As you might’ve noticed, we have gotten a barn cat named Oreo. I absolutely love Oreo, and Trie usually brags that he plays favorites, often favoring me over her, Bunkie, or mom and dad. Cuteness aside, I’m dedicating this post to debating the pros and cons of having a barn cat, and... Who knows? Maybe this’ll help you on your own barn cat decision.
Before we got Oreo, I will admit, that I’ve always liked the idea of having a cat of my very own. They are fuzzy, cute, not-so-cuddly, kind of moody... That was the general idea of a cat to me. Now that we have Oreo, I’ll say differently about cats. Oreo is an adorable feline who adores his owners, loves getting pet, and is always the most eager animal to be seen and given affection.
Oreo is a very fun cat who is mostly seen carefully playing on 2x4s and sitting on hay bales when he’s not begging to be held by me, Bunkie or Trie.
We haven’t found any evidence of cat-vs.-rat destruction, but we have noticed that there are less holes appearing near and around the barn. We think his presence alone is whatever keeping the rats at bay, which is a good thing.
Oreo is a very interesting cat, to the sense that he seems a bit agoraphobic (He’s afraid of new circumstances). there is an expression that “Curiosity killed the cat”, and Oreo certainly isn’t an exception. He’s very curious and inquisitive about the big blue world around him, but he’s not very happy being kept outside of the barn.
So, in conclusion, I think that people definitely have the wrong general idea about cats, but I’m not about to go to the store and get 80 cats. I think that Oreo is definitely a huge plus on our farm. Thanks for reading!
Now that COVID-19 has shown people that they rely on stores for food, and stores can shut down, people are looking to add themselves to the numbers of 19.3% of Americans that live in rural settings. Farms are known for being healthier, with better air quality compared to the polluted cities, and a slower pace in contrast to the hustling, bustling rush of the cities. What these farms are arguably the most famous for, however, is their animals. Different animals are good for different things, and there is a lot of debate as to what is the best animal to have on a farm. Goats are wonderful animals to start a farm, due to their ability to clear land, their low maintenance requirements, and their benefits for a small family farm, such as milk and meat.
Goats clear land better than any other farm animal, making them very useful for being the first animal on a farm. Their sometimes small bodies eat a lot, especially when people realize that “a small herd of goats (about 4) can clear a quarter to a third of an acre of land within a week” (Patenaude). This means that land will be more accessible quickly, clearing space for other animals to eventually graze on. Also, “goats rely mainly on hay or pasture to fulfill their dietary needs. They need at least eight hours of grazing time per day.” (“Goat Care”). People need to feed goats a lot more than they would have to feed a horse, despite the difference in size. Rumens (the “four stomach-like” intestine) have the capacity for a lot more than a normal stomach in a horse or human. By letting them clear out a pasture, they are also getting all the nourishment they need. In addition to their ability to clear land, goats are also known for their scarcity of extra maintenance.
Goats do not need extra maintenance, their only needs being food, water, shelter, and good fencing. While horses need to have their hooves trimmed every few weeks, goats are pretty independent, save for fencing, good water, food, shelter, and free-access minerals. “Most of us are aware of the fact that goats will eat pretty much anything, and many harmful plants are no exception. Poison ivy, poison sumac, blackberry bushes and other difficult types of vines and briars are easily edible and even tasty for goats (Patenaude)”. This means, if the goats are in an adequate pasture, they don’t need a lot extra, except for the fact that “the goats also need fresh water daily and a bit of grain, in case they prefer other meal options than the vegetation surrounding them” (Patenaude). As far as fencing goes, “Four-foot fencing is generally sufficient to keep goats in. Young goats may jump over a fence that high, and we have had "climbers" who will climb a four foot fence, but that is very unusual. Often these climbers are pygmy goats. Full-sized goats are just too heavy to get that high off the ground”(Hyde and Hyde). In contrast with dogs, who need higher fencing that also goes deeper to prevent digging, the goat fencing isn’t that hard to provide. The final reason that goats are good animals to start a farm with is that goats are good producers of both milk and meat.
