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It was fun to read through all of these! It's interesting that so many people here wanted horses but settled on goats as a less expensive option. I started out with horses and branched out to goats! I've had horses my whole life. My mom rode Pony Club and was winning with her hunters on the A circuit before I was born, so there was never a time when horses weren't part of my life. My family moved to a very remote town in Colorado and my mom had to give up the hunter circuit, but she still kept horses which we boarded at a youth camp outside of town. I grew up riding mostly bareback in the mountains. When I was in about 3rd grade a friend of mine got a goat. It was her parents' disappointing answer to her horse dreams. I met that goat once before it was promptly rehomed. The goat liked to jump on cars and my friend's parents owned a vacation lodge. Not a good match!

That was my only goat experience until I was 20 years old and newly married. I dragged my reluctant husband to the Allegany County Fair in the little town of Angelica in western New York state. I had a summer job doing janitor work at our college and I saw a flyer for the fair in the campus center that said "DEMOLITION DERBY". Having grown up in one of the remotest areas of the lower 48, I had never been to any kind of fair, let alone a demolition derby! Not only that, but tickets were only $7.00. There were very few things we could afford in those days, but if $14 could get two of us into a whole day at the fair (tickets covered all the rides and access to all the shows) it was a deal we couldn't pass up. I rushed home to tell Phil but he was less than enthusiastic. He didn't see the appeal of a fair, or the rides, or a demolition derby. However, I absolutely assured him that if he would just humor me by going this one time, I would never drag him to another one again. He caved.

The fair was a blast. The rides were amazing. We rode every single one and a lot of them twice. We watched a tractor pull and a blacksmithing competition. We saw a horse race that included some dirty fouls and a crash (no one was hurt so it was exciting). The demolition derby started at 4:00 and didn't end until 10:00. We sat glued to our seats through all six hours while contestants from all over the state destroyed over 200 cars. It was one of the best days of our lives! And somewhere in there we walked through the 4-H barns to look at the sheep and pigs, chickens, rabbits, cattle and... goats! All the animals were interesting in their own way, but the goats captured our attention. We watched enrapt as one little brown goat strained and stretched to reach the blue ribbon hanging proudly over her stall. She couldn't quite get it, but she stood on her tippy toes and her tongue was out at full stretch. She was determined! Phil and I laughed and laughed when she finally managed to clamp her lips onto a bottom corner and yank it down from the wall. The entire ribbon promptly disappeared and Phil and I were in stitches. (Later when we went back to visit the goat again, there was a sodden blue mass lying in the straw so she did not actually eat the ribbon, but it was no longer recognizable as any kind of prize.)

As we watched the goat chew up her ribbon, Phil turned to me and said, "I'm not much into animals, but goats are funny. I think I could get into goats."

That brief encounter sparked an obsession in my husband's brain. In 2001 I bred my mare and Phil began asking whether we could get a goat as a companion for a foal. At first I dismissed the idea but when he persisted I realized he was actually serious. In spring of 2002 we started goat shopping, but nothing was remotely in our price range. People were asking anywhere from $75 - $150 for goats except for one "Mr. Free-to-Good-Home" that was old and crotchety and larger than the expected foal. And none of the goats we looked at were very pretty. Mostly they were just brown. Now, there's nothing wrong with brown goats, but we were sort of hoping for something a little more interesting to look at.

After visiting the prospects and coming up empty, we got discouraged and gave up on our goat quest. We decided we just couldn't afford a goat right now. It was our 3rd anniversary and someone had given us free tickets and discounted lodging at Six Flags Darien Lake, so we drove up for the weekend. It was a blast and we were tired. I was driving and Phil was asleep in the passenger seat as we passed through the hilly green farm country on our way home. A flash of color caught my eye.

"PHIL DID YOU SEE THAT GOAT?!?"

I slammed the brakes and pulled an illegal U-turn in the highway, almost crossing into oncoming traffic in my extreme excitement. Phil shot up from his nap in panic. "What? What? What's wrong??"

