I have had goats since I was about 7 years old. They have been a lifelong passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I guess you can say that I came about it honestly, both of my parents had goats growing up! My mom had an Alpine doe named Scamper and my dad had a white weather of unknown lineage. Both of my parents were adamant that I stay away from goats, but I persisted. For several years the only thing I put on my Christmas list was a baby goat. My grandmother, knew how badly I wanted a goat so she went to the local livestock auction and bought me a grade white Sannen named Katie. I loved that goat fiercely, she and I would walk through my grandma's pasture and simply enjoy her company. Sadly, Katie contracted a fatal mastitis infection and passed away not more than a year after I got her. Understanding my heart break, my gram went to her sister that raised grade Pygmy's and bought me a tri-colored pygmy weather. He was wild from the get go, and never acclimated to humans, sadly he escaped from his enclosure shortly after he was bought and got hit and killed on the road.
After this series of unfortunate events my gram thought, lets try a bottle baby doe, also from her sister. This time she brought, Angel my first pygmy doe to my parent's house and told them I was to keep the goat or she was never talking to them again! Long story short, I got to keep Angel! My mom was an avid gardener and was very concerned about having goats, but Angel proved she was named appropriately. She was a wonderful goat that bonded with me immediately. We spent hours trail riding , she would follow along with the horses, and simply growing up together. I learned showmanship with her, and she was my first 4-H goat project. I even changed the way the Western PA 4-H goat show occurred. When I began, it was only for dairy goats and I petitioned successfully that all goats should be allowed to show! Angel unfortunately met an untimely end. She was playing on the cistern, which had a wooden top that had rotted. She fell through and drowned. After two days of searching, posting flyers and asking all of the neighbors, I realized what happened and we found her.
I really had to think about my future with goats after this tragedy. After much thought, decided I missed goats so much that I was going to buy another. I wanted to research breeds and uses and decided on Nigerian Dwarf goats after hundreds of hours of research. I wanted a miniature breed that was also a dairy goat with an active ADGA registry, and Nigerians were the perfect fit for this criteria. So my next step was to find a breeder in my local area that I could visit and purchase a doe kid. Using the paper ADGA directory I found Gin Evanko the owner of Hollow Acr-R Nigerians. After visiting her farm I picked out a buckskin belted doe. I decided to name her Buttercup.
To be continued... Read next week's blog post to hear about how I began my adventure into
Nigerian Dwarf goats. How did you get your first goat?