Welcome to Ladybug Hill Farm

Ladybug Hill is a small 8 acre farm located in Rawley Springs at the base of the beautiful Allegheny Mountain ridge west of Harrisonburg Virginia. Once a horse farm, Ladybug Hill is now primarily a hobby farm with a focus on raising Boer goats and Silver Fox rabbits.

Our goal is to produce robust, correct, fast-growing goats that adhere to the breed standards set forth by the ABGA. We would like to promote the Boer breed, as a sustainable meat breed that has high rates of reproductive efficiency and growth. We strive towards a show quality herd without sacrificing hardiness with culls being used for our own consumption or sold to the local market. We track ADGs for growth for performance data.  We do a limited amount of showing due to schedule constraints but we buy proven show stock/genetics including several Ennobled bucks.

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Our History:

I first decided to get a couple of goats to help with pasture management and weed control here on my horse farm.  Having another species of animal that is a compatible grazer can be a great way to control weeds and parasites.  The farm is not conducive to bush-hogging and I don't like using chemicals to control weeds.   I have been very pleased with the pasture improvement results.

I first got interested in the  Boer breed so that the goats would have a dual purpose.  Weed control was the original intent, but I quickly decided that raising drug-free meat would be desirable.  Goat meat is the "most eaten" meat in the world.  I have discovered many recipes for goat meat that I enjoy. 

In addition to raising healthy drug-free ethical meat, I have also discovered the art of cheese-making.  Although, we generally raise meat type of goats, we try to keep at least one full dairy goat on the farm and have even milked our percentage and fullblood Boers.  We use the milk for any bottle kids, and to make cheese and kefir.

Current Breeding Program:  Show Quality Boers with Top Pedigrees

Over the years, Ladybug Hill Farm has improved the herd dramatically and continue to add high quality bucks. All of our goats are registered with ABGA.  With my experience of breeding horses I understood the necessity of producing top quality offspring with proven bloodlines and sound conformation.  We generally only choose traditional bucks with show records and good temperaments.   I will offer a selection of high quality breeding stock to buyers and occasionally have meat goats or show wethers for sale.  I do not plan on offering many intact buck kids for sale unless we have one that is exceptional. 

Regarding conformation, I pay particular attention to soundness of legs and feet.  My ideal goat would resemble the large, hardy South African goat that grazes over long distances and that has a strong back and hind leg capable of allowing the goat to stand up on its hind legs to reach higher browsing branches.  The trend in the U.S. show ring is to breed animals that can be posed beautifully but that actually have shallow jaws, bad feet, a short hip, and an overly straight hock.  None of these characteristics are desirable and U.S. breeders should consider the long range impact on the breed type.  I would like to see the successful show ring type to resemble a true meat type with sound structure and optimal substance that can be raised economically for its original purpose.

General Management

The goats at Ladybug Hill are raised on pasture with shelter from rain and wind.   They are supplemented with a good quality custom goat feed and goat mineral and hay all year round.  I feed to maintain good condition but I do not "push" the kids with overfeeding.  I believe in raising livestock in as natural a way as possible.  Any goat that cannot maintain condition on my simple feeding program is culled.  I do not deworm on a schedule but based on need.  This practice selects for resistance to parasites, a highly desirable quality in meat goats.  Some does are only wormed at kidding.

Resources:

American Boer Goat Association

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Human Services

Boer Goats Breeders Alliance of the Virginia

Gestation Calculator

 

Saffron and my son
Photo by Jill Pariseault

 

All content copyrighted Ladybug Hill Farm 2019