September 17, 2014

Real Kinders At Last

I've thought about my goat goals a lot. The primary goal is simple, really: goats fit well into our overall self-reliance and sustainability goals. They can provide things we need: milk and milk products, meat, manure, and young, and we have the potential ability to provide for them from our small acreage. Breed is a secondary, but important consideration, because it doesn't seem to me that all breeds fit equally well with our primary goal. Because of that, I've changed directions several times, but for some reason couldn't get Kinder goats off my mind. It was fun working on my Kikobian breeding program, but Kinders are a breed proven for the qualities I am looking for. With Kikobians it would take a number of years to figure that out.

I started checking my local craigslist fairly regularly, but gradually began to search in other areas, just out of curiosity. At long last I can share that I am the proud owner of two "real" (i.e. registered) Kinder does! Meet Pan's Field Kinders Daphne and Pan's Field Kinders Helen.

Daphne (left) and Helen (right)

I don't think they'd ever seen pigs before. The pigs (and the Billy Boys)
got their attention immediately (on the other side of the fence).

Here's one of Daphne not partially hidden by Helen

Daphne is a four year old third generation Kinder. Helen is her half-sister and two years old. She is sixth generation. The generations refer to how far the Kinder is from the original Pygmy and Nubian parentage. So, a first generation Kinder has Pygmy and Nubian parents. A second generation Kinder would be the offspring of a first generation Kinder (plus another Kinder of any generation), and so on. Generations one through four receive Certificates of Merits, five and up receive Certificates of Registry.

This seems to mark a turning point for me. I still have my two Nubian does and Pygmy buck, plus I have my unregistered Kinders, Caleb and Bunny. That means I can at least breed all my does this fall and still have milk and genetic Kinder kids until I get a registered buck. For that and a few more does, I'm in contact with a Kinder breeder in the midwest, working out a purchase from her in the near future. I'm also going to give Gruffy one more chance with Surprise (both are registered so their Pygmy/Nubian cross kids would qualify for recognition by the KGBA (Kinder Goat Breeders Association). I confess I'm not hopeful. After all these years I've realized he's on the smaller end of the scale for Pygmy bucks. If I ever try this again (NOT) I'll get a taller Pygmy buck!

So I find myself coming full circle. Makes me wonder why I simply didn't do this straight out, rather than going over the river, through the woods, and all around the mulberry bush.

What about you? Do you have specific goals for your homestead? When do you change direction and when to you stay the course? Where do you draw the line between determination and obsession? I think this is important to figure out so that we don't upset the homestead balance we are working toward.

23 comments:

  1. I have so many goals for the homestead of my dreams. I day dream about it all the time and take out the occasional lotto ticket in the hope that ill be that one in 45 million that wins. Most people look forward to a life of luxury but mine has early mornings, manure, livestock and orchards involved.

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  2. Congratulations, Leigh; they are beautiful! My breeding goals with my Shetlands have marched forward in a pretty straight line from the first ewes I got, to learning about polled genetics, to understanding more about the breed's history and claims to fame leading to a firm focus on "extra-fine and soft fleeces" that are "well-closed." But when you have limited space and funds, it can be long, slow going!

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  3. Congrats! I know what you mean about obsession vs. "reality". And there's nothing wrong with going the "easy" way. Sometimes we're just a little too stubborn to see clearly. And you still have your original clan in hopes of your own Kinders.

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  4. "Makes me wonder why I simply didn't do this straight out, rather than going over the river, through the woods, and all around the mulberry bush." Easy! Because the woods are beautiful, the river is lovely and mulberries taste divine! ;) Definitely don't regret the journey you've taken and all you've learned on the way.
    Your Kinder ladies look lovely. I hope they settle in well and take to the rest of the 5 Acres family and that they take to them too. :)

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  5. Lynda, the dream stage is a really important one. It lays the foundation for everything that follows. May your dream come true soon!

