In November 2011, after some unfortunate circumstances, we moved to our 15 acre farm on the Saskatchewan prairie. It had a chicken coop in deplorable condition, a fallen barn, an old, dilapidated garden shed and no fencing. What it did have, however, was a house with good bones, an insulated shop, 2 car garage, a well established shelterbelt and 13 acres of beautiful pasture, seeded to Alfalfa and brome.
We started with $2 chickens from an egg operation, patched the garden shed roof and turned it into a coop. From there we spent months digging out the old Coop building to make it habitable for birds, grew to love heritage breeds and forayed into goats with a ragtag pair of Cashmere crosses and an Oberhasli.
The original 3 goats that made us fall in love; an Oberhasli and 2 Spanish Cashmere crosses.
Over the next two years, we experimented with different breeds of chickens and goats, got into ducks, acquired Dexter cattle (and determined it wasn’t efficient to keep them due to the need for a bull for 2-3 girls), tried geese, and raised turkeys and feeder pigs to supply the home with quality home raised meat.
Our first Dexter heifer calf born on the farm.; a curious, fast growing black carrying red.
While our goals have changed over the years, our principles haven’t. We are a farm centered around our Family, raising Quality products Naturally, with Respect for the Earth, the animals, others and ourselves.
Even though we are still unsettled with our poultry and waterfowl goals, and tentative on breeding pigs over raising feeders, we are well convinced on our path with Nigerian Dwarf goats. Our program focuses first and foremost on personality. We will NOT work with vicious animals (been there, tried that) and will cull violent dispositions without remorse from our breeding program. Our body style leans towards the Canadian ND, with lots of width on which to carry the globular, capacious udders we are looking to hang on these tiny goats — we can’t go up, and that udder has to hang somewhere. Beyond that we are focused on teat size and texture above production, though that remains a big part of our program as well. We hold tightly to “colour doesn’t milk,” and while flash and visual pizzazz is fun, it is not a priority for us.
As we continue along our goat path, we are looking to add a small registered herd of Boers into the mix for a little more meat production.