Meet "Goat" -
She is my new, as yet unnamed, goatling. She's one of two goatlings I bought yesterday; the other bought sight unseen. Both are Anglo-Nubians. They're going straight off to stud, and will be in kid by the end of September, I hope.
I chose Anglo-Nubians because their milk has the highest butterfat content, perfect for cheese, yogurt, and adding those elusive fat calories to one's diet. However, Anglo-Nubians aren't the easiest breed for a beginner. I've heard the terms "willful", "vocal", and "serious challenge to fencing" applied to them. The seller showed me her middle finger which was missing its top knuckle, the result of a goat she was leading around the ring, panicking at a country show. It took out two bystanders as well. Oh, and that destructive goat? It was our new goatling's mother.
I hope to god that rampaging behaviour isn't hereditary, or at least skips a generation until I can learn more about goat training.
So I was awake in the middle of the night wondering if I've made a sensible decision to add goats to our mixed enterprise. The self-doubting voice in my head, which is quite loud, was yelling at me that I'm an idiot and, frankly, one hamster away from being on an episode of Confessions: Animal Hoarding. The farmer-in-training voice, which is much quieter, reminded me that I have been researching this for more than a year, that I can commit the time to this endeavour, that I've outlined a business plan and contacted restaurants interested in local produce already. I know it has potential to add to our income. And, if it doesn't work out, I can sell the goats. No one is going to die, no deadly virus released if I fail. Basically no Armageddon will befall the world if I've made a mistake with the goats.
OK maybe I'll lose the top of my finger, but I'm willing to run that risk.
I have resolved to be positive about the goat endeavour, and my ability to make it succeed. Even though we found out this afternoon that our entire hay crop is likely ruined because of rain, and because the farmer who we contracted to bale it, bailed on us. Our winter hay supply is now whatever we have left from last year. This would be fine if we didn't do anything rash, like buy two milking animals that require daily hay, even when grass is plentiful. I'm still going to be positive; it's the only way I can muster enough creativity to cobble together a solution to the winter fodder problem.
I read that the Dalai Lama said "Goats are the ultimate source of success in life." I have absolutely no idea what that means, but I know, if I can make goats work for our little farm, I'm going to feel triumphant.