Spring on the homestead is my favorite time of the year. It is a busy season, but one with much purpose. Its time to begin planning your garden and the delicious vegetables that are going to be planted for your family. If you have goats, new kids are being born, and, for some, milking season begins. Broody hens typically set a clutch or 2 of eggs each spring, cows are birthing calves and everything is coming out of its winter slumber and turning green. I enjoy sitting outside early morning with my mug of coffee listening to the birds sing their songs, hearing my rooster crowing letting us all know he is awake and ready to begin his day of free ranging the homestead.
I think one of my favorite things about springtime on the homestead is the goat kids. There is simply nothing cuter than a new kid. Within a day or so of being born, they begin to show their little personalities. They will run and jump and play for hours. I could sit outside all day watching the kids. Goats bring so much to a homestead.
Dairy goats can bring an ample milk source to the family homestead. From that milk, cheese and soaps can be made or you can just simply enjoy drinking the milk. Dairy Goats add a degree of self-reliance to the large homestead or the hobby homestead. The breed of dairy goat you choose will depend on what you are looking for. Things like high butter fat content or volume of milk, etc. Each breed brings its own advantage and disadvantage (more on that later).
Goat manure can also be used to fertilize your garden. Since it is a mild manure there is no need to let it rest like chicken manure, so it can be added to your garden and tilled into the soil immediately. Goats work particularly well on the small homestead wanting a milk source. They eat far less than a cow and are much smaller, therefore requiring much less room. Dairy goats, in our experience, especially if raised from babies are much more friendly than cows, and some become just as much of a pet as dogs and cats. There are also challenges to keeping goats. They require a good, sturdy fence. They are notorious for jumping fencing or getting their heads stuck in the fence. The larger the area they are in the better. Most problems can be easily fixed without too much expense or hassle.