About EB Ranch
For the past eight years I have been raising goats for milk and meat. Along with goats I have also raised chickens for eggs and meat. To add to the mix, I am currently raising geese and chocolate breed turkeys. At the moment though, my main focus is on my goats, particularly my San Clemente Island Goats. The San Clemente are an endangered species of goat that total roughly 700 worldwide. I became interested in this goat mainly because they are supposed to be extremely hardy, parasite and disease resistant.
I started a garden the first full summer Bob and I moved to the beautiful countryside of western Wisconsin. Our little farm had a lot of work to be done to make it at least presentable.
In August of 2015 Bob and I moved to a new place with 40 acres. There is a little over 5 acres of pasture area and the rest is wooded. We had been looking for a new place for a few years, we just needed a more secluded spot, and boy did we ever find it! We are currently working on getting a solar panel system up and running before the winter of 2016. Bob has built a small shed for our tractor and to have winter housing for the goats. We put up our hoop house right away and where able to take over an old garden spot an establish new garden beds.
I bought electric net fencing to start rotational pasture grazing for all of the animals. I house the goats, geese and turkeys together and move them on a 1 to 2 week basis, depending on how quickly they need new grazing areas. The old grazing areas are left to rest for at least 30 days before they are put back onto that area. This helps prevent parasite infestations and lets the grass grow back. I have already seen how the animals manure has improved the ground in the last 6 months. I am so excited to keep move forward with rotational grazing and implement different tools with this. Like planting in medicinal plants or cover crops into potential pastures. Or to use the geese to clear weeds or open up new garden spots. There is a lot of potential!
All the Poultry
First thing I did when I moved out into the country was buy five laying hens. Their numbers quickly increased - I bought five more a month or so later. As the years progressed I have ordered more from hatcheries and have hatched many out on my own. Not to mention the random broody hen that hides for a month only to return with a dozen fuzzy little chicks scooting along behind her!
I only have a few chickens left as I have moved into raising a few ducks and geese for pasture management and eggs!
I keep a mixed flock of cayuga and blue swedish ducks. Plus around 10 geese. I would someday like to move into getting cotton patch breed geese, but this group is just fine for the time being.
I also raise cornish cross chickens and various breeds of turkeys which are raised for meat. I do meat CSA shares, so keep your eyes open on my store page for yearly signups.
The San Clemente Island Goats
San Clemente Island Goats. These goats are my obsession, my passion, the reason I get up so early every morning and am still excited to do chores! These beautiful creatures are considered to be critically endangered according the the Livestock Conservatory. Their numbers as of 2014 are in the 600s.
These goats piqued my curiosity because of their independent nature and supposed hardiness against disease and parasites. They are a multi-purpose animal, for both milk, meat, and even fiber - I like the idea of having multi-purpose farm animals. Their milk butterfat content can be as high as 6%, while Nubian goats that are supposed to have the highest butterfat only range around 4.6%. So I'm going to have some rich milk from my ladies.
Here is a link with information about these goats:
The Livestock Conservancy
There are now over 50 purebred San Clemente Island Goats on EB Ranch. In the fall of 2018 I took on around 25+ more animals with many of them already pregnant. I'm excited to be moving into a new chapter of the farm, and that is having goat meat shares and breeding stock available for purchase in the future. You can always check into my store page to see if there is any available.
A Little Bit About Bob
As I randomly throw the name Bob around I'll give everyone a quick introduction. Bob is my partner in crime! We have been together for 7ish year. I moved back to my hometown with him.That's a big step for a city boy and a girl who used to dislike her hometown!
Bob has been my support, my best friend, and just amazing. He came up with the name EB Ranch. It stand for Erin&Bob Ranch. Pretty disgustingly cute huh?
So a shout out to Bob, who does the heavy lifting and carpentry around here. I try to help, but he does the brunt of it. Thanks Bob, much love!