Category Archives: homesteading

It’s that time of year – Baby goats are coming!

The Anglo-Nubian is a British breed of domestic goat. It originated in nineteenth century from cross-breeding between native British goats and a mixed population of large lop-eared goats imported from India, the Middle East and North Africa. Its distinguishing characteristics include large, pendulous ears and a “Roman” nose. Due to their Middle-Eastern heritage, Anglo-Nubians can live in very hot climates and have a longer breeding season than other dairy goats. It has been exported to many parts of the world, and is found in more than sixty countries. In many of them it is known simply as the Nubian. Information was found on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Nubian_goat

We LOVE our dairy goats. And initially brought them in because my son, Trystan couldn’t drink cow’s milk. However, he was fine with goat milk… And that is where our journey began. 

That being said, we have a handful of goats for sale and new babies getting ready to be born. Check out our craigslist listings for the current for sale…. and if you are interested in the new babies, get on our notification list by emailing is at kris@krisandlarry.com 

Here is our craigslist listings: https://prescott.craigslist.org/search/sss?userid=11413281

 

2017 Kunekunes – favorite pigs

Have you gotten a chance to see our baby “War Pigs”? If you were at the Heights church for the Christmas Eve services, you got a chance to see these little cuties.  Shelby and I (Kris) decided to bring these little guys to share although because they were only 3 days old, no one could pet them. 

Kunekunes are an AMAZING breed of pigs that we have had on our homestead for over 4 years now. (We actually just sold off all of our yorkshire meat pigs last month and only have our kunes again. ) We use them often when people request us to come and share our animals as part of a “petting zoo program.” Mama Pumpkin is one of our most requested animals to share. 

Our family jokes that they are called “War Pigs” because they were (extra buffed out via CGI) in the war scene for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. See the clip below that we found on youtube.

 

Kunes are a very docile and gentle pig, making them a great addition to a homestead. They are more like having big hairy dogs than having pigs.

Originally from New Zealand, the pigs have made a comeback here in the US as well as the UK. Their name means “fat and round” in the Maori language. They come in a variety of colors including black and white, brown and white, solid ginger, solid cream/fawn, solid brown, solid black, and ginger and black. 

These hairy pigs can reach 300 pounds or more however, making them the largest of the miniature breeds or the smallest of the meat breeds. They are a pasture pig that eats primarily grasses and fresh fruits and veggies. We do not feed our kunes any commercial pig feeds and we have rescued a few of our kunes who were being fed dog food. Not a great choice for these gentle giants.  Being that they are pasture pigs, ours like to graze in the same field as our horses. And they love tomatoes, strawberries and other fresh goodies. 

We have 3 sows and 2 boars plus our little squishies that were born on  12/20/2017. Kunes are pregnant for 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days just like other pigs. (So Mama Pumpkin got pregnant approximately August 27th of this year.) 

Our kids raise them as part of a heritage pig breeding program and the sales of these piglets help fund some of their other 4-H and FFA projects. 

We have 6 males that will be for sale in February this year for $200 each. Please let us know if you are interested.  We can either keep them intact or castrate them depending on your needs. 

 

 

 

Look at all of the BABIES on our homestead! March 2017

Even with all of the heartache this month, We have had a TON of babies born this month….  And most are available for sale.  Shoot us over an email

 

Yorkshire cross piglets

– $150 for one or $250 for 2 – We are requiring a $50 non-refundable deposit per pig to hold them. They will be ready to go to your home on April 29, 2017.

These are the perfect meat pigs for you to raise for your family’s fresh meat. 

We have 6 available for sale. 

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KuneKune Pigs

 – $250 for females, $200 for males – We are requiring a $50 non-refundable deposit per per to hold them. They will be ready to go to your home on May 20, 2017.

 

We have 2 males and 2 females available. (These are not registered, however, parents are on site) All 4 babies are Fawn colored like their mama, Fern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nubian Goat Bucklings

 – They will be ready to go to your home on May 20, 2017.

We have unregistered, registered American Nubians, and Registered Purebred Nubians. Registration through ADGA.org

 
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Born 3/21/2017
Dam: American Nubian “Goats of En Gedi Purple Sage” ADGA#AN1746674
Sire: Purebred Nubian “KrisandLarry Prince of Spots” ADGA#N1775285

(Available as registered American or unregistered) – $125 without papers – $150 with papers, $100 wethered
Buckling#1 – available

Buckling#2 – available

Buckling#3 – on hold

Can also be wethered
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Born 3/25/2017
Dam: Purebred Nubian “Goats of Gilead Meadow Flower” ADGA#N1730141
Sire: Purebred Nubian “The M&R Ranch Declan of Spots” ADGA#N1751543

(Available as registered Purebred or unregistered) – $150 without papers – $175 with papers, $100 wethered

Purebred Buckling – Available

$50 non refundable deposit to hold. Available to go to your home when they are 8 weeks old. Visit our website www.krisandlarry.com to see a listings of all of our herd.