    Michelle, thanks! I confess polled genetics fascinate me. I've had several polled goats and it's been interesting to see how the offspring usually carry the trait. When I was at my goal planning crossroads, one thing I seriously considered was trying to stick with polled goats to see if I could develop a polled homestead goat. As you can see, I didn't go in that direction and have never heard of polled Kinders! But who knows? ;)

    Carolyn, thanks! One thing that deterred me originally was the unavailability of the breed in my area. The majority of Kinders are in the northwest and midwest. Too far to easily obtain! That's gradually beginning to change now, which is good because new genetic material should be introduced to a herd regularly. Now there's a better chance for that to happen.

    rabidlittlehippy, LOLOL Thank you! I love that. I can honestly say I have learned a lot about goats! No regrets on that except I often wish I hadn't been so ignorant in the beginning. But unfortunately, that's the way most of us learn, through experience.

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  6. How things start is always a story. You started from a point. Looking back, you have so many journeys as most of us do who try something new. You didn't follow a set curriculum, like college. You home schooled yourself, just like you did with your children.

    After the dying buck incident on Monday, I know that I need to be skilled in many more things than I already know. I would like to raise meat sheep and possibly a dual purpose goat, but I REALLY like small. That may lead me back to chickens. (but you can't milk a chicken) Who knows? My winding path to here is no straight shot, either. I can only think that I have some wheels that are out of alignment because I NEVER take the beaten path...

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  7. Barb, if there's anything I've learned about homesteading, it's that there is no pat formula. What works for one, may or may not work for another. And when you try to put it all together, that can only be done on an individual basis; we all live in different parts of the world, have different climates, different soil, and different goals.

    Now, for a small goat, would you say does 26" or shorter and bucks 28" or shorter would qualify? That's the max height for Kinders! I had my three Nigie does awhile back, but their udders and teats were too small and my hands too big so it was difficult milking them. With Kinders you have a better chance of inheriting some of the Nubian for easier to milk udders.

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  8. Leigh, one of the things I love about your journey (and the honesty with which you share it) is that you take some side trails - or at least explore both sides of every road. Your careful experimentation and exploration has helped you narrow down to what's best for your homestead in every area. Congratulations on the beautiful Kinder girls!!

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  9. Folks who are true homesteaders and ones who seek to be self-sufficient (to whatever personal level that may be) tend to be very hard workers whose goals are important to them. This can be detrimental. I know it has been for us. Nose to the grindstone and all that. If we just work harder, it will all be fine. Not so. If we had lifted our heads up (from the grindstone!) and worked smarter rather than harder, the first part of our journey would have gone much better for all concerned. Yes, it's hindsight, I know, but still . . .

    Congratulations to you on your new girls. You're a really fast learner compared to some of us!

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  10. like everybody, I do have some goals in the things I do. it's easier for me though, because I don't rely on them for survival. it's easy to have the luxury to be obsessed about something, when it doesn't influence the food on your table or the roof over your head. people have to be more sensible where that is concerned or they might suffer serious consequences if they don't adapt. of course it would have been nice if you had the chance to go straight to your original goal - but sometimes circumstances don't allow that and I think you made do as best as you could at the time?

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  11. Leigh,

    Congratulations on your Kinders!!!
    It's part of the learning process to go totally around instead of directly to the source.

    We are learning with our garden and plan on expanding it come spring. We've realized through process of elimination what works and what doesn't in the garden soil here in Oklahoma. Presently, were renting a home with some property. Eventually we will have our own land. Until then, I'm learning about raising, feeding, the medical needs, and the breeding of goats,bulls,chickens, and rabbits through my blogger friends and the local farmers. I'm trying to be proactive on learn as much as possible before we purchase the land.
    Right now, I'm living through you vicariously when it comes to taking care and selecting goats.

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  12. Hey Leigh. Glad to finally see you got your Kinders! I'm in the midwest, so if you ever get over here to get some, you should think about making a trip to see me. I have a very large herd, and you might enjoy the field trip.

    If you don't mind me asking, who are you in contact with? The Kinder breeders are like a big family, so we all know pretty much everyone else. Welcome to the family.

    Have you checked out the Kinder groups on facebook? They are very handy, and nice to join for lots of good tips, conversation, and to see goats for sell.

