In 2019, Veronica Nasary moved from her home in Brooklyn to a five acre property in Mattituck. From there, she dove into the homesteading lifestyle, planting gardens, building a chicken coop and getting six hens.
“I moved to the country,” she said. “Because I love it out here with the anticipation of having some nice little animals on my property.” She spent close to a year going and visiting the goats at Catapano Dairy Farm. As of last week, Nasary will be the owner of at least two of the baby goats the dairy farm is selling as pets to the public.
“The truth about dairy farming is, unfortunately, we can only keep so many boys here on property,” Erin Argo Burke, one of the owners, said. She didn’t want them to be processed for meat because they weren’t bred for that purpose, but couldn’t keep them all. So she decided to offer them to the public as pets. “For me, I would rather have them be someone’s backyard pet. We just want people to understand that goats are great pets,” she said.
On top of being curious creatures, Argo Burke described them as personable and funny. And although they can’t be indoor house pets, like a dog, they are beneficial to your yard, she said. “They do an amazing job of weed control,” Argo Burke continued. “Especially here on Long Island where people unfortunately use a ton of fertilizers and things on their lawns that just affect our water supply. Goats provide this natural alternative to what nature has provided in overabundance.”
Goats aren’t grazers, like horses and cattle that feed on low growing vegetation like grass. Instead, they are browsers and like to eat shrubs, bushes, weeds and vines. Argo Burke is trying to rehome about 40 of her baby goats, or kids, and right now, has a list of 30 interested parties. Three kids have already gone home to families who are able to bottle feed them, while the others wait to be weaned off their mothers milk within the next week. Many interested families are living a homesteading lifestyle more because of the time COVID 19 has given them at home.
“These people, especially during COVID, maybe went and got some chickens, and realized what a pleasure that is. Even just having animals in people’s lives is sometimes a real reward,” Argo Burke said.
For Nasary, that was the case. “I’m hoping to have a little menagerie of animals,” she said. “I like the idea of goats because on the dairy farms they have to breed their goats, but they don’t really need the males. So, the males need a home.” She also plans to incorporate the goats into a North Fork excursions business she is developing, bringing people out from New York City to explore the area.
Taking on a baby goat may seem intimidating, but Argo Burke assures that it’s easier than you think. They need to be dewormed, their hooves have to be trimmed frequently, which Argo Burke shows you how to do, and they need a simple three sided enclosure to protect them from the rain. “These goats that we have here are hearty,” she said of their Alpine variety of goats. “So, for the most part they are pretty cold weather tolerant. However, they definitely need a run-in shed. Goats are very funny creatures, and they hate rain, they hate wet.”
On top of that, Catapano Dairy Farm provides an extensive info sheet on taking care of the goats and are always around or a phone call away for questions. For more information on adopting a baby goat, head to their Instagram.
33705 County Rd 48, Peconic, (631) 765-8042