WELCOME TO DEAN HILL
About our farm.....
We purchased our farm in 2001 and are located in the rolling hill country of Middle Tennessee. At first we raised only cattle but, after several years of bush-hogging, we began to get serious about incorporating goats into our operations. Not only are goats an excellent means of clearing pasture land, the demand for goat meat has increased tremendously here in the United States as well. So, we restored and repaired some fencing, built and shored up existing barns, enlisted the aid of my mother-in-law (retired goat farmer extraordinaire) and researched goats and the different breeds available. In 2010, after much research and travel, we chose Kiko goats.
We purchased our first dozen Kiko goats and turned them loose in a pasture with enough grazing for ten times that many. We have since purchased many more, selectively culled the herd and added some from our own breeding program. At last count we are over fifty does and still growing. We have 100% New Zealands, purebreds and some commercial does as well. They are happy and growing and making war on weeds!
Whether you are looking for breeding stock, information on owning and caring for goats, or are just interested in life on the farm, we invite you to take a look around our site. If you have any questions or comments, please email us. We look forward to hearing from you and thanks for stopping by!
Contact us. We'd love to hear from you!
Dean Hill Kikos
98 Dean Hill Rd
Pleasant Shade, TN 37145
Charles and Sherri Reece
cell - (615) 388-3774
The tobacco barn "up-do"
BUCK COLLECTION 2016
ROHO'S BIG DARLIN'
Our Big Darlin' is the largest doe we have ever laid our eyes on! Never has parasite problems or hoof issues. Did we mention she is big? This picture was taken on the road in front of the tobacco barn. No trick photography, she is flatfooted on the road eating off of a one ton flatbed.
A Goat Rancher's Gumbo
10 lbs boneless cubed goat meat
4 large green peppers
2 bunches chopped green onions
1 c all-purpose flour
12 large tomatoes-chopped
1 1/2 T dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 T pepper
1 T salt
8 c chicken broth
4 packages frozen okra cut into slices
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 c vegetable oil
1 reg. size bottle hot sauce
1 pint home canned tomato juice
20 c hot cooked rice
2 sticks of butter
Trim excess fat. Combine flour, thyme, salt, and pepper; dredge meat in flour mixture. Heat butter and oil in Dutch oven; add meat and cook until browned on all sides. Best to do this in small batches. Remove meat, reserving drippings in Dutch oven. Add onion and green pepper to reserved drippings, saute until tender. Stir in meat and remaining ingredients except rice and the 2 sticks of butter. Cover and cook in crock pots on high for 3 hours. Remove bay leaves. While gumbo is stewing, cook rice and add 2 sticks of butter to rice while its hot. Add rice to gumbo just before serving. This recipe made 3 crock pots full of gumbo and an additional crock pot full of rice. Served approximately 200 taste test servings. Would feed a crowd of 40-50 as main course. Or 30 hungry farm hands!!
New Year, New Goals?
We all have goals going into the New Year. On our top two on list this year?
1) Healthier lifestyle
2) More time with family & friends.
But what about our farm goals? We are spending the time between fall kidding and the upcoming February due dates, thinking about our plans for 2020. Since this lull in kidding coincides with the end of the calendar year, it also has us looking over our shoulders at the opportunities we have had and the choices we made in 2019.
Keeping this "know where you have been" in mind, and because we like to learn from others experiences, we would like to share our experience with October kidding.
While the kids have not weaned yet, we can discuss what we have experienced so far. And so far we have been pleasantly surprised! We decided to try October because of the mild weather we experience during this time in our area. We also wanted Thanksgiving and Christmas to be uninterrupted with trips to the barn!!
The does won't come in heat and the bucks won't breed in May.
A good portion of the girls DID come in heat and both bucks DID perform in May. Did we get 100%? No. Did we get more than 50%? Yes. Did we give shots, insert CIDRs or run a teaser buck? No.
There will be a greater number of singles because the time of the year.
Our average was 2.2 kids per doe. AND we only lost one kid. And only one doe singled. The weather was cooperative. We did not have lows in the single digits, no snow, no freezing rain. The does still had forage.
You will be kidding for weeks and weeks.
91% of the herd mothers kidded within an eight day period, even though the does were with the bucks for four and a half weeks.
Weaning in January!
While we are not there yet, weaning will begin for the bucklings in the next two weeks. The extended forecast over that period shows average highs of 53. That is the kind of weather we see in March!! According to the Farmer's Almanac the best days to wean in January are the 19th to the 28th. Only the later-born bucklings will wean during this period.
All the does will not stick and we will have two groups to kid.
That is exactly what we are going to experience. Of all of the concerns we had, this was what we considered the least of the potential issues. As much as we would like to have all the kidding wrapped up in a given four week period, for the last ten years of kidding, we haven't reached that goal yet. And truly, we are not sure that's what we want. With two groups of our herd kidding at different times, our girls have more shelter space with fewer herd moms kidding at same time. Yes we go through the data collection/weaning/etc. twice. No big deal to us!!
We will check the end results of our early fall kidding and keep you all posted. For now, we are very pleased with what we are seeing from our moms and the kids. We should also have some comparative data on wean weights of October born kids vs. February born. I'm looking forward to evaluating the results. If you have specific questions or concerns, let us know! We would love to talk to you about our goats!!
Breeding with Purpose
When we began raising kikos, we had very little experience with them. Fortunately, we found what we were told about kikos is true. They are parasite resistant, they do have good feet, they do make good mothers, etc.....
Even with the top-notch herd of mothers we have, our goal is always towards improvement. Better weight gains, higher kidding rates, and increased overall herd health.
Selection of replacement does is important to the future of your herd. While it isn't possible to be certain what kind of mother a doeling will make, you can get an idea if the odds are in her favor by looking at her mother's history and what her sire's lineage brings to the table. Are they known for producing does with good udders, sound feet, heavy milkers? Ask questions of your breeder. Know what you need and be an informed buyer!
Once your moms are proven and solid, then breed towards your goals. Buck selection is key in building a better kiko!
Constant focus on size can leave gaps in resistance. Focusing on color and resistance can create a decrease in overall weaning weights. Keep detailed records. And while there are very few perfect goats, there are goats that are 95% perfect! Aim high!! Try to build the perfect goat. Find what areas need improvement and select replacement mothers and bucks that can help you reach your goals!
To see if we have something you are looking to add to your herd, please take a look at our Herdsires page and the Our Does page. And if we can answer any questions for you, just give us a call or send us an email. We love talking goat!!