Wow. I wasn't expecting my week to turn out quite as it did....
For about two years now, I had been hoping to one day rent a small piece of our neighbors property (it's a total of 98 acres, and no one lives on the property). I think the piece I was eyeing was about 2 acres? Probably more, but I'm not good at judging distances. Anywho, I wanted to rent the land to put my goats on, and was willing to pay up to $100 per month for it. The problem though, was that I was too scared to ask the owners if I could rent it. Yeah, I'm such a coward, I know.... You humans scare me, I'm sorry! It's a lot easier to do things when there's a computer screen between us!
As time has gone by, the desire to use the land has increased, although I wasn't all together sure what I would put up there, and so when the lady who owns the property came by a few days ago, I knew that a decision had to be made that day. I was working on mustering up the courage to pop the question when she beat me to it. She asked what sort of animals I kept, and when I told her that I had goats, her eyes got big and she said, "Say, you should keep your goats over on my property! You can use the entire acreage for free if you like."
Oh corks! For two years I've been wanting to pay cash for a teeny piece of her land, and she just gave me free access to the entire 98 acres of it!!! Be still my beating heart! ;) After some more talking with her, it was set in stone; I now have permission to put all manner of animals up there! Whoohoo!
So the dreaming began... What exactly did I want to put up there? My mom wants to get some beef steers, and I suppose one day we will; but I cringe at the thought of having cows again. :-/ I do eventually want to get dairy sheep, but that is still a year or two down the road. I thought, pondered, and dreamed, before I decided that I really just want to stick with goats and get more of them. My dairy goats will be up there when the grass is at it's best, but I'm thinking about putting meat goats up there year around.
Then came the question of "What do I do with all those meat goats, and can I make a profit with them?" That one took a little more thinking and researching, but as of today, I finally got a viable market for them! I was able to get in touch with a meat broker who said he would be willing to take me on as a supplier, and would pay $1.45 per lb. per goat (each goat weighing between 65-95 lbs.), which is a pretty good price for liveweight goats. :)
So I'm excited. :) At long last, I can use our neighbor's property, I have the freedom to make my own choices over there, and I can get more goats! That's the best part! I'm not planning on putting any animals on the property until either late fall, or early next spring, as I still have quite a few things to iron out first. I need to get more electric fencing, a solar charger, I have to build some sort of movable shelter, and I will need some livestock guardians, as we have a lot of active predators in our area. But it's still exciting getting ready and making plans. :)