I pulled into the driveway, stopped in front of the goat pasture, and jumped out to get a closer look. There it was--the prettiest goat I had ever laid eyes on! It looked like it had fallen into about three different colors of paint and it was happily bouncing along next to its mother and sibling in a field of green. Surely a goat that pretty would be far beyond our budget, but I could not leave without asking. I knocked at the house but there was no answer. So I began a rather tedious march through about a dozen barns and sheds, knocking on doors and hollering. Phil trailed sheepishly at the back. He wanted a goat, but at this point I'm pretty sure he thought I was crazy.

I finally found an old farmer milking a solitary cow at the very back of the last cavernous barn. I told him I'd seen his goats as we drove by and I was interested. I asked if any were for sale and for how much. He told me the goats were his wife's department, but he thought the babies were $25 each. My heart leapt. $25 was a price we could afford! The wife was out, but I got her name and phone number and I told the farmer I'd be calling. I called that night. The little goat I liked was indeed for sale for $25. And it was a boy!

I made arrangements at the place where my mare lived and I was back at the farm a week later to buy my first goat. The $25 included banding and vaccination. Phil and I could not have been more thrilled with our new companion. He was an Alpine/Nubian cross and we named him Cuzco. In hindsight he was a bit too young to be weaned and banded, but we didn't know. I think he was about 8 weeks old when we picked him up. You can see why we named him after the arrogant llama in Disney's new-at-the-time movie, The Emperor's New Groove!
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Cuzco lived for 15 years, first as a horse companion but soon as our companion. He grew into a magnificent animal weighing 200 lbs. He was athletic, smart, and always gorgeous. Often over the years people would stop their cars, back up, and tell me they'd never seen such a beautiful goat. Strangers took pictures of him wherever he went. We ran him for homecoming king at our college and he won by a landslide. We took him for a road trip in the back seat of our Buick. Cuzco ran next to me when I rode my horse or my bike, and several years later when I acquired a pickup truck, he rode loose in the bed while I ran errands. I had several people tell me over the years that they'd seen many beautifully colored goats in their lives, but never one so striking as Cuzco. I have to agree. And it wasn't just his beautiful color. He had a boldness and a presence about him that not many goats have. He carried his head high and proud, like he knew he was the most important person in the room. If someone pointed a camera at him he always stopped to strike a pose. Cuzco hiked and packed until he was 14 years old, at which point arthritis took over. We put him to rest in April 2017. Cuzco was the goat that started it all for us and we will never forget him.
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I love how so many of us met our first goat at a fair or similar public event. I've heard a lot of grumbling from goat people over the years about how terrible it is that the public can access our goats at shows and fairs, etc. and I do see their point. I've had some odd things fed to my goats over the years and they've certainly had a lot of sticky fingers thrust in their faces. I answer a lot of ignorant questions and it's frustrating when people take hay or grain from my stall and feed it to someone else's goats and vice versa. BUT, if we never shared our goats with the "unwashed masses" there would be far fewer chances for people to fall in love, develop an interest, and eventually become goat owners. I do my best to mitigate the problems that arise when the public has access to my goats, but I think the value of sharing my goats with the public far outweighs the risks. I love to share my goats, and there's nothing more thrilling than to have someone come up to me at a fair and say, "I saw you here four years ago. You inspired me to get goats and now I'm showing mine here too!"
 

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I love how so many of us met our first goat at a fair or similar public event. I've heard a lot of grumbling from goat people over the years about how terrible it is that the public can access our goats at shows and fairs, etc. and I do see their point. I've had some odd things fed to my goats over the years and they've certainly had a lot of sticky fingers thrust in their faces. I answer a lot of ignorant questions and it's frustrating when people take hay or grain from my stall and feed it to someone else's goats and vice versa. BUT, if we never shared our goats with the "unwashed masses" there would be far fewer chances for people to fall in love, develop an interest, and eventually become goat owners. I do my best to mitigate the problems that arise when the public has access to my goats, but I think the value of sharing my goats with the public far outweighs the risks. I love to share my goats, and there's nothing more thrilling than to have someone come up to me at a fair and say, "I saw you here four years ago. You inspired me to get goats and now I'm showing mine here too!"
I don't go to fairs or shows, but I do enjoy sharing my goats with others. In fact, I think more people come to my house to see my goats than to see me. ;) the interaction is so good for kids (both human and goat). I will never forget the family of girls who recently came out to visit my goats. Big Sister was trepidatious. But Middle Sister marched over to Josie, my biggest doe, placed her hand confidently on her horn, and proclaimed, "This...is a nice doat!"
Some of nieces and nephews have been known to lock themselves into the goat pen, and only come out under protest.
When I sell my goat kids, I can truthfully say they've been pretty well socialized.
 

