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The Goats


2010 May Twins ( Brother and Sister)


First the Ladies !

More than 50 goats live on Orange Hill Nature Ranch today. Each goat has her own name and is very close to me, her primary caretaker, and to her sister goats. Our goats are "free roaming", which means that they have the run of the estate during the day. At night they sleep in their own pens, to which they return each afternoon together with their kids. The goats feel secure in their pens, which makes the goats and their owner happy.
This way I  am able to control each animal. Problems can quickly be spotted and help will immediately be at hand. Only this way a goat can have a content and happy life. She is supposed to stay productive into old age and give us her good, rich milk from which I make the tasty cheese and many other products.

My goats, I call them a Tobago-mix, are cross-breeds such as British Alpine, Saanen, Toggenburg and Anglo Nubian. Through cross-breeding over the years, disease resistant and acclimatized goats have developed. They are of course not high-performance goats, which would be incapable to roam the approximately 150 acres.

Since I am now more than ten years in the business of goat rearing, I have to bear  losing animals now and then. To me that is the worst that could happen. Of the first set of goats that I acquired only Mona is still alive. The old lady is still going strong. All first sets of daughters born here on the farm, are also getting on in age and I am already feeling scared of the inevitable future losses. This part of the business is not something I like. I know each goat by name and I also can identify voice of each and everyone of them. I am able to hear whether it is something serious when she calls or if she comes into heat and calls for the buck.

Some goats make a terrible ruckus , especially when they are still young. The little girl goat often come into their first heat at age three months and let everybody know it from the top of their lungs. Therefore it is very important to keep the boys and girls separate as soon as they stop suckling breast milk. The little boys are also trying to mate early and, if they can manage, try to mate their own mother.

This brings us to the gentlemen of the species.

 


Goat Pens of the Girls

 


Feli, multiple Prize winner of
"Best Anglo Nubian Female"
World Food Day


Blindi, born without eyes, was allowed to live

 

The Gentlemen!

At the moment I have only two bucks for breeding on the farm: the Big Star Till, three times winner of "Best Anglo Nubian Buck" at the Prize giving World Food Day 2007/2008 and 2009 and the Saanen buck Manu, who is the last son of old Mona.

Furthermore two offspring which have not yet been sold.  I won't have them slaughtered. Both are the sons of Till and have inherited his good traits, but they are not pure, their mother is a half boer goat.     

My bucks are my pride and joy, especially Till is a wonderful animal. Even as a female you don't have to be afraid of him. He looks upon me as if I were his mother and walks slowly with me when I  lead him. He knows that I would not be able to hold him should he decide to run off. In the meantime he has learned to return to his box by himself when his daily free roaming time has ended. He can open the door to his box by himself and now I am just waiting for him to learn how to close it too and tie the rope!

I would advise anybody, especially women, who have to handle bucks, to keep only bucks who have been bottle-fed. My bucks also get along well with each other and even when they "fight" the fights are harmless, I can send them out together.

In future though I will concentrate more on keeping pure animals and I want to breed Anglo Nubians. I love their colouring and large frames.


Goat pens photographed from the main house


Till as Kid about 4 months old

 

 


Till 11 months old
already one can see how handsome he is

 


Till 4 at the age of four, visiting  his girls


Till's father, Jero



Lucy, Till's mother and Till's sisters

 


Manu, Saanen buck horness 5 months old




Manu, Saanen buck hornless, now 3.5 years old



Whisky (here black and white )
1 year old, needs a good bath,
I hope I'll find the time for that


Blacky, his brother; it is good that he is all black,
so one cannot see when he is dirty

 

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