Indian Valley Goats was started in 2013, purely by an accident! At Krochmal Farms we open to the public on weekends in the Fall each year and one of our attractions is an interactive petting area with goats and sheep. These two species are normally what is found in these exhibits, as goats and sheep have no top teeth, only bottoms, so the fear of biting is eliminated. We were in need of some new goats for the children to pet, brush and feed so we found a gentleman farmer in upstate Vermont who had some goats for sale from his dairy. We were not well versed on the differences of breeds of goats and picked the friendliest of them to take back home. We had purchased a mix of goats that were Nubians and LaManchas. One thing about these lovely girls is that they were pregnant! One of the babies born was rejected from it's mom, the infamous Ray-Ray. He came to live in our house within 12 hours of being born and became a member of our family. Ray-Ray was an unregistered Nubian who stole our hearts and the hearts of many people who follow the farm on facebook as well as the many many visitors we had that Fall. Now, as the moms were now in milk, we were also milking them and realizing how delicious their milk was! Also, we began playing around with all the things we could make with that milk, such as cheese, fudge, ice cream and soap and soap products.
From 2014 on we really got to work! We retrofitted a barn that had been vacant to house the goats on one side and milk them on the other side and began making soaps with vigor. The first year was quite a bit of trial and error until we got our "recipe" just right and began to sell our soaps on our farm during Pumpkin Festival. Although we loved our soaps (and swore we would never go back to the soaps you purchase at the store) we were overwhelmed with the positive feedback we received from our customers. Folks truly loved it and wanted more! We began to try other items also made with our goats milk such as lotions, liquid soaps, shampoos and more - and we would sell out quicker than we could make it.
During this time we had also decided that we wanted to raise Nubians - registered Purebred and registered American Nubians. We chose Nubian goats (their long ears are a giveaway for their breed) because their personalities are just so loving. They remind us of humans with their individuality and total love for us. We traveled to many different states in order to begin our herd of ADGA registered stock with the best available lines, milk production, and most importantly (to us) personality. All of these things carry on in their offspring. We now have a beautiful small herd that is "closed", meaning we do not rotate goats in and out. Our herd is tested every year for CAE, CL, Johnes and Brucellosis diseases (these are all diseases which are hoped to be eradicated from goat husbandry). We also have had our Nubians tested for G6S which is a genetic cell mutation only thought to be found in Nubian goats. This test is only required once for our goats and as long as everyone comes back negative, their offspring will also be negative - ours are negative. Our herd is "clean and closed", meaning none of these diseases are in this herd.
Currently (Spring of 2017) we are working with Massachusetts Department of Agriculture, the Town of Tewksbury Board of Health and the FDA in order to secure licensing for selling raw milk, selling pasteurized milk, and making and selling goats milk cheese. We are very excited for this next branch of our small sub-farm business and hope to make Indian Valley Goats a name that folks associate with quality, craftsmanship and care. We look forward to hearing from you!
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