In 1973 our two Nubian does, one registered and from the old Randle herd, were a welcome addition to our small “hobby” farm. We never envisioned where goats – and later our Turkish dogs — would lead us. We never anticipated our oldest son breeding and exhibiting his own Saanen doe to Jr. National Champion. We certainly never anticipated milking up to 90 head of dairy goats of all breeds commercially for 14 years nor traveling to France (where I had lived in the late 60s) freelancing for SHEEP and Dairy Goat Journal magazines to attend cheese expositions and a conference on “milks.” Nor did we anticipate moving to a much larger ranch but with a much smaller herd where we were able to add hair sheep and cattle along with a flock of hens, and continue our work with livestock guard dogs. And we never anticipated my living and working in Turkey at a university somewhere during all of that.
We earned a lot of “goat years” in relatively short time while dairying, something which encouraged me to pursue dairy goat judging and led to my becoming an Advanced ADGA judge a few decades ago.
Now we have a smaller herd, downsized from 200+ head in 5 breeds to about 30 head of Saanens and Alpines, which means less work but more time to spend enjoying our animals.
As with our Turkish Akbash Dogs and Kangal Dogs, we enjoy maintaining purebred animals and working to improve the limited gene pool in order to guarantee healthy, productive animals. Our experience with working livestock protection dogs has resulted in our sending dogs a number of other countries, including Africa and Brazil, where they are used to prevent predation to sheep and goats – and even horses — by endangered species (specifically, cheetah and jaguar).
We owe a lot to family, friends, and other like-minded breeders, for no group of animals is developed in a vacuum. We always enjoy hearing from others interested in purebred Alpines and Saanens or in the native Turkish Dog breeds.
Mike and Tamara Taylor
See us at Patteran Dairy Goats on Facebook.