Did you know that God can even use goats to teach you a lesson???
So the theme is homesteading, right? Well, I have been trying to learn a lot about things like canning, gardening, using herbs for food and medicine, etc. I think these are all very important things, but the theme that I feel led to write about is not so much a homesteading endeavor, as it is a good life lesson that came to us through … of all things … goats. I don’t know how many of you have ever had any experience with goats, but if you have the time to devote to them, they are a ton of fun.
It started out when our family (I am the oldest of seven children, only one little brother) still lived in Wisconsin, about 4 years ago. We were given two “Tennessee Fainting” goats. They were ugly old things, and no one else in my family cared to mess with them, so I sort of became interested in them out of pity. 🙂
Anyway, when we decided to move back to Missouri, we had to leave the goats behind. I was okay with that at first and then after living here for about a year, I realized that I really missed having the funny old animals. So my parents surprised me and took me to the Livestock Auction up the road for my birthday two years ago. Daddy bid on a black and white mama goat that came through the ring with her baby, when the auctioneer said that we had won them, I was so excited.
I named them Mama Goat and Buggy, very original on the mom’s name, I know. 🙂 We got them just for pets, and they are so special to me. I never would have dreamed that a little over a year later, we would end up with a small herd of goats!
We bought over 30 more goats. We kept them through two “kidding seasons” and saw all of the adorable little baby goats for awhile, and then sold them when they were old enough to be weaned. We learned all about how to give them antibiotics, trim their hooves, and even how to milk our one very annoying milk goat.
We learned what it is like to be fooled MANY times by a mama goat that you think is getting ready to have her babies, only to stay up late into the night and find that she doesn’t have them for two more weeks. 🙂
We learned that even if you do have to stay outside all night, sometimes it is worth it to see the tiny baby that is born in the wee hours of the morning. We even experienced the heartbreak of losing a few tiny babies that we had worked so hard to care for.
A few months ago we ended up selling off the majority of the herd. They are a lot of work and they take up a lot of time. We are back down to three goats … Chrissy, Mama Goat, and Buggy. You can not keep goats in the fence unless you basically have a prison, and they sure do like to eat … whatever is on the other side of the fence, that is. 🙂
But even for all of the headaches they caused, I wouldn’t trade the few months of having them for all the big successful ranches in the world. We learned so much while we had them and we spent a whole lot of time out in the field as a family, just trying to figure out how to fix the newest “goat conundrum” that would come up.
I guess the moral of this whole story is, if you are out for a quick way to make a lot of easy money, don’t buy goats. In fact, don’t try any “homesteading” project at all! Sometimes the real point of homesteading/home business, has nothing to do with how much money you make or how much you can learn, sometimes it is just about bringing a family closer together, hearing what God is saying to you, and making memories that will last forever … even if the goats don’t. 🙂