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Goats!

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We have a lot of work to do on our house. I think we’ve both been keeping a growing mental tally of things that need to be replaced and updated. We haven’t done much yet, because of time and budget constraints, but we are definitely planning and prioritizing.

Even before we moved in, we talked a lot about clearing the land and landscaping. The houses sit on 2 acres of beautiful land, but since they were rental properties for so long, the brush, trees and weeds are overgrown. It’s a mess out there!

We never got a formal quote for clearing costs, but we believe it would be around $1,500 because of the density of the brush and the size of the lot. We decided to get goats to help us. Adam and I have wanted to start homesteading for as long as either of us can remember, but we’ve been renting for the past three years and haven’t really had the chance to start buying animals and growing food.

We started with goats because they are smart, they don’t need a lot of care or maintenance, they are absolutely adorable and they’re doing a great job of eating everything in sight. It’s so much fun to watch them!

Monday was Adam’s birthday, so we went to a local farm in Austin and I let him pick which goats he wanted. We came home with these two, and we could not be happier. They were $75 each, and I think we ‘ve already been entertained enough by them to justify the cost. πŸ™‚ So let me introduce you to our goats, William Floyd (Billy) which I am holding, and Olive.


25 Comments

  • Reply emmi |

    That is so cool. Do you plan to stake them in an area to “mow” it? Or is the whole property fenced already?

    • Reply Emily |

      The whole propert is fenced. We could stake them but I love that they’re roaming around and eating what they like so far.

  • Reply Sandra G |

    Goats are excellent escape artists, I just say one on the side of the road yesterday outside the fence.

  • Reply T'Pol |

    They are so cute! Brilliant idea for getting rid of weeds and stuff but I wonder, are they choosey or do they eat all sorts of weed?

    • Reply Adam |

      We shall see. I think at first they will pick their favorites but may move on to the other stuff eventually. at least that’s the hope – we shall see!

  • Reply Sara |

    Since you are in Texas, you should look into having your land appraised at agricultural value for property tax purposes with the property tax office. It is too late this year as the deadline has already passed but this would save a good chunk of change in property taxes. Plus goats seem to be like rabbits. My cousin has been raising goats and selling their offspring for between 50 and 100 each. That would be extra income for your debt.

    • Reply Adam |

      do tell me more about this exemption – what does it take to qualify? since it was previously a rental property, we don’t have the homestead exemption either but I’m waiting for next year to file that!

  • Reply Holly |

    I have a serious case of goat-envy! Be sure to keep us updated on the goats, as well as the finances. Good luck to you!

  • Reply Jen from Boston |

    Houses? Do you rent out the other house?

    And I love the idea of lawnmower goats!! No need to buy gas for the lawnmower πŸ™‚

  • Reply teresa |

    Love the goats, I’ve always wanted one but live in town so I have had to make do with chickens!

  • Reply Angella |

    Aww they are adorable! We’re on 2+ acres in a rural area and I’ve been trying to talk my husband into getting a goat or two since we moved here. No luck yet, but I’m determined!

    • Reply Adam |

      you have to get at least 2 – they are herd animals and miserable if alone. pygmies might be more palatable for your husband.

  • Reply Jeni R |

    I hear goats are a gateway drug into the whole farming thing. Same as chickens. I have goat envy. One day, one day!

  • Reply PM |

    This is one of my favorite blogs to read. I’m looking forward to you sharing your experiences with eliminating debt. I love goats also and so please make sure you keep us updated on their antics. A good blog to read is Eden Hills blog. She has goats,lots of them and must know everything there is about raising goats.

    • Reply Emily |

      Oh thank you!!! I will check out that blog. They are still skittish around us and the boy has burrs which I feel awful about! We have been spending a lot of time trying to socialize them, but nothing has worked yet.

  • Reply Ponyryd |

    Not trying to be the Debbie downer, but my experience has been that animals tend to cost more than they add.

    I have been raising quail and rabbits in our small suburban backyard for a couple of years and just this year the city allowed for us to have chickens. Between buying feed, housing (just built a chicken coop $$$), and maintenance it tends to cost more per pound than organic meat at the store. I have been able to sell or trade some of the offspring, but overall it is an expensive hobby.

    Now I am very happy with my animals and what value they add, just wondering if during a debt pay down if goats will add unnecessary cost and drag on your plan. I would be very interested in what additional cost the goats add to your budget and hope you detail it all out in the blog.

    • Reply Emily |

      If you’re frustrated with the cost and maintenance of the rabbits, chickens, and quail, I would recommend getting a couple cheap, low maintenance GOATS! After the initial purchase, all you need is a little bit of shelter for them (which we already had) and leaves and brush for them to eat (which we already had). It’s been a fairly inexpensive and amazingly rewarding experience so far! πŸ™‚

  • Reply MG |

    Please be sure you can responsibly make a commitment to these goats for their lifetime. Often, people get animals only thinking of the short-term, but the animals need forever homes. I hope you’ll be able to care for the goats, provide vet care, have appropriate land for them and all else for their lifespan.

    • Reply emmi |

      This is the livestock versus pet question. He didn’t really say which they were. But they are goats, they can be livestock. They can be dinner if things get bleak. That’s a very different commitment than a puppy.

  • Reply Simon |

    Aawww, Billy & Olive do look cute πŸ™‚ Small, clean and definitely manageable…makes me wanna rush and get a couple for myself! Keeping them might be an expensive hobby as someone said above, but I think its totally worth it…not everything boils down to the bottom line!

So, what do you think ?