I wanted to introduce you to some friends this week. They're big, furry, and are crazy about dandelions. Yup, they're goats!
Let me start by saying that not all goats are created equal. Before goats became a part of the family, I was pretty much under the assumption that a goat was a goat, and that was that. But in reality, there are tons of different kinds of goats! I guess I should have known that. It's not like a Chihuahua is the same as a Saint Bernard, even though they're both dogs. Oh, well. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know everything.
I'm sure some of you know way more about goats than me, so you can just hang out and look at the pictures. But for those of you who thought that pretty much all goats are the same, here's a little lesson for you :)
When Sara was in college, she got her first goats: Thyme, Dogwood, and Catinka. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, and I made them personalized collars and leashes so we could take them for walks. Because if I were a goat, I would want someone to make me a collar with my name on it in sparkly pink glitter paint. Wouldn't you?
Since then, a lot of goats have come and gone from the farm, but I figured I'd show you guys where it all began!
Thyme was my favorite, because she looked like a dinosaur.
She was a Nubian, which is why she had big, ridiculously floppy ears. It just killed me every time I saw her. Nubian goats are used for milk and meat. They have very short hair, so it's not much use. Thyme loved hugs and snacks. She had two babies, Thing 1 and Think 2 (AKA Puppy and Blue) who went to live with a local family and enjoy life snacking on weeds all day.
That's Thyme in the back, and Dogwood in the front.
Catinka was a Cashmere goat. She had a kind of double coat - the cashmere hair and a guard coat. Most of the time, you would just see the guard coat, which is a coarse, straight coat, but every year the cashmere fiber would show up in fuzzy tufts. Ever feel a cashmere sweater? Yeah. It's fuzzy like that. She also had two babies while she was on the farm - Teddy and Tatanka.
Here's Catinka. She wasn't the nicest goat...she was the kind of goat you'd want to run away from if you found yourself in her space.
Anyway, Dogwood is the only one of the original crew who still lives on the farm. He's an Angora goat, so he gets a haircut a couple times a year. Did you know that goats don't have wool, like sheep? Dogwood is covered with Mohair (that's usually full of burdock and weeds). Mohair is chemically similar to wool, but is much smoother and thinner, so it lacks the felting properties of wool. Fascinating, isn't it?
Dogwood's a sweetheart. He likes to be scratched right between his horns. I think it's like that one spot on your back that you can never quite reach. Dogwood isn't part of the breeding/milk production team at Chicory Farm. He's just our buddy. He's always happy to come over to the fence to say hi and grab a snack.
I told you he's always full of burdock, didn't I?
So, there you have it. The goats that started it all. Maybe you learned something, maybe you didn't, but in the end, at least you got a little more goat in your life.