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topic of goats with the same all-or-nothing attitude he’d displayed all his life. Despite this, my mother, Lisa, and I still somehow managed to be surprised when he came home with a whole hoard of the things. I recall watching from my backyard in shock as 20 of the wildest, hardiest animals I had laid eyes on at that time were released. The pack of Kikos raced across the field to- gether in a way that seemed to put the nature of our sweet Kinder milk goats to shame. “He’s gone insane,” I can recall my mom muttering, and I’m inclined to agree with her to this day. To be involved with any kind of livestock, you must be some kind of crazy. If I had to mark a spot, I’d say that’s the point when our Slavens family hobby started to turn into Slavens Family Farm. But of course, the undeveloped acreage of our back yard didn’t turn into Slavens Family Farm overnight. What made Slavens Family Farm was a whole lot more than the land or the animals or the resources. It was the one-foot-in-front of the other mentality as we endlessly tore down and rebuilt electric fence in hundred-degree weather, through forest and creek and field.


It was enduring the heat exhaustion that


caused us to forget to turn off said fence a hundred times, and believe it or not, it was my brother being wildly accused of assault


as my dad was knocked off his feet with a blast so powerful he was convinced he had been physically hit with a brick.


Building a farm creates days you’ll


never forget, before you’ve come to fully un- derstand the lack of survival skills a goat can possess, when you come home and your goat has crushed itself under a mound of hay. And


maybe you think to yourself “my whole job is just keeping these things from killing themselves!”


And you throw your hat on the ground


in frustration. Then your daughter starts laughing at you, because you look ridiculous and you’re sort of concerned that you’ve scarred her for life. After all that, it’s standing


September 2021 | Goat Rancher


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