Since our visit to choose our first goats, I’ve been trying to impress upon Coco the urgency of our situation. As the resident livestock guardian dog in charge of the goats’ very lives, she plays an important role. We have a mother goat coming now. With two very young babies. We have a lot to learn, and quickly. Do you hear that, Coco?
We need to make sure we have the appropriate housing, fencing, pasture, gates, and latches. We need a manger, Coco. A manger sounds like it should be a crib for a tiny angel, but it’s actually a type of feeding bin designed to keep goats from wasting or contaminating their hay. It’s a neat word, though, isn’t it, Coco? Manger. I like that word.
We need to feed them right, Coco, so we will have good milk from Clover and so the babies will grow up big and strong. They need a mixture of pasture, hay, and grain, and for good milk production, Clover needs extra protein.
Are you getting all this, Coco?
They’ll need immunizations and injections and hoof-cleaning. Goats are among the healthiest and hardiest domestic animals, but it’s our job to maintain their natural state of good health with proper care and management, Coco.
We’re going to need a good milking pail and a strainer, Coco, and we’re going to have to figure out how to milk and then how to make goat cheese. And not just cheese but cream, yogurt, ice cream, fudge, pudding, and more. We can make it all with goat’s milk, Coco! Not to mention soap! But before we can do any of that, the book says somebody has to wash the udder. I’m going to need some emotional support here, Coco.
Are you paying attention, Coco? The goats are coming soon, Coco! This is important! It’s a big responsibility!