Why I'll never raise goats again

l have loved goats for a decade.

They remain the animal I care for most of all, but I no longer raise them.

Early in 2019, I announced I would no longer be farming in the way I had for the last ten years.

I stopped raising all livestock last year, and I made a firm, permanent choice to no longer raise goats at all.

I sold, to repeat and quality buyers, the bulk of my herd, which was over 50 animals at its peak. It hurt to do it.

It was hard. But it was time.

I lost faith and care for raising them.

Goats are hard to care for, and they are prolific.

I stopped breeding them for many reasons, and it may be meaningful for you to understand why.

Goats don't thrive great in this part of the USA.
Goats aren't something most vets know enough about to treat well and give advice on.
Goats birth 2-4 kids a year.
Quality goats aren't easy to replicate.
People breed them for pets, and we do not need more of anything as a pet.
Parasite resistance is out of control with goats.
The buyers weren't making humane, ethical breeding or reproduction decisions regarding much of anything, especially care.
The market was flooded beyond comprehension.
Almost no one actually milked them.

I milked goats for 10 years. I bottle raised kids for almost as long. I spent all of my money and my soul on them. I'd do most of it again, except less of it. . .because my heart still hurts at how most people will never care for them properly.

I got tired of it all. . .loving things too few would ever care for and use in their intended way enough. . . I gave up. I am glad it did, though.

I will always love goats, but because most people turned them into a novelty, I'll never raise them again.

I do still have a few that will end their days here. They deserve it.

They are either some of my original herd or a daughter of a doe I've lost that meant a lot to me.

But I think life is a massive lesson, and I think it because it is. . .and living through a decade of farming taught me . . .well, everything.

Adapt. Let go. Be tough. Persevere when one should.

Do what you can sleep with knowing you've done at night. I could not sleep with putting out more goat kids.

Cows. sure. Poultry, sure.

And for others, they have to decide on their own. For me and this place, this herd you see wanders around without purpose. But they don't mind.

A friend of mine knew a long time ago, this is where I'd land with goats. He was right. I wish I'd realized it then.

This crazy muck of  a crisis in the world reminds me why I came to this little hillside farm of 23 acres ten years ago. And I'll stay here farming in my own way on my terms. I think . . .forever. I hate this mess needed to remind me of it.

But those goats, they will be my buddies only. Really, that is what they always were.