There are a number of things I always wanted my kids to experience growing up, and being raised around animals is certainly one of them.
Some of my earliest memories of my childhood involve our backyard chickens and rabbits, and the cats and dogs we always had as pets. While cats and dogs are a blast for kids, you just can’t beat barnyard animals. There’s something about going “back to basics” that kids find inherently thrilling – hence the popularity of petting zoos and farm outings.
Milking our dairy goat requires that I make at LEAST two trips to the goat pen daily for our twice-daily milkings. Far from being tedious, it’s become the highlight of my morning.. and unexpectedly, the highlight of Tessa’s as well! I didn’t even begin to imagine the amount of free time that would be spent just playing outside with the goats!
While I knew that she would enjoy have goats around once she got older, I did not anticipate the thrill she would get each time I grabbed my clogs and milking pail to head out to the back yard each morning. She’ll even grab her own shoes and reach up on tippy toes to the doorknob to try and let herself out if I’m taking too long to get ready to go outside!
Whether she’s brushing the goats with the brushes that are comically large in her tiny hands, chasing them around the pen, climbing in and on the goat barn, splashing around in the water trough fountain or trying to help me milk, Tessa has unlimited amounts of energy in exploring, experiencing and thrilling in her little backyard barn area. And it makes me happier than I ever could have imagined!
Because really, while having backyard goats is a fun hobby and one that I am afraid I may not ever tire of, the whole reason behind investing in this project is to benefit my children – nutritionally and educationally. The entertainment factor was just an awesome perk in the urban homesteading package!