Goat Song Farm

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We’re heading down home… to your farms! Urban, suburban, or rural — whatever you’re growing and doing, we want to see it.

Welcome to the Down Home Farm Tours series. To see all the farms and homesteads featured in this series, click here. Read here for guidelines if you’d like to be featured.

Welcome, Goat Song Farm!

Today, I’m so pleased to share Caitlyn’s Goat Song Farm in Sheridan, Oregon. She farms on one and a third acres surrounded by hay fields, and you’re going to love visiting with her. You can visit her farm website here or her blog here.

What is your name and the names of your family members?
My name is Caitlyn Menne. I’m really the only one that runs this small farm.

What is the name of your farm/homestead?
Goat Song Farm

How long have you been farming/homesteading?
Four years.

Share a brief description of your farm/homestead.
I live in the country, on only one and third acres! This little plot is mostly surrounded by hay fields, so it’s pretty quiet most of the time. Despite the small space, I have built the fertility of the soil up so that it can support a surprising amount of animals.

What are you raising, growing, and doing?
I currently have six dairy goats (three still pregnant!), one dairy heifer (Jersey/Guernsey cross), 20+ meat rabbits, 120 meat chickens, 25 laying hens, eight turkeys, three small gardens, a tiny orchard consisting of four trees, blueberry plants, raspberries, and strawberries.

How did you get into farming/homesteading?
I was originally working toward a degree as a veterinary technician. NOT a full time farming job! But my grandpa planted a seed in my heart and mind while I was only twelve years old, and that little seed slowly germinated. It started with just growing meats, milk, eggs, and veggies for myself and for my family. Then it grew to growing things for other people. Then it became a passion to which vet work couldn’t hold a candle. I was hooked. I went to Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farms back in January 2012 and learned an immense amount of information there which has become the foundation of this place. I am a farmer. This is my life.

Any future plans?
Oh, the future plans… My neighbor asked me to farm her land, which is 98 acres of good soil. I would love to see beef cows and meat goats put over there! Future plans include beef cattle, meat goats, hogs, sheep, a livestock guardian dog, a team of oxen to use for draft work instead of a tractor, using solar power instead of electricity, building ponds, building more soil and healing whatever land I can get my hands on!

Any funny stories to share?
Confession: I am afraid of the dark. Period. Exclamation point.

One glance outside showed that it was darker than the inside of a cow. I decided to take a flashlight with me (something I normally don’t do), as I went to do barn chores. My strobe of light pierced the blackness, as I walked toward my destination; its brightness working its way from left to right across the topography of our small farm. I was a little on edge; for the past four nights the goats had been in the barn acting excessively spooked, and Heidi would repeatedly stare into the darkness, at a far pasture corner, before bolting to a corner in the barn. Unnerving, to say the least!

I shined the flashlight into the pasture as I walked toward the barn, and stopped so suddenly that one might have thought I hit a brick wall. In the glare of my light, four pairs of eerily green eyes were staring at me. Like some sort of halloween stunt, the eyes began bobbing and moving closer toward me.

“Holy cow!” I exclaimed to myself, “There’s something out there!!”

With no bidding on my part, I felt a huge surge of adrenaline wash over me, and for a moment I thought I was going to throw up. I don’t handle adrenaline well. The eyes were getting closer now, but I couldn’t seem to get my light to shine on the bodies that belonged to the glowing orbs. My pulse rate shot up, and the “flight or fight” instinct started welling inside me. My guess was that it was a small group of coyotes looking for a meal, and they were in my pasture.

With shaky hands, I finally managed to angle my flashlight onto the creatures in the short distance and before me, my eyes I beheld….

The goats.

Duh.

I could now make out Pepper blinking from my light’s glare, and Heidi giving me a withering glance. I exhaled in relief and then yelled at Heidi, telling her to quit freaking me out, for Pete’s sake!! Goats…

(Wardee: Oh, my goodness! How funny — and scary!)

Let’s Tour Goat Song Farm!

(Wardee: In the captions below, you’re hearing from Caitlyn, as she tells you what is in each picture.)

These are my meat broilers at 3 weeks of age. I raise them on organic, locally grown, no-GMO feed and they are kept on pasture!


These are my meat rabbits, also on pasture. Many rabbit breeders feel that a rabbit shouldn’t have any greens until fully mature, but I have yet to have a problem with mine! I put my young fryers (term for meat rabbit) out in a bottomless pen (actually our chicken tractor while the broiler chicks aren’t in it) and they grow amazing with the extra space and green material!

