We keep a small herd of nigerian goats, llamas and an alpaca for personal use, as well as 2 great pyrenees dogs, one delightful mutt, and a random assortment of farm cats. Meet the menagerie below.
two llamas and one alpaca
Samurai (aka Barack O Llama) on the left, Golden Moon (aka Michel O Llama), and Tyrion (he talks a lot) in the front comprise our small herd of south American camelids. We originally got the llamas for packing in the Sierras. Although we have been negligent in their training, they have proved to be thoroughly delightful and charming animals. Smart, sensitive, and easy to lead on halter, they also contribute great fertilizer for our farm and guard their little ungulate friends, the goats. Tyrion the alpacas came to us via a friend after his brother died. Llamas and alpacas are pack animals and cannot live happily alone. We have been amused to see him become the leader of the herd, for though his size is small, his gravitas is mighty.
Nigerian dwarf goats
the cutest milk makers ever
We keep a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats for milking for personal use only (the regulations around dairy production are onerous and almost impossible of the small scale). These cute little creatures have won our hearts - they are affectionate like dogs, yet less needy. Nigerian Dwarfs make milk that is 10% butterfat, compared to 4% for standard cow milk, which makes for an insanely creamy and delicious milk. At only 60 lbs each, they make up to a gallon of milk a day, which is plenty for a small household like ours.
they are just the best
We have two Great Pyrenees dogs, Pascal and Thaddeus, and one Pyrenees mix, Sadie. This breed has been around for thousands of years, bred in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain by the Basque people to guard sheep. They are loving, loyal and gentle dogs, that can be trusted to guard all manner of other animals. Ours are old and mostly guard our couches these days, and do that job with dedication.
(thank you Helynn Ospina for the photo of Pascal above)
or how I became a crazy cat lady without even trying
I used to say I didn’t like cats, but cats very much like me. We now have 7 on the farm, most of whom wandered onto the property and adopted us. Since rodent control is one of the most onerous and least pleasant parts of farming, we welcome their help.
The wild things
the joy of a diverse organic farm
We celebrate the wild creatures on our farm, even if they nibble on our produce. From hummingbirds to raptors, golden weasels and giant jack rabbits, singing coyotes and slithering king snakes, the animals we see on the farm throughout the year speak to a healthy environment nurturing all the life on this land.