Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoy Pip and Caper! Hard to believe, but they are even more delightful in person. I’ve received a number of questions about the kids and I’ll try to answer them here, in random order.
Pip and Caper are twin brothers. Caper was born first. Baby goats are called kids, so when I use that term, it is not the same as putting them on the same plane as human children. (The term “fur-kid” gives me the willies. I will NEVER use it.)
They are gelded males, termed wethers. Just like neutered dogs, they can’t mate. They don’t produce milk (only females do.) They do like to eat poison ivy, brambles and weeds, so they’ll help me in the back meadow, but that’s not why I got them. I got the kids for the sheer fun of it.
The best food for goats is a pasture with coarse vegetation to browse on. They prefer weeds to clover. Actually, Pip and Caper would prefer roses – they stripped one branch down to the thorns. I will not be walking them past the flower bed again.
Goats also need hay. Hay is dried grass (a mixture different than a suburban lawn.) Goats are quite fussy about the hay they eat. They don’t like it wet or soiled. Since horse mangers are too big, I put the hay in a wire basket that is attached to the stall wall. The bale of hay that I currently have is too coarse to be good feed, (it’s been a terrible year for hay) so I’m using it for bedding, too. However, when the next hay cutting comes in, I’ll switch back to wood shavings for the floor.
Water is in the red bucket. I dump it out, scrub clean, and put fresh water in EVERY DAY. Clean water is vital for good health.
I feed a grain mixture specially formulated for goats. Too much can make the goats sick, but they do need a little. I use it for training treats. That’s what you see in the red bag at my waist when I’m working with the kids.
That purple brick hanging on the stall wall is a mineral block, made for goats. It is, unfortunately, berry-flavored. When the boys rub against it, they turn purple. I’m trying to find a different brand that isn’t dyed!
Pip and Caper have a fenced, grassy area to mosey about during the day. At night they are closed up into the barn to keep them safe from predators – which around here include coyotes, fisher cats, neighboring dogs and possibly a puma (like many areas in New England there have been unconfirmed sightings. Even if it is a very big bobcat, I’d worry.)
Goats need regular vaccinations, deworming and hoof trimming. Luckily, there’s still a vet in my area that does house calls for goats. I’m confident that I have the resources to keep Pip and Caper healthy and happy. But, don’t look here for information about goat care, go to other sites. I’m a rank beginner at goat keeping!