Closing This Chapter…


Yesterday, we sold the goats.

I’m sorry. I know you are disappointed. I am too. I really wanted to learn to milk them, and make goat’s milk soap. And it took a lot of debating within before coming to this decision. But eventually we concluded that it was just what we needed to do.

The goats have been driving us absolutely crazy for months now, getting into everything. We couldn’t keep them off of our vehicles, my laundry wasn’t safe on the clothesline, they were constantly knocking over the trash cans of feed, our fruit trees and berry bushes were never safe, and the garden fence just wasn’t enough to keep them out. Not having a proper fenced in area in place for them has caused quite a hassle. But stubborn me was determined not to be a quitter.

Over the past week though, I’ve really been thinking about our plans for the future, what all we’d like to do on this land, and how we can become even more self-sufficient. As I looked around the homestead, I saw tons of potential; lots of space to plant more gardens, more fruit trees, and berries. But my plans were quickly frustrated as I knew that I would not be able to plant anything else until we had a fence to keep the goats in. Allowing them to continue free ranging the entire property simply wouldn’t work if we want to make the most of our land.

We faced two options: Either spend a lot of money to put up a good fence for a goat’s pen, or get rid of the goats.

Was it worth it to keep the goats?

We decided that right now, it is more important to us to spend money on planting food crops and growing our sustainability then to continue with the goats. We can live without goat’s milk for now. And frankly, I don’t even know if I’d like goat’s milk! It seems unwise to keep them, when there are other more important things to invest our time and money in first.

So, I am admitting our mistake. As much as I hate to “give in”, I am definitely taking a lot of knowledge from this experience. I now see how foolish and naive we were to just jump into goat ownership without being at all prepared. It proved to be too much. Next time, we will have a nice fenced in area already in place, a milking stand already built, and a good shelter for them to sleep in… everything ready to go before bringing more goats home.

It’s comforting to know that Mocha and Flurry went to a good home. The couple who came and got them were young, like me and Jerry, but way more experienced. They’ve already raised everything we dream of having one day: cows, horses, goats, chickens, pigs, rabbits, geese, ducks, etc. They had a lot of good tips to share with me, too. They’ve had years of experience raising goats, and I am confident my babies will be well taken care of. Plus, they will have a pot belly pig friend to keep them company, and two little girls to play with them.

Jada was sad to see them go. I was too. I thought it would be easier, considering all of the trouble the goats have been, but I was still very reluctant to say goodbye. Sweet babies. We have had a lot of fun with them. The home feels emptier now. And even though I don’t feel the relief I expected, I do feel a little weight off of my shoulders, and I know we did the right thing.

Now I can begin working on planting more things around the home, and I don’t have to look out the window every 10 minutes (literally) to make sure that the goats aren’t getting into mischief. That makes me happy.

16 thoughts on “Closing This Chapter…”

  1. We went through the EXACT same thing this summer (2011). I hope we can get proper fencing up so that we can get goats again this spring.

  2. Oh, you don´t have the goats anymore.
    I understand 🙂 We had like 7 yers ago and we slaughter them.
    They make you crazy, that is so true.

    No I have sheeps and they are much, MUCH nicer 🙂
    I´m going to milk them to make soap 🙂
    I hope next spring.
    You should try sheeps 🙂

  3. I got into goats a few years ago and LOVE THEM. I have 7 Nigerian Dwarf goats. Fencing is imperative, but once you get a good sturdy fence and barn up, they have been no problem at all.

    We made the mistake of getting a buck and not having a seperate area prepared for him and his brother. So that was a hassle for a few weeks until that was built; but otherwise, it’s all good.

    I hope you give goats a try again in the future. They are really a great all around farm animal.

  4. We had a similar experience with the calf we rescued and realized we needed to find him a home with long-term potential! My little girl cried when the nice man came to pick him up after we bottle fed him for weeks! But in the long run it is part of our experience and we still have memories. I for one am glad I don’t have a bull in the pasture!!
    His name was Caramel
    Best wishes,

  5. I feel the same way. We just got our goats 2 weeks ago and we do have a barn for them, but not a fenced area just yet. They haven’t been into much as they are just 3 month old kids, but I feel overwhelmed with them! I think of all I want to do with gardens and fruit and I wonder if the goats will help themselves. We got 4 goats for milking and I am not even sure we will like the milk either!

  6. I agree you did the right thing. My husband and I have goats and love them. That said, when we let them roam our property, they drive me NUTS! They get into everything.
    We made the same mistake several years ago with my daughter’s miniature pony. We just could not wait to get her one, so we did. BIG mistake, because we didn’t have the proper fence or shelter for him. So we had to keep him in the yard! YUCK! Anyway we too learned the hard way. But once you get your place the way you want it, I know you’ll love the goats.

  7. I think you did the right thing and you definately went about it the right way, you seriously thought about it and then decided what to do.

    I hope in the future you are able to get more goats if that is what you choose to do when your ready!!

  8. Hi Kendra,
    I wanted to write and tell you from experience that I understand your feelings of having to get rid of your goats.We currently have two mamas and three goat kids.We sold off most of our heard a couple of years ago and then a few more last year.We planned to make and sell soap and cheese and it did not go as we planned.We do love our milk though.:)We currently use electro-nets for ours and they stay in pretty well.We have to move them around though.It will be easier when some of your kids are big enough to help.Our oldest son(11)milks alone now.It makes it so much easier.~Nikki

  9. I know what ya mean Kendra. Goats are great, as long as you can keep them where they are suppose to be. I have been fencing all spring. I am up to 3 small fenced areas around the barn and 2 fully fenced paddocks and the third paddock needs just one more side done. It has been alot of work but the aggravation of chasing goats makes it all worth it.

  10. Better to try and admit defeat . Than to be defeated without ever trying. My Dad gets a magazine – Backwoods Home. Ever heard of it? Full of the most amazing and useful tips and advice.

  11. We are in a search right now for the appropriate ‘final’ house/property. It’s been a big debate as to how much house, how much property. Goats have a been a big question for me. I’m glad to read your post, because I’ve just wondered how much trouble they’d be…. I won’t rule it out for now, but the information is invaluable to me- right now! 🙂 Thanks for posting. And as friend above said, peace about decisions is the best feeling. Good job, deciding & moving forward. No shame there. Have a blessed week and hope you make a great deal on the goats!

  12. Sounds like you made the sound and just decision, and for alot of us making sound decisions may be hard, but that is also how we grow and gain knowlede. With all the other things around the homestead that You and Jerry want to do, You did the right thing.

  13. I think it is awesome you tried..if you hadn’t of tried then you would have never known. Sometimes we have to make choices and I feel your choice was a wise one for you and your family..We have to set priorities with what is important to our own families.. I have learned with living the simple life isn’t so simple but rewarding. The past month I have let the garden go because of everything else taking me away from it.. Last week I had to set my priorities and decide what was more important..I felt peace surrounding me with my decisions..when you feel the peace, you know you have done the right thing..Enjoy building your garden..Lisa


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