Oh man, where do I start? Big Garner and I had talked about adding goats to our farm for a while. I know at some point I would like to have milking goats to make shampoos, lotions, soaps etc. One day on a whim we took the Kids to Lollipop Farms. If you have never been to Lollipop you should go and if you have been but have never been outside to their barnyard, they have a petting zoo during the summer months. Check out their website at www.lollipop.org and consider donating to this amazing place! Of course, we went in the middle of February…in New York… it was 20 degrees outside (a mild day), but I was worth is as we met the amazing animals, we would soon be taking home.
Now when I say, we went there to just look at the animals, initially we did. The we met Stuart. Oh Stuart, it was love at first head scratch. He came right up to us in the barnyard. We decided right then we wanted him. Our guide informed us that when Stuart was little, he contracted a spinal worm that effects the way he walks slightly. They were able to complete get rid of them and he has a clean bill of health, he just has a slight slope in his spine.
Now goats are social animals, however, Stuart really hadn’t bonded with anyone. This meant we would be able to pick a companion for him. It was then while standing with Stuart that our guide timidly asked if we would be interested in a couple goats that had come in with special needs. I’m a sucker for injured or needy animals, always have been. Of course, we said ok we would like to at least meet them. We walked down to a secluded pen and that is where we first met C.C and Diamond. While watching we soon noticed that C.C had a very peculiar walk. Our guide explained that their previous owner, a wonderful man, had to give them up because he could no longer care for them. He was very upset and took the best care of them that he could given his age. However, he was unable to properly care for their hooves. He made several attempts to have someone come and trim their hooves. It became so bad that C. C’s hooves had grown so long she was no longer able to walk on her feet and began walking on her knees. She had been doing this for so long she will no longer walk correctly. Once surrendered to Lollipop they began diligently working with both C.C and Diamond to get their hooves corrected. Diamond’s hooves were quickly corrected, and she is doing fantastic. C.C’s are taking a bit longer to correct. Because of the length we are on a biweekly trimming schedule. One week we trim her front hooves the next week we switch to the rears. We hope to be able to trim them back to where they should be. It will take time, as we are only able to do a little at a time.
Now, don’t let this concern you. C.C can take care of herself. She is the Momma hen of Goats and will put Diamond and Stuart in their places. She has adapted herself quite well and is very happy to lay outside in the hay wagon and just munch away.
After hearing their story, we wanted to give these girls and Stuart their forever home. Where they would have a ton of land to roam around for the rest of their days. We quickly told Lollipop that we would be taking them and 4 of the potbelly pigs.
Soon after our project get the barn and pasture done before spring began. We hoped for an early spring. We begged for an early spring…. We did not get an early spring. We got a lingering winter that would not give up! We originally had a finish date of the beginning of April. Well seeing as the land was still frozen, we could not get the pasture fencing in. We did as much as we could with the barn during that time. We haled everything out of the barn that is now our goat/pig pens. We wistfully looked at the open land that would be our pasture and hoped that spring would come soon so we could get the fencing in.
My name is Kate Garner. I am a Stay at Home Mom of two boys (4&5). I also run our very small family farm located in rural Western NY. Running a farm in New York has its challenges. Weather, taxes, new laws and encroaching buildings, can make farming difficult in this time. In this blog, I will talk about all the aspects of farming and family life that I encounter on a daily basis. Whether its escaping animals, death, feeding, butchering, children or just to talk about an interesting experience. I hope that I can help more stay at home mom/small farm owners stay sane!
Our journey began in 2017 when we purchased my husbands family farm. The farm has been in his family since 1932, we are now the 5th generation to own the farm.
We started out with a couple chickens. Friends of ours started 12 chicks for us and then gave us 4 hens that were already laying. The first day our four new hens gave us our first fresh eggs and we were hooked! Then chicken math took over... and we may now have a serious addiction to raising chickens and other animals. Now I had heard from multiple people in our FaceBook chicken pages that chickens are the gateway animal. Man, were they right. Our farm has exploded with goats, more chickens, ducks, pigs, and turkeys.
In February 2019, we decided to take the plunge and received our DBA. We have ventured in to raising Cornish Crosses and Turkeys last year. We have had a pretty steep learning curve with raising the Cornish Cross. I will cover that more in another blog. This year we are trying our hand at raising pigs as well. We have found an amazing local butcher and we can't wait to see the end result.
We are so lucky to have the acreage we do. This year upon a visit to Lollipop Farm (a local humane society) we fell in love with some of the sweetest farm animals and ended up adopting three goats and four potbellied pigs. One particular goat C.C., our special needs boar goat. C.C. came to Lollipop with horribly over grown hooves, and because her hooves were so overgrown she had begun to walk on her elbows. Though we have been working on trimming back her hooves, she will never walk normally. They have been an amazing addition to our farm. The staff at Lollipop Farms is incredible! I will talk more about our experience in a later. C.C and more of our crazy goats will be a focus of many blogs in the future I am sure!
I want to thank you for reading this and I hope you continue to come back!