With 32 acres, there is no reason we should be spending so much money on hay. And each year, we learn a little more about how to be more efficient in feeding our animals year round. Last year, we bought a scythe and two more sections of movable electric fencing. So, right now, the bucks are mowing the lawn for us. I'm embarrassed to say that for the past six summers, we've been mowing this grass with a gas-powered mower. Not every section of our yard is goat-mowable, because of our young fruit trees, but we are committed to eliminating the use of gas-powered equipment as much as possible.
In that same vein, I am working on halter-training Hercules, which is the first step in teaching him to be a draft animal. Hercules is the biggest goat in the photo. He's a la mancha and was brought here as the boyfriend of our first la mancha doe. However, after he kept jumping fences last fall when the Nigerian does were in heat, I decided it was too risky to have him around as a buck. He is now a wether and sweet as can be -- no longer stinky either. After he learns to pull, we can use him to plow and cultivate the garden, pull a cart of firewood from the woods, and even pull us in a cart to go visit the neighbors.
But I digress -- back to the lawn -- Once the boys have sufficiently shortened this grass, we'll move the fence to another area. We have a solar charger for it, so it can be moved anywhere on our property. The big challenge with our 32 acres is that because of our creek, most of our land is not accessible to modern haying equipment. So, once again, necessity is the mother of invention. If we could get hay equipment back there, we might not have started to think about how to harvest all that grass in a more sustainable manner.
And as for the other area where most Americans pour petrochemicals into the environment to create a green lawn -- fertilizer -- the boys are naturally fertilizing the lawn for us, as well.