Kinder Breeder Spotlight
First, what’s your farm name, and where is your farm?
Our farm name is Barker Kinder Gardens. We are located in Western Washington State.
How did you learn about Kinders?
We researched goats online, joining several goating groups on Facebook. One of which was called “Successful Goating with Rosie.” We put our feelers out on what would be a good dual-purpose goat for milk and meat and easy to handle. Kinders were the hands-down suggestion. From there, we continued to join Facebook groups specifically related to the Kinder Breed. After much research, we chose a local farm to buy our first Kinders from.
Can you tell me about your current herd and goals for the herd? Do you raise them for milk, meat, both etc.?
Our current herd consists of 11 does, 2 bucks, and 20 kids on the ground as of yesterday!
Our goal is to provide ourselves and our local community with a source of milk and meat during these uncertain times. Of course, we will are always willing to sell them as pets, too.
Tell me about your goat mentors! What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I must mention Kirsten Simons of River Birch Farms. We purchased our first two does from her farm, and she is more than willing to offer help and advice for any concerns or questions that we may have. She came out to teach us about the basics of goat care, volunteered to be accessible during our first birth on the farm last year and has even disbudded kids for us.
Others that have been helpful include Violetta Laboranti from Autumn Rhapsody Farm and Jasmin Feist, DVM, of Feisty Acres Kinders.
I think the best advice, for us, has been to spend a little time each day with your herd, just observing. It makes it easy to spot changes in behavior that point out a problem. This way, we can address any issues that come up right away, before they get out of control.
What’s one of the biggest challenges you have faced raising your Kinders so far?
I think our biggest challenges have been shelter, fencing and the cost of grain/hay. We are still working on the fence repairs to our 8 acres of woods. Once that is finished, we can let the goats forage. They will be happier, and I think our wallet will certainly be happier. We have spent quite a bit of money on fencing and a new barn, but we are hoping to break even in a few years.
Which is your favorite doe to milk and why?
This is our second year milking. I milked my favorite doe last year, and I am milking her and another doe this year – River Birch Farms B&S’s Cleo and East Valley Kinders Blu Belle. We are hand-milking for now, but do hope to purchase a Simple Pulse very soon. Both the does I am milking this year are well-behaved on the stand. They have calm dispositions, and their teats are large, with large orifices that make milking much easier. We only milk for personal use here on the farm as Washington State has pretty restrictive laws regarding the sale of raw dairy. We may move towards soap and lotion making as the year progresses. I am really looking forward to trying my hand at cheesemaking. Our daughter has a milk allergy, but goat milk is no problem for her. We are hoping to milk enough to feed her AND the bottle babies. It’s exciting to think of all the possibilities farm fresh goat milk has to offer us.