Tag Archives: Nubians

Goats Love Walking Onions

Years ago a friend gave me some walking onion bulblets. I planted them knowing little about the plants or that goats love walking onions.

Another name for walking onions is Egyptian onions. They are expensive in the seed catalogs. I don’t know why as the plants are prolific producers of bulblets.

walking onion patch shows goats love walking onions
Early spring’s green onion style leaves on the walking onions has become a mass of blooming stalks, most now broken off and fed to the goats. A few regular leaves are beginning to grow again.

The plants come up in the early spring. The leaves resemble green onion leaves and can be used in the same ways. They are great in scrambled eggs or in stir fries.

When spring heats up, thick stalks with pale green tops come up. These produce the bulblets.

My first patch was a small row in an out of the way corner. My garlic patch was close by. I soon learned why these are called walking onions.

Those thick stalks grow tall, produce their bulblets and fall over. Wherever those bulblets touch the ground, new plants grow.

Nubian goats love walking onions
Nubian buck High Reaches Augustus thinks breeding season is on. However the lure of a walking onion snack is more important.

My row is now a patch.

The only way to control these plants and still have them to use is to remove the thick stalks. They could go out to the compost heap.

As I walked past the goat yard, the goats came over to find out what I had. I offered one stalk to them.

Surprise. Goats love walking onions.

Now I go out and gather enough stalks for each goat each evening. First I milk. Then I give them the onions.

Some of these stalks are over two feet long. At first I thought I would break these up as the goats couldn’t possibly eat them.

Not true. This is an opportunity to see those facile goat lips in action.

Nubian buck Augustus begging for more walking onions
Two walking onion stalks are not enough according to Nubian buck High Reaches Augustus who asks for more.

The goat grabs the end of the onion stalk and starts chewing. Those lips keep pulling the stalk in.

It reminds me of eating spaghetti noodles when I was young. Put one end in and suck. My mother was not impressed when the end flicked sauce off to wherever.

Feeding a few walking onions a night makes them last longer. Once the stalks are gone, the goats will eat the regular leaves too. After all, goats love walking onions.

Enjoy more goat antics in “For Love of Goats.”

Ending the Year

Beginning and ending the year happens on an arbitrary date. The agreed upon date is fast approaching. For me this is a time to reflect on the year past, its hopes, its accomplishments, its disappointments, its gains and losses.

Nubian doe ending the year loss

High Reaches Precious Jewel lived a long life here. Old age caught up with her. Some of her daughters are still in the herd.

As a writer I am ending the year disappointed. Only Capri Capers came out this year. My plans called for the third in the Hazel Whitmore series tentatively called Mistaken Promises. A picture book called Waiting For Fairies was on that hoped for list too. Discouraging as they sometimes become, the botany project pages are finally taking shape from the hundreds of pictures I took this past growing season.

Clyde ending the year loss

Clyde arrived one day and adopted me. He was one of my wheelbarrow cats leaping in to ride whenever I had one out.

As a goatkeeper ending the year has its hellos and good-byes. I lost four old friends this year. Jewel and Silk were old and in poor health. Josephine and Bonnie got sick and I could not help them survive. But Rose is doing fine and growing fast.

Nubian doe ending the year loss

High Reaches Bubbles Silk was a big Nubian doe. She lived here a long time and left me with a junior herd sire, a daughter and granddaughter.

It’s so strange how a little goat seems to stay the same size for months. Suddenly the eyes look again and this has been an illusion. That little goat has gotten big even though it was not noticed.

Pretty Boy ending the year loss

My mother’s two cats came to live with me. Pretty Girl left me last year. Pretty Boy enjoyed being outside. He never stopped missing my mother.

Three cats left as well. My mother’s Pretty Boy is gone. Cat, Grey Cat and Clyde followed him. There are now six cats living here.

Nubian doe ending the year loss

Worms are a curse in the Ozarks. Poor High Reaches Josephine was fine one day and too anemic to save the next. She was an excellent milker and sorely missed.

My pantry has lots of potatoes and butternut squash in it. The freezer has enough chopped peppers to supply every meal for months. Tomato sauce is ready for spaghetti and pizza. The garden did well even though I never feel it has. The weeds seem to get the upper hand by the end of the season and leave me discouraged.

Grey Cat ending the year loss

I don’t know where Grey Cat came from. She arrived one day and decided to stay. She wanted only a place to live and food to eat. In all the years she lived here, she would never allow me to touch her. She let me civilize her kittens one of whom is still living with me.

However, fresh spinach beckons from the raised bed. The first Brussels sprouts are ready to pick in my temporary greenhouse. I have learned new things about them and hope to have better crops from them next year.

Nubian doe ending the year loss

High Reaches Bonnie came down with pneumonia as cold winter weather moved in. She was a favorite goat always glad to see me.

Did the year live up to the dreams and hopes I had? No. But the year was still a good one. I hope your year was a good one too.