Tiny the Goat

We’ve been debating the next addition to our mini farm.  When our friend, ‘Goat Girl’, said she needed someone to milk her goat while she was away over Thanksgiving we figured this was a great opportunity to test drive a goat.  We could get our own goat experience without any investment.

Tiny is on the left, her daughter, Mira is on the right

Tiny is on the right, her daughter, Mira is on the left

Molly:  Mike and Goat Girl are good friends so they set it up.  Mike would drive into town every morning, milk the mama goat ‘Tiny’ and keep what he had gathered.

Mike:  I went over several times before they left town to learn how to milk Tiny.  At first I just wasn’t getting it.  This post from Fias Co Farms got me headed in the right direction.

Molly:  I think we were both getting a little worried.  I had figured if you saw a goat in our future I’d go over and learn to milk.  I really didn’t want to do it before then.  The baby goat ‘Mira’ was pregnant.  Goat Girl had mentioned that they newest baby could be ours if we wanted.  The pressure was on!

The milking barn

The milking barn

Mike: When I was learning how to milk her, Tiny would throw a glance back at me now and then that I’m sure was saying “You know how to do this, right?”

Mike milking Tiny

Mike milking Tiny

Tiny is a miniature goat and she only gives 3/4 cup of milk a day.

Come on Tiny!  We love your milk!

Come on Tiny! We love your milk!

After the milking experience we decided that we didn’t need to add another daily chore right now.

Mike:  Tiny was very sweet and maybe there’s a goat in our future someday but I think I would be more inclined if we lived somewhere the goats could just graze most of the year.

Molly:  We have lots of weeds but we’d have to supplement the goat with alfalfa on days like today where we’ve got several inches of snow on the ground.  Currently alfalfa is $10/bale…a little too rich for our blood!  You did have fun though didn’t you?

Mike:  I did, Tiny and I are best friends now.  

Molly:  Thanks to my sister, Lise, who woke up early one morning to join Mike milking the goats.  She was smart enough to grab my camera and capture it all!

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16 Comments

  1. Jeff @ Sustainable life blog
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, I thought for a second you guys had gotten a goat! That would be pretty sweet, as I’ve wanted one for a while – it would have been nice to see what to do and what not to do! 

    • Posted December 6, 2011 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Be sure to post on your goat adventures so we can learn from your experiences.  Seriously, they are fun to have around.  You should get one. Or two. Maybe three….

  2. Posted December 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I kind of hoped you had gotten one. Think of the cheese!

    Although you probably made the right decision.

    • Posted December 6, 2011 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      People do goat shares.  Sort of a fractional ownership / timeshare for goats.  I’m sure if there was one close enough to us we’d be signed up in no time.

  3. Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    The place where my husband takes his saxophone to get fixed has a miniature goat farm too (a weird combination of businesses, we’re wondering if it has anything to do with the fact that goat skin is used for brass key pads). It’s fun to take the kids to go watch them. They are so tiny and cute. But yeah, that sounds like a lot of work for 3/4 a cup of milk.

    • Posted December 6, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Maybe it’s like Thor who had a goat drawn chariot.  He used to eat one of his goat’s legs from time to time and it would grow back.  Miniature goats can probably only afford a sax pad here and there….

  4. Posted December 6, 2011 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Me too. I was half-hoping for future posts on making goat cheese, but I understand about having available forage. Having to buy hay and alfalfa can make for some very expensive cheese indeed.

    • Posted December 6, 2011 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      We can still do a goat cheese post.  We’ll just be buying the milk.  I can buy a lot of  goat milk for the cost of maintaining a goat. 

      I thought farming was something poor people did because it was cheap to do.  In my experience it costs quite a bit to do a lot of it.  Never mind acquiring land.  

      I always want our hobbies to pay for themselves if possible.  Sometimes that happens, usually not.  I have no idea how it’s a feasible business for most people at farmers markets.  It seems like you have to trade lifestyle and sense of satisfaction for long hours and low pay. 

      • Goat_girl
        Posted December 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        You might change your mind in the future about having goats.  You have to think of them as pets with benefits!  All that money people spend on dogs.. and with goats you get a perk of yummy, fresh milk.  

  5. Sandyl
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Way to be practical, doing the cost benefit analysis. Would you could you grow aflfalfa? Plus you need to start working on building your papercrete barn to store it in.

    • Posted December 6, 2011 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      There is a whole system of irrigation ditches and water management in NM that stretches back hundreds of years.  Unfortunately we’re not anywhere close to a running water source.  Our dryland farming consists of some weeds, grass and hardy wild flowers.  Any thing that we want to have growing in our yard is coddled protected from the wind and nursed with drip irrigation.  Speaking of which I need to finish the papercrete greenhouse, the yurt, Molly’s studio and my shop before I take on any new building projects.  Maybe in the spring….

  6. Goat_girl
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Awwwww, Tiny!   You can visit her anytime Michael.  Thanks again!

  7. Posted December 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    That’s great that you were able to test drive (test milk?) the goat. I bet Mike will be the go-to goat-sitter now :)

    • Goat_girl
      Posted December 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      He’s my go-to-goat-sitter if he so desires!

  8. Natalie
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    I predict that you guys will have a goat in 2012.

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