I don't know where you are, but as I am writing this I am sitting on my front porch enjoying the goats lounging around me. The spring seems to have fully sprung on our homestead with baby goats, garden starts, and sunshine! I am well aware that with my breeding program of my goats have far out numbered my husband and I. Sometimes, Rob will joke, it all started with just one, and that was the truth! We bought Ivy way back in the summer of 2016 with the intention of starting a small goat herd, showing and breeding just a few. Well, Ivy couldn't get pregnant, which lead to the purchase of Chloe, who had a heart defect and passed away, which lead to the breeder giving us Moots as a replacement for Chloe. In the mean time, we were hoping to get an older doe to breed, as Moots was just a few month old kid, so we took the trek to Florida to buy Zoey, who was bred at the time! This brought our numbers up to three, with Zoey being pregnant. Well, as I look back and Zoey has faithfully produced two girls and a boy for us the past three years without fail, and I have bred Moots, and retained two of Zoey's daughters as well as one of Moot's its easy to see how the goats have outnumbered us! This doesn't even include my two bucks, with one on order!
You can see how goat math applies in this situation! It can be a slippery slope when you think of additions to your herd in a one by one fashion like I have! Overall, I have a small herd compared to many with 6 does three kids and two current bucks, but this does not account for the fact that Stella is due on Easter with at least two kids. We will likely keep one doe kid from this years kid crop, because we want to understand how our genetics and breeding program is working. This is a difficult task to achieve without keeping offspring, raising and breeding them. That is the only way to determine kidding ease, udder confirmation and overall milk-ability! My problem is and always has been, I love the goats for who they are, silly, gregarious, outgoing members of our family. This means I do not make decisions like an average producer, selling bucks, when they have worked themselves out of a job, and I retain my does and retire them after just a few years of breeding. They have given everything they have to me, and I feel I owe it to them as their faithful owner and steward to provide them with clean feed, hay, minerals, and a safe place to live and rest. This may mean that I will never win an ADGA national title, or make a profit from my goats, and that is O.K. I understand that choice I am making and I enjoy each and every goat on my homestead for as long as they will happily and comfortably live here with me. I know there are many out there that understand how I feel, and others that disagree, but that is the beauty in raising goats! We all get to do our own thing and make our own decisions! Happy Goating!