Mama asked what I thought about Kiko/Boer cross goats. I have only raised a couple of them so I don't have as much personal experience with the Kiko breed as I do with Boer goats. What I can tell you is the Kiko/Boer cross kids I raised were very active, hardy kids. I don't know how much of it was the Kiko influence and how much of it was just good old hybrid vigor but they were great kids. The Kiko/Boer doe I have in our herd right now has great worm tolerance and is a good commercial doe. Even though she was bottle fed part of the time (her mother has a bad side to her udder) she can be a little more aloof than most of the Boers I have raised from kids. Posted below are a couple pictures of Icy, my Kiko/Boer cross doe.
Joanna asked how Trouble was doing. For those that don't know Trouble is one of our first Boer goats. If you have time you can click on her name and read her story. Thanks for asking about her Joanna! Trouble is doing well, she is due to kid in three weeks and I am keeping a close eye on her. She is awful big this year for still having three weeks to go though. I always worry a little about the ones I think might be carrying more than twins. Trouble has always been predictable with twins every year but her first when she had a single; still I don't think she has been this big with kids before. Trouble is seven years old this year. Many does are retired at about 10 years old, but I am considering retiring Trouble after this kidding season. Trouble was the herd queen for years but for some reason Emma seems to have taken over that title recently. Trouble seems to have fallen into the position of respected elder. She will live out her days on our farm with her daughters and granddaughters.
Carolyn asked if it was hard to train our guardian dogs and if they protect fowl as well. I hope to write about this in much more detail in the future, but since things have been so hectic on the farm I am not sure when that will be so I wanted to at least answer your question. With good livestock guardian dogs most of it is instinct with some important guidance at the right times to deter any bad habits. This will depend on the dog of course, some seem to require a little more guidance than others. They learn best from another older, experienced livestock guardian dog. They are raised from puppies with the livestock they are to protect so that they become bonded to them. Yes, they can be used to protect fowl and many are used for just that with a lot of success but be aware that a few truly wonderful goat/sheep guardian dogs have also killed chickens when not properly introduced to them. If you want a dog to protect fowl you should get a puppy that has been raised around them. I would highly recommend getting your puppy from a working home, one that has been raised in the pasture with the type of animals you will want him or her to protect.
Christy asked what type of hay we use for our goats. Most of the year we use prairie hay. There are two reasons for this, first of all it is a good all around grass hay. Secondly, it is what all but about 5 acres of the hay harvested from our own land is, so it is the most economical hay for us to feed. I feed them prairie hay free choice through the winter. When the goats nutritional needs increase during late gestation and lactation I will also start feeding them some alfalfa because it is higher in protein, etc. I would consider a good grass / alfalfa mix hay to be ideal for most goats.
I hope that answered your questions and I apologize if I missed any. I want to thank all those that follow my blog and that take the time to leave a comment, I always greatly appreciate them.