History of Tye Dye Acres.
I began raising goats on my own in early 1999, and I started with pygmy goats. But before then, when I was younger, I used to spend a lot of time on my friend's farm. They had some chickens, a few horses, and two dairy does they milked. Those where my favorite of all the animals and I enjoyed spending time with them. My mom remembers the time she was looking for me at the farm and found me fast asleep in the sun with one of the kids asleep in my lap. Over the years I have had sheep and mini horses, well the sheep was a one time deal. I bought the so-called primitive Jacob's sheep back in 2003 and all they did was stand by the fence and baa'd their heads off while the goats were busy gathering up the pitchforks and torches. Needless to say they weren't around long and I have not bought another sheep!
I raised pygmy goats for four years until mid-2004. I had gone to MN and ended up buying Seth from Billy Goat Bluff. I then bought two fainting does a couple months later. I bred Seth to my pygmy does and got "fygmies", which where very interesting in their colors and how some fainted and some didn't. The kids sold quickly since a lot of people liked them because they fainted but didn't cost as much as pure fainters at the time, these where sold as pets and the new owners knew they where not true fainters. Slowly over the next two years I sold off my pygmy goats and acquired more fainting goats. Seth produced some very nice kids as did Mike and JD, two unregistered bucks I had found. I joined the MGR and began registering my goats and looking for new bloodlines. At the time I had only about 6-8 does and 1 buck. In 2009-2010 I was able to purchase some new bloodlines to add to the herd as well as keep a few doelings from my does. I have a lot of different bloodlines, including goats from CA, IL, IN, KY, KN, MN, TN, & TX. I've done a lot of traveling to to get them but I feel it is well worth it!
I started disbudding all the non-polled kids in 2009. I was getting sick of having goats who where beating up on each other, on the fencing, getting stuck, and generally being a pain with their horns. Plus people who bought the kids wanted them disbudded and luckily a neighbor showed me how to. I use cattle panels for fencing and have several with big dents in them from horned bucks. Now all my bucks are disbudded or polled, I do have a few with scurs but however they are nothing compared to the horns on horned bucks. Most of my does are disbudded or polled but I have several I dehorned using the green castrator bands, they work great! You could not tell one of those does from a disbudded doe. I have a few younger does left to dehorn and then none of my goats will have horns. It's so much nicer on both me and the goats.
For general care the goats are vaccinated with two different vaccines once a year and dewormed as needed. I use Valbazen on the bucks, kids and un-bred (open) does. For pregnant does, I use Dectomax or Cydectin. As needed, I will de-lice them with Ultra-Boss, it also repels flies. The goats are fed a good grass/alfalfa mix hay and have pasture and browse in the summer months. I feed the does grain daily during the winter and when they are nursing. During summer I have found the 37% protein range blocks from Fleet Farm work so well with them being on pasture I don't need to feed them grain and retained doelings are left on their dams until the dams wean them. Retained bucklings/bought bucklings get some grain daily along with the range blocks and the bucks get just the range blocks and pasture until breeding season.
My goats are my kids and get the best care. They live outdoors and are so much healthier then when I had to keep them in a barn years ago. I strongly recommend letting them decide on whether they want to go outside or not, they love laying in the sun and enjoying the outdoors. Of course, make sure they always have plenty of shelter to get in out of the elements!