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Goldenrod Farm, situated on 70 acres in northern Maine, over looks Mt. Katahdin and Mt. Chase. The beautiful view and lush pastures dotted with farm animals takes you back to the small homestead style of farm.

Many types of animals are found on homesteads across America, some of the animals we have, are listed to the left. Click on the type of animal to obtain information for each animal we raise.

Homestead farming takes many avenues. We have combined modern conveniences and older concepts of providing for ourselves. We grow a large garden providing us with fresh vegetables along with canned and frozen vegetables. Our root cellar stores the remaining vegetables for winter. Convenience foods are also canned, such as home made spaghetti sauce and salsa.

The large variety of animals provide many products, such as milk, eggs, butter, cheese, wool, soap and meat.

You can write us at our e-mail address.
We will post questions and answers about homesteading, gardening or animals in our question section now under construction.

Toggenburg goats

Each goat will produce about 6 to 10 lbs of milk a day, the milk is very white due to the lack of beta carotene. Many people that cannot drink cows milk can drink goats milk, the butterfat in goats milk is in smaller particles to aid digestion.

Toggenburgs are the smallest of the Swiss breeds of goats. They are the oldest known purebred animal with herd records dating to the 1600's. All Toggenburgs have the same distinctive markings, various shades of brown with white markings on their face, legs and belly.

Goldenrod Farm has 4 registered Toggenburg Goats, Nip and Tuck and their offspring Monkey and Tina. They are all bred and will produce young in April and June.

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Miniature Goats

Snickerdoodle is our pygmy goat. Pygmy goats are blocky, compact goats that are about 16-23 inches tall when full grown. The most common color of pygmies is a black/gray or salt & pepper called agouti. Snickerdoodle is agouti.

We do not milk any Pygmies, but they will produce about 600 to 750 lbs of milk in each lactation, this is about 1/3 of what a large goat will produce. The butter fat content will reach 6.5% in pygmy milk compared to 3-4.5% in larger goats. Pygmies frequently will produce triplets or quadruplets.

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Natural colored Romney sheep

Romney sheep are one of three long wooled breeds. They come in white and natural colors. Natural colored sheep are very black when born but fade out to greys and silver grays when older. The sun bleaches the black coats giving them a chocolate look.

Romneys originated in the marsh lands of England. Their thick stand-up coats help protect them from snows, and they are supposed to be more resistance to foot rot and liver flukes, both problems in marsh lands. The wool of the Romney is suitable for heavy socks, mittens and outerwear. Lambs from Romneys are favored as meat animals due to the mild flavor.

We have had Registered Romney sheep on Goldenrod Farm for 4 years. Our flock of 9 includes 5 mature Ewes, 2 black and 4 white. Each Ewe will produce lambs, usually twins, in April. We also have 3 young ewes, 2 black and 1 white, to increase our flock. They will be bred next year for the first time. Our ram, Thorn, is a white ram, one of a set of triplets.

Each sheep has an ear tag for identification purposes, but they also have names. The Ewes are Leah, Diana, Snowflake, Phoster, and Judy.

All the sheep are sheared in May. Each fleece weighs about 6 to 12 lbs depending on the size of the sheep. The young stock will have the longest length of wool in their first clip of lambs wool.

Don't forget to enter Leah's Baby(ies) Contest or check out her picture in the Photo Album.

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Jacob sheep

Jacob sheep are an old breed of sheep, almost extinct at one time, they are now increasing in numbers. They have two distinctive features, their color and their horns. Jacob sheep should be mostly white with black spotting and black eye patches. Jacob sheep may produce anywhere from two to four horns, depending on the individual. Many people have mistaken Jacob sheep for goats because of their horns.

Hickory and Doc our two Jacob sheep are yearlings, when they get older their horns will curl around, similar to mountain sheep horns.

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Scottish Highland Steers

Scottish Highland Cattle are native to The hills of Scotland. Highland cattle are browsers of shrubs and branches rather than grazers of grass. Their sturdy build with long hair helps them to survive cold temperatures with very little shelter.

Our two steers, Mac and Andy, are training to be pulling Steers, When they are four years old they will be called oxen, until then they are pulling steers. When they are a little older we will get a different kind of yoke for them called head gear. The head gear will allow them to use their heads and horns to do the most of the pulling. The horns of Scottish Highland Steers grow to very large lengths, care must be taken when working around these animals.