We do offer a multiple goat discount!! Goats do need to be with more than one (or with a sheep). They are herd animals and we will not sell to anyone with no other goats. We do give a $50 discount if you purchase more than one goat from us.

We also have Purebred Nubian “The M&R Ranch Declan of Spots” ADGA#N1751543 for sale – AWESOME Goat!! Changing our bloodline on our herd this season. (given 80 babies in 2 years for our breeding program) 2 year old Intact Breeder Buck – $350


Declan, Purebred Registered Nubian Buck, proven breeder – $350 

“The M&R Ranch Declan of Spots” ADGA#N1751543

We are changing out our Nubian Dairy Goat bloodline and are looking for a new home for our amazing buck, Declan. He is a proven breeder, giving us 11 babies so far this season with 14 more does pregnant this season from him. (He gave over 40 last season for his first breeding year.) He does throw spotted babies (75% born so far this season have moon spots.)

He comes from a CL/CAE clean herd but can be re-tested this season for the right buyer.

He is (human) kid friendly and comes from a homestead full of 4H kids. 6+ of his babies will be shown at the Yavapai County expo this year.


Looking for SPRING CHICKS? 

We have barnyard mixes available (wyandotte, ameraucana, barred rocks, etc)…. 4-6 weeks old and ready to go to your home.  Have a jumpstart on your birds for this year. 

Straight Run, $4 each. 

 

Raising Chickens – Oathkeepers Preparedness Class – January 28, 2017

January is the planning month to get going on your homestead. Besides saving food for your monthly stash and getting ready for your spring gardening, you need to start thinking about other things that you could do. Poultry can provide eggs and meat for you and your family. Our family has chosen to raise a lot of different poultry types and breeds. We have included chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, quail, and soon to have chukars and pheasants at our home.  We chose breeds of chickens that are both for meat and eggs. Many of our other birds, we breed for meat and incubate our own eggs from our own adult birds. Favorite chicken breeds in our house are Barred Rocks and Americaunas (Easter Eggers).

If the chickens are allowed to eat bugs, fresh greens, and scratch grains, the eggs will have a higher nutrient content. Researchers conclude that eggs from pasture raised chickens may contain:

 

  • 1⁄3 less cholesterol
    • 1⁄4 less saturated fat
    • 2⁄3 more vitamin A
    • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
    • 3 times more vitamin E
    • 7 times more beta carotene


Remember that home-grown eggs will have a darker yellow to an almost orange-gold yolk vs the store bought ones will have a lighter yellow yolk.

 

Shelf Life of Eggs

The eggs you buy at your local grocery store are usually, probably weeks old. Technically, eggs do indeed have a long lasting shelf life once refrigerated, however the older they are the flatter the white & yoke becomes.  If you are wondering about the shelf life of homegrown eggs in the refrigerator, it’s approximately 3 months. We do not wash out eggs and do leave them out on the counter for several week.

 

http://www.olsensgrain.com/articles/chicks-articles/spring-chick-arrivals-at-chino-valley-2017-01-4624

 

Top 7 Tips for First Time Chicken Owners   http://commonsensehome.com/best-chicken-tips/

  1. Start with chicks.I know it seems like it might be fun to incubate and hatch your first batch of chickens from eggs, but it’s much simpler to start with a healthy bunch of chicks and go from there. While hatching your own is definitely something you may wish to consider in the future, allow yourself to become accustomed to the inner workings of chicken health and behavior before taking on the sometimes frustrating world of egg incubation.

Most local feed stores receive chick orders in the spring, so watch store flyers carefully to determine when they’ll arrive in your area. If this isn’t an option where you live, you can also mail order chicks from places online like Murray McMurray Hatchery.

Another option is to purchase mature hens who are already laying for your first flock. While this works some of the time, you often end up with the “culls” from other people’s flocks, so be careful of what you are buying.

  1. Choose dual-purpose breeds.Chickens are usually categorized into two varieties: meat breeds and laying breeds. If you aren’t quite sure which route you wish to go, choose a breed that is known to lay a decent number of eggs, but also has adequate meat production in case you end up with extra rooster or a hen that doesn’t lay. Personally, my favorite breeds are Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds, Barred Rocks, and Araucanas. Dual purpose chickens also seem to be hardier and more self-sufficient than other more “specialized” breeds.
  2. You don’t have to go crazy with your coop. I’ve seen some wild chicken coops lately! Some of them are fancier than my actual house, and it’s hard to tell if they were intended for a human or a bird. If having a fancy coop is holding you back from getting a flock of your own- don’t let it. Chickens don’t require a 5-star resort to be happy. A few things chickens DO need however: protection from predators, a place to roost, nesting boxes (for layers), and a place to roam.

