Room for two more? it’s just a couple of kids!

Gosia and I often talk of livestock; what to get and more importantly when to get it and with spring sprung the choice of young stock is at it’s height. We had some success with lambs a few years ago, but then we put things on hold as we put our energy into the house and of course Malina! Now we have the chickens and following the progress across at Farma Sadlowo we decided it was time to take the plunge. We have considered a cow for a couple of years, heading towards the Dexter as a more manageable breed with its diminutive size, but a cow is a massive investment and unless you have something to do with all the milk can they be a waste of valuable time and resources, and so, like Terry and Marta we opted for a couple of goats.

As heard animals you are advised to always get at least two, and as the future plan is to milk them it seemed like two young does would be the answer. We decided on young goats so that we can train and tame them to make life easier for us in the future. We will also be free of the milking task until next year, given us the much needed time to finish the house and open up for business. Well at least that’s the plan!

Checking the internet for likely orphans we soon discovered a spot selling goats along with lambs at a very good rate and a decision was quickly made to buy two of each, but not quick enough as the offer had expired by the time we made the phone call. Still we went for option two and managed to pick up two three month old kids for a knock down price. Both very similar to look at but from different mothers, which could work in out favour in the future if we start to breed (the goats that is, our breeding days are over!)

I had already taken the hammer, saw and cordless drill down to the stable and after explaining to the chickens what was going on they agreed to give up a section of the holiday let to some new guests. Six pallets, a set of hinges and an old Snickers (Marathon to me) display tray to catch any stray hay and we were in business to take in the new residents. A short drive, two dog leads and five bales of straw in the van and we shuck hands on the deal.

You may recall that the hens had already outgrown there purpose built enclosure so I was glad to give it a new purpose, and after the second day we let the little ladies out to take on the grass that the hens had refused or failed to eat.

And there you have it, two more mouths to feed, but they fit in well with the morning and evening ritual, enjoying extra treats of willow branches cut from any tree I happen to pass on the journey and a handful of oats first and last thing to help to make friends. They already come running when they hear my voice and Gosia and Malina have also bonded with buckets of fresh picked grass.

Goat update.

It’s almost two weeks since we picked up the goats, from this day forward to be known as Sunday and Monday. It should have been Sandy and Mandy, but I misheard Gosia (no she doesn’t have a cockney accent) and by the time she noticed that I had given them different names it was too late. Despite that I thought it would make naming the next five easier and who knows it could be the birth of the ‘Happy Days Milking Company’! Gosia didn’t get it either.

Anyhow, the update is to report that they too have outgrown the holding pen and after a weeks work, forty three posts, one hundred and thirty five meters of wire fencing and an additional gate, I released them onto the bottom pasture. Lots of lovely spring grass and weeds, wild raspberry canes, sloe and hazel trees poking through or overhanging the fence. A goats paradise? Apparently not as they found a gap in my yet to be fixed gate and headed off on a mission for some clumps of grass they spotted on an earlier bid for freedom. Thankfully a willow branch laden with fresh leaves and a ‘come on girls’ and they were back in the fold. Sometimes I wonder if these animals appreciate the work I put in for them!

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Author: Eddy Winko

Trying to leave the rat race and live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog https://winkos.wordpress.com/

21 thoughts on “Room for two more? it’s just a couple of kids!”

  1. I have kept milking goats in the past 28 of them. They are wonderful animals but you NEED an electrified fence…. I can guarantee that otherwise they will ascape to your vegetable garden just when you are ready to harvest and they will eat everything you were planning for yourselves. Not only that but they also love bed sheets, towels, tea towels anything useful like that. The milk is very good for anyone who has cow milk lactose intolerance. We always used it in our tea, no problem whatsoever. After a while though it makes you think cow milk is made of pure butter. Too rich by far for tea. Very important tip here also Eddy, every three weeks the mature goats can come into season, when they do… Milk those goats into a different bucket than the rest. The milk has a very pungent taste because of the hormones and it will negatively influence the taste of the rest of your milk.

    1. Another step closer to becoming self sufficient small scale farmers 🙂 And if you ever make it to this part of the world then the door is always open 🙂

  2. Goats always think the grass is greener on the other side. Hard to keep them contained sometimes. I like the ‘Happy Days’ idea, clever 🙂 Your pair are very pretty.

    1. They are still a little wary of the new enclosure, I just hope the abundance of grass keeps them away from the nearby veg patch!
      I can see the logo now, the Fonz milking a goat, or even feeding it ‘hey’ 🙂

      1. Sadly Fonzie never made it to communist Poland so I fear the meaning would be lost not only on a generation but and entire country. Still I’ll continue to sing the theme tune as I feed the goats 🙂

    1. Pigs midweek with luck, we have had a struggle to track down some heritage breeds in the area, but we may have struck lucky. More to report soon I hope 🙂 I hope they get on with goats, any experience of mixing them?

  3. No sibling for the Winkette then?
    I like the look of the goats Eddy, and I do like goat Cheese, but not so much the milk. At least not for tea or coffee. Great to see how the Winko Farm is developing, but I really think it’s time for pigs now. They’re my favourite farm animal, and belly pork is delicious. Those tiny Dexter cows look cute too. A manageable size.
    Cheers mate, love to all. Pete.

    1. I’d never say never as I’d be the last person to have a say in it 🙂 Almost another year before we get any milk and maybe a little meat, we will see. A Dexter would be perfect, I may ask for sponsors in the future, an udderstarter campaign perhaps 🙂 Pigs, di you say pigs, well you won’t have to wait long, I’m building the arc tomorrow, not the arc, but an arc. And visiting a heritage breed farm midweek. Watch this space. All the very best and a couple of kisses from Malina, The Winkos

    1. I thought it was another of your Sicilian descriptors so I had to check. Sadly we only got the goats in the end, so no ewes in the flock at the moment, but you never know what the future holds.

    2. Sorry, it was late and I was in some difficulty, hence my lapse . . . yes, pecorino is not the same as goat cheese.

      And . . . Sicilian? I’m probably Triestin, Lusignan, or maybe even Friulan (by association), but nothing from lower Italy.

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