Welcome to Hardison Homestead, where I’ll be taking you through my life as a SAHM and homesteader. Whether you’re looking to live more simply, save money, or already a homesteader – I’d like to share with you how we do it here on our homestead! My hope and goal is to share information and ideas on how homesteading can help your family be healthier (and save money too!). Some may say “I don’t have time” or “that’s too much work”. Trust me I’ve been there myself. There have been days and even weeks that I was ready to throw in the towel along with the responsibility, and in a sense we did take a break. At one point we had around seven dairy goats and my husband and I were sooo excited. We started with 3 babies, two Lamanchas (Maizie and Peanut) and one beautiful Alpine (Basil), both being dairy breeds. We were bottle feeding them several times a day. Waking up early to give them a bottle and getting in late from work – going straight to the pasture to feed soon became our song. We loved it. They quickly learned who we were. We would walk by the pasture and they would hop through the grass to meet us. It was great. We got in a routine and although our goal was to raise a dairy herd and eventually milk our goats, we couldn’t wait. So we bought our milker, Aunt Bea, a Lamancha, who had just had her first kid. Perfect! We have milk… now we just have to get it. Learning to milk a goat didn’t take long for my either of us. We could milk her out in about 15 minutes with my husband on one side and me on the other. Once we became acclimated, we were able to milk her without the other person (unless she decided she wasn’t milking that night and kicked her way off the milk stand and back into the pasture). Milking soon became my job. I could milk her out in less time than what it used to take both of us to. Farming was great. We loved what we had established and eventually purchased two twin Alpine kids, Saber and another one, whose name I honestly can’t remember. We had great breeding plans. A plan to build our herd with hopes of milking to supply our immediate family with fresh milk within a years time. I mean we did our homework. We were worming them the way we needed to. Checking their eyelids: pink=healthy white=you needed to worm; asap. We were giving them a preventive herbal wormer that we mixed with molasses and rolled into balls and gave them as “treats”. But then came rain. And a lot of it. We quickly learned about barber pole worms. A parasite that when the soil is so wet climbs the blades of grass to get away from the moisture. At that point they become ingested by your herd. For some reason barber pole worms don’t affect cows but they will kill a goat. We started seeing some in our herd with the scours (a good sign of worms).
Wait! They can’t have worms we gave them preventives! Once they get scours you have to treat them and resolve the issue quick our you’ll lose your animal. We did everything we could. Things would get better then a few weeks we’d be right where we started again. After exhaustion, tears, and heartache we decided to move our herd into Daniel’s parents pasture. We needed a break from dairy goats. Did I mention that homesteading is hard work? Just remember hard work, high reward. Heck, you don’t have to go buy a dairy herd in one day and milk tomorrow. You would actually need to milk them today too but anyways! Let’s face it… Things don’t happen over night and it’s best not to rush things. In the end, you will sit back and have this amazing feeling of self reliance. And when you can give or do more for your family than any store can… that’s the best feeling of all.