BUHL — It isn’t hard for Chelsia Newton’s Ornery Goats to live up to their name.
As the animals gobbled their food Aug. 9, belching and snorting, Newton discovered the kids and the adults were in each other’s pens. She jumped into the enclosure to tie up the fence they’d broken through.
Shortly after, she discovered another goat, farther back, had its head stuck in the fence. This is a regular episode at the farm south of Castleford.
Yet, oddly enough, the goats weren’t entirely the inspiration for the farm’s name.
“My husband always tells me how ornery I am,” Newton said, “so he thought it would be a perfect name for my business.”
Why this niche?
Newton didn’t get into goats for the meat.
“I initially got into them for renting out for weed control and weed management,” she said.
That was five years ago. But as she already worked a full-time job, she found the transportation of goats and fences was more time-consuming than she could handle. So she turned to raising them for meat.
Most are boers, South African meat goats now common in the U.S. But Newton heard that kikos are supposed to have better mothering skills and parasite resistance, so she got a few of those, too.
This year, she’s breeding 75 does.
“That’s really the most we’ve ever done,” she said.
Get a taste
Most of Newton’s production goes to auction in California, where she can get better prices and sell dozens of animals at once. But Newton sells some locally, too.
All goats from Ornery Goats farm are sold live, and Newton won’t transport to a butcher. The next group for local customers won’t be available until April or May.
But that could change. Newton welcomes locals who are interested to check Facebook.com/OrneryGoats or call 208-490-1251 to inquire. If she doesn’t have any goats available, she can probably connect you with someone who does.
Goats are usually 40 to 60 pounds before they are ready for butcher. Newton sells them for $2 to $2.50 per pound but varies her price on the market rate.
Ornery Goats had 110 goats in early August — including 50 being leased from another farm. Newton usually breeds the animals once or twice yearly. Most kid in December, with the offspring ready for sale in the spring.
“My eventual goal is to have four kiddings a year,” she said.
She’d also like to sell more animals directly to consumers and increase her herd to 200 goats.