I've always been a curious human. forever seeking answers & new information. If there was an answer that I didn't approve or deem good enough, i sought other sources until I felt that subject had been exhausted. To this very minute, I am still learning. These days my education consists mostly about goats, farming, marketing, homeschooling, cooking & maybe accounting.
As this farming venture is coming into our 2nd kidding season, I find myself contemplating what I'm going to do with all the kids that we are hoping to have be born. Where am I going to put them all? How am I going to afford to feed them all? Will I be capable of selling them? Can I hide some in the house? What about the health of the moms?
My question for the last couple weeks has been, "But why does it have to cost so much?" Then the next conundrum begs asking, "How are you going to pay for that?" And,"Do I really need to do that way?" Then,"Is that really necessary?"
Let us talk about these questions.
Feel free to input any & all suggestions.
#1:Cost. What is the cost of this type of farming? I'm not doing this the "conventional" way. (That subject will be in another post someday.) I'm not doing this the uber-purist way either. I just want to have healthy happy goats that produce nutritious milk & healthy kids. Finding a feed mill that will acquiesce my request for a feed that I feel will meet my goats needs has been almost impossible. 1 mill will mix my ration, but I have to procure most of the ingredients which includes lots of logistics. Another mill in Ohio will mix my ration most happily. The fellow at the mill, Timmi, has gone above & beyond to make it happen. Did you notice I said Ohio? Getting the feed from there to here is cost prohibitive. Bummer. Now what?
#2: Why can't I grow $100 bills? Money. Where does it come from? I have these beautiful goats that make us delicious milk. They are pretty wonderful that way! At this part in their gestation they aren't making milk, they are growing babies. They still need to eat. Those babies need nutrition. Either from feed or mom will give up her body fat & calcium to support the babies. I'm basically feeding them money without getting any returns right now. I'm trying to think of it as an investment with really cute returns. In the mean time, who is paying for this feed? Us. Not the goats with milk that gets turned into soap that sells.
#3:Do I have to have my way? Last time I checked, this is not Burger King. Do I have to feed the goats what the extension agency says I do? All these studies that explain the science of goat feed with their fancy words & hard math equations. Protein, carbs, digestible fiber, ash, volatile fatty acids, rumen degradable protein, digestible organic matter, digestible crude protein, forages, & voluntary dry matter intake. It's dizzying!! Why does it have to be so complicated? How did people feed their goats over 100 years ago? Sweet feeds weren't readily available. Certain grains weren't common at the local feed store. Do I have to feed the goats a balanced ration with 57 different grains, yeast, minerals, molasses, salt, kelp & herbs? Is it all necessary? Can it be simpler?