We Got Goats!

Yes, we got goats! No kidding (See what I did there?). Last week, we adopted two baby Nigerian Dwarf brothers from a local goat-loving lady here in Southwest Michigan. They are SO cute and SO sweet! I honestly had no idea little goats are this sweet. I’m in love! Meet Bam-Bam and Bowser Junior (named after my Mario-Kart-loving-son).


Maybe two-ish years ago, my husband and I started chatting about adding more livestock to our little farmyard, but it was more a dream of “someday” than “right now.” We had just moved into our new home, and I was pregnant with our fourth child. I had my sights on some sheep or a couple Juliana pigs. He was up for just about anything. At the time, we were content with our newest chicks and ducklings adding to our flock, but then a nearby animal rescue had a Juliana pig in need of a home. We built a pig pen and thought we would take him, but he wound up adopted before we got the chance to meet him.


Twenty-six months later, here we are more settled in, the human kids are a little older, and a global pandemic had us home and thinking about what we’ve been waiting for that we don’t need to wait on any longer. We got a puppy in early March, right before things shut down, and because she’s very energetic and requires a lot of training, we decided to hold off on the Juliana pigs. I want to train them to be therapy pigs, and I just can’t handle training a puppy and pigs all at the same time.


Instead, we began looking into alpacas. I called a local Alpaca farmer that I met last Fall, and she gave me a lot of info and answered loads of my questions. She invited us to come to her annual shearing, pandemic masks and all, and that was quite an experience! My kids fell in love with the cute and quirky critters, but we ultimately all agreed that we weren’t ready to take on alpaca ownership.


We also learned that maybe we weren’t really ready for sheep, either. But goats came into view, and they sounded like a good fit. I have a thing for screaming goats. My husband even installed a screaming goat horn in my car as a surprise gift for me last year. Yep. They make those. And yes, it’s hilarious. But as cool as owning a screaming goat in theory sounds, in reality, I think it would drive my neighbors nuts. Voices carry here in the country, and a goat’s scream would travel far. My husband likes fainting goats. We haven’t found one yet, but meanwhile, we turned to the all-favorite pygmies and dwarfs.


I happened to find a Nigerian Dwarf breeder and got to chatting with her. Soon after, we found ourselves face-to-face at her place, where she had two baby boys looking for a forever home. We could not resist! They were perfect, and they’re still bottle-fed, which is so fun. We already had the pig pen for them, so we used some of our scrap wood and leftover decking to build a goat house with hay storage and a goat playground. Bam-Bam and Bowser Jr. came home a week ago tomorrow, and they have settled right in. They love to play with our children and seem really happy here. It’s so much fun having these guys!


Have you ever wanted goats? Do you own any? Tell me all about it! I hope this is the beginning of a wonderful journey learning what life with goats is like and providing a good home for these cuties. They’re already so inspiring with their carefree nature and sense of wonder. I started painting watercolor pieces of them and the joy they bring. These paintings will be part of my farm and garden art series, a collection of art inspired by home own homestead and farms local to this corner of Michigan. The collection includes whimsical watercolor paintings of barnyard animals and some of the beautiful plants and produce that we grow here. I have something special in mind for this collection that I hope to announce soon! Meanwhile, go watch the videos of my cute goats in the "Homestead" highlights on my instagram page at http://instagram.com/erinreinholtzart.

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