Re: [gardeners] The lazy goatkeeper

George Shirley (
Tue, 03 Jul 2001 19:35:02 -0500

I'll check on the separator but IIRC the bowls on it need retinning. They were
starting to rust when I got it 30 years ago. I oiled it to stop the rust but
haven't even looked at it in almost 15 years.

I had a friend in Texas who rented out brush goats to people who had acreage to
clear. Fifty cents per head per month. The goats cleared all the brambles,
greenbriar, and sweet gum off the property and ate all the trees up as high as
they could reach. After 6 months to a year the property looked like a park. This
old boy was pretty smart, got his goats fed free, had all does and turned the
billies in with them so got the increase, usually twins, sometimes triplets. On
top of that they paid him cash money. Used to go out once in awhile and pick up
a cabrito for dinner but other than that just checked on them once in awhile.

I wouldn't be surprised at the number of toxic plants, used to teach 4H kids a
course on such things. Goats will even eat azaleas but so will deer. My milking
does and their kids kept 5 acres clean of trash trees and brush for a few years.
Finally both got mastitus and ended up as sausage.

George wrote:
> George, I don't exactly know how many goats... at this very
> moment. 2 bucks, 4 does currently in milk, 2 others in various
> stages of trying to dry them off. 3 yearling does, 8 doe kids, 2001
> version. 1 geriatric (17 yr old grandma) These are all Oberhasli, I've
> had them since '83. Keep saying I need to get out but like an
> addict, I keep on with them. But, as soon as I can convince them
> to slack off, I turn the milkers to once a day milking at which point
> I'll milk them till they decide to go dry. (Some will milk through 2
> years or better, obviously I don't rebreed them often.)
> If you ever want to part with that separator, let me know.
> The Pasos: I traded a llama for a pregnant Arabian about 2
> summers ago (and I'd traded a Hawkheaded Parrot for the llama
> <G>). In Feb 2000 she (Arab) presented us with a Pinto filly! In the
> interim, I'd bought a (pregnant) Paso Fino who has also had a filly
> foal. The Arab was rebred to a Paso and I now have a 1/2 blood filly
> from her this season also. I bought one other mare (that I actually
> ride) and we have a foundered mare we're rehabbing. Both Pasos.
> So that makes 7 mares and fillies.  I'll ask my paso breeding
> friends about your Uncle, they may remember him. I got tired of
> what I called the '2 bra ride', so I decided to start riding something
> with a smooth gait. (And there really is a difference!)
> To make this garden related, even if I decided to quit with the
> milkers, I'd still want to keep goats because of their weed control
> efforts. There are a lot of things they won't eat but they sure do a
> great job on poison ivy, brambles, and bushes in the field. (would
> also do a great job on my garden, roses, and ornamentals if they
> could, too.) For that reason, I don't like to plant anything that might
> be poisonous or toxic in any way. You'd be surprised at the things
> that are toxic.
> Martha, (Texas)
> Visit our Paso Fino Club:
> Visit our