Why Goats?

IMG_0916IMG_1017We love our goats. They are funny, cute, and useful. We keep eleven Nigerian Dwarf goats on just over an acre in a farm town in Central Connecticut. They entertain us and give milk, as well as alerting us if there is someone in the driveway or if, HORRORS!, they are out of hay. They’re really best at that last one.





Goats are curious and intelligent. This presents a fencing and housing challenge, because they prefer to browse where they like and are complete ninjas about getting out of where you want to keep them and into where they want to go. Our goats have learned to open gate latches on the opposite side of the gate. They have attempted to jump four-foot horse fencing, even though they are only two feet tall. They have disassembled a hay storage closet in a single night to get at the exact same hay that is in their feeder.


They have destroyed two hay feeders in three years and broken down 12.5-gauge no-climb horse fencing by standing on it to get to the slightly tastier hay that apparently only exists at the top of the feeder. They have “helped” with every construction project in the barn or the pen– most often by stealing the directions, taking off with them, and attempting to eat them.IMG_0796








And every time they get busted for this kind of criminal activity, they look at us with such earnest sweetness that we fall in love with them all over again.IMG_1189




We drink the milk as well as making simple cheeses and yogurt. The ability to make goat cheese in our own kitchen turns out to be something like a superpower, in terms of how happy other people are to eat some. We haven’t tried to make soap, but plan to next year when we finally have enough milk. Year-round, the goats provide companionship, snuggles, and comic relief.