Monday, September 17, 2012

Goat Husbandry Class in the hills of West Virginia

This past weekend I had the opportunity and privelege to teach a goat husbandry class at the Chickens In the Road retreat held at Camp Sheppard.  For those of you that don't know, Chickens in the Road (CITR) is a hugely successful blog run from Sassafras Farm located in southern Roane County. Farmer and author Suzanne, has built a virtual community that gathers annually in the fall to learn country-living skills such as soap-making, bread baking, canning and preserving and much more.  To get a glimpse of what this years workshops were all about go here.  As the week progresses there will be a lot of updates and photos regarding the 2012 retreat at the Chickens in the Road site in case you'd like to see what the retreat is all about. 

During the days leading up to the retreat I was gettting a bit nervous but as soon as the class started, folks were so interested in learning about goats that I was immediately put at ease by this wonderful assemblage of  goat enthusiasts.  A few had goats already, many were goat-owners to-be and some were just interested in learning to see if goats might be for them someday.  My goat class had 14 participants from all over the country including California, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Missouri and Pennsylvania.  For three hours we talked about how to choose a goat, health issues, goat conformation and then we did some practical things such as giving shots, trimming feet and learning to milk.  By the end, of class folks that wanted to, had tried their hand at foot trimming and milking.  I had a wonderful time and I hope all the participants did too.

Here are a few pictures Don managed to take while running around helping me.  I will refer you to the CITR site to see more of the activities.

Our classroom.

A kiss fron Lulu my Mini LaMancha helps put me at ease before class.

A student learning to milk on my Nigerian Dwarf Tenacious. 

Me demonstrating how to trim a kid's hoof.


  1. Congratulations. I'm sure all the folks there will want goats now.

  2. Had so much fun at the retreat! Your class sounded wonderful - so many nice comments from everyone that was in it. Your goats are so cute! Loved the mini lamancha! You were so kind to show me how to milk a goat even though I wasn't in your class!