Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Good and Gross of Goat Ownership

When people hear about our farm many people say, "I would love to have goats and make cheese and soap!"  And, yes, that part of it is really fun.  I want to ask, "Are you willing to put your entire arm into a goat's vagina at midnight or chase it around to gather its feces?  If so, you are ready to be a goat owner!"  This post will review the "work" and "play" aspects of goat ownership.


My mom makes natural goat worming balls for our goats.  Since we are not treating them with chemicals, it is important we check their feces for worm eggs.  She purchased a microscope and we spent an afternoon searching for eggs.  First we had to collect fresh specimens from each goat.

Pearl must have thought we were crazy!

We asked Glenn to do the boys because they are more difficult.  In the picture below, Glenn is thinking how much easier his life would have been if he had married a city girl.

Once we collected samples from each goat, we brought the poop into the kitchen.  We mashed it up with sticks and added a salty solution to it.  It was then strained and put into test tubes.  We waited for 15 minutes for the worm eggs to float to the top of the tubes.

While we waited, Oliver's mind was being blown by frog blood and cheek cells.  

Finally, the slides were ready to view.  We found a few worm eggs on each slide.  We were very happy to find less than ten eggs each.  Our goats have healthy guts!


My mom and I took a soap making class when I was pregnant with Pearl.  She has been reading everything she can gets her hands on about goat-milk soap.  Finally, she was ready to make her first batch.  We assembled a team to help with our first attempt at soap.

First my mom added all of the liquid oils to a pot.  She then added lye to our frozen goat milk.  Pop's job was to entertain Pearl during the lye process.

All of the ingredients (oils and goat milk/lye mixture) and essential oil (grapefruit, in our case) were mixed together until they were the consistency of pudding.

My mom carefully poured the mixture into molds.

The final product smells wonderful and makes an excellent lather in the shower!  Look for goat-milk soap in our shop soon!



  1. Two burning questions here...
    1.) Um, did the frogs fall out of favor now that the kids got the mice? How did Oliver end up with frog's blood under the microscope?!
    2.) You have a bocce court now?!? You're really living the life, poo worms and all.

    BTW, the soap looks lovely! :)

  2. Thank you!

    1. The frog blood came on a slide with the microscope. Our frog is doing well.

    2. My dad spent many months building the bocce court. My parents have quite the party house now.

  3. I laughed and laughed at the photos of you all chasing the goats around and the way they were looking at you! Ah, the things we do for our goaties. By the way, I discovered that they always have pellets ready to go, so if you put on a glove and grab a baggie, you can quickly grab your sample from each goat. I would think it would be much easier than chasing them waiting for a poo! But probably not nearly as fun. ;)