About 14 “many” years ago Amy York decided to start adding animals to her little farm. The property being on a steep hill did not have enough pasture to reliably feed her four horses; and horses raise to much dust to turn the entire property into drylot. So Amy decided to buy two sheep, which predictably ended in disaster! One of the sheep suddenly and randomly died of still undetermined causes. This abruptly ended the sheep project and the other sheep was given away.
Next Amy obtained two Nubian goats, a wether and a doe. These goats would be 4-H projects for the kids and (she thought) they would eat down the pasture. Unfortunately she then found out that goats do not do a very good job of maintaining a pasture, they were however very good 4-H projects for the kids!
Then she decided to purchase another doe for breeding since the first two goats were not of sufficient quality to justify a breeding program. So for several years we embarked on a program of breeding and kidding and milking Nubian goats.
There was still the problem of the weedy pasture so one year a Shetland ewe came home from the fair. Of course a single sheep will not do well so two more ewes were added. And of course if you have ewes you will want to breed them, and if you breed them you will soon have a whole flock of sheep!
Meanwhile the Nubian project was running into difficulties. Our Nubian babies did not seem resistant to parasites and the vet bills were increasing. More importantly there was the question of what to do with the babies. To have a doe in milk it is necessary to have babies, to many babies and soon the little farm would be overrun! Unfortunately, even though Nubian wethers make the best possible pets, there really isn’t much of a reliable market for them. And no we were not going to eat them!
Now we breed Nigerian Dwarf goats. We still have some of our Nubians, they have been consigned to the “loser” pen where they spend their days eating and sunning themselves. We started with a couple of Nigerian does, and now we are at about
ten 18 “many” breeding does and some 4-H wethers that have managed to stick around after retiring as 4-H projects. A drawback to raising Nigerians is that many herds are closed and do not do outside breedings, so we had to invest in our own bucks, of which we now have three “many” of the stinky things!
And we still have one horse, who really wishes her rider would practice more, so she wouldn’t be embarrassed in the dressage ring!