You can easily meet these needs by modifying an existing building (small barn, shed, or even a doghouse) or building a small chicken tractor. Check out my chicken board on Pinterest for ample chicken coop and tractor inspiration.

  1. Stay as natural as possible. As the interest in chicken keeping grows, so do the gimmicks. You can make your chicken adventure as simple or as complicated as you would like. A few ways I keep my chickens as natural as I can:
  • I free range my girls when at all possible, which cuts down on my feed bill and provides them with a diet more like nature intended. (Plus, they LOVE it! Just be cautious of potential predators.)
  • I avoid using chemicals or special “washes” to disinfect my coop, instead I use a natural, homemade solution.
  • I feed them crushed egg shells to help to supplement their calcium intake.
  • I give them many of my kitchen scraps which helps to provide them with extra nutrients and it keeps that much more waste from hitting my garbage can.
  • I don’t leave lights on them year around to force them into laying. Since chickens were designed to take a break from laying, I prefer to allow them to do so- which also helps to reduce the amount of electricity I use. (However, I DO provide heat lamps whenever our temperatures drop.)
  • I go homemade whenever possible. I’ve avoided purchasing the expensive chicken equipment at the feed store by creating my own feeders and chick waterers out of repurposed items. We also made our nesting boxes and roosts from scrap lumber. There are many ideas and plans available online, including this idea of turning 5 gallon buckets into nesting areas.

 

  1. Establish a routine. Some people seem to think of their chickens as dogs and spend countless hours doting on them. I personally don’t have that luxury, since I’m running an entire homestead, with many other animals. Since my chickens are actually one of the lower maintenance aspects of my homestead, it’s easy to “forget” about them sometimes… I’ve found that things run the smoothest when I establish a daily routine for filling feeders, waterers, freshening the bedding, and collecting eggs. That way, the poor girls don’t get pushed to the back burner. 
  2. Keep things clean.This goes along with the previous point of establishing a routine. Dirty nesting boxes equal dirty eggs which equals the dilemma of whether or not you should wash your eggs.

An ounce of prevention goes a long way- it only takes a minute or two to clean boxes and replace bedding if you do it each day. If you wait until the end of the week, you’ll have a much bigger task, plus lots of dirty eggs. The same goes for the floor of your coop- if you are using the deep litter method, take a minute or two to turn the bedding each time you are in the coop.

  1. Get a heated water bowl. Generally I’m the type of person who prefers the non-electric method of dealing with problems. However, when it comes to dealing with chicken water, a heated dog bowl has been invaluable! If you live in a cold climate like me, shallow chicken buckets or pans freeze quickly, and you’ll be outside every couple hours breaking ice and refilling. Save yourself some time and headache by splurging for a plug-in dog bowl. It’s a great investment and my girls definitely appreciate it. (During warm weather, on demand waterers, which basically work like drip pet waterers on a larger scale, may be easier to keep clean than standard waterers, but they are prone to freezing.)

As you can see, chickens can be as easy or as complicated as you choose to make them. If you have the time and energy, then by all means, build a Victorian-style coop and mix them up gourmet treats.  However, if you are a full-time homesteader like me, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the benefits chickens will add your homestead, without a lot of extra work.


Typical Chicken Characteristics Beginners Look For

http://www.thehappychickencoop.com/best-beginner-chicken-breeds/

We’ve found that most of the time, when people email us asking what breed of chicken they should start with, they are all looking for the same thing.

Most beginners are looking for chickens which are easy to keep, lay lots of eggs, are docile and aren’t very noisy.

This is why we always recommend what’s known as dual purpose birds to begin with. Dual purpose birds are normally great egg layers and very calm- we will discuss specific breeds later on.

Some beginners email us and ask for rare breeds or breeds which produce a lot of meat. We don’t recommend either of these for beginners simply because they require much more time, and are harder to look after. We always recommend avoiding meat and exotic birds until you gain more experience.

Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds

So if you are like us and want to start keeping chickens for eggs, which breed would we suggest?

Bear in mind that the suggestions below are ideal for people with little experience who are looking for backyard chickens, which are easy to manage, require small amounts of maintenance and most importantly… lay lots of eggs!

1. Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Reds are synonymous with backyard chicken keeping and one of the most popular chicken breeds around (source). They are friendly, easy to keep and very tough.

Eggs: Should produce upwards of 250, medium-sized, brown eggs per year.

Character: They are very easy to keep, don’t require too much space and lay all year round.

  1. Hybrid

Hybrid breeds such as Golden Comets have been bred to consume small amounts of food and to lay as many eggs as possible. Whilst this is great for you, this can be detrimental to the hens health as their body never rests.

