James Hill Goats

Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats for milk, pet or show

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A little attention from Mom...

Posted by jameshillgoats on May 6, 2015 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (3)


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?


 

The frozen north?...

Posted by jameshillgoats on February 28, 2015 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)


Where would YOU say this picture was taken?  Michigan? Canada?  How about central Louisiana in the heart of the deep south?  This was the scene from our front porch during the artic blast last week! Of course, the schools were closed four days of the week (as was most everything else in our area). Colt enjoyed the unexpected vacation from his studies, but the rest of us were less than pleased with the weather--people and animals alike.
But this is Louisiana after all, so the high temperature for today is expected to be in the 60's with rain forecast to start tonight and continue for four days.  So our muddy snow run-off mess will be messier, with the creeks flooding in low areas.
If you live in Louisiana, you come to expect crazy swings in weather trends, and learn to take it in stride.  We took advantage of our one nice day to spread sand in the chicken coops, and Muffin has been moved to one of our indoor pens and is on kidding watch.  She is due TODAY, and her udder is filled and ligaments softened.  Fingers crossed that she'll kid before I go back to work.  I hate to miss our goat births! 

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!  

Where am I again?...

Posted by jameshillgoats on February 24, 2015 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Let's see...I'll admit I'm getting older, and I forget things sometimes.  But I sure don't remember moving and I haven't rerouted my mail.  So tell me why we're preparing for a SECOND winter storm in the less than a week!!!  More ice, maybe snow...DEFINITELY  a muddy, mushy COLD mess for the next two days. Right here in the heart of the south in good ole Louisiana.  Squeeze had the same reaction as me when I told her the news:  What...more icy slush!?!


 

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! 

Book review...

Posted by jameshillgoats on February 9, 2015 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Here at James Hill, we try to raise all our animals (and our garden) as naturally as possible, avoiding most chemicals entirely and using others only when necessary.  One of my favorite resources for this method of rearing goats is the book "Natural Goat Care" by Pat Coleby.  

As a nurse, I know that many health conditions can be avoided or improved by maintaining proper nutrition. This book contains excellent information on goat nutrition and husbandry.  There has been some controversy over a few of her recommendations (specifically those regarding copper supplementation), but overall she provides an excellent blueprint for those of us who prefer a holistic approach to goat management.

Pat's book is available on Amazon both in print and Kindle format.  It's an interesting and informative read.  One of my favorite, go-to goat resources!    

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.   


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