Twin Pear Farm on the Local Social
Twin Pear Farm, located in Jacksonville, Oregon is a growing Nigerian Dwarf goat farm. Recently, Grange Co-op had the opportunity to visit the farm at milking time, go on a tour, and learn about their daily practices. The owner of ‘Twin Pear Farm’, Westi Haughey, explained that the name came from the two old pear trees located together on their property. History shows these twin pear trees are at least from the 1880’s and represent the pears that are a staple of the Rogue Valley. ‘Twin’ in the name was not only for the two pear trees but for Westi’s own twin kids, not to mention Nigerian Dwarf goats usually have at least twins! This is how ‘Twin Pear Farm’ came to be named.
There is a lot going on at ‘Twin Pear Farm’ daily, in addition to the constant care of the goats, they also make their own small batch homemade goat milk soap and lotions! Westi’s lotion won best in show for bath and body care in recent competition. Along with the soap and lotion, Westi also sells raw goat’s milk. Nigerian Dwarves are known to have the highest butter fat percentage at around 6%, yet Westi has several goats who are hitting 10%! Three of her goats have made the Elite List for milk, hitting the 97th percentile.
On average, Nigerian Dwarf goats give about a quart of milk per day however, Westi can usually expect twice that from her goats. The fresh milk is frothy compared to a dairy cow's milk and filtered right away which allows for it to be added straight into coffee if wanted! Once a month Westi sends off milk to be tested. This gives her information on their milk and their genetics, helping her know how the milk is doing and if any changes need to be made. Goats' daily nutrition impacts their milk production. Producers can supplement in different grains or seeds to change the production rate. Westi is a frequent Grange Co-op feed customer as she supplements black oil sunflower seeds, and whole barley that she sprouts herself.
On a full-time farm, it is important to use all resources available as well as reduce and reuse where possible! At Twin Pear Farm the goat droppings are collected and sold as fertilizer. Goat droppings make great fertilizer as it does not get ‘hot’ and won’t burn plants like other livestock droppings. They also rely on Livestock Guardian dogs, who serve a very important role in keeping the goats safe from predators such as bears and cougars. These dogs not only keep the goats safe from harm but also save the farm from taking a financial hit if they were to lose a top-producing goat.
The interest in Nigerian Dwarf goats has tremendously grown in interest and desire. Twin Pear Farm goats are sold all over the country to different states. Recently the farm has sold to producers in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Washington just to name a few. Westi has done great work breeding some of the best goats in the area. She focuses on breeding for correct body and build, known as the conformation of the animals, always looking for new ways to improve. It is important to produce kids that have a sound body that is made to last. To her, breeding is more than just a hobby. Each goat is tattooed to keep track of important information such as registration, identification, who their parents are, their age, and if they are purebred. This can be looked up by their identifying ear/tail tattoo. On the other ear each farm has their own specific tattoo to keep track of where the goat came from and to track their own personal information about the goat.
On top of all the great work Westi is doing with her goats, she is also making an impact educating kids and new goat owners on how to care for their animals. She has a YouTube channel called “Twin Pear Tutorials” where she helps walk through all things goat. She answers questions for first time goat owners, as well as more complicated questions, such as how to care for a doe in labor. She believes a more informed animal owner takes better care of their animal leading to a healthier, happier life. She is also very involved within the 4-H community. Westi, along with her 4-H partner, were the only 4-H dairy group in Jackson County for the last two years. She sees the importance of teaching the next generation of kids the importance of caring for their animals.
Grange Co-op would like to extend a big thank you to Westi and Twin Pear Farm for all the work she has done in the dairy goat community and for working with 4-H kids! It was inspiring to hear all the work she is doing and to see some of her daily routine.