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@Damfino what a beautiful story of Cuzco! But I have to ask, what did you feed him?! Wow what a stunning and big boy he was! Looking at the baby picture of him I never would’ve thought he’d get over 100 lbs, much less 200!! What an awesome goat. What breed was he?
 

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Well, I had just moved back from living overseas. I knew I didn't want to stay on the farm, but I wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go. Figured, since I was living here, I ought to contribute.
My sister had 3 wethers she was using to help reclaim some very brushy ground and tackle some of the invasive plants we have here. Two of them died, and she sold the third one because he was lonesome. She wanted more goat on the land, but didn't have time to buy them, train them to the electric fences, etc. So I said I would buy the goats and train them, then she could take over when I moved on.
I found a wether on Craigslist for $75. I asked the seller if they had another goat I could buy, since I knew one goat would be unhappy. They said sure, we'll throw in this doe. So I paid $150 for the two of them. Huck and Josie, my first goats.
Well, that was about 4 years ago. I am still on the farm. Josie is a good milk goat...the best $75 I've ever spent. Huck wanders around and eats brush like a champ. I have a little dairy business and (currently) 10 other goats.
I like how interesting goats are. I like how they've given me the chance to form connections with people I never would have, otherwise. I like that they force me to be creative. They also force me to stay fit and active, even when the weather is appalling (especially when the weather is appalling). They are small enough that I can do most of the management fairly easily by myself. At the end of a long day, I like to just go outside and sit down with them, let them lick my face, burp in my ears, nibble my hair, and finally, just lie down all around me and chew their cud.

Huck and Josie, when I first brought them home.
View attachment 209130
really nice looking goats! do all your goats have horns?
 

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I grew up on the outskirts of a small city. Loved hearing the stories my grandparents used to tell me of when they used to ride a horse to the ice cream stand and the horse wouldnt leave until he got one too. And how they had pigs and chickens etc. As a kid I always loved working in the garden and helping raise rabbits and ducks. In the city I fell in love with farm life and the stories from times long gone. Later in life once my wife and I bought our first house our neighbors run a pig farm with obviously pigs then goats, chickens, turkeys and geese. I wanted to do more than the chickens we had but all i could do was add meat chickens to the mix seeing as we only had a half acre. 15 years later we bought our dream home, a log house with 2.5 acres and a barn. I wasted no time planning, building, fencing and we bought two pregnant mini nubian does. Then added a nubian buckling, then the does kidded and gave us another nice doeling and one buckling we sold. Then I used that $ to buy feed and supplies and one more doeling this time an apline. So Im now at my max I wanted to have which is 5 goats and toying with the idea of a mini jersey cow lol

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@Damfino what a beautiful story of Cuzco! But I have to ask, what did you feed him?! Wow what a stunning and big boy he was! Looking at the baby picture of him I never would’ve thought he’d get over 100 lbs, much less 200!! What an awesome goat. What breed was he?
Thanks! When I bought Cuzco I did not realize goats could get that big. He was an Alpine/Nubian cross so he just came by that size naturally. I did not feed him anything special. He grew up on whatever pasture and hay the horses were eating. He never got wormed or given a loose mineral or anything like that. He just had access to the salt and trace mineral blocks I put out for the horses. When I got him he was a nice size for his age. I could carry him but he was an armful. Judging by the size of his horns, he was probably around 8 weeks old, which was too early to wean but I didn't realize it at the time. The fact that he'd been dam-raised and was very well grown helped him thrive despite the early weaning age. This was the day I brought him home:
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To start, I never wanted goats! (Famous last words)...

It all started when my daughter was talking to my sister and mentioned she liked goats, she was about 10 at the time.....( she’s now 20)
Fast forward a couple years, we were renting a house where livestock werent allowed but the owner decided to sell. so, we started looking for a small homestead to buy.
We got lucky and found a great house on about 4.5 acres. We’d only been here about a week and up rolls this trailer with a boer doeling and a boer buckling inside! There’s my sister with a huge smile on her face.....
My daughters house warming present .....😱 mind you, we had no shelter and worse yet no fencing!🤷‍♀️🥴😲

Well, the buckling had been taught that ramming people was ok and worse he had just started his first rut...he HAD to go! I made my sister return him because he was a danger to be around but my daughter had already gotten attached to the doeling so we looked for a friend for her.
I built a hoop house and bought a premier 1 electric net fence to use until we got something more permanent built.

