Goat keeping

We’ve seen my sheep on this blog but I have also been a goat keeper. In those heady days of the 1980s when self-sufficiency was all the rage, we kept goats to provide us with milk. Being mammals, this meant they had to have kids. We were able to borrow Billy goats to do the necessary and so goat kids became a part of the scene and they became playmates for our kids – our children. And here we see daughter and a goat kid in about 1984.

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That’s our house in the background and that’s a reminder of times past. We had those appalling metal framed windows which never shut tight and allowed the wind to whistle through the house. We had chimneys at both ends of the house. The one on the right side went when we put rooms in the roof. We still have one fireplace in operation.

Mother goat, with her rear end to us, is tethered on the lawn. One really shouldn’t do this since goats do not graze. They are browsers and seek to consume things like leaves from trees and shrubs. They are also, really, creatures of bleaker land rather than lush lawns and the kid has been given a fibre glass mountain to play on.

And what of the milk? Well guess what the quality really did depend on what the goat ate. If it had good food we got good milk. If it only had grass we tended to get goaty flavoured milk. Of course, animals in milk are a tie. I had to be up early to milk the goat before heading off to work. And I had to milk her again in the evening.

My wife sometimes made soft cheese from the milk. The best I’ll say was that it was OK.

I certainly enjoyed goat keeping at the time but I wouldn’t want to do it now.

 

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