    I am in my 3rd or 4th year trying to get Kinders from a Pygmy and a Nubian. It isn't as easy as they make it sound. Buying Kinders is definitely the way to go in my opinion. It is much quicker, and easier.

    If you have any questions feel free to email me at kelseegibbs@yahoo.com

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  13. Debbie, thank you for that!

    Mama Pea, we've experienced the same thing, especially Dan, who tends to be a perfectionist and doesn't like to just "make do" on a project. Still, it's a useful skill, isn't it?

    Bettina, I've had plenty of those in my day too. Now I look back and wonder if I wasted my time. I know this isn't for everyone, but for me my homestead goals seem more purposeful. Very true about circumstances. Learning how to adapt has been key!

    Sandy, thank you! I'm with you on learning. So much success depends on experimentation and trying new things. You are so wise to learn as many skills as you can now. They will serve you well when you get your own place.

    Kelsee, thank you! I'm working on a purchase from Kinder Korner. They have kids due in December so I hope I will have new Kinders sometime in February. Have you had any success with your Pygmy - Nubian combo? I so agree it isn't all that easy. I hoped to return a blog visit, but your G+ account doesn't list a blog or website.

    DFW, thanks!

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  14. Lots of us take the long way around to reach our goals. Those kinders sure are nicely proportioned animals. I always believe that things happen for reasons and sometimes we just have to accept that and move forward. You`ll have lovely kids in teh spring if you find that buck. If not, can you ship the girls out for breeding purposes?

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  15. I am so glad you found them. Yay! I hope this works well for you. Sometimes, we have to let things happen in their own time no matter how frustrating it can be. Hooray! Good luck!

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  16. Nina, I have to admit that the long way can be adventuresome, LOL. I agree with you about reasons and acceptance. Some folks do ship their goats but that's a lot of work, bother, and expense. If push came to shove, I could breed them to Caleb, who is more than ready and willing. The down side is that since he isn't registered, the kids couldn't be either but at least I'd have milk and kids. :)

    Matt, thank you so much! You know, I was pretty happy with my plan B, until the chance for plan A presented itself. It took some thought but I'm delighted with the way things are turning out!

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  17. Awww, your new goats are adorable! I'm sure they'll be a great addition to your farm.

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  18. Leigh - Congrats on getting just goats you wanted. I'm watching your goat posting carefully 'cause one day there will be goats on our homestead. I'm learning a lot from your experiences. Keep posting!

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  19. Great looking goats! They're lucky to have landed in such a good home.

    You raise great questions in this post. We like to think of homesteading as a journey. We're always trying to improve, but realizing that it is a journey. We've seen people burn out as a result of jumping in and trying to do too much too fast and we don't want that to happen to us.

    Every year we have learned to do more things for ourselves and have less need of the grocery store. Almost all of our food comes from the farm now. Trying to earn a living as homesteaders/farmers has also been a journey. No matter how self-reliant we otherwise become, we still have to pay property taxes and health insurance. We're finally starting to come to the point where we think that is possible.

    Thanks for your inspiration and all the great information you provide.

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  20. Meredith, I'm thrilled to have them. :)

    Mark, thanks! I've never regretted getting goats. I have learned there is quite a difference in breeds, but I've enjoyed each breed we've had.

    Bill, you bring up some excellent points. What's that saying? "Slow but steady wins the race?" For us, it's been learning to rethink a lot of things, such as what we need and how we go about getting it. So many of our assumptions were drawn from a consumer, production based way of doing things, rather than stewarding the land and accepting what it can provide. It truly is a journey, not only in terms of accomplishing what will help us become more self-reliant, but mentally and emotionally as well, in our expectations of what we can do and how we must live.

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  21. They look very nice, Leigh - congrats on finally getting what you wanted! Did you have a chance to see any of their prior offspring?

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  22. Thanks Quinn. Only Daphne has had kids, twins. I saw pictures. One looked like her without spots, the other similar but with black legs and lots of spots. Not sure of the sexes though. Helen has never been bred.

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