Our new goat, Sweet Pea, REALLY wants to get to know you better.
Chinese New Year is on Thursday, and Slide Ranch is honoring the Year of the Goat by welcoming our own new goat! Sweet Pea is a French Alpine who will be a year old in April. She and Grain, our other yearling, are new BFFs. Sweet Pea will be a good addition to our breeding and milking herd.
French Alpine goats are a domestic breed that originated in the Swiss Alps. They're especially known for their good health, steady milk production and ability to thrive in many different climates. They're medium sized (a full grown doe weighs about 125 pounds and stands 30 inches tall). They can be a variety of colors–white, fawn, gray, brown, black, red, bluff, piebald or combinations of any of these. Sweet Pea's white, black and fawn coat is a common one.
Although they have a reputation as animals who will eat anything, French Alpine goats, and all goats, are very particular about their diets. Goats at Slide Ranch graze on a variety of grasses, but they love shrubs. They love to "browse," reaching up to eat leaves and shoots from woody plants. They are more selective than other farm livestock; they avoid feed that is contaminated or on the ground, and when fed hay, often they'll only eat leaves, leaving stems behind. They have tough mouths, however, so they can eat plants like nettles, thistles, briars and brambles (and poison oak!) that other animals find inedible.
According to Chinese astrology, goats are supposed to be peaceful, kind and friendly. Our new goat is rather shy because she's young, but the goats at Slide Ranch certainly live up to this reputation. Sweet Pea joins six sheep (Xiau, Lil Girl, Priscilla, Elvy, Marley and Mole) and five goats (Rainy, Amber, Verse, Dotty and Grain) here at Slide Ranch. One of our goats, Gala, recently moved to one of our friend’s farm to keep their horse company. Slide’s goats are a sociable group who are excited to welcome the new year of programs and kids at Slide. Come celebrate the Year of the Goat with us!