Trading on the Farm

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Hi, everyone!

I want to be a little informal today and honest. I can’t stop thinking about goats. This is our first year using our own bucks to breed our does. And I’m so excited! We don’t show goats and we own mixed breeds. The purpose of our goats is to have a supply of goat’s milk. So we have mixed dairy breeds (Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, Lamancha, and Toggenburg).

We had our first goats born on the farm in February of 2018. Buttercup had four kids. One buckling (who looked like the sire) and one doeling (who looked like Buttercup) didn’t make it. The other buckling (Snoopy) and doeling (Leia) were very lively and healthy. Lulu had three kids–two bucklings (Darth Vader and another one we sold) and a doeling (Pixie-Rey)–who were full of energy and still very healthy. Out of the five goats born, we sold one.

We do plan on getting a cow in the future. So after much consideration and tugging on the heart-strings, we have decided to sell every goat except for the two Nigerian Dwarf does. I may get one more Nigerian Dwarf doe, but I’m still on the fence for having a buck. If I have a male on my property at all, it’ll only be one–and a small one at that.

Cow aside, we’re also working on the greenhouse. In that greenhouse I’ll focus more on making my oils, tinctures, and soap (it’s going to be an impressive structure). We’ll be growing plants year round, mostly hydroponically.

Saturday, on December 1, I posted the goats for sale. I cried a little, too. I spent a lot of time with them Saturday and Sunday. I loved getting my nuzzles and kisses in. All of our goats have amazing temperaments. My boys, Vader and Snoopy, are the most affectionate on the farm. They always were. Over the weekend we were able to work out a deal with another homesteader. It’s a really beneficial trade and I’m a hot mess right now with sorrow and excitement.

white coated dog on top of green grass field
Photo by Shane Kell on

It’s a good deal for the goats, too. All of the does are going to live on one homestead in exchange for two Great Pyrenees puppies. We’ve wanted this working dog on our farm for quite some time now. I’m going to miss my goats, but I kept as many together as possible in exchange for something else we truly needed on the farm. And I can’t really complain about it. I love trading. I love being able to provide something that someone else needs and be able to get something that I need in return. So much middle work is eliminated in the process. We’re getting a male when we drop off the girls on the 8th. I’m working on a couple of other deals for keeping the boys together, if at all possible.

Oh, and the kids don’t know about it. They know we’re rehoming some goats, but they don’t know about the puppies. They’ll have to get used to the idea that the dogs stay with the farm animals as we do have three pet dogs that stay in the house (and no more after these three).

So in the next two years, we’ll get to document our livestock guardian journey on and off with everyone. Maybe I’ll get start actually using videos.

Now I get to do one of my most favorite things to do with new animals: think of names.

What are some good male/female combos? I was looking at names from Beatles songs, but doesn’t Artemis and Apollo sound cool? What do you guys think?

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4 thoughts on “Trading on the Farm

  1. I think Artemis and Apollo sound very good for a male/female combo! LGDs are such an important part of a farm with livestock. They take a ton of training and effort, but once they are trained and matured there isn’t another item on the farm with as much worth as them.

      1. The training is fun!
        My one piece of advice though – Don’t leave them alone with chickens, small goats, baby goats…anything small…until after they turn 2 years old. Definitely have them around those things daily when you are present and can train them, but never alone even if they have been doing amazingly well with them when you are there. I worked and worked with our LGD pup, months of training an hour every day, and at 18 mos old she was doing excellent with the small animals. We spent a whole weekend working on building a new fence and the whole time she was within our sight with the chickens and lambs and did great. Since she was 18 mos I figured it was fine to start leaving her alone with them and I decided to slowly increase her time. First day alone she spent 2 hours with them, everything was fine. Second day she did 4 hours, everything was fine. Third day she did 6 hours, everything was fine. Fourth day she killed a chicken. She didn’t kill it to eat it, that was very obvious, she just held it down to lick it and play with it and the stress killed it. I called the breeder and she said you absolutely HAVE to wait until after 2 years old, as well as put in all the many many hours of exposure to them and training time. I know someone with a similar story, except theirs was a baby lamb, which is a much greater loss to a farm than a chicken is. So learn from my mistake. Plenty of training, and over two years old.
        Have fun!

      2. Thanks! I’m seeing that a lot, which is fine because I know it’ll pay off in the long run as they’re a hardy breed. And I like starting young because then they’re used to us as a pack. It’s good to see that after a few months we could be out there just doing normal farm work and he can be within sight and we can watch but pretend we’re not just to see how he does. I know that part of the problem is they’re still big puppies and don’t mature until after two. They’re smart, but they’re still dogs. They don’t realize how strong they are until they mellow a bit.

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