Andrey Borko-Bruyaka - Goats in the Kin Domain 16.09.2020 15:11:22

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When deciding to purchase a goat, we had the following points to take into consideration:
1. Natural dairy products.
2. Filling our Space. When we came to the ground, it was a bare field of barren land on an area of 109 hundreds of square meters. Only a few young birches of bushes size. Each new tree, bush, flower, bird and any living creature fill our "hectare" and make life more interesting.
3. Fertilizers. Horsetails, birches and pines grow well on this soil without them.

The main question was whether there will be enough time for animals and what to do if you need to leave for a long time.

His wife Elena re-read all the books on goat breeding that were in the regional library. Studied the Internet. She studied the features of different breeds, conditions of keeping, care. I admired so much how thoroughly she approaches the matter.

We decided.
A neighbor's goat gave birth. The breed is common, milk yield is small. We knew several generations of their animals: character, taste of milk and how comfortable they are in our climatic conditions. These characteristics were decisive in our choice.

I must say, the owners of animals are wizards. One day they had to leave for a short time and I, helping as a neighbor, came to milk. Before that, I did not know that during milking, goats can just stand and caress their heads on their knees, and their eyes are so smart. This is education!

The "Wizards" thought about taking a break from the goats, and we came to a mutual decision. We took a little goat with her mother, on the condition that we return her mommy in a year.

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This is how an adult Twig and little Milka appeared in our life. Milka from the very birth could not drink from a tit. Before us, she was nipple-fed. Lena, after milking, poured some milk into a bowl of the matured goat. It dashed off to any food, as if she saw nothing else. She ate so funny. She jumped to the bowl, bending her front legs on the fly, and then ate on her knees. Perhaps this is the result of psychological trauma received after birth. This disorder had to be corrected. The goat was fed enough - as much as it could eat. Not with grain, but with grass, branches, vegetables. She seemed to be eating incessantly. For a long time we gave her most of the milk we got.
It took Milka almost a year to start fulfill and eating while standing, as other goats do. I confess I thought it was hopeless.

The barn is small and usually, my wife milked the adult Twig inside, closing the front door, while Milka remained outside in the corral. No other way. As already mentioned, at the sight of milk or any other products, the goat all began to tremble and pounce on them, overcoming any "obstacles". It was impossible to milk with her.

Well, winter came. In bad weather, putting “the little beast” outside during milking became risky for her health. There was no way to expand the barn. I take matters into my own hands.
I go to the barn and explain:
- Milka, you are quite small, if you take you outside in a strong wind, snow, frost - you can die. Let us learn to wait patiently for the end of milking.

I sit down on the bench and begin to milk the Twig. The little one spins around like a whirligig, knocking everything out of her hands. I throw it against the opposite wall. I did not have time to turn, and she already appeared under my hands. And so it went on many times, a lot of tosses, kicks, cuffs, until finally the goat gave up, weakening its pressure.

I sit milking an adult. Outwardly calm, but the heart contracts with pain and something inside trembles. While milking, Twig looked at me attentively, and then, quite unexpectedly, took and laid her head on my shoulder. Like, - "Calm down, you must."

A week of hard work and Milka learned to wait for her portion of milk, standing behind her, waiting for the end of milking. And I thought deeply about what violence and non-violence are.

A year has passed and, as agreed, we returned Twig to the owners. They missed her a lot. They changed their minds about distributing goats and decided to expand the farm. And we faced a new challenge. Milka was left alone for the first time. Of course, we knew that goats are herd animals, but we did not expect such a reaction to separation.

Baaing didn't stop for a minute. The goat climbed into all the cracks of the pen, dangerously thrusting its head between the upper sparse boards. Jumped out, made tunnels. Running up, she jumped onto the hedge, knocking out boards with her hooves. With difficulty I managed to improve and repair the pen.

We realized she needed company.
Somewhere in 200 km from us, two young unpromising goats, sisters, were given into good hands. A little older than ours, but already milking. A cross between Nubian and Alpine.

