Hi, I'm Julia! I'm so excited to share with you about some of the things I've learned about goats since I started working at Bend Soap Company. I had no idea there would be so many fun things to know about goats. Since starting in late February, it has been a fun experience to meet the goats, see the production of our goat milk soap and help with the final step of labeling and packaging our products just before they get to YOU!
To begin, meet Patches (below), a very pregnant goat here at Bend Soap Company. Patches is also a great grandma. How can that be? Read on!
What I've Learned About Goats
We have 16 female goats (known as "does") and one male goat (known as a "billy goat" or "buck") this year at Bend Soap Company. That's DOUBLE what we had last year! Since this is the first time I had ever seen a baby goat, let alone held one, I had many questions! I was first intrigued that goats can live around 10-12 years. Goats grow to their full size after only a year or two unless they eat too much and get fat (like Chewy).
Here at Bend Soap Company, we breed the goats every November or December. Goats are only pregnant for 40 weeks (5 months) until “kidding” (giving birth) in April/May. In the past few weeks, we've had 16 baby goats born so far!
A doe can give birth every year. They can start breeding as soon as 7 or 8 months old at 70-80% their full weight. Since their pregnancy is 5 months long, they're kidding for the first time at about 1 year old! We have a few generations of goats all giving birth to kids this month — how cool is that?! Patches, her daughter Gentle Lady, and her daughters Friendly, Sugar, Spice, and Sally.
Goats most commonly give birth to TWINS! A single births or triplets are less common but still seems to happen quite a bit around here. Some goats have the ability to kid up to 4 or 5 goats at one time! Amazingly, bucklings and doelings can stand up within the first 20 minutes of being born and then start nursing within the hour. Goats move right along!
The Johnson family milks the goats twice a day, eight months out of the year. Two months out of the year, they milk once a day. The last two months, before the kids arrive in May (March-April), they do not milk them. To have a good supply of milk, goats need to be bred each year and have kids. A good milk goat will produce more than a gallon per day — even over 2 gallons! Sounds like plenty of milk for our soap (and the kids)!
Did you learn something you didn’t know before? Do you have more questions? Please comment below or contact us! We’d love to hear from you! And don't forget... Come visit!
This blog entry was written by Julia.