In mid July, we purchased 8 Boer does and brought them home. We learned about goat bloat, parasites, deworming, and stress induced illness pretty early on. As well as electric fencing (which they were already trained on, thankfully), and what hoof trimmers don’t work for me.
In mid August, we finally found a nice buck and went south about 4 hours to get him, and also ended up with a new Husky member of our furr family, Storm. Having three large dogs has been a delightful adjustment, especially when the 2 (large) puppies get going. We got our mini-barn, started on a playground for the goats, and the husband built a hay feeder that is working very nicely.
The buck had about a month with the ladies and is now separated, so we can know for sure there will be no more kids after mid February. Being new at this, I haven’t got a clue who is pregnant, but it’ll become apparent eventually. I think 7 of them are, with Bean hopefully not. She’s still not 100% from her worm and illness battle, but I never saw the buck interested in her or her him, so I think she’s good. The rest are healthy and fat and I think growing fatter.
We are setting up a kitchen greenhouse in the back yard for seed starting and herbs next spring, photos to come. I look forward to a huge greenhouse out by the garden to really extend the growing season, but this smaller one (a 20×12′) will be excellent for all the seedlings so the house isn’t overrun again!
For our garden this year, we got some snap peas and tomatoes, and a good amount of potatoes and cabbage (which went to sauerkraut, cabbage roll soup for freezer lunches, and coleslaw, YUM!). The pumpkins grew, but were planted too late. I got 3, 2 went soft and I’m hoping #3 will ripen before it goes too. We got a LOT of spaghetti squash that had to be picked before it ripened, I am hopeful they’ll get there before going bad. Had I planted the corn sooner, we’d have had 30 ears, they really started to come in well and then it froze.
It’s cooling down at night, but only *just* to freezing, now and then. Just enough to have had to pull the garden. So lots of lessons learned, the main one being to get seeds in the ground earlier and use covers to keep them from freezing. The artichoke plants didn’t produce anything but are still growing quite large. Because they are a perennial, I am going to attempt a thick protective cover this winter and see if they’ll come back next year.