So, there was this one time when we bought a goat and returned it 2 days later… Before we get into the story, this post isn’t meant to scare you away from getting a family dairy animal, because they are amazing, it’s just meant to help you make sure you’re ready.
Now for the story…
Getting a dairy animal had always been something that we’ve wanted, but we’ve just never been able to commit to it. We would always talk about it and say we want one but when things slow down (which who knows when that will be when you run a farm).
But there was something different about that day, I was pursuing Kjijj and found a really good deal…. On a goat. An alpine goat. An alpine goat named Pepper. She was a few years old, was used to getting milked, was a good price, and was only a few hours away. So we did it! Built a milking stand and packed up the car to go and grab her.
We only bought 1 because she was supposed to run with our sheep flock and become friends, and frolic with them. We only bought her, and no kid because her kid was almost weaned so we could get away from once-a-day milking. And we bought her because she was already used to getting milked every day, in fact, that morning the owner had milked her!
Well, none of it when to plan. We brought her home, and she hated the sheep. She followed me everywhere, would cry if we left her. She didn’t ‘run with the sheep’, or ‘bond with the sheep’ at all. She hated it! Not to mention she kicked and kicked when we would milk her. And let me tell you, milking an animal that does not want to be milked is not for the faint of heart.
I knew it would be hard, I’ve watched tons of youtube videos and read tons of posts, that tell you you need to stick with it in order to get the reward which is true. But she was very unhappy on our farm so we decided to bring her back. And we would have had to build a whole new fence and invest in more goats, which was something we weren’t in a position to do. One day, we will get another dairy animal, we are thinking of a sheep, so it will actually blend with the flock!
If you’re thinking about getting a family dairy animal here’s what you should consider:
- Make sure you have the time and patience to invest in your animal until they know you and are comfortable with everyday milking
- Make sure you have the right equipment: milking jar x3, glass jar, filter, bucket with warm water and cloth
- Make sure you get the right animal for your farm and the size of your land, (oh, and one that fits your personality)! Decide between, goats, sheep, or cows.
Thinking about getting a family dairy animal? Share your thoughts in the comments below!