Dairy Goat Herd
Our farm is home to a small Alpine herd. We have anywhere from 5 to 10 does, a handful of wethers (castrated males) and a buck or two. We breed the does in the fall and expect lots of bouncing kids in the spring! The babies are bottle fed and we milk the does twice a day. Each goat provides us with over a gallon of milk a day. The vast majority of this is turned into cheese. We currently specialize in feta, chevre and mozzarella.
We also raise sheep – East Friesian and Navajo Churro crosses. The sheep provide us with plenty of wool and we plan to milk the East Friesians in the near future. They are a dairy breed but don’t produce nearly as much as goats. We would only expect about a quart a day from the girls.
Currently, we have over 100 laying hens and two roosters. They live in two coops – one permanent and one ‘chicken tractor’. They free range around the entire property but especially anywhere near the grain feeding of the goats and sheep! The flock provides us with plenty of eggs and endless entertainment.
We also have 33 Khaki Campbell and Indian Runner ducks. Talk about entertaining! They always move around the farm in a single group and love to eat any amphibian that makes the mistake of crossing their path. We also eat their eggs – they are a bit thicker shelled and richer than chicken eggs.
Guineas are also part of our poultry fleet. They help with pest control and alert us – LOUDLY – when anything is amiss on the farm!
And all the rest...
Sand Holler is also home to three wonderful “barn” cats (that never step foot in the barn). They do a wonderful job controlling the rodent population and their fuzzy warm hugs are always appreciated after a hard day’s labor. Cinder, the momma cat, came to the farm with her two young kittens Barley and Molasses (Momo) in 2009. Can’t imagine the farm without them now!
We also have a bratty donkey named Willie Mae. She is a guard donkey and protects the fiber flock, She is best friends with our wether Little Bit and always “sounds off” when anything is amiss in the sheep pasture – everything from a wild critter in the pen to the birth of a new lamb.
There is also plenty of wildlife that calls this patch of land home. Some are more welcome than others. The gophers can take a hike!