Another shot of the meat rabbits.


One of my dairy goats! This is Sombrita. She is currently milking one gallon (8 pounds) per day and with all that abundance I make cheese, cajeta, and yogurt! I also sell raw milk herdshares to patrons who enjoy fresh, clean raw goat milk!


The picture says it all! Premium quality milk!


This is a BEFORE picture of my rescue heifer! I was originally out to buy an older, already milking Jersey cow. But when I found this desperate little calf I bought her. She weighed 150 pounds at four months of age, when she should have weighed 250 to 300 pounds. She was a Jersey/Guernsey heifer from a top notch dairy, but she had fallen into the wrong hands. I named her Peaches. (Wardee: Oh, my goodness! Poor cow!)


After six weeks of intensive care, Peaches blossomed into a sweet, healthy heifer!! This picture is from May, when she weighed a little over 300 pounds and was growing like a weed. She’s a treasure, this one is… (Wardee: she is really doing well — good work!)


This T-shirt that I bought from Polyface Farm has become something of my signature. People know it’s me when they see the bright teal shirt. You can see what the back says — the front says ‘Lunatic Farmer’! (Wardee: what an awesome t-shirt!)


The farmer herself…. LOL.

(Back to Wardee) Caitlyn, thank you for sharing with us! We hope you enjoy your free thank you video, our gift to you. Plus, feel free to display the following graphic on your site. (Right-click and save to your computer, then upload to your site and link to this farm tour post.)

Would you like to be featured?

Are you a homesteader or farmer at any level? You don’t have to live in the country, you don’t have to be doing everything.

Being on the journey is the only qualification. We want to see what you’re doing, no matter how big or small.

Click here for submission guidelines for the Down Home Farm Tours series. We’re excited to hear from you!

If you’re selected, we will share your farm/homestead pictures and stories in a dedicated blog post, plus you can add the featured graphic to your blog or website. And, we’ll give you a free thank you video of your choice!

Please give Caitlyn a warm welcome in the comments! Aren’t you amazed at all Caitlyn is doing with her space and what a leader she is in her community? Be sure to visit her farm website and blog.

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Comments

  1. says

    Wardeh – this is wonderful! I admire what you are doing, Caitlyn. And what you did for your cow, Peaches – wow! I love, love, love this – all of it, the idea, this particular story, etc. And yum, the milk looks sooo good. I’m looking fwd to more of these. Thank you, Wardeh & Caitlyn!

  2. Treatlisa says

    Good for you Caitlyn!! I just got back from Polyface myself and am so encouraged that young people like yourself are stepping up to the challenge of farming… Best of luck with your farm!!

  3. Janice says

    Wardee, thank you for taking us on the grand ‘Down Home Farm Tours.’

    Caitlyn, what an amazing person you are, you totally inspire me! Not only are you a compassionate and effective farmer, you have a wonderful way with words and photography. I love being connected to a grounded, practical woman, who dreams, imagines the world ‘otherwise,’ and brings about change so beautifully. I wish you success as you continue to change the world around you.

    Wardee, I look forward to the next tour . . .

  4. Martha says

    That’s impressive! What a fortunate cow. We have just under two acres. We can’t legally have a cow and are only “allowed” to have 6 hens OR 6 rabbits. I love that you can support so many animals through healthy land management.

  5. Dani says

    I think that the farm tours is one of my favorite regular feature on this blog–I love EVERYTHING about this blog, but I especially love seeing snapshots of what others are doing. Makes me look forward to selling the big house that we’re in and moving to a more rural area after a few life events are complete (not that I wasn’t already looking forward to it!). Here in town, we can’t even keep chickens, although, we hope to effect some change in that at an upcoming city council meeting so we can at least have some eggs.

    I am impressed that one person is able to keep up with the chores required for all those animals–however do you do it, Caitlyn? Good for you for doing such an impressive job that the neighbors want you to take over their pastures and heal their land.

    Question for you: how do you keep the rabbits from escaping the open-ground cages? Aren’t they escape artists, and only have to dig a little to squeeze under? I’m still waiting for Joel’s rabbit-farming son to write the definitive book on how he does it.

  6. Christal Guziec says

    I second everything that Amy Davis says! Thank you, Wardeh, for sharing this awesome, inspiring story. One young woman doing all this hard work, and acheiving so much success – brilliant! Way to go, Caitlyn! Best wishes for your bright future.

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