A Goat for Good Reasons

A Goat for Good Reasons

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fascination with goats and their antics can come about through unanticipated circumstances and in surprising ways. Some people have learned to love and appreciate their goats after unexpectedly receiving them as gifts, after a trial as newbie homesteaders, or by searching for a second career or hobby. Reports of people becoming acquainted with goats and their unique behaviors abound, and the following tales track the lives of three goat owners, none of whom thought they would ever own, enjoy, or begin a new lifestyle with their ‘kids.’ 

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Wedding Goats

Seasoned goat owners are familiar with goat milk, goat meat, and even goat yoga, goat hiking, and goats as service animals. However, receiving two goats as a wedding gift startled Hannah Royal of Indiana. “Quite a unique present.” She laughed out loud. “Surprisingly, I received two pygmy goats two weeks after my wedding ceremony. The pygmy goats were much better for me than a sterling silver service for eight, which would gather dust in a hutch and rarely get used. I think this wedding present is the warmest and most snuggly I could ever have hoped to have.” She named her pygmies Nugget and Baby Girl. 

Royal, an animal lover, stated that she had always wanted a farm. “So, now I have the beginning of one, and all I need are some chickens, a pig, and maybe a cow. I’m also considering the purchase of an alpaca. Animals are so underrated. They fill a void for me, especially these kids. They make me happy.” 

A Royal goat

Royal reported that Nugget and Baby Girl have recently become parents. “And ‘Chickpea’ makes three.” She chuckled. “I have read many stories about goats and will take good care of mine until I have some land of my own.” Royal and her husband hope to purchase a parcel of land during the coming year and continue to enjoy their surprise wedding gift and the new offspring. 

Spinning Socks

Debbi Stanfield, born and raised in Queens, New York, now of Cherry Farm in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, retired from medical services. She stated, “I wanted to own a farm and some sheep.” However, Stanfield’s wishes did not make it to the farm. Instead, “I was introduced to goats from neighboring farmers who lived nearby,” she said, and was convinced she wanted two Nubian goats. 

Debbie Stanfield and goat

“At first, I wasn’t too sure about raising goats. But they made me smile each day and exhibited such funny behavior. They became my buddies.” 

So, Stanfield began researching her newfound ‘kids’ and discovered the craft of spinning wool. She enrolled in a spinning class. “What an eye-opener, learning how to spin.” Stanfield began spinning socks from the Mohair wool. “These natural fiber socks will keep your feet warm.” She held up a pair and smiled. “But this goes further. They are great for the environment and are a sustainable product.” 

Stanfield added, “Additionally, they are extremely durable, and I can help the environment while enjoying a trade.” Stanfield’s ‘Ernie and Friends Mohair Socks’ supply socks, “made from the yarn of my goats and is a very exciting venture for me. These socks should last many years and make your feet happy.” Stanfield’s love for her goats is highly contagious. “My dream was to make something useful.” 

Stanfield has 19 goats and has opened her farm to the public, focusing on the fiber. She has added farm tours for adults and children. “I love seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces. My heart is happy when I watch children get so excited at the sight of our goats. Sadly, though, my little adventure will not bring back the textile industry, but it does support the local industry, which I will be helping for a long time.” 

Mischievous Pygmy Goats

Another retiree, Ohioan Evelyn Wool, had a desire to begin a sheep farm largely because of her last name. 

“Instead, I got sidetracked when my daughter purchased two pygmy goats and introduced me to dairy goats.” Wool had purchased 30 acres of farmland. “I knew little about goats but learned that my pygmies ‘did silly stuff.’ They keep me laughing and gave me purpose because their antics inspired me to write real-life stories based on my life with the kids.” Wool wrote children’s books about life with her pygmies. “My first story is titled, ‘Mischievous Misty.’ You can find the book on Amazon.” 

But that was only the beginning of Wool’s life with goats. She discovered that both she and her daughter had serious skin issues. “We both had used over-the-counter creams for years, but the eczema and psoriasis didn’t improve to our satisfaction.” 

When Wool heard that goat milk soap worked wonders for skin issues, she decided to create an agent for skin using goat milk. After spending time researching the contents of goat milk, Wool found several significant ingredients, including vitamins and probiotics. “This was a game changer. Goat milk is so similar to human milk that our skin recognizes it and drinks it in.” So, Wool and her daughter created a product using goat milk, which she states, “Contains all-natural ingredients, and may help with psoriasis or eczema.” 

These three examples of unanticipated outcomes from unexpected goat ownership reinforce the notion of ‘Goat Power,’ a goat’s secret means of bringing joy and health to their owners. From wedding gifts to skin cream to socks, goats bring enjoyment to their owners, to children, and to the public, and will continue to do so as long as people discover and appreciate goat personalities, antics, and natural gifts.

Originally published in the May/June 2023 issue of Goat Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.

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