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Raising goats is a great idea for your family because there are many benefits to keeping them. They’re lovable, easy to take care of, are a healthy source of milk and produce low-fat meat. Not to mention, they make manure that works well as fertilizer. If you want to get started right away, here are some basics that you need to know.

Housing for Your Goats

Firstly, you need to forget that you’ll only be keeping one goat, even if you just need one doe to produce milk. You’ll have to keep, at the very least, a doe and a wether (or two does, etc.) because they’ll get lonely. Make your housing arrangements for more than just one goat.

Goats aren’t picky when it comes to the housing so you don’t have to put in too much of an effort. All you need to do is keep them in a dry place that’s free from drafts and they’ll be comfortable. A simple three-sided housing structure will do fine for temperatures that are mild. In case one of your goats gets sick or a doe is pregnant, it’ll help to have a smaller, side stall to isolate her at that time.

For the housing floor, use packed dirt as a good insulator and cover it with a thick layer of wood shavings, waste hay or straw. Replace their bedding as needed to stay dry and clean to avoid accumulation of bacteria that can cause disease.

Now for the hardest part. Although the housing won’t require much effort, the fencing will. Goats are naturally curious and have the habit of wandering off when unsupervised, and especially if you have a garden nearby, chances are that’s why they want out so bad! Set up a good fence to keep them in place,  one that your goats can’t jump or climb over, or knock down. They can easily escape out a hole you might have thought to be too small, and they’re smart enough to unlock a gate latch with their mouths. In other words, if you don’t have time to keep on the watch, then put the most effort into keeping them fenced in.

Feeding Your Goats

The average-sized goat eats about two to four pounds of hay per day, minus what they forage. And if you do want to allow foraging, plenty of space will be needed or a good rotation plan. (Keep this in mind if you plan to raise them in a backyard.)

You can pasture your goats on grass and shrubs. As mentioned, rotating them to different areas is a good thing so they graze evenly. Pasture and/or hay is good for them, but they will also benefit from a diet that includes a bit of grain (fed after grass or hay) and alfalfa for extra protein.

Raising Goats For Milk or For Meat

Goats produce a lot of milk. The average adult doe can produce around 2-3 quarts to 1 gallon of milk per day, depending on the breed and whether she’s given birth. As for meat, goats can produce 40-50 pounds of meat, if raised to market age/weight. Check around and learn about the different breeds for both milk and meat so you’re sure to make the right choice.

Although this basic overview covers a few things you need to know before buying goats, take some time to learn even more, so you will have little to no trouble getting started. Go to a friend or family member that has goats on their farm, ask if you can dive in and help them; it will be a good learning experience for you, helping you to prepare for raising your own goats someday. Happy Farming!

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5 Little Life Hacks to Change Your World

Do you want to improve your life and become a better person? Of course, who wouldn’t? However, you might not know the best ways to change that are likely to have the maximum impact on your happiness and well-being. The five following life hacks are little, but applying them can enhance your energy, mood, and outlook.

Get up early

If you don’t usually get up early, you’re missing something special. Rise before everyone else, and you’ll experience a sense of peace and calm that’s not present the rest of the day. Also, you’ll get a head start. Early rising gives you the chance to ease into the morning and allow the night’s cobwebs to lift gently. Instead of rushing into everyday tasks, you can create a wise, positive intention to carry forth and set your mind as you wish. You can also begin chores sooner than you would if you got up later, and so complete them earlier, or be more productive.

Stop trying to be understood

Your happiness will increase if you cease wanting others to understand you. Seriously, you might not recognize how much time you spend fretting over whether others ‘get’ you, but it’s probably a lot. Just imagine how much less complicated life would be if you no longer cared if people had a good grasp on what you were thinking and feeling.

The good news is, it’s up to you. You can decide to drop worrying about how people’s perception of you might not match your innermost feelings and just enjoy being you.

Listen to your intuition

How often have you smacked your forehead in disbelief because you didn’t listen to the warning voice in your head and made a mistake? There’s no point saying “I knew that was going to happen” but not taking notice of your intuition the next time it speaks. From now on, respect your inner wisdom, whether it arises from a gut feeling or thought. As a result, you’ll have fewer problems.

Take a break

You live in a busy world where productivity pays, sometimes anyway. For this reason, you fill your days with activity, imagining doing so will be rewarding. Even if you’re only watching the TV or cleaning the kitchen cupboard, you’re doing something. Nonetheless, your activities often don’t make you happy because you’re stressed.

As cheesy as it sounds, stopping to smell the roses really will improve your well-being. When you slow down and do less, your anxiety decreases. You breathe a sigh of relief since pressure lifts.

Get rid of clutter

Declutter your home and your life will follow suit. You’ll think more clearly and be smarter and more positive when you don’t face mounds of junk each day. Walk from room to room, noticing where mess accumulates and consider how to accommodate it better – not by filling a box you never empty, but by putting it away in the right places.

First, though, you might have to create the “right places.” Hang hooks where items that can be hung are piled. Put goods that don’t need to live where they are back where they came from, and add storage containers where they are needed. Plus, schedule time in which to rehouse items that wind up in the wrong places, because, let’s face it, they still will occasionally.

These five little life hacks have the power to transform your well-being, but you have to do them rather than only reading about them. Add them to your routine behaviors until they become habits, and your life will improve.

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