Eggs: Upwards of 280, medium-sized, brown eggs per year.

Character: Hybrids tend to make excellent layers, consumer less food, and aren’t very likely to become broody. They make a great choice, however make sure you source your hybrid from a sustainable breeder and ensure that it hasn’t been overbred.

3. Buff Orpington

Buff Orpington’s are one of the easiest and most popular egg laying chickens around. They originate from Kent, England and are renowned for their good looks and sturdiness.

Eggs: Should produce at least 180, medium-sized, light brown eggs per year.

Character: Orpington’s make great pets as they are extremely friendly and soft. However they do get broody during the summer months hence why their egg production is slightly lower than some of the other breeds mentioned here.

4. Plymouth Rock

The Plymouth Rock, also known as barred rocks, originates from the US and is one of the most popular dual purpose chickens.

Eggs: Should produce 200, medium sized, brown eggs per year- they also lay during the winter.

Character: They are a very active bird who performs best as free-range and would make a perfect backyard chicken. They are also extremely friendly with humans so great if you want to train them to eat from your hand!

5. Leghorn

The leghorn breed originates from Italy and was first introduced into the US during the 1800’s. They don’t get broody often and are an ideal pick for year round egg laying.

Eggs: Should produce upwards of 250, medium sized, white eggs per year.

Character: Leghorns will be happy in gardens as they are a very active chicken however they aren’t very tame so aren’t ideal for people with children wanting them as a pet.

With these suggestions made its important to remember you always get ‘bad-chickens’ and even the most docile breed can produce occasionally problematic birds.

All of these breeds above should be available from a local hatchery and we’d recommend at the start not to mix breeds within your flock.

Pick a breed and start off with them. This will help reduce pests and stop them attacking each other.

Remember the breed you purchase will require varying amounts of food in their diets, read what should I feed my chicken for more info.

 

 


Prescott Arizona Chicken Ordinance     Listed on www.backyardchickens.com

Are Chickens Allowed in this location Yes
Max Chickens Allowed None specified
Roosters Allowed No
Permit Required No
Coop Restrictions Chickens must be “physically secure.” No space requirements.
City/Organization Contact name Prescott City Clerk, 928-777-1272, http://www.cityofprescott.net/leadership/code/
Additional Information Ordinance 5-3-1 relates to the \”Regulation of Animals\” and contains all relevant rules regarding chickens within city limits.
Link for more Information http://www.cityofprescott.net/_d/cctitlev1210.pdf
Information Last Updated 2011-05-28 19:34:23

 

NOTE: This information was submitted by a member of our chicken forum. Please make sure to double check that this information is accurate before you proceed with raising chickens. You can read more info about checking local laws here..

 

 

How To Raise Quail For Beginners

Posted on November 22, 2016 by adminhttp://www.how-to-raise-livestock.com/2016/11/22/raise-quail-beginners/

Are you a livestock farmer who is looking at adding a new livestock on your farm? Or you are just looking for an easy to raise livestock? If so then look no further than raising Coturnix quails. They don’t require that much care and require less feed, but none-the-less produce quality healthy meat and eggs.

The growth of livestock farming in urban areas has seen a lot of farmers raising quails, although they can also be raised in rural areas. This bird was first domesticated in Asia and belongs in the family of birds such as partridges, chickens and pheasants which are called the Phasianidae.

Coturnix quail come in different varieties, which are gentle and can be raised in small areas. A lot of folks raise them for the production of eggs and meat, at six weeks they are considered fully grown and can start producing eggs.

The male quail unlike chicken roosters don’t make a lot of noise which make it neighbour friendly and a great choice for those who would like to raise them in urban areas. But before you do that you may want to enquiry with your authorities weather you are permitted to raise them in the area you live in and what sort of permit would you need if you want to raise them.

Some quail parents don’t like the idea of hatching the quail so it can be wise to have an incubator to hatch the eggs. It takes about 17 to 18 days for the thumb-sized chick to emerge from the egg shell.

When the chicks emerge from the eggs they can be sluggish at first, they can start running around at full speed and can begin eating fine crushed game bird plus drink some water. Since they can be very small at this time, to prevent them from drowning in the waterers, you can use some soda bottle caps as waterers. To make it safer you may place a marble at the center of the caps.

In their first few weeks of life, just like chickens you can provide some heat lamps to keep them warm. Young quails are very vulnerable to cold and can result to them dyeing in a short period of time. Quails grow very quickly weighing between 3-1/2 — 5-1/2 ounces and grow to be around 5 inches tall when they are adults. They can live for around 1.5 to 4 years.

Once quails become adults they require minimum care to maintain good health. As a farmer you should provide them with a well ventilated house, some high protein feed and access to fresh clean water.

