The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Road work with goat

Kid in the car
Sorry to leave you all hanging without a post last night.  What was supposed to be a six-hour round trip to pick up goat #2 turned into a nine-hour marathon due to road work in both directions on the highway and an excellent hour of goat training at Newland Nubians.

Pastured nubians
What's with the excessively long drive to pick up a goat?  Well, our first goat nearly fell into our laps, but I hit a lot of snags trying to find an appropriate companion for Abigail.  We didn't want a large goat, and the only small goats for sale nearby were being bred for looks and were going for about $300 a pop.  We figured if we were going to have to pay top dollar for a goat, she might as well have traits we wanted (pasture potential and milking genetics), so we looked further afield.

Parent goats
The photo above shows the parents of our new doeling (name yet to be determined).  In the foreground, you can see Aowen, who is ten years old and pretty skinny at the moment, but who has proven herself over the years and has been the mother of quite a lot of Newland Nubians' current herd.  Aowen is a purebred Nubian who typically milks through (meaning that you don't have to breed her every year to get milk) and she's still giving a quart a day at her advanced age.  The father, in the background, is Hunting with Emmet from Tiny Town Goats, whose mother was the champion Jingle and who brings small size to the equation. 

Four-month-old kids
Our new doeling is four months old and has charisma in spades.  She kept nuzzling us on the ride home, and when I carried her up our swampy floodplain, she was unworried enough to grab bites of leaves as we passed by.  Here's hoping she and Abigail get along well and turn into BFFs.

More seriously, our doeling is also a prime pastured animal since she and her cohorts have been raised on browse (and milk) alone since birth.  That should result in a well-developed rumen that will serve them well during their pasturing career.  A few other doelings (and, I believe a wether) are currently available from the same breeder if you're looking for small pastured milk goats and are willing to drive to the Roanoke/Blacksburg area.  The links up above in the post will lead you to the breeder's facebook page and website for more details.  Tell her I sent you and she'll give you the $300 price on the Aowen's granddaughter!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Congrats guys on your new goats! Living vicariously just got that much better!
Comment by jen g Fri Oct 10 23:50:54 2014

I loved your bread recipe and thought I wrote it down. Wrong I can't find it!!!! Would you please tell me when you posted it so I can look it up. My Granny and GA GA grew up in Appalachia Virginia. I have been there a lot of years ago They married And moved to Gate City Virginia. Love following your blog. We have purchased you chicken waterer . Sincerely Candy

Comment by Candy Thomas Sat Oct 11 16:15:27 2014
Candy --- I suspect you're looking for this basic recipe? Thanks for reading and trying out one of our waterers!
Comment by anna Sat Oct 11 18:21:41 2014

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