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Country View: Raising miniature goats

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Dream come true

 

Radio interview source: Lora Kniffin, Edgewood, NM, Prairie Wood Ranch

Our readers, viewers, and listeners living in the country have great stories to tell. For example, it isn't often that you can go to the zoo, see an animal you've just got to have, and then get it. As a child growing up in the Northwest, Lora Kniffin saw pygmy goats at the Portland Zoo. She wanted one so bad, and was disappointed to learn that they were considered exotics at the time, and only the zoos had them.

When she reached her 20s, Lora discovered she could buy them and eagerly started surrounding herself with all of the knee-high critters she could. Now, she and her husband Dan raise registered Nigerian Dwarfs and African Pygmy goats on their 25-acre property in New Mexico.

"We have over 100 adults," Kniffin says. "You know if we have a bunch of kids on the ground that can triple. Of course they're all registered so you have to make sure who's bred to who, so that you can control the breeding. But miniature goats can breed year round; the gestation is five months and so you can actually have kids approximately every seven months from a doe."

With Nigerian goats, Lora says people who buy them love getting one with the white foot or belly band. So at kidding time, it's always exciting to see what they'll look like, and if they're born with blue eyes.

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