is more than just goats...
Wholesome Hill is our farm and our lifestyle choice. We believe in stewardship. We believe that people benefit from good stewardship as well as livestock benefits from good stewardship.
Our goals are about producing a quality goat, a goat who fulfills its purpose. There are different goats for different purposes. Our main focus here is quality breeding stock that is show correct. But equally important is a goat that can produce. We label these types for clarity to our customer base: show stock versus production stock. At this time all of our show stock lineup also has apt production capability in the line, but there is always room for improvement in every breeding program everywhere.
Our herd consists of 120-150 females, 10-20 bucks at any given time. Tabatha got her start in goats with dairy crosses. Our style of management carries with it much of the influence of the "dairy way". Our breeding stock is evaluated carefully. Our animals are hand bred. Our animals are reared with human interaction, parasite control, and every opportunity to reach their genetic potential. Record keeping is important to us, it is the key to making sound selections and pairings.
We maintain a completely clean tested herd. All adult animals here are tested free of "the big 4". This means we test for CAE, CL, Johne's, and Q Fever annually and have a protocol we follow that includes quarantine until incoming animals are worm free with clean biosecurity tests of ALL newly arriving animals.
We have 4 true types of goats here:
Show Type - these are bred for the shape, conformity, and correctness that is required to show in ABGA shows
Production Type - these are bred for high fertility, easy kidding, quality mothering, and weight maintaining
White Mafia - these are bred for size, kidding ease, productivity, temperament, type and yes, white coloration, all of these can trace their blood back to Skittles herself
Nubian - these are dairy does with superior milking AND size. All test double high casein genetically with the end goal to build a Nubian base who are double high casein, have horns as Boer herds have (curved back, properly spaced, and not a risk in the herd) or are polled. Our Nubian herd is in the most exciting growth cycle there is at Wholesome Hill.
Our “show type" is a fairly small group. These are the animals that are likely to produce show competitive offspring or are show competitive themselves. We cull from this group excruciatingly hard; show correct is only the beginning. We also select for a temperament that means "easy to train to the show ring". These animals range greatly in the investment required to attain them, because much more than just show correctness, size, and temperament influence their value. Amongst this group, pedigree, also plays a role - though our end goal is never ever "pedigree containing names". All of our bucks are show correct and selected for a specific trait set.
The heaviest working group here is the "production type". Our brood does. On some farms these are unregistered animals but here we have a few that are commercial, some that are percentages and some that are fullbloods - this is our surrogate mother group because they have proven themselves over time to excel at production. They are selected for a handful of traits that take priority over show traits: kidding ability, mothering ability, parasite resistance, overall health, hoof growth and personality are the most important factors. Why does personality matter in a goat that is not a show goat? Because its easier to deal with goats who are docile and easy to handle. Nobody wants to have to spend additional time to catch a goat when having to work the goat.
The "White Mafia" herd have a special coding in their registration. Skittles original tag number was B257, if you look at the herd identifiers on ABGA's "blue screen" and search "Wholesome Hill", you will see some that have an identifier WH257. That designation here means the animal has the signs at registration that we require for them to be considered White Mafia - size (we are able to make a pretty accurate prediction on size potential even when they are VERY young kids), their direct mother or father must be a Skittles descendant, their mother must be top score on mothering as whole, and they must have shown the temperament as kids that indicate to us they will be gentle, manageable animals if grown out properly. This means we are sometimes slower to register these goats and not all Skittles descendants get the label WH257, only those that qualify here at these standards.