Yesterday marked a turning point in our quest to start a goat dairy. Brian and I made the drive out to Cave Junction, Oregon to pick up Wendy, our first dairy goat! Wendy is a Sanaan who lived in a herd of six other goats. Their owner had been raising dairy goats for twenty-five years and decided it was time to thin out her herd. When Brian and I first saw the Sanaan herd we were impressed by the size and appearance of these large animals. Quite a difference from our stout little Nigerian Dwarfs!
We loaded Wendy in the back of our Jeep and hoped that she would tolerate the hour and a half drive home. We were especially concerned about her well being because she is very pregnant, due to deliver in about two weeks!
Thankfully, Wendy did very well on the drive, with only the occasional bleet. When we got her home we immediately took her to the make-shift barn Brian created. He turned the car-port into a safe structure where she will spend most of her time before and after delivery. We decided not to put her with the dogs and other goats yet as introducing her to so many new faces at once may be too stressful for the pregnant doe.
Gretel and Bea were extremely excited to see the new member of our animal family and excitedly cried for a few hours.
The move to a new home makes any animal nervous and Wendy is no exception. She spent part of the night calling for the rest of her herd but was calmed when Brian and I sat with her and allowed us to pet and talk to her. Today she seems more relaxed and we are confident that she will easily adapt to her new surroundings. Our main goal is to ensure she is eating a large and healthy diet of alfalfa, grain and selenium minerals so she will have the strength to deliver her kids in a few weeks.
Wendy is three years old and weighs roughly 170lbs. This will be her second kidding.