Goats are multi-purpose animals, and are very helpful, producing milk and meat for a family starting a small farm. Goat milk is said to be the one of the healthiest milks out there, as “goat milk is delicious, nutritious and wholesome. It may not be a miracle food, but it does have distinct characteristics that make it beneficial. The fat globules are smaller than those in cow milk and the curd is softer and smaller, making the digestion easier. Those who are allergic to cow milk may tolerate and thrive on goat milk” (“About Dairy Goats”). The fat globules in cow’s milk are what some people have trouble digesting, and many turn to goat milk as a better alternative. In addition to milk, people use products from the goat itself too. “The meat of the goat is chevon or cabrito. It can be barbecued, baked, fried, broiled or stewed. Goat leather is soft and fine grained when well cured. It is used to make many kinds of quality leather items. The dairy goat’s pelleted droppings make an excellent organic fertilizer.” (“About Dairy Goats”) Chevon or cabrito is popular, especially in particularly rural areas, as many people raise goats. The goats become a vital part in a farm’s well-being, making chevon a very popular dish. Goat leather is soft and an overall good quality leather. People make goatskin gloves, as well as “rugs (for example, in Indonesia) and carpet binding.” (“Goatskin (Material)”)
For these reasons and more, goats make a good first animal to raise on a farm. Their ability to clear land opens up the property for other animals in the future, making the land more accessible and people-friendly. The goats ease of caretaking makes them less of a job, and more of an asset to the farm, so people can enjoy the goats more than maintain them. Their bountiful rewards such as milk, meat, leather, and fertilizer in exchange for their well-being leave many goat farmers claiming these adorable goats are worth it.
“About Dairy Goats” ADGA, 4 March 2020 www.adga.org/about-dairy-goats/ Accessed 06
“Goat Care” Farm Sanctuary, June 2012
www.farmsanctuary.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Animal-Care-Goats.pdf. Accessed 06 October 2020.
"Goatscaping" Permaculture News, 11 April 2017
www.permaculturenews.org/2017/04/11/goatscaping/ Accessed 06 October 2020.
“Goatskin (material)” Wikipedia- the Free Encyclopedia, 21 September 2019, Accessed 08 October 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goatskin_(material)
Hyde, Jim and Hyde, Jane “What Goats Need” Pet Goats, 18 June 2019,
www.petgoats.org/what-goats-need.html Accessed 06 October 2020.
P.S. Stay tuned for a video that centers around my paper!
Hi! We've been asked by friends and family members (a lot) what the purposes of different animals on our farm are. This post is dedicated to explaining our poultry's crucial role on our farm.
Our ducks eat bugs in the barnyard and vineyard, such as Japanese beetles, bees, stink bugs, and flies. Pretty convenient for a farm!
Our chickens operate in chicken tractors, eating up grass and weeds, fertilizing soil with their, well... Poop, and laying eggs for our benefit!!! At the end of the season, we take our meat birds to the butcher, and come back with natural meat!
These are some of the vast reasons we value our birds on the farm!
Hi there! I'm Kay-Kay, and I do videos every three weeks through our YouTube Channel! My video images (thumbnails) are usually a purple background with yellow writing, while Bunkie's is a pink background with blue writing, and Trie's is a green background with red writing. This blog's purpose is to share updates on the farm that are not part of that week's video topic! Be sure to check back here frequently, so that you don't miss a post! Thanks!
Hi, I'm Kay-Kay! I enjoy reading books and I love writing! My sisters (Bunkie and Trie) and I live on a farm where we have 3 Dexter cows, a horse, 10 Indian Runner Ducks, 11 Orpington Hens, A Quarter horse, 9 Nigerian Dwarf goats, and 3 dogs (An Italian Maremma, An Australian Shepherd, and a Cane Corso).