This is a brief review of how the information on the goat herding method we employ is organized.
Goat herding is a practice composed of numerous elements, all implemented incrementally, yet working together towards a positive outcome.
To simplify practical applications of the training sessions, the information is organized with icons, in the same way a map has a legend that is provided to help navigation from one point to another. The two types of icons are for –
1.Scaled levels of hierarchy for progressive training, and
2. Focus points that are touched upon within each session
DESIGNATED SCALED CONTENT
Like an acorn is the seed of an oak tree, this icon denotes that the information presented is essential in seeding your goat’s herding development.
There is no skip first base and go straight to home. If you’re new to goat herding, be sure you’ve reviewed this information first.
Seedlings are in development to becoming a towering oak. Each season ushering in new growth.
This icon denotes the content is ideal for goats/herds with established training in place. With application of set modalities and regular practical exposure to the process.
FOCUS POINT ICONS
Symbiosis is an interdependent and beneficial relationship between two different organisms, mutually advantageous and harmoniously living in close association to each other with a regenerative outcome.
This icon indicates the content is directed at giving and acquiring symbiotic benefits for or from the goat/herd.
This symbol addresses content relating to the mechanics and course of action to herding/walking goat(s).
Guiding goats through terrain, field, and trail time, and matters pertaining to you the goat herder.
Behooveful is something suitable, beneficial or needful to one’s well being. A word rooted in “having” or “behaving”.
A word having “hoove” at it’s center, most represents a defining icon for all things related to behavior, cognition and disposition necessary for the proper working and herding of “hooved” helpers.
Final words to keep in mind as you consider or apply the information presented.
1. Six years ago when we began our pursuit of pastoralism there was very little information available. This content, and all conclusions of this method are based on our herd and personal experience. Not something we read in a book or watched someone else do.
2. The health of our goats, their individual personality, their disposition for certain things, their strengths and weakness, their conformation and their interaction with us has all contributed to either our success or our failure with certain aspects.
3. We have been herding the same family of goats for 6+ years. Our Nubians are a closed herd. The progeny stemming from 4 individual goats that we acquired as kids, after carefully studying and selecting their pedigree.
4. We choose to practice a holistic approach to husbandry before deciding on nutritional and medicinal matters. Since we are not racing towards any deadline, nor needing to meet any profit margin in this venture, time is on our side. Regenerative husbandry provides us ample time to allow each goat the use of their unique physiology and the environment needed for development and healing.
5. The time we spend with our herd is significant, but not the entire part of our day. We have developed a system of morning and evening interaction, leaving the herd a large segment of the middle of the day for their self-guided field time. They come and go as they desire. We schedule weekly trail time, sessions where they are walked longer distances to areas they don’t typically forage on their own unguided.
6. All of our kids are introduced to the field and trail at 3 weeks. Early they learn to follow the herd, to come and go, to respond to our calls. They immediately take to foraging, mimicking the eating habits of their dams. Once implemented from a young age, there is very little training that goes with this system,