James Hill Goats

Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats for milk, pet or show

Blog

A little attention from Mom...

Posted by jameshillgoats on May 6, 2015 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (1)


Here is Charmin giving Tink a quick face bath before she can dash away to play with the other kids.  There is no doubt that does form strong, long-lasting bonds with their offspring.  It is not unusual to see kid, dam and granddam all lounging in the shed together as a family group.

Goats also develop relationships with other individuals in their herd, prefering the company of these companions to the exclusion of other goats. In the pasture trimming feet, worming or performing other husbandry tasks, while we are working with an individual goat we are often very closely monitored by their "friend" or "friends".  These friends stand patiently beside them until we have completed our chore.  I have even occasionally been nudged or mouthed by the "friend" goat as a reminder to be gentle and not cause harm to their companion.  


Most of our readers are already aware that a single goat is a lonely goat, and that goats thrive with companions of their same species.  And I'll admit that I keep a doe or two that I don't much care for strictly because they are the "friend" of a doe that I don't want to part with.  But that's OK...solid social relationships are good for both man and animal.  Who wouldn't respect those bonds?        

We have kids AVAILABLE!...

Posted by jameshillgoats on April 22, 2015 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

We are about halfway through our spring kidding season here at James Hill, and will be offering a few of our kids for sale in the upcoming weeks.  Both bucklings and doelings will be available.  Doelings have been disbudded.  All are ADGA registered, and may also be registered with AGS and NDGA.  All will be current on immunizations and wormed prior to sale.

Our final decisions on "keepers" will be made in the next week or so. Kids being offered for sale will be posted in the "For Sale" album, as well as on our facebook page.  Here's a "sneak peek"...


      

We are pleased to introduce "James Hill Alfa Romeo".  This handsome chamoise buckling is one of a set of triplet bucklings.  He and one of his brothers will be available on weaning.  Strong milking genetics behind this little guy!  

Bottle or dam raising kids...

Posted by jameshillgoats on March 7, 2015 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Potential new owners often ask if we bottle feed our kids, following closely with "but are they friendly?" when informed that we allow our dams to nurse their kids.  Others are disappointed that we will not sell a kid until weaned.  Many people think that unless a kid is bottle-fed, they will not be friendly or seek interaction with their human companions.

Here at James Hill, we strive to rear and keep our goats in as natural a manner as possible.  This includes allowing the dams to rear their kids except in the rare occasion that illness or injury prevents it. The mother's first milk (colostrum) is full of enzymes and antibodies critical for the health of the newborn offspring.  The maternal-infant relationship is important for the mental well-being for both parties involved.  Time spent with the dam teaches the kid how to, well...be a goat!




We attempt to be present at all kiddings, both to offer assistance as necessary and to interact with the kids immediately after birth.  Our kids are handled daily, and within their first few days will seek us out to "play".


 

Does this method accomodate the development of the human-animal bond?  Anyone who has been to our farm will tell you that the goats we raise ARE friendly.  In-your-pocket, help-with-everything, can't-you-take-me-with-you kinda friendly!  But they also behave in a natural manner and develop relationships within their caprine herd.  It truly is the best of both worlds.         

First kids of 2015...

Posted by jameshillgoats on March 2, 2015 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, Muffin made us wait a couple of extra days for them, but we have our first 2015 kids at James Hill. Let us introduce James Hill Rum Cake (Rummy) and James Hill Bourbon Sauce (Bea).  Two pretty twin doelings!



This is Muffin's third kidding.  She delivered without assistance, and is being very attentive to her two baby girls.  Both kids are up, active and nursing well.  Isn't this just the sweetest little face?


 

Kidding season at James Hill...

Posted by jameshillgoats on February 24, 2015 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Here at James Hill, we usually group our breedings so that most of our kids are born within a 4-6 week period in the spring.  This year, our does had very different plans!  Their heats were spread over a much longer time frame (I'm sure it was a conspiracy so that they each get their OWN time in the spotlight!).  

This year, our kidding season will stretch from next week through until June!  To be truthful, it will be of benefit to the socialization of our kids.  With fewer kids at a time, we will have more opportunity to interact with each of them on an individual basis. To perspective new owners, that means they will come to you pre-spoiled !  

 

Muffin is our first doe due to kid this season.  It has been too muddy and cold the last week or so to get an updated pic of her, but here she is last spring checking out new members of the herd.  This will be her third freshening, and is a repeat breeding of the same mating that gave us Bunny (our doe that produced quads on her first freshening last spring).  Muffin is an easy milker with very nice teats. Fingers crossed for doe kids!  

Two pretty sweethearts...

Posted by jameshillgoats on February 9, 2015 at 1:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Allow us to introduce J & L Farms Apparition, a white,blue-eyed doeling new to our herd.  Petite and affectionate, "Shun" and her twin sister Ethereal, (aka "Etta") arrived on James Hill in November.  Both these girls are so sweet and gentle, we are planning to train them for therapy work.  Such dainty little girls! 

