June 26, 2019

Photo Essay: Attack of the Baby Goats

When I was up in the San Luis Obispo area last weekend, I couldn't help but notice how convenient my location was to the goat dairy in Cambria.

I'd convinced myself that somehow Cambria was on the way from San Luis Obispo to Paso Robles, where I was headed anyway to see the Field of Light at Sensorio.

In actuality, it added about two hours' worth of driving to my trip.

Needless to say, it was worth it.

You might think if you've see one red barn, you've seen them all.

But this barn, at Stepladder Ranch and Creamery, was the 100-year-old creation of Dutch boatbuilders—with a roof shaped like a hull.

You might also think that if you've met one goat, you've met them all—but nothing could be farther from the truth.

As soon as I crouched down with my camera to take a photo, one goat jumped on my back and started munching on a big clump of my hair. Another soon followed suit. They had to be yanked off me. That was new.

Although some of the other goats at Stepladder were a bit more shy...

...they'd mostly been hand-reared and bottle-fed...

...which means they seek out human companionship, even more than regular goats do.

They licked my camera lens and nibbled on my elbow. That was new, too.

One of them suckled on my thumb, like a baby. I've never wanted a baby (goat) more in my life.

These Lamancha goats were only four months old, from this year's kidding season—too big to cradle, but young enough to be feisty and unfraid.

They've got tiny little ears, like seals.

And the does produce a lot of milk, which is high in butterfat—perfect for making cheese, the primary output of Stepladder.

But they're also really nice to hang out with—even just for a little while.

*Note: Tours are by advance reservation only

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: A Goat By Any Other Name
Photo Essay: Making Soaps with Goats
Kidding Season

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