From her blog, dated around 18 months ago or so, this is one of their does who had recently kidded. Twins. Not uncommon, BTW. Goats often have two or three kids.
And this one is actually better than what I’ve seen since then. She’s in what appears to be a pen of some sort with some shelter, and bedding. Old blankets are not exactly the best choice, but hey, if you don’t have straw . . .
And the doe is either naturally polled (born without horns) or was properly disbudded as a kid. That’s good.
Points subtracted for using baling twine as a collar. How to strangle your goat in one easy lesson, unless it was made with some sort of breakaway thing on it.
I suspect from what I’ve read and from the various photos that these are Nigerian dwarf goats, more than likely not pure-bred, maybe mixed with pygmy. They aren’t large.
So, here’s a photo of the latest pregnant doe. According to Nicole, they had three does, and this is obviously not the same doe who kidded last year.
And this is a comment from one of Nicole’s clueless supporters. Folks like this poor woman hang on her every word, as though somehow Nicole knows anything at all about what she’s doing.
Nicole and Joe have left the horns on their goats in all probability because 1) they don’t know how to remove them, and/or 2) they don’t have the equipment necessary to do the job.
Horns are terribly dangerous. They are removed for the safety of the human beings (especially children) who might be caring for/playing near the goats and for the safety of the other goats, especially does with large udders.
It’s a big mistake to live with horned animals, even if you think they are gentle. Disbudding kids and calves is easy and quick if you do it when they are very young. It is beyond awful if you have to saw them off when they are grown. (Horns are like fingernails, in a way, and have a blood supply.)
Anyone who raises dairy goats knows this. It’s only the clueless types who leave dairy animals horned.
Proof that they actually milked a goat. It looks like they had about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of actual milk in that lovely plastic container. [Hint: don’t milk into plastic. It’s gross. Milk into stainless steel.]
This is fairly typical of Nigerians. They are tiny goats and they give hardly any milk, like a hair over a quart per day. In dairy terms, this is abysmal. If you happen to be a very small family, you know, two or three people, and you aren’t particularly fond of dairy products, well, Nigerians don’t take up much space and that might work fine.
The Nauglers have 11 children. Eleven.
How many Nigerians do you think they would need to be milking to supply their family with milk? If all three of their does were in milk at the same time (and that’s iffy indeed), that would yield a whopping three quarts of milk per day, not even a gallon, at a maximum.
In addition, the figures on dairy goat production assume that the goats are actually fed.
“Free-range” in Nicole’s vocabulary means “we just turned them loose and they roam all over the place, including into the neighbor’s property and eat whatever the hell they want.”
Let me explain something about dairy animals. They make milk for their babies, like most mammals do. We have selectively bred them, over the centuries, to produce more milk than their babies actually need, and we take the excess. Making milk is really hard on a dairy animal. If you’ve ever been or known a lactating mother (breast-feeding), then you know they can eat an enormous amount of food and not gain any weight. It takes a lot of energy to make milk.
Those little goats might make enough milk by “foraging” to feed their babies, but they simply are not going to make enough for anyone else.
A dairy cow, for example, produces about 5 to 8 gallons of milk daily. She eats something in the neighborhood of 30 pounds of hay or grass daily. This is about six or so times as much as non-lactating cow. She has an enormous udder. She’s also bony and looks skinny. A healthy dairy cow has ribs you can literally see.
Contrast her with the beef cattle you often see as you drive down the road. They are huge animals, with lots of muscle, but hardly any udder at all. That’s because nobody bothers with their milk except the calf.
It’s the same way with dairy goats. They’ve been highly bred to give massive amounts of milk (for their size), and they require high-octane fuel to do it. Oatmeal is not high-octane food. There is almost nothing to “forage” on in Kentucky in the dead of winter. This winter is a little odd because it’s unseasonably warm, but still. . .
I suppose it’s better than nothing, which is what I think they’ve had up to now.
And one other thing, Nicole has claimed that they “make cheese” from the goat milk. This made me laugh. It’s possible that they took their little pint of milk and stirred in a little vinegar and heated it and got some curds. Maybe. But they didn’t make cheddar cheese or anything even close.
One of the best reasons to milk a cow (not goats) is cheese. And cream. You can’t make butter from goat milk without going to a whole lot of trouble. The fat particles are very small and it’s more or less homogenized naturally. You don’t have to stir the cream up before you drink it. If you have a whole lot of goat milk to waste, it’s possible to churn just the milk but you’d get only a small amount of butter for your trouble.
And good cheese is hard to make without at least five or six gallons at a pop, and that’s minimum. I know you can find little kits online that purport to let you make cheese with only a gallon or two of milk, but it’s very, very hard to do that. The reason is that the temperature of the milk has to be regulated precisely and with small amounts it fluctuates easily. Professional cheesemakers use large stainless steel vats holding hundreds of gallons of milk, hence raising the temperature by two degrees, for instance, is easy to control. That’s much harder to do with only a gallon of milk.
Doing anything like that on the Naugler kitchen stove (cinder blocks) is laughable.
These folks are not living sustainably by raising goats. This is one of their myths.