A lot of folks who raise quails for the production of meat and eggs house them in welded wire cages. When using this housing method make it a point that the constructed floor has holes not larger than 1/4 inches so the birds feet don’t get trapped in the holes. Each cage should house one male per cage, reason being males turn to fight with each other, and in some cases can lead to death.

Female quails need about 14 hours of sunlight each day in order to produce eggs, fewer daylight will delay laying activities. So supplemental lighting has to be provided.

When it comes to waterers you can purchase them in most pet stores, but a lot of farmers also use rabbit water bottles. The reason why they prefer them is because they keep the birds from fouling in the water, causing you to refill with clean water every single day.

Quails are known to be gentle birds, but can be skittish. Don’t give them a chance to escape from their cage because they can be difficult to recapture, even if you can be using a net. They have small bodies that can fit in small holes and once they escape they will never return.

When raising quails for meat, there is no better breed in the Texas A&M if you leaving in the USA. Comparing to other Coturnix breeds, the Texas A&M weigh 10 to 13 ounces at the scale in only 7 weeks.

When raising quails for eggs, Coturnix quail eggs can lay around 200 to 300 eggs per single year, but you have to make sure they are well taken care of and provided with artificial lighting if needed. That’s the advantage of raising quails over chickens in your farm, it’s the length of time it takes to get some return of investment.

Chickens start to lay eggs when they are about 18 to 26 weeks old, a single female quail can deliver around 72 to 120 eggs at that given time.

Making the decision to raise quails, the next thing for you is to have a business strategy on how to maintain them for greater returns. This shouldn’t be a complicated plan. If your family is planning in eating the quail meat and eggs, then you don’t need that much planning. But you are planning on selling the meat or/and eggs then you have to take to account your local market.

 

There are lots of business opportunities when raising quails. Their eggs are very popular in Asia, with the growing population you may want to position yourself to supply the demand market. Even if you don’t target the Asian market, quail meat is also growing in popularity in the USA.

Quail is also a bird widely used for hunting purposes. Some hunters prefer to train their dogs using live quail. To get some leads you can look at some local hunting clubs, some hunting organizations even purchase live quails to stock their ranges for the loyal clientele.

Breeding quails is a very lucrative industry. A lot of farmers maybe searching to buy live birds, hatching eggs or even fully dressed birds. You can put up an ad on maybe Craigslist for local people who may be interested in buying your birds.

Quail meat is very good tasting and full of nutrients, once a person tastes it they will be wanting more. Their eggs taste good as well and when boiled can be used to make a healthy snack for children. To make sure they are well boiled you can cook them with a splash of white clear vinegar in the boiling water. And they also peel very quickly.

Quail eggs are also on high demand by caterers for use as eggs that are devilled since they make nice bite-sized snacks. You can also sell them to local stores as premium eggs.

Having a well planned business strategy when raising quails is the key to successful quail farming. These birds are easy to manage even when they are fully grown, but caution should be taken when raising quail chicks because they may drawn in normal waterers. To avoid this from happening you can use bottle caps and place a marble at the center of the cap.

With very little work upfront you can be on your way to raising healthy quail. Just make sure you are well prepared for this new business venture and you won’t go wrong.

 

Ringing in the New Year! Welcome to 2017!

img_20161231_200213Welcoming in the new year at our homestead is a fun event. We are not really “party animals” and do normally spend New Year’s Eve with our kids at home.  We play games the entire day and eat homemade finger foods (like homemade egg rolls, meatballs, chips and dips, etc).

This year, we had new games added to our collection including Steampunk Munchkins, Timeline – American History, The Ticket to Ride expansion for 1910 and Oregon Trail. (Yes, I know! Not the standard games that everyone else had in their collections – But we are a gaming kind of family and have all of those standard Sorry and Monopolies too!)

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So for hours and hours, we spend time as a family…. What have I learned while playing games with my kids? I have learned that I don’t like playing against Griffen in Munchkin… He is RUTHLESS! Trystan still does not play well with others and cheats his way through every game that he plays. Larry remembers all of the rules to all of the games that we play…. He is filled with folders of useless knowledge too.  I know that Rowan and Elwyn are very competitive, but will help you out on teaming up on games.  I know that Shelby LOVES to just sit and play any game, anytime with anyone.  Berlyn does not always play well with others. Breckin is a good sport and will not only play games with his sisters, but will dress up for one of the princess games with them.

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Upon the ringing in of the New Year, we make it outside to bang pots and pans and yell Happy New Year…. then come in and drink “kid champagne” AKA  Sparkling Apple Cider. 

This morning, we woke up to 2 new baby goats on our homestead! Declan (one of our registered Purebred Nubians) and Ava (a Registered American Nubian) had 2 baby girls…. We are thrilled to have already added to our homestead this early in the season…. 

