Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life artist farmer dreamer

year of the goat

