is 3 times a day, but she says they are starting to eat a bit of hay and feed.   They will have to be bottle fed for the next two – three months.

She will make sure they are completed healthy.   They now live in her basement in an extra-large dog crate, so they are warm and she can feed them easily.  She has also volunteered to meet me halfway between my house and hers.    If I need to move, I have no doubt she would hold them for me, if necessary, while I set up in a new place.  She would also answer any questions or give help as needed.

I like deals.  This is the cheapest I’d be able to buy two does and, more importantly, I know where they come from and how they were raised.  It’s basically 2 for 1.    Because they’re young, I’d have time to gradually build the fencing around the area I had mentally set aside for goats.   They currently can fit inside a large doghouse, so I’d have a month or two to spread out the cost of fencing, housing and other gear I’d need.   Unfortunately, the “goat fund” wasn’t started yet, so I’d have to pull it from another “fund”.   Since I finally paid off my car, I do have that money to work with now.   I hadn’t reassigned it to anything yet.

I know my eldest grandson would absolutely love to help bottle feed baby goats.   This particular breed is supposed to be very docile with good dispositions which is important to have around children.  I already know they have a very good milk volume.

The downside is that we don’t have very long “green” seasons, so I’d have to rely on hay and feed a good portion of the year.  A second cut round hay bale is running from $35-60 now.  Tractor Supply is selling 50 lb bales for $19 each.  I hope to move within the next 12 months, so it should only be a problem for that long.  Also, it is more responsibility to take on, and I’m still learning about chickens.

I don’t like making fast decisions that will affect finances for an extended period.  I like to mull it over and figure everything thing out, but I really don’t have time to do that.    I know we’re getting goats, so it’s not something out of the blue.  I just need to figure out if I should get them now.  My first instinct is yes.  The more practical side of me says to work it all out first.

However, if the dairy groups are granted permission to add aspartame to milk, then I’ll need the does grown and bred by next Spring.   Selling the kids will help defer the cost, but that won’t be for a year.  I keep flip-flopping about this.

I know I’m getting goats.  It makes sense to get them.  I know I can pull the money from another fund.  I wish I could control that side of me that insists I have to have all my bases covered before making a decision.  Then again, that side of me is the reason we are not in tons of debt.

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