"Mom, I really want goats.. more than anything. I want goats!" That was the constant cry of my (at the time) 6 year old daughter. We always said no. We would kind of brush it under the rug, "not right now, maybe in the spring, maybe when you are older"
Well, as most parents do, after months of begging, we finally caved. We got in touch with a goat breeder and went to visit her farm and came home with two cute little goats. Peaches and Dulce.
At that time the kids were young, we were home and we devoted so much time to taking care of them, playing with them and making sure they had everything they needed. The kids would take them treats every day after school. Some days we would find them just sitting up in the barn hanging out with them. They really became a special part of our homestead. We had them for two years and decided to breed them. We wanted to explore milking and making milk products. We bred them both with only the success of one. But that was fine with us. So in the spring that brought on two more goats. A male (Fallon) and a female (Fiona).
The kids were growing up. We had had the goats (4 of them) for 4 years now. We milked Peaches. Had milk to drink, but never enough for anything else. So we thought we'd get a few more. Home came Hazel.. and eventually Clyde. Between breeding and birthing we some how ended up with 10.. yep. 10 goats this past spring. Right about the same time my kids were becoming more interested in sports, and we turned to a plant based lifestyle. It became overwhelming. My husband taking the brunt of it.. caring for everyone. Let me back up and state the Clyde.. while good hearted is a huge goat with wild horns who is very playful. Keeping the kids and I out of the goat barn.
So what's next. We have had goats for 7 years. I love those little creatures. All of them. There had been this unsettling feeling that it was time to be done. That became clear on New Years day. Josh went out to feed the goats. I was watching him from the kitchen window and I saw him dragging Peaches out of the barn dead. My heart was broken. I ran out the kitchen bawling, screaming that I cannot do this anymore. My heart couldn't take it. Then I had to go tell the kids. They were already in the car because we were leaving to go somewhere. Watching tears stream down their faces from inside the car was devastating. So on New Years day.. a day for new beginnings, we burried our favorite goat and decided to close that chapter of our lives.
We have learned a lot from having them. My kids have learned responsibility, we have all watched them give birth and care for their young. We learned to love them and let them go. And we've watched them die and mourned for them. That's a lot to learn especially for a kid. So, yes.. i'm glad we caved all those years ago and let Natalie get her goats!
We all close chapters in our lives. All the time. This was a long chapter for us full of a lot of joy. Moving forward i'm not sure what the future brings. I know this spring and summer it is to put the time that we dedicated to the goats into a more efficient and productive vegetable garden!
I am glad I got to share this chapter with you. I hope as you close chapters in your lives you take time to reflect on the impact that it has made. These are the things that make us who we are!
Jeanmare and Cristy are creators and contributors of the Living Simply Nourished Blog. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee!), find a cozy spot, scroll around, read some stories, find some inspiration, and enjoy!
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