So, from our family to yours!

Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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For Sale – Declan, a Nubian Purebred Registered Buck

img_20160919_112535439 img_20160919_112546301We are rearranging our herd again and adding new bloodlines so our beloved Declan gets to find a new herd of gorgeous girls to breed with.

He is a 1-1/2 year old, proven and registered purebred moonspotted Nubian Buck. He is from a closed clean herd and has given us many, many beautiful babies last season and will again this season. (several of our girls have been bred with him this season already).

He does throw spotted babies and we are keeping both a male and a female off of him for our own herd.

We raise Nubian goats, kunekune pigs, yorkshire meat pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, heritage breed turkeys, coturnix quail and rabbits. Visit our homepage at www.krisandlarry.com.

Let’s Talk Goats – Oathkeeper Preparedness Presentation

Basic Goat Facts

  • Female goats are Does or Nannies
  • Male goats are Bucks or Billies
  • Young goats are Kids (AKA doelings or bucklings)
  • Neutured males are Wethers
  • Goats are herding animals and do get lonely when by themselves.
  • Goats are intelligent animals
  • Goats are good at climbing trees, cars and buildings
  • Goats have a distinct pecking order (you will always have a “queen” in your herd.)
  • Goats can live for 15 to 18 years and does can breed until well into their senior years.
  • Goat milk is healthy and nutritious
  • Goat milk is more digestible than cow’s milk due to lactose molecule size (many lactose intolerant can drink goat milk)
  • They are the smallest domesticated ruminant
  • Goats are herbivores and are considered browsers and will eat leaves, grass, shrubs, etc.
  • Goats have been used by mankind longer than cows or sheep

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Goats need fresh water, dry fresh food, and a shelter. Not only can you milk goats, but their meat is tasty and goats usable on a homestead to eat down weeds and other vegetation.

What do goats eat?  Hay is the general name for a number of dried grasses and legumes such as alfalfa and clover. Commonly used plants for hay include types of grasses such as Ryegrass, Timothy, Bluegrass & Orchard grass. Legume hays such as alfalfa and clover tend to be higher in protein. Feeding goats a mixed grass hay and other greens may be best as alfalfa can be too rich and may cause health problems. We feed our goats a mixture of alfalfa, alfalfa pellets, sweet grain, Chaffhaye (which is a naturally fermented alfalfa hay), soaked beet pulp, wheat/Austrian pea fodder, black oil sunflower seeds, fresh carrots and lettuce/chard and in the summer, weeds from our garden. We also have a mineral block out for them. We limit our corn and other straight grains to prevent belly aches.

This is just a partial list of what is poisonous to a goat: Avocado leaves, Foxglove, Black Walnut, Holly trees/bushes, Lilacs, Milkweed, Mountain Laurel, Nightshades (tomato plants leaves), Oleander, Rhubarb and Cherry leaves, Azalea, Red Maples, Lily of the Valley

Breeding your goats: Many goats breeds are seasonal breeders. They will go into heat in the fall (from August – December) We generally breed in mid-September for a February kidding season. Most goats’ gestation is about 145-150 days. We keep track of when our males and females breed so that we know approximate birth dates and can be home during a birthing to assist if needed.

Goats have horns! We have our babies disbudded at 10 days old using a heat dissbudder and wether any males with a bander that we aren’t using for our breeding program. Find someone trustworthy to do this!! Horns do get stuck in fences. And disbudding can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.

Male goats are stinky!!! While in rut and around females in their breeding season, male goats have a “beautiful” smell, will urinate on themselves among other interesting actions and will call out to you and his ladies… Be careful, because you will look like a goat to him. Does seem to love it. But be warned it is extremely hard to get their stench out of your clothes and takes a good scrub to get the smell off of your skin. I have a single outfit that I wear when working with our males and I toss it at the end of the season. Males will knock down fences or anything in their path to get to the ladies. A males needs at least a 5 foot fence to prevent jumping over over for a “play-date”. My males do live with my females during off-breeding season.

declan2Although there are many different breeds of goats, our homestead chose to have Nubian Dairy goats. We milk twice a day, first thing in the morning and in the evening. We use their milk for drinking, baking, making butter, cheese, and yogurt. You must have at least 2 goats as they are herd animals and need companionship or they can get depressed and lonely. We both hand milk and use a manual milking machine from www.henrymilker.com.

You can purchase mix breeds of dairy/meat goats, full bred goats or registered purebreds goats. Our goats are all registered. The only real difference is that registered goats have proven bloodlines. This prevents inbreeding and gives healthier generations of goats for better milking lines. We carefully select our goats for their linage and breed accordingly. This allows us to pick and choose who is breeding with whom. We currently have 3 bucks and 10 does on our homestead as well as several wethers. We plan on adding a new lines from Colorado to our herd in the spring as well.

