Sisters Calandra and Summer Kosch took over the family farm from their parents near Shelby, Nebraska. The five-acre parcel had been used to raise paint horses, but they were sold off when the parents moved to town. Calandra says she and Summer wanted to raise something. They enjoyed having pet goats as children, so they decided on Nigerian dwarf goats.
"We did a lot of research and we wanted something small because we’re two women living together and we wanted a small animal that would easy for us to handle. We wanted a small breed with a purpose, and Nigerian dwarf just happened to be the smallest recognized dairy goat," says Calandra. "So we’re like, well, that’s a good breed. We want something that has a purpose and not just a pet, so that’s why we ended up choosing Nigerian dwarfs."
Calandra says they now have 60 goats, and sell the babies. Most customers looking for pets are drawn to the one-to-two-week old kids that are just cute as can be. They’re happy go-lucky and jump and twist in the air like acrobats.
The sisters are also experimenting with ways to use the goat milk.
"We do make goat milk soap, and we have tried our hand at cheeses. We have been successful with cheese, a couple of different times," says Calandra. "Inventions don’t always turn out, but other ones do because you try to make different flavors of cheese. But as of right now, those are the only things we’ve tried. I’m sure we would like to learn much, much more with it."
Calandra says running the goat farm is a family affair. Their mom, Deb, comes out for baby watch in the birthing barn, and helps the veterinarian with herd care. Dad Bruce is the builder, custom pen designer, and takes care of general repairs and landscaping. Nephews and nieces have fun bottle-feeding the baby goats and assisting with chores.
Learn more about the sisters and Swiftwind Farm
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