You may be wondering, why dedicate a whole page to herd management? Or, isn’t there enough information out there on herd management? maybe. We decided to create this page to let people know our practices and how our animals are cared for. We feel it is very important to have an understanding of how people raise their animals. Why? Because we’d like to share our decisions with those that have a right to know and we take pride in working hard for our animals in our care.
First, we purchase as much environmentally friendly products as possible and recycle as much as we can. We purchase our feed from a supplier that mixes it for us using only organic non-GMO sources (barley, oats, etc). Any additives that we use, such as Kelp, etc are also organic. Our herbs are either organic or pesticide free. Our hay sources have varied, and when available we buy environmentally friendly hay. “Garbage in, garbage out” is a saying that we pay close attention to so that our lives and dairy are the best possible.
There are multiple reasons for using herbal remedies as apposed to the traditional chemical wormers. We feel that many of the traditional medicines used today cause more problems than solutions. For example, many over the counter wormers are made from Ivermectin, in which many collie type dogs in the herding breed family are sensitive to this chemical (and can cause all kinds of reactions including seizures and death). Since we have Australian Shepherds, a United States breed of dog related to collies, they are known to carry the gene that causes reactivity to multiple drugs. Many pesticides are linked to sickness and problems in all kinds of livestock and people. We will work with herbals in the forefront, and reduce with the goal of removing any usage of traditional chemical wormers. We am not opposed to using any prescribed remedy that may save my animals life, but do work hard to understand the root cause of issues (genetics, environment, nutrition) and look to address issues from a natural perspective to provide balance, instead of introducing man made chemicals onto our homestead.
Vaccines will only be administered where required in order to reduce the input of foreign properties entering into our animals (and our own) bodies.
Naturally (dam) raised by their mothers as nature intended. Many goat breeders are being as diligent as possible to perform CAE preventative by raising them via the bottle after pasteurizing the milk. We feel this raises too many problems of offspring not receiving the natural antibodies that are present in milk, increases the stress to the dams and the kids, along with trying to ensure that someone is present at birth (which many goat breeders believe this is impossible).
We understand both sides of the issue, but currently we feel that it is better to naturally raise than introduce more issues into our goats lives (stress and lack of natural antibodies). We test our goats for CAE regularly along with testing for other diseases that are not just transmitted via milk (CL for example). We have also drank the milk raw, as to take advantage of the healthy properties in the goats milk. We hope that one day, Michigan will allow the sale of raw milk again for it’s consumers so they may benefit from the healthy properties.
Does it matter? Well, much of the food bought in the US is from overused, over-chemical (organically or non-organic), overpopulated feed lots and fields. We fully believe that our best health comes form what goes into our bodies (nutrition) and that quality matters. If we want to live our healthiest and happiest, we must take care that what we eat, drink, etc must be from the best sources available. This includes happy healthy animals and vegetation, preferably from organic sources but further more, the most nutrient dense foods that we can optimally utilize (such as raw milk). Everyone will have to do what they feel is best for them within the means that they can afford. We hope that reading this you understand how we are trying to do our best for our environment and our animals.