Major Goat Diseases – CAE – Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) is a virus that affects goats in multiple ways. Most often characterized by big knees, the virus also does irreparable damage to the lungs as well and affects the immune system leaving the goat defenseless against most common ailments. Can spread via milk from mama to babies and in saliva.

CL – Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL), also known in some parts of the world as “cheesy gland”, is a disease that affects a goats lymphatic system, most often characterized by an external abscess – lump. CL manifests itself either internally, externally, or both and is very contagious to all other goats as well as humans. The size of the abscess is largely dependent upon the immune system and overall health of the goat. An abscess that is allowed to rupture will contaminate the ground for many years and infect other goats that come into contact. Likewise, a goat with internal CL can cough out the bacteria and spread it to other goats as well. There is not a vaccination that cures or prevents CL or CAE in goats. These two diseases are ones that goat breeders try to keep out of their herd.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GOAT WHEN PURCHASING

  1. General = Are they friendly? Do they interact with other goats, humans, dogs, etc? Check teeth, joints, chests, hips and lymph system. Check hooves. Check for lumps, runny nose and eyes? Is their general health good?
  2. Does – Are their teats uniform? Breeding history? Did they lose any kids? Did you have to assist in birthing? Were they good moms? How much milk were you receiving? If a doe has already been milked, ask if you can put her up on a stand. Does she kick?
  3. Bucks – who you want to use for breeding. Is there a record of babies sired? Check that their testicles are uniform.  
  4. If purchasing a kid – Are both parents on site? Can you interact with the parents to see their personalities and mannerisms? Have they been disbudded? Or are the polled (born hornless)?

 COMMON BREEDS OF DAIRY GOATS IN THE US – Mac Mendell, Undergraduate Student, Dept. of Animal Sciences

Nubians have very long floppy ears that should extend about 1 inch beyond the muzzle. They can be any color and should have a convex (Roman) nose. Nubians are one of the larger breeds of goats with a height requirement of 30 inches weighing around 135 pounds. This breed of goat tends to produce somewhat less milk than other breeds, but their milk tends to be higher in protein and butter fat content than other breeds. They tend to be a little bit more stubborn than other dairy goats and make a distinctive sound. Even Nubian kids sound like they are complaining. This is probably the most popular breed of dairy goat in the US. Most Nubian goats in the US derive from English lines developed by crossing English dairy goats with Afrhican and Indiana lop-eared breeds. [ADGA averages for 2010 lactations: 1835 lbs milk, 4.6% fat, and 3.7% protein] Nubians can withstand hotter climates. Nubians can more fleshy than most dairy goats and are used for meat as well as milk.

LaManchas have ears that are so small that it looks like they don’t have ears at all and can be any color. The breed originated in Oregon from crosses of short-eared goats with Nubians. They have a straight nose and are a small breed. LaMancha does are required to be 28 inches in height and a weight of around 130 pounds. The LaMancha sound is typical of other goats. LaManchas are usually more calm and docile than other breeds. They are recognized to be a very productive breed of goats. [ADGA averages for 2010 lactations: 2246 lbs milk, 3.9% fat, and 3.1% protein]

Alpines (French Alpines, British Alpines, and Rock Alpines) can be almost any color, except solid white and light brown with white markings (characteristics of the Toggenburg breed). This breed originated in the French Alps and was first imported to the US in 1920. Their face should be straight and they have erect ears. They are a medium-large breed with a requirement of does to be 30 inches in height and around 135 pounds. They are popular with dairies due to the amount of milk they produce and they are recognized as the leading dairy goat breed for milk production. [ADGA averages for 2010 lactations: 2396 lbs milk, 3.3% fat, and 2.8% protein]

Oberhaslis (Swiss Alpines prior to 1978) have very specific color standards. They are a bay color known as Chamoise, with a black dorsal stripe, udder, belly, and black below the knees. They should also have a nearly black head. Another acceptable color would be all black, but this is only acceptable for does. They have erect ears and are considered a medium-small breed. Oberhaslis does are required to be 28 inches in height and weight around 120 pounds. They produce a moderately high amount of milk and milk components. [ADGA averages for 2010 lactations: 2256 lbs milk, 3.5% fat, and 2.9% protein]

Toggenburgs have very specific color requirements. They range in color from light fawn to dark chocolate and have white ears and white on their lower legs. The side of the tail and two stripes down the face must also be white. They have erect ears and they grow a shaggier coat than other dairy goat breeds. They have the smallest height requirement of 26 inches and weight around 120 pounds, but most of the Toggenburgs are moderate in size. The Toggenburgs are the oldest registered breed of any kind of livestock. They tend to be more spirited and less docile than other breeds. Toggs, as they are nicknamed, rank in the middle of breeds for average milk production, but one holds the all-time records! [ADGA averages for 2010 lactations: 2047 lbs milk, 3.0% fat, and 2.7% protein]

