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Why I chose the Kiko goat

Why I chose the Kiko goat

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I live on a small 20 acre farm. We used to own cows but they have long since been sold. After I came home from college, I looked at my childhood home. The fences were old and rusted. The pasture was taller than I am with sage and blackberry bushes. I knew we had a pond out front, but I couldn’t see where it was. It took a friend and a swing blade to find it and cut a path around it. I borrowed a tractor and brought the pasture down to manageable level. I threw fence’n parties, taking a page from Tom Sawyer, tricking my friends into helping putting t-posts and stretching hog wire in exchange for a bonfire cook out.

 

Everything was looking nice except for one eye sore, the old catch-pen. Honeysuckle vines entwined the gate. Privet hedge loomed overhead, creating a sinister shadow that reminded me of every evil witch movie I saw as a child. Blackberry bushes entangled everything, hiding brown rabbits and the occasional copperhead. We couldn’t even get the gate open. It was way too close to the barn to burn. One of my friends told me to buy a goat. So I did, two Nubian does. I had to gently toss them over the fence. Off into the jungle they munched. In three days I could see them. In a week I could open the gate. I had always had the stereotyped image of the stinky billy that ate tin cans and charged at anything that moved, but these two does were so sweet and gentle. They loved to have their necks rubbed and I would spend hours with them just massaging heads. I was beyond hooked.

 

My farm was empty. No animals roamed the field, except a couple of horses. Weeds and blackberries overran the land. Goats were the answer. So I started studying. I subscribed to the Goat Rancher, I read countless books, and talked to many neighbors about their breeds of goats. Almost everyone in my town had those huge redheaded Boers. While they all seemed to enjoy their goats, the only good thing I would hear was how big they were. They warned me about worms and how fragile this mighty breed was. One farmer told me how he had got tired of deworming goats and bottle feeding orphan kids just to have them die on him. He took the whole herd to the stockyard. I almost gave up but in one of my books had a very brief description of this new breed, the Kiko.

 

It was everything I was looking for. Resistant to parasites, hardy, great mothers, had their kids out in the field, and thrived without supplemental feed; this breed was an answer to my prayer. I googled them and, with every page I visited, the more I knew this was the breed for me. There was only one problem. I live in Alabama; all of the websites I looked at were in the northwest. I couldn’t find anybody closer than a 16 hour drive, one way. Once again my dream was crushed. It seemed as if I just wasn’t meant to own the prince of meat goats.

 

The next week my first Goat Rancher came in the mail. I read every page. I got very excited when I reached the breeder’s section in the back. There under Alabama was a Kiko breeder. I called them right then. They were extremely nice and invited me out to learn more about Kikos and see their herd. We walked through the doelings’ pasture and I saw several that I liked. They took me to their buck paddock. The size of their horns was amazing. They all rushed the fence for a head scratch and an animal cracker. We continued on through the does yard to the buckling pasture, where I fell in love with one named Mahout. He ambled over and stood close to us so we could scratch and love on him. I took him home.

 

It’s been a few years since then, but I still love my Kikos. I have bought several more. I have never had any of the problems my neighbors warned me about. While I mostly kid in the spring, I try to have a few on the ground in fall. It warms my heart to wake up to the sound of the does gently calling their kids for breakfast. I still spend countless hours just sitting outside watching the kids play and butt heads. Mahout and I are great friends and, when he’s not all stinky from the rut, he makes a good pillow on sunny afternoons.

 

Elise Rester can be found at her website, www.kikosofcamelot.com

 

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