We follow organic practices in our herdsmanship and allow our does to raise their kids. We are opposed to the culling of newborn kids and retire our does into pet/brush homes. Our whey is consumed by our guinea hogs that also graze daily. We compost all our manure and have a large scale vermicomposting system. Our long term goal is the production of hay on our farm.
Grazing, Pasture and Nutrient Management Practices
Our animals have free access to pasture all year with the exception of a four day containment period during kidding. We are currently reclaiming overgrown Doug Fir Christmas tree stands with the help of the goats and pigs. The goats strip the bark and eat the boughs after the trees get cut, the hogs dig up the stumps. We seed the old tree stands with a mixture of pasture grasses. We also have a large area of seasonal wetland that gets grazed by use of portable grazing system in the summer.
We have reclaimed about 7 acres of dense Christmas tree stands and sub divided it with portable fencing. The soil is not in very good condition and we want to apply cover crops this fall. For this purpose we are fencing additional areas this summer to be able to rest the other fields. The pond pastures are in better condition and we are moving the animals there this summer. It is challenging to move the milking herd since the does have to return to the parlor twice daily. We have finished enough worm compost to apply to the old doug fir fields before cover cropping them this fall. One of our challenges (besides fence hopping goats) is the presence of many tree stumps that prevents equipment from reaching all areas. We can only til in very narrow strips. We are certified organic and use kelp, garlic and fly predators for pest management.
We have a wildlife corridor on two sides of the farm.