Their names were Razgadayka and Razgadayka. I called them Chernushka (Translation “Blacky”) and Little. One, black, vigorous, the other piebald, was afraid of everything. Small, long-eared, skinny, short-haired and completely wild. The black one bleated terribly all the time. Never heard such a disgusting sound. They reminded me of some denizens of hell. Pure devils both in character and in appearance.

But how Milka rejoiced at them! She began to behave very calmly, as if setting an example for beginners. Hit or miss! We cured them, carried out the necessary prophylaxis, fed. Milk yield doubled, milk was delicious. But milking was still difficult.

Fairness, stability, patience and love. These are the principles on which I build relationships with animals. The hardest part was with love. After all, the goats behaved badly enough.

Время шло. Чернушка перестала бодаться. Очень скоро они научились не мешать, когда доят одну из них, поняв, что всё равно накормят, достанется всем. Потом запомнили последовательность, в которой нужно заходить в хлев. Милка ручная, а вот длинноухие долго привыкали стоять спокойно. Они съедали зерно быстрее, чем их выдаивали и сразу убегали. Но так как вымя оставалось в моих руках - далеко убежать им не удавалось.

Time flied. Chernushka stopped butting. Very soon they learned not to interfere when we milk one of them, having realized that they will feed it anyway, everyone will get enough. Then they memorized the sequence in which to enter the barn. Milka's a tame sweetheart, but the long-eared ones got used to standing still for a long time. They ate the grain faster than they were milked out and immediately ran away. But since the udder remained in my hands, they could not run far.

When Lena returned from the city, I already had something to show. My wife appreciated the results and agreed to continue what I had begun. If the goats for some reason began to be capricious, I milked.

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With the help of "kind words" I evoke or intensify the necessary state that the animal reads in myself. I express my gratitude. I emphasize the benefits they bring. I want goats to feel their importance in this world. What for? I do not know.

I used to go to milk only when my wife asked. As I went to war. And I came out of the barn with the word - "Huh ...". Now it happens that I take the initiative. It's nice when they are glad to see you, trust, obey. A month of effort is worth it. ‘Goats’ is not ‘cool’, but they are fun. If tigers or bears were in their place – probably I would behave the same way. Judging by Milka, if the animals are taken from a small one, then the efforts in training are much less.

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The goats fit well into the life in the Kin Domain.
Every day about two and a half liters of "homemade" milk, and this is high quality: cream, yogurt, cottage cheese and the very fresh milk.
Minimal care. In the morning I clean the barn, threw the manure under the currants. I cut willow branches, cut some grass. In the evening, I collected the remains of grass and gnawed branches and mulched the bush fertilized in the morning with them. Currant - "rushing".

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According to the weather, when I have free time, I prepare hay for the winter. The willow has turned from a weed into a valuable food. In total, with the creation of the necessary conditions - a little more than an hour a day. This is with milking. It would take about an hour for one goat. It would be nice to walk them. Lena adapted to reading books, writing some scripts, picking berries and herbs walking them.

Yes, conditions are needed. The goats have a spacious pen, where there are two nurseries, a pallet on which they can lie down even after the rain, a shed against bad weather. There are shadow zones, there are light zones. There are bricks on which the hooves are grinding.

The barn is small, but divided into two parts: the vestibule and the main insulated room. A dense carpet hangs between them, like a partition. The front door has the same carpet. Carpets protect from wind, rain, cold, heat and give goats the ability to go out and in on their own when they need it. Raising carpet curtains makes it easy to ventilate the room. And the door to the barn is closed only in bad weather.

In the main room, there are wooden benches where the animals lie. ‘Dragees’ shower down through the grate. This way the goats are kept clean.
There is another feeder in the vestibule.

I deliberately create different comfort zones. Ideally, the conditions should be such that the goats can handle everything on their own. They, like everyone else, love attention, but do not like interference in their lives. And we have enough other things to do.

Healthy animals, tasty milk and minimal effort and time. This is the ultimate goal.

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Over the past years, I have got compliments several times when I shake hands. The guys think that I trained on kettlebells. No, I'm not very good with weights, I just sometimes milk a goat.

Andrey Borko-Bruyaka
Details on the author's page

Kalinovets KDS

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