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Jersey milk cows

Jerseys are the smallest of the milk cows. They originate from the Isle of Jersey, off Great Britain. The brown color with white shading around the black muzzle and eyes is distinctive of the Jersey. Most people will comment on the big brown eyes, giving Jerseys a deer like appearance.

Even though they are small, Jerseys produce about 35 to 40 pounds of milk a day. Jersey milk has the highest butter fat and milk solids of all the milk cows. Jerseys produce a lot of Beta Carotene which causes their milk to be a rich creamy color, and the butter a dark yellow.

Buttercup our first cow was raised from a tiny calf, she was my anniversary present. She freshened for the first time in March of 96 and we milked her all summer, making lots of fresh butter and cheese. She will calve again in August 97. You can gaze into her big brown eyes in the Photo Album.

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Ducks & Geese

White Peking Ducks are a favorite small farm duck, they will mature in about 8 weeks to a 5-6 lb duck. These ducks are so heavy bodied they cannot fly, but they love to be in the water to swim and dive.

White Emden Geese are a large breed, the males may reach 30 lbs or more. These domestic geese are also too heavy to fly far, but love to get out and flap their wings in the morning! Geese are very territorial and will lower their necks and hiss at strangers. The flapping wings which are very strong and stout beak can inflict many bruises on the unwary visitor.

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Pheasants, Partridge, & Quail

Ringneck pheasants are not native to this area of the state, they require ground feeding in winter not possible in our deep snows. Many people raise pheasants to release for fall hunting, or for their own tables. Pheasant raising is the most popular type of game bird farming. The female Pheasant will lay about 50 to 70 bluish green eggs in a season. She is a drab brown color so she can camouflage her nest that is built on the ground.

Males are very territorial and will emit a loud screech from time to time. They protect their females using sharp beak and talons. Pheasants never become tame, they will fly around and hurt themselves by banging into sides and the top of the pens if frightened.

Chukar Partridge

Chukar Partridges are native of dry south-eastern Europe and Asia. Some have been introduced in parts of western United States. They are between a Quail and a grouse in size. The distinctive markings make them easy to recognize. They have a black eye- stripe that runs down the neck and joins beneath the throat to form a "bib". Bright-red bill and feet, heavy black bars alongside the breast, and touches of rich chestnut on the crown tail and underparts allow them to be identified easily.

Males and females are marked the same, making it hard to differentiate. The females will lay creamy, brown speckled eggs usually in a hollow near a rock or bush. Male Chukar will return after hatching and help care for the young chicks.

Bobwhite Quail

Bobwhite Quail are a small chunky bird. They have a small projection or "tooth" on their bills that helps in gathering leaves, buds, fruits, seeds, insects and snails that all find a place in their diets. This bird prefers open pinewoods, brushy fields, abandon farms and similar habitats. They often become quite tame and feed near homes.

At night a covey of about a dozen birds will roost in a tight circle, heads out and tails in. This will conserve heat and permit a fast getaway in case of danger.

Males will establish their territories and call the females with their loud and familiar "bobwhite". Pairs will build nest on the ground in thick cover, often high grass. The nest is well made with an arch of woven grass over the top. Fourteen to sixteen small white eggs hatch in about twenty-three days. Newly hatched birds are very small - thumb sized - but grow rapidly and can fly in about two weeks.

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Royal Palm Turkeys

Royal Palm Turkeys are a medium sized turkey. Hens will weigh about 14-16 lbs and Toms will weigh about 20-22 lbs. They are colorful with their black highlighting on white feathers. Many were raised commercially before the broad breasted white and bronze were developed because they have an efficient feed conversion and white pin feathers. Now, they are raised mostly on small farms.

The hens will frequently turn broody and hatch young, many other breeds no longer do this. Young poults are white in color and do not get their black feathers until about 2 months old. Hens will start laying eggs at about 1 year, and will lay about 50 eggs a year.

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Seven varieties of Fancy Bantams

Bantam chickens come in hundreds of varieties, and are often miniatures of members of the standard breeds. We have 7 different varieties of bantam chickens, Mille Fleur Booted, Silver Penciled Cochins, Barbu D'Uccle Porcelaines, Black Tailed Gray Japanese, Silver Seabrights, Quail Antwerp Belgian, and Crele Old English Game Bantams.

The roosters are usually fancy colored, while the hens are plain in color. Bantams lay small cream colored eggs year round. Hens often turn broody and hatch out broods of baby chicks, they are very good mothers, teaching the chicks to find food and water and keeping them warm under their feathers. A mother hen will often have several heads sticking up thru feathers as the babies peek out at the world.

