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A Growing Farm

We’re excited to introduce the two newest faces at Grey Dog Maple Farm, Peter and Kaley. Peter and Kaley are Nigerian Dwarf / Nubian mix goats. Both breeds are known to be friendly, curious, and small. Both breeds are also able to be milked. We purchased Peter and Kaley from Creek View Farm, east of Muskegon, Michigan. Peter is a wether, or a boy goat that has been banded, “fixed.” Kaley is a doe, a female goat.

Our oldest son was able to participate in the Peewee 4H class last year at the Ionia Free Fair with a friend’s goat. This 4H class presents an excellent opportunity to involve young children in the program. They’re able to “borrow” an animal and “show” with a more experienced kid. This opportunity is what led to Grey Dog Maple Farm purchasing our own goats. It’s too late in the season and these goats are not ready for showing, but they are the beginning steps to our children’s own 4H adventure.

Goats are companion animals. This means they do better with a friend, which is why we got two. Peter and Kaley are brother and sister, so keeping them together will also help with the separation from their herd. It’s only been a couple days but so far, they’re doing well. They spend a lot of time cuddling each other and hanging out in their shelter. The chickens, especially the young ones, have become pretty curious about their new pasture mates.

Years ago I had my own goat. His name was Ozzy and he was a jet black, Pygmy. His demeanor was like a dogs. He would follow me around, without a leash and I never had to worry about him running off as long as I was with him. A big part of that was because of all the time I spent with him. That’s what our boys are working on now. Building that trust and spending time with their animals. As those relationships grow, we’ll begin teaching them how to lead the animal and getting them into a local 4H club.

Raising animals is more than just fun for a child. It teaches them responsibility, work ethic, and gives them an opportunity to have their own piece of the farm. Peter and Kaley are already helping our sons build fun memories. They’re also giving them another reason to spend more time outside, and less time inside, in front of a screen. As Grey Dog Maple Farm grows, we hope you’ll continue to join us on this adventure.

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