We decided we didn’t want meat goats we wanted dairy so after a couple months we brought home our first two Nigerian Dwarfs... Luna and Tonks....Then came Sirius, Remus and Lily.....
That was the beginning of the goat math....30 plus goats later, we’re still raising nigies but downsizing some but I have to admit it’s been fun, heartbreaking and nonstop ever since and I honestly don’t see a time where I won’t have at least a few of these amazing critters around.....
I can now say in all honesty now, I DO want goats lol!
 

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Haha, like above, I had never wanted goats. Mostly because of the horror stories everyone tells you about.

We were renting in the city for soooo long, then our landlord decided to sell the house, and it was not somewhere we wanted to stay. I had dreams for years upon years of being in the country with some animals doing the self-sustaining thing. We ended up on 11.5 acres way out in the country. 5 months later we had a flock of chickens. A (now very good) friend we'd met buying chickens, invited our family over to see the new baby goats they kidded out. I was cool seeing them, but had no interest in taking them. Cue seeing those cute little bouncy kids and all went out the window. We talked to my friend bringing up all these myths and found most were not that bad. So about 3 weeks later we brought home a baby and a 1-year-old milker, Peaches (who we still have and is one of my best girls!). A month later we brought home the last baby she had at her place. I researched like crazy (and still do) and gained so much knowledge on goats and we started expanding our herd. These girls were unregistered mini-Nubians which my friend so kindly went through the process of registering them. I learned more about the breed and decided I really wanted the challenge of breeding good solid milking girls. I fell in love with these goats and they quickly became my favorite animal. I added full Nubians in the mix but now we have 10 girls and 2 boys. I try to stay very strict and picky in my keeping of goats because I like a smaller herd. I know it could get out of hand quickly LOL. Pics of my babies are in the link in my sig.

We now have chickens, turkeys, goats, and sheep. We tried a cow but it was too impractical for us with trying to get her bred, her size, etc. We've had guineas and geese which went on our nope list too. We are really happy with what we have and MAYBE one day will have a horse or mini pony as my daughter loves horses....but that would be a ways off. We're content with what we have here. We have milk, eggs, and meat! Lol. And my garden!
 

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Haha, like above, I had never wanted goats. Mostly because of the horror stories everyone tells you about.

We were renting in the city for soooo long, then our landlord decided to sell the house, and it was not somewhere we wanted to stay. I had dreams for years upon years of being in the country with some animals doing the self-sustaining thing. We ended up on 11.5 acres way out in the country. 5 months later we had a flock of chickens. A (now very good) friend we'd met buying chickens, invited our family over to see the new baby goats they kidded out. I was cool seeing them, but had no interest in taking them. Cue seeing those cute little bouncy kids and all went out the window. We talked to my friend bringing up all these myths and found most were not that bad. So about 3 weeks later we brought home a baby and a 1-year-old milker, Peaches (who we still have and is one of my best girls!). A month later we brought home the last baby she had at her place. I researched like crazy (and still do) and gained so much knowledge on goats and we started expanding our herd. These girls were unregistered mini-Nubians which my friend so kindly went through the process of registering them. I learned more about the breed and decided I really wanted the challenge of breeding good solid milking girls. I fell in love with these goats and they quickly became my favorite animal. I added full Nubians in the mix but now we have 10 girls and 2 boys. I try to stay very strict and picky in my keeping of goats because I like a smaller herd. I know it could get out of hand quickly LOL. Pics of my babies are in the link in my sig.

We now have chickens, turkeys, goats, and sheep. We tried a cow but it was too impractical for us with trying to get her bred, her size, etc. We've had guineas and geese which went on our nope list too. We are really happy with what we have and MAYBE one day will have a horse or mini pony as my daughter loves horses....but that would be a ways off. We're content with what we have here. We have milk, eggs, and meat! Lol. And my garden!
Awww! That’s such a good story! 💜
 
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