So much has happened at our farm, it’s time for an update…
First of all, Happy New Year to everyone! We hope that 2019 is an amazing year for you (and for us too)!
We’ve had a lot of changes at our farm over the past year. And as you may have noticed, we don’t post as many blogs as we used to. We’ve turned to our Facebook page for providing our up-to-date information. It is mostly a “lack of time” thing… it is challenging finding the extra time for writing our articles, but we do have lots of information to share with everyone, and hope to get the occasional post published still! Right now, we are working on updating our website since, of course, our breeding is well under way for this year. All of our available goats and our goat breeding updates are accessible on our website (and we will keep this updated).
We’ve had a lot happen over the past year with our farm, goats and other animals. Some good news, but some sad things to share. As I mentioned, we have been keeping everyone updated on Facebook, but here is a summary of what’s taken place:
The GottaGoat Farm Animals
We have several new additions to our farm (actually over the past couple of years that we haven’t shared on our website yet):
- Au Lait (a standard donkey) and Sophie (a miniature horse) joined our farm in May of 2017. Their previous owner could no longer care for them, and we were approached about taking them in. We agreed, and within a day we were scrambling to get a shelter up for them! Au Lait’s feet were in bad shape, and we continue to work with our farrier to get them in better shape. They are both doing very well, and a great addition to our family!
- Sable, a now 18 yr old Morgan mare, joined our farm in September of 2017. She is a wonderful horse, very sweet, and our intention is to be able to do some “pleasure riding” with her, but like Au Lait, she had some issues with her feet we’ve been working to correct this past year.
- We adopted Ruby and Tovar, a couple of then yearlings, in October of 2017. They came from a horse rescue organization who had managed to save them from an auction. These two are still a “work in progress”, and as they get older, we’ll be continuing with their training!
- Chickens! Well, we don’t even have a count anymore… We let two of our hens go “broody” over the last couple of years, and they hatched several new chicks for us. We had two new roosters who had been found abandoned, brought to our farm late last year. And several of our original chickens passed away over the years. However, we had built a wonderful rooster coop that now houses 20+ roosters, our chicken coops are home to approximately 40 hens, and we even have one rooster who has chosen to live with the goats in the barn (his name is Princess Leia).
- Our dear old Charlie the Pig, and his best friend, Blue the Rooster, passed away last November. Charlie, believed to be in his 20’s, had been healthy and doing well, but both he and Blue appeared to have died of natural causes one night. It was so very sad, but also amazing, that they passed together. We’ll miss those two souls, but at least they’ll always be together.
The Goats at GottaGoat Farm
So many updates with our goats. We’re working on updating all of our goat pages with everyone’s photos too, but here is an overview:
- In the summer of 2017, we started our Goat Yoga (GOGA) program. We continued with our classes again last summer, and it was a blast! We sure love having everyone come out for these, and the goats really enjoy all the company. We are planning to start our classes again later this spring (weather permitting). See our Events and Classes page for more information.
- We chose four of our kids from 2017 to keep at our farm: GottaGoat Mountain Ash (he has now joined the ranks as one of our Miniature Silky Fainting bucks!), Sweet Pea (our VERY tiny Nigerian Dwarf baby who we wanted to keep to ensure she developed ok, and was not bred too young), Willow (Primrose’s Nigerian Dwarf doeling) and Daisy (Delilah’s Nigerian Dwarf doeling).
- We added some new breeds to our farm in 2018, Nubians and Lamanchas. We purchased some beautiful new registered does, and our intention is to work on developing “mini” versions of these breeds. Emma and Tiny are our new Nubians, and Pepper and Charlotte are our new Lamanchas. We are hoping to breed Emma and Tiny for this year’s kidding season, but Charlotte and Pepper are still too young for this year’s breeding.
- We also added several new fainting goats to our herd. Tinkerbell and Jasmine are Miniature Silky Fainting goat doelings born in March, 2018, who we purchased in June last year. They are both MSFGA registered. When we went to pick them up, we also ended up bringing home Bambi and her doeling, Daisy (both MGR registered).
- In April, 2018, we lost our beautiful Leeloo, one of our first two Nigerian Dwarf goats here. She had complications while having her babies: two boys, Jiminy and Flower. Jiminy had a hard time being born, and we had to help turn him a bit. He was finally born, followed by Flower. However, Leeloo was not doing well afterward so we took her to the vet. They found she had a retained baby still, but unfortunately she didn’t pull through the whole ordeal. We love and miss our Leeloo every day. Her boys, Jiminy and Flower we raised by bottle (at least until Flower adopted Halley as his new mom), and we had both boys “fixed” at the vet last summer. They now live with the girls and will continue to stay with us here!
- In addition to keeping Jiminy and Flower, we also kept one of our doelings, a Miniature Silky Fainting doe, Ariel. She was Apricot’s baby from 2018. She is just beautiful, sweet and still a little shy. She also faints regularly.
Around the farm itself there have also been many changes. A new barn, new fencing, and lots of battles with mother nature:
- In the fall of 2016, we built a new barn. It is 50′ x 36′, with a 12′ lean-to on one side. We didn’t build the structure ourselves, but we hired a company from Alberta to build it for us. It was amazing to see this installed in just 7 days! However, we did do a LOT of work inside the barn ourselves, building a heated workshop, a supply/milking room, goat stalls, and our kidding stalls. We had the electrical run inside conduit to protect from rodents and the elements, and have all weatherproof fixtures, switches and plugs. We ran a water line to the barn and installed a hydrant that we can use year-round. We LOVE this barn! Still lots to do inside to the upper floors (yes, we even built a second level for storage), but the main floor is working well for us.
- We still have our original goat barn, although now it houses our bucks. We have a lot more maintenance than previously, as the boys are really hard on the siding (regularly ripping off pieces of the wood and even our cute little doors). It is still a wonderful, functional barn, but has a lot more patches to keep those crazy boys out of the elements!
- Along with building the new barn, we also spent the fall of 2016 fencing a large part of our property. We carefully planned out several pasture areas for the goats and horses (and what turned out to be a pasture for the donkey and mini-horse). If only we would have saved some of our money to deal with the next couple of years of issues!
- For the last two years we’ve been battling floods. We had an unexpected basement flood in 2017. It was the strangest sequence of events, a forest fire caused a power failure, which in turn caused our sump pump to fail and then our basement flooded. Then, last spring, after a huge snowfall the previous winter, we had a similar flooding occur. However, there was much more significant damage, as well as a “river” that ended up flowing through our property for several months, flooding out many of our pastures and animal areas. We spent so much time hauling and placing sandbags, digging trenches, and trying to pump water! We also had our two horse shelters ripped out of the saturated ground and destroyed. And unfortunately, since our insurance was covering a portion of the basement repairs, all of our claims for help from the government were DENIED! They have refused to provide any assistance for all we’ve had to spend installing additional sump pumps, diverting water, replacing our shelters, etc., stating that these are considered “property improvements”. Well, I could vent about this all day, but I’ll end with the fact it was a very costly year for us! We are certainly hoping for a much less eventful 2019!
So there you have it – you are all caught up with everything that’s happened here. As of this writing we are at 29 goats, and have 3 more coming soon! In fact, our babies Lily and Bell (Halley’s does from 2017) are coming back home, along with a new Miniature Silky buck! One thing is for certain, we love our farm and all of our animals, and will continue to share our experiences with anyone who would like to listen (although we are sure hoping for some better luck this year). And for anyone who would like to bring a wonderful goat into their life, we will have some amazing new kids available in a few months.