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A flock of laying hens

Many farms have small flocks of laying hens, these may be pure bred older breeds or the new cross breeds that are smaller and more efficient.

We raise laying hens to provide us with fresh eggs and help with the feed bill. Our hens are a cross breed using the Rhode Island Red as a base.

Each hen will lay one egg a day in ideal conditions. Some of the things that will cause a hen to lay less are overcrowding, lack of water, lack of light, poor ventilation, or cold weather.

To keep hens happy and laying use the following hints. The space must be large enough so they don't start picking on each other excessively, for brown egg layers this is about 2-2.5 sq. ft. Bedding should be deep and kept dry. The birds must have a constant source of food and clean water. Water is very important, laying hens must never be without water, this will require a heating system in colder climates. Light is very important to keep laying hens laying. They need about 14-15 hours of light each day to lay properly.

Hens will start to lay at 22 to 24 weeks. This first period is the highest production time in a hens life, they may lay about 90 to 95%. After about 1 year a hen will moult, or loose the majority of her feathers. During this time, 1 to 3 months, she will not lay at all. When all the feathers are back in place she will start laying again, larger but fewer eggs. This cycle continues as long as the hen lives, this is one of the reasons jumbo eggs are much more expensive.

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Several breeds of Bunnies

Rabbits come in as many sizes, shapes, and colors as most domesticated animal. We raise several types of rabbits representing a range of sizes, shapes, and colors.

New Zealand Whites are raised mostly for meat. They are a medium sized animal weighing 9-12 lbs at maturity. Fur color is white and normally they have pink eyes. This is a fast growing animal ready for the freezer at about 8 to 10 weeks. We have 4 does and two bucks and raise several litters each year. This rabbit is also popular as a pet rabbit.

Netherland dwarfs are in the tiny category, each adult will weigh only 2-3 lbs. The dwarfs come in all color combinations usually with brown or blue eyes. Their fur is short and ears are also small compared with other rabbits. The babies are very tiny when born. We keep two does a white blue eyed doe named Bluebell, and a chestnut doe named Chestnut. The little buck is a sable and named Thumper.

Lop eared rabbits come in several sizes and many colors. The ears of the lop eared rabbit hang down on either side of the head instead of standing up. Our lop eared gray bunny, is a small sized rabbit and will stay about 5-7 lbs. Kalie is a very people oriented rabbit and begs for attention when we feed and water the rabbits.

We also raise English Angora rabbits and use the wool for spinning. Angoras come in three major types, these are English, French, and German or Giant Angoras. Angoras grow their coats continually and need to be "plucked" every 13-15 weeks. Plucking is done by anchoring the skin of the rabbit with your fingers so it doesn't pull on them, and gently grasping several strands of wool and pulling. The wool is loose due to the new coat coming up and releases easily. Angora wool is clean of oils and can be spun without washing or carding. In the summer the heat bothers the angoras so they may get sheared to keep them cool, plucking frequently leaves them with a coat of 1-2 inches.

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Assorted Pigs

Each spring we get 3 or 4 piglets in April, they are usually about 7-8 weeks old and only about 10-20 lbs. We look for a cross bred pig that will be long and lean. This is usually a cross between Landrace and Yorkshire.

Each year the pigs may be different colors, this year we had two black pigs and two red pigs with black spots. They are all from the same litter so that they get along together.

Pigs love apples from our orchards. Garden produce that we grew too much of, is speedily dispatched with much grunting and slurping. Our pigs are fed grain and have a automatic water fountain that they will quickly learn to use within hours of being in their pen.

The little pigs that come home in April, will be about 400-500 lbs by October.

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A Llama that takes care of and guards all the animals.

Llamas are native to South America, and a member of the camilid family. They were bred to be pack animals, wool producers and meat animals.

Many parks use llamas for packing in supplies to remote areas because they provide a low impact alternative to horses.

Llamas are used extensively in United States for guard animals, protecting sheep and goats from predators such as coyotes. Wool from llamas is prized for its soft texture and light but high insulating qualities. Llamas tend to be very aloof, They dislike hands reaching out to their face interpreting it to be an act of aggression.

Our Llama, Sailor Man, protects our animals herding them to the shelter when he thinks they may be in danger. Sailor is solid black. Care must be taken in the summer that he doesn't get overheated.

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Visit our other pages listed on the index to the left, look at the photo album or leave us a message on the guest book.

Goldenrod Farm has been viewed by visitors since January 25, 1997.

This page was created by Barb D'Angelo.