Farm Tour-Nigerian Dwarf Goats

The girls playing with baby Nigerian Dwarfs

The girls playing with baby Nigerian Dwarfs.  No wonder they are called dwarfs!

We had the privilege of visiting some local farmers who are raising Nigerian Dwarf goats and various produce.  The Nigerian Dwarfs are known for their milk, which is noted to have a high percentage of butterfat (in other words, tasty milk and cheese).  These goats are smaller than your average goat so you get less milk than say a Nubian, but that also means it takes less time to milk.  Right now, their goats are not in milk but the day will come soon and we will definitely be a customer.  Goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk and tastes very similar.

Goats love to jump onto things.

Goats love to jump onto things.

Gary and Debbie gave us a tour of their farm and our girls seemed to have more interest in these goats than any other farm animal we have visited thus far.  The goats are small, like them.  The goats are incredibly friendly, like them.  The goats like to jump up on things, like them.  No wonder they got along so well.  Even a full sized Nigerian Dwarf doesn’t dominate the kids like most farm animals seem to do.

Here is a full sized goat receiving attention from Gary.

Here is a full sized goat receiving attention from Gary.

The Nigerian dwarf buck is a fine looking guy.  He does have a bit of an odor about him.  He smells kinda musky.  It wasn’t overpowering, but it was there.  You have to keep the buck separate from the does so his smell doesn’t taint the milk.  You know why they have a musky odor?  Because they pee on their beards.  Yep.  You read this correctly.  The male goats pee onto their very own beards, every day.  Use your imagination to figure out how they accomplish this.  The hormones in his urine attracts the ladies.

The buck is on the right, the wether (neutered male) on the left.

The buck is on the right, the wether (neutered male) on the left.  Goats are unhappy if left alone.

While visiting in Gary and Debbie’s kitchen we discovered kombucha and kefir sitting on their counter.  Kombucha is a fermented tea, with bacterial and fungal organisms, that is thought to improve your immune system.  Kefir is a fermented milk drink.  I must say, both products were outside of my comfort zone, but I was brave and tried them both. The kombucha was kinda like a sweet alcoholic beverage-I I could drink it in small amounts.  It reminded me of an orange juice I left in my 8th grade locker for a couple of days.  By the way, the principal thought I was trying to get drunk off my smelly orange juice.  Pretty funny since I was never one to drink alcohol or get into any trouble. It must have been a slow day for discipline. “No really, sir, I left orange juice in my locker for two days.  I promise.  End of story.” I digress. The kefir was like a yogurty, thinned cottage cheese drink.  I’ve done some reading on both drinks and found conflicting information on safety and benefits.  Read for yourself and make your own determination.

Kefir

Kefir

Kombucha.  See the bacterial/fungal colony on top of the large jar?

Kombucha. See the bacterial/fungal colony on top of the large jar?

We want to thank Gary and Debbie for sharing their farm with us.  We learned a lot about goats and fermented drinks plus we made a couple of new friends.  We also bartered some of our eggs for their zucchini and yellow squash.  Yum!