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Raising Backyard Goats

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Published on Feb 6, 2012

Arkansan and backyard goat farmer Susan Harper shares with us the joys of raising goats.

You know, there are few perks to having some goats around. My friend, Susan Harper, tells us why she chose to have a couple of nanny goats as pets in her backyard.

Well, I've really only been in goats, as you say, a couple of years. Martha Stewart and Julia Childs are their names. And they are both French Alpine Goats. And I asked the guys at the local food store -- feed store if they knew of someone who had milk goats, and they hooked me up with this woman who had one goat. She was so nice, she let me come out, she taught me how to milk.
I'm a pretty good milker at this stage 'cause I've been doing it for a couple of years, so I'm pretty fast.

This barn used to be the shed for storing all our yard tools. And so, we just converted it. Actually, the fencing was left over from when we had a bird dog in the backyard. We added a couple of extra panels to it and just kind of threw it together, and it worked out perfectly. It's about the right size for two goats. My husband built my hay feeder down there and my milking stand. It didn't cost me much to get started.

And just buying the goats was the main cost. They're pretty easy, and their personalities, you can see they're just like dogs. They're so tame and sweet and very curious. So that they'll stay -- uh-oh. She just pulled the mike out. Martha.
It is a bit of a responsibility
Because if you want to go out of town, you have to find someone to milk for you. Now what do you want? I milk once a day, and it has to be done, of course, every single day because it's not good for the goat, you know, to go more than 24 hours with a bagful of milk but other than that, it's just basically clipping their feet and worming them and giving them a couple of vaccines a year. and that's about it. they -- mine are, unfortunately, I've spoiled them and so, I have to drive to hot springs to get alfalfa hay
from the race-track people.

Get you these she's gonna eat.
Martha will ...

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