A beautiful day...

Posted by jameshillgoats on February 9, 2015 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Today was indeed a beautiful day here in central Louisiana.  Mostly sunny, bright blue skies and around 70 degrees.  

 

This nice day was perfect timing to get our pre-kidding goat chores done.  So today, all the does received their annual CDT vaccination, a dose of wormer, and "got their nails done".  Sixty-eight hooves trimmed in one day.  Whew!  The bucks will have to wait a day or two for me to recuperate...but I don't think they mind the delay.   

Spring kids!!!

Posted by jameshillgoats on April 3, 2014 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Spring kidding season is over for us here at James Hill...it's been a busy and challenging time.  All three of our bred does ignored their "due dates", and all three kidded while I was working my "real" job.  Poor hubby...they will make a shepard out of him yet! Hubby has just about recovered his having to manage the birthings on his own, and we had a pretty good outcome from this adventure.  Eight fresh baby faces added to the herd, with six of the eight being doelings!  Let me introduce the latest herd members:


James Hill Crumpet (left) and James Hill Biscuit (right)

Two doelings from our set of quads.  


James Hill Shortbread (left) and James Hill Scone (right)

The other half of our quads (all doelings!)  


James Hill All Bran (buckling)


James Hill Fudge Nut (doeling, will be staying with us at James Hill)


James Hill Sage (buckling, left) and James Hill Juniper (doeling, right)


At least three of the doelings will be offered for sale early May.   We plan to retain both bucks.  (If you are in looking for a handsome young buck, we DO have two yearling bucks who are being offered for sale.  Contact us for more information). 



A kindness repaid...

Posted by jameshillgoats on March 13, 2014 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)


Does anyone remember this poor little doe who broke her leg when she was just weeks old?   Her name is James Hill Cinnamon Bun, or "Bunny" to her family (us!).  We had several anxious weeks with her then, as the break was completely through the bone of her leg and the splint was minimally effective in keeping it immobilized.  At one point it was suggested that the best option might be to put her down, as it seemed her leg was never going to heal.  But persistance and time paid off, and the bone healed without any significant deformity and with full mobility of the leg.


Bunny is now 2 years old, and she was bred last fall.  She was due for her first kidding on March 15th.  I worked an extra shift this week at my "real job" on the night of the 12th.  I checked on her immediately before I left for work.  NO signs of labor, NO change in behaviour.   I was confident she still had a couple days to go.  Imagine my surprise when hubby called LESS THAN AN HOUR LATER to announce that Bunny had kidded.  


Now I'm the first to admit that I am the goat person in the family, but hubby and son bravely met the challenge of  caring for Bunny and her kids.  Kids were dried and their umbilical cords dipped in Betadine.  Fresh bedding in the kidding pen for dam and kids, a meal and a big fresh bowl of water for Bunny.  They did a great job, but it was Bunny who was the star of the day.  You see, she paid us back for all the time and worry spent in her early life...she kidded QUADRUPLETS!!!  AND they are all DOES!!!


Sweet, adorable babies.  All up and active, all nursing.  Two of them are a bit small, but should do fine with good care and attention from their dam.  Way to go Bunny!

 

 

Planning the future...

Posted by jameshillgoats on October 15, 2013 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

With fall comes pumpkins, bonfires and scarecrows...but at James Hill the fall also brings breeding time for our Nigerian Dwarf goats.  In looking ahead to next year's kidding season, we take a critical look at the "keepers" from this year's kids.  Confirmation, mother's milk production and personality are our top three scoring criteria.  And beautiful color or flashy pattern is always a plus!

Jame Hill Please Don't Squeeze is a rich, chocolate colored doeling that will be staying on our farm.  She is a well rounded girl with nice shoulders and good spring of rib, as well as a friendly (even clownish!) personality.  I would have liked for her dam to have shown a bit more production, but she did well for a first freshener with tripletts.  "Squeegy"s" sire comes from excellent milking lines, so she has real potential.

      

James Hill Gardenia (facing the camera) will be retained in our herd.  She is a flashy doeling with a good bit of white patterning.  Her very sound confirmation and sweetheart personality make her a solid choice to add to our breeding program.  And her dam is a consistent, easy milker...another plus.  And look at that dainty little face!

 

James Hill Ima Princess (shown above in background) was produced by one of my best milkers with a beautiful udder with strong attachments.  This blonde doeling also has strong confirmation.  She can be a little shy and slow to warm to strangers, but will ease on up for her share of petting once she gets to know you.  


I must have been thinking aloud about our planned pairings and the upcoming breeding season.  Our herd sire Whiskey Sour has that sparkle is his eyes, and  just one request:  "Bring on the ladies!"