Our goat addiction actually started thirty seven years ago when we decided to get a lamb for our kids for an Easter Pet. Well, none of the local sheep farmers wanted to sell us a young lamb that we could bottle feed so my late husband, George, said "let's get the kids a goat!" I said "A GOAT, I don't think so!!" Well, George was born and raised in Greece and his family always had a few goats for milk and meat so he knew all about goats and finally convinced me that the kids would really enjoy a goat kid. He also planned on the kids (the two legged ones) being tired of the goat by Fall and we would send it to auction and be done with goats. Well, he didn't plan on me becoming completely hooked on that little doe----needless to say---- she did not go to auction that fall and that was the start of our goat addiction. For the first several years, we just had backyard pets but when my youngest daughter, Alanna, became interested in 4-H we decided to get more serious about our goats and bought our first three registered purebred Nubians. Almost every goat in our herd today, goes back to those three foundation animals. George was very set in his ways and absolutely refused to bring in a new buck so we used our original buck, Lothlorien's Levi's Majestic, and later his son, Dancers-Ridge MKL Shalimar, on all of our does. This actually turned out to be a very good decision because we locked our lines in so tightly, that we now have one of the most consistant Nubian herds that you can find.
Alanna is now all grown up with a family of her own; Zachary will be sixteen this May, Caroline is thirteen and a Penns Valley Cheerleader, Olivia is now ten and all three are members of the local 4-H Goat Club. Emily and Ethan are five years old and in kindergarten. Caroline comes to the farm several days a week after school and helps me with goat care. Alanna is still involved with the goats as much as she can; but her two legged kids take up most of her time these days. She is one of the 4-H Goat Club Leaders. She is actually working on building her Toggenburg Herd, which will also carry the Dancers-Ridge herd name. If you would like more information on Alanna's Toggs, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lothlorien's Levi's Majestic
Pictured are the next generation of goat addicts: My three oldest granddaughters Julia, Meagan and Bridget. Of course, this picture was taken about fifteen years ago----Bridget is now all grown up and attending college where she is studying nursing, Julia is twenty, and is also attending college where she is studying psychology and my little Meggy Munchkin will be turning sixteen in May is now my main herdsman and what a fantastic job she does!!
This picture is of Bridget with Winterberry VIP Fancy Free, Fancy actually adopted Bridget and would never leave her side all of the time that she was in the barn or barnyard!
As you can see, here at Dancers Ridge, our addiction is passed on from one generation to the next and none of us can imagine ever being completely goatless! I did come very close to getting out of Nubians, though. After thirty two years of goat breeding and a fulltime job that I absolutely love, I decided to take an easier route and switch to Boer goats; they're very easy keepers, don't have to worry about udders going uneven, don't have to stress over planning the perfect breeding, it all sounded very good. So, I sold my best, most competitive young milkers and yearlings, retired all my favorite older does and planned on breeding what was left to my Boer buck, it all sounded like a perfect plan to kick my addiction. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans-----The end of my perfect plan came in the form of a snow white doe kid who was born five days early to a doe that was being sold bred and scheduled to leave on the coming weekend. One of my favorite does was a white doe named Fancy Free Echo, after she died, I kept hoping for a white kid to replace her, but for many years, no white kid was born. I have always been a great believer in Fate and now Fate had stepped in and given me my (much wished for) white doe kid out of a doe who should have freshened at her new home. Was fate sending me a message, should I really give up on thirty two years of very selective linebreeding? After much discussion and encouragement from a friend/fellow Nubian breeder/co-goat addict, who wishes to remain nameless! I am completely re-addicted, I brought my old does out of retirement, two of the goats that I sold in the Spring have come back home and I have bred Nubian instead of Boer.
So, here we are, in over our heads and completely addicted, AGAIN!! Let's see what the next thirty two years bring me, Alanna, and our next generation of goat addicts!!
We are so thrilled to announce that Dancers-Ridge has just added one more generation of goat addicts!! Bridget has made me a Great Grandmother!! Avery Elizabeth arrived in September!!!