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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Farm Living

May 5, 2013

Over the weekend we accumulated a few more animals for the farm. If you would have asked me a year ago if we would have cows, goats, a stray cat with a broken leg, and some gimpy guineas on the land, I would have said you were crazy.  Mainly because I don’t have a clue what to do with any of them.


 In fact, when Chip “surprised” me on Saturday and said we were getting goats, I argued with him the entire way. I reminded him of what happened two months ago when we got the baby calf that needed to be bottle fed. When the little guy got out of the trailer, we ended up chasing him up and down the highway for two hours. We finally caught him and my oldest son was the only one left smiling. 


I will be honest with you, I don’t like learning new things and I am not a fan of challenges. Every time we introduce a new breed of animal to our land, it is stressful. Mainly because we all assume these animals are going to trust us and allow us to herd them peacefully to where they belong. Not at all. None of these pictures give the experience any justice. In fact, these pictures actually make us look like we know what the heck we are doing.


This picture for instance, every one here is contained. I am taking pictures of my new adorable goats. Five minutes later… chaos.


To get them from this pen to theirs on the land involved a lot of teamwork. The only problem, our team consist of 4 terrified kids who are scared of these kicking and screaming goats… and ok, maybe I was too. There was a lot of yelling, crying, and goats flying. One baby got out of this pen and snuck right past me and headed for the hills. Or shall I say highway. So yup, there we went again… a mile chase down the stinkin’ highway, in and out of barbed wire fences. Finally I got the idea to act like its mother and make weird mom noises and he stopped to look at me and Chip tackled it. There is no picture of him in the back of the truck because I was too mad to even think about it.

We got these goats from some friends in town. They said they knew a guy who started out with 5 and years later his herd of goats were paying for his kids college tuition. Chip hopes this happens to us. I may have to learn about goat farming now. Or maybe these lively little punks go to the sale barn in two weeks. We will just have to wait and see.

In a weird way I am thankful for a husband who forces me out of my comfort zone. These experiences, though stressful, always seem to draw all of us closer together as a family. We have to work hard to appreciate what we have. The more we work through these experiences, the stronger we get as a team.


And for this little team of five… you watch, I will have them eating out of my hand in one week.


Ok, let’s call it two weeks…


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  • Tina
    11:35 am, September 23, 2017
    Which breed goats do you raise?
    • Rebecca
      3:58 am, October 23, 2017
      I love your goat escapades. When I was small (I was born in Missouri and lived there until I was 6, we then moved to the Kansas City area, but out on farms, leaving for Arizona when I was ten) we lived on a farm with cows for milking, horses for rounding up cows, a bull to "refresh" the cows, chicken for eggs & food, a viscous rooster chased me & my 3 yr younger sister, a nasty nasty turkey who's mission was to murder the he two of us. We had a goat, I named her "Billy-the-kid" & thought I was terribly clearer, also, had a couple sow with piglets, we weren't allowed to name them as they were food. Life was good, yes we all work from Sun up to dusk but I don't think we kids knew it was work. My dad's parents lived with us in an old two-story farm house and while we didn't happen floor plan , life centered around kitchen table and the large black stove. An hr or so away my mom's parents and grandmothers lived in small (maybe 100 families n general vicinity). Mom's parents ran a chicken hatchery. So we ate lots of fresh chicken, usually fried but also in soups and stews.
      Any way before I got sidetracked. My dad's mom was really proud of her kitchen garden and truck and her peonies. One night the goat peonies and munched them to the ground. She got in the family garden and had her was with herbs, tomatoes. It was early harvest and most large crops in truck garden had been removed, potatoes in sacks safely on back poarch, as were carrots, corn, beans & peas. I learned early about only thing you went to the store for were cloth, penny candy and stuff ordered from o the catalogue - a mysterious book mom and dad poured over. We got illnesses and though of it. Broken limbs ,snap. My sister stepped on a newly sharpened scythe, no problem, I got to go call in critters from back 40 to the barn to safety and milking. And yes goat milk is excellent. Some breeds give more than their much larger cousins and is really good for those allergies. I ramble at this age.
  • Mary Pater
    6:35 pm, April 25, 2017
    Would love to see pictures of your new barn at your farm.
  • Linda cook
    11:38 pm, February 18, 2017
    I love your show and watching your family, however, I am saddened you raise your animals you love so much to be sold for slaughter(at least that is what I assume). The business of animals for sale is one of such inhumane practice. I wish you would consider that.
    • Jen
      3:25 pm, March 14, 2017
      I was curious about the same thing... :(
    • Linda
      7:49 pm, June 6, 2017
      Wow! I was wondering that same can someone save an animals, care for it and not have feelings or respect for that life that they saved....very sad news. I do not eat animals, so this is so disappointing to learn that they are using these animals for profit. Money is not more important than life.....bad karma
    • Karen Wackerly
      5:44 pm, July 3, 2017
      I can tell none of you were raised on a farm/ranch, it is part of life and believe me that with the small amount of live stock they have, feeding, watering, vet care, bedding, and most likely paying hands to clean, milk,feed and care for them. I doubt they are making a lot of profit most likely they would be lucky to break even. No matter what I say I know I am going to upset some people but I was raised on a ranch, and come from a long line of farmers, dairy farmers and ranchers. I got up every morning before the sun came up to care for all our animals, do all the milking collect the eggs etc... and yes some ended up sold for various reasons, I will say because I was raised with that kind of upbringing I know where our food comes from so I have extreme respect for our ranchers and farmers.
    • Laura Peters
      12:19 pm, July 9, 2017
      I feel the same way :(
    • Val
      10:16 pm, October 7, 2017
      I feel the same way. It's so sad to think of animals you're caring for and being kind to on your farm, then sternly sold as food or who knows what, and just to make some money? I truly hope you guys reconsider and keep your animals as pets, not as food or potential dollar signs.
      Love your show!
    • Lisa
      4:09 pm, December 15, 2017
      I so much agree with you Linda. It is so sad to think of the children being desensitized to the process of exploiting animals. I am so disappointed that this couple who earn so much from their show feel the need to to also profit from innocent beings as well.
  • Jane Turnier
    6:50 pm, July 28, 2015
    I have watched everyone of your shows at least 3-4 times and am anxiously awaiting your biggest endeavor to date. But I am writing to ask what breed of goats you have. The babies are the cutest I've ever seen. Thank you for the best HGTV show on the air.
    • Amber Estele
      8:25 pm, April 23, 2017
      I was wondering the same thing. I did a little research and it seems like they are Nubian Goats... I'm not 100% , but thats the closest thing I could find. ( hopefully she'll add the breed if she does another farm post soon!)
    • Suzanne Duffy
      5:57 am, July 8, 2017
      These goats are Boers. They are a wonderful breed. I have had Boers and Boer mixes for years.
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