Saanens are usually pure white or light cream, but white is preferred. Their ears should be a medium size and carried erect, preferably pointing forward. They have short fine hair and often have a fringe over the spine and thighs. They have a straight or dished face. They originated in Switzerland, but now represent the second most popular breed of dairy goat in the US. The Saanens are the largest of all breeds with a required height of 30 inches and weighing around 135 pounds. They usually have a large udder capacity and are popular with dairies due to the quality of milk they produce. [ADGA averages for 2010 lactations: 2545 lbs milk, 3.2% fat, and 2.8% protein]

Nigerian Dwarf is a miniature breed of dairy goats. The balanced proportions of the Nigerian Dwarf give it an appearance similar to the larger, Swiss breeds of dairy goats. Shorter height is the primary breed characteristic of the Nigerian Dwarf, with does measuring no more than 22 ½ inches at the withers. They are known for their high quality milk, often with exceptionally high butterfat content. Their medium length ears are erect. The face is either straight or slightly dished. The coat is of medium length and straight. They are the only dairy breed known to occasionally have blue eyes. [ADGA averages for 2010 lactations: 729 lbs milk, 6.1% fat, and 4.4% protein]

A common meat goat – Boer goat is primarily a meat goat with several adaptations to the region in which it was developed. It is a horned breed with lop ears and showing a variety of color patterns. The Boer goat is being used very effectively in South Africa in combination with cattle due to its browsing ability and limited impact on the grass cover. Producing weaning rates in excess of 160% the Boer goat doe is a low maintenance animal that has sufficient milk to rear a kid that is early maturing. The mature Boer Goat buck weighs between 240-300 lbs and ewes between 200-225 lbs. They can be bread with the dairy lines above.

From the website: http://piedmontdairygoats.com/Education.html

goathooves injections-goats

Have you seen what we have on sale on our homestead this week?

Have you seen what we have on sale on our homestead this week?  We always have animals  (or a waiting list available). 

Currently we have the following available: 

Male Rabbits – Rex and New Zealand/Rex Mixes – $10 each

Coturnix Quail (mix of breeds – Pharoah, Texas, Tibetan, Tuxedo) – $3 each or 10+ are $2.50 each

Chicks  (Americauna and barnyard mixes, straight run) $2 each

Misc Ducks – Currently Laying – $10 each (males and females available)

Registered American Nubians (from our registered Male, Declan – at the Neighbors 4 doors down) Doeling – $250, Buckling (intact)- $150, born on 5/23/2016 – See the Craigslist ad: http://prescott.craigslist.org/grd/5705835950.html

 

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Piglets born on our homestead

Today we were blessed with 6 piglets on our homestead. Although we were hoping for more, these 6 are healthy and all 6 are eating well. All of these are already sold and we have a waiting list beginning for our next set of piglets. If you are interested, please message us through facebook or email us at kris@krisandlarry.com

We sell piglets for $150 at 8 weeks old, or have us raise them for you for 8 months for $800. You will still need to pay the butcher fee of about $265 at the end of the 8 months. 

Click here for our piglet options. 

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Growing Herbs – Book review for Medicinal Herbs

medicinalherbsThere are times that I look around and ask myself “why don’t you just take a tylenol like everyone else… and then I remember all of the side effects and that I hate the fact that everything in medicines are so processed. 

We picked up this book about a year ago and I was so fascinated that we are now grown 80% of the plants from this book because we want to learn to use these plants rather than running to over-the-counter medicines. 

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs book is a fantastic starter guide for anyone looking at growing their own medicinal herbs.   This book not only has a list of different herbs and their uses, but also how to make tinctures, herbal teas, poultices, salves, infused oils, syrups, decoctions, etc. When reading through the book, I noticed that there are several herbs that I already use for our family including garlic, elderberries and turmeric for colds as well as yarrow and mint teas for fevers. But there were recipes for other herb combinations that I knew that I needed… so I began ordering seeds to get our garden growing. 

The books include the following herbs: 

  • basil
  • cayenne
  • cinnamon
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • thyme
  • turmeric
  • aloe vera
  • burdock
  • calendula
  • chamomile
  • chickweed
  • dandelion
  • echinacea
  • elder
  • goldenseal
  • hawthorn
  • lavender
  • lemon balm
  • licorice
  • marsh mallow
  • mullein
  • nettle
  • oats
  • peppermint
  • plantain
  • red clover
  • st. john’s wart
  • spearmint
  • valerian
  • yarrow