We have experimented with many different animals in the three years we have lived here on our three acres. We began with a calf named Happy. We also started out with a pregnant goat named Maggie and we thought she would be friends with Happy, but that wasn’t the case. She had three kids and one died shortly after birth. When her kids were about two months old Maggie got into the grains and died of bloat. We didn’t know anything about bloat before that. We ended up giving her two goat kids away. We then brought Happy over to a friend’s property for a few months to be bred. Happy ended up having a bull calf nine months later. We named him Moophius after a video we saw online called The Meatrix. You can see his birth video here. It was a great science lesson in the middle of an afternoon. All the kids had a front row seat! Since the day he was born we have all known that he is future meat for our freezer. His appointment at the meat locker is next month and we’re looking forward to his steaks! Here’s a picture of him from January. He’s gotten bigger since then.
We milked Happy for a while and had plenty of milk for our family, but after some time her milk production went down and we started buying our milk again from a nearby farm. In the long run, we decided to buy goats for goat milk and because we decided that goats would fit our small acreage better. We ended up trading Happy for a mama goat, her female goat kid (a future milker), a Kiko buck, and box blade for our tractor. Earlier in the year we bought two pregnant goats who had their goat kids last month. We had one female and two boys. We sold the two boy goat kids at a local county auction. Here are some pictures of our current goat herd (except the light baby goat is one of the ones we sold at the auction).
Below is Mindy Belz, our youngest female. My daughter named her after a columnist in WORLD Magazine. At first she was Mindy and bells or “Belz” just seemed to fit her.
All of their names are Melba, Oreo, Maria, Mona Lisa, Mindy Belz, and Sadie.
We have also had a TON of chickens since living here and have lost a ton too. Right now we have around fifty I think. We have experimented with ducks and had four of them until the day after a storm, they disappeared, never to be seen again.
We bought some sheep in the spring. Here they are when we first bought them. They are Navajo Churros. We intend to use sheep for grass eating, as they are great lawn mowers. We plan on getting a few more.
We currently have three pigs. We bought them as feeder pigs. Right now they are in an area with one electric wire surrounding them. We are using them to till up the ground in an area that we are expanding into our garden. They really respect that electric wire. When they are young, all they need is two wires to keep them in.
We have really liked the combination of goats, sheep, and pigs for our land. Goats eat a lot of weeds and some grass too, sheep eat our grass, and pigs can be utilized wherever you need them. They make a great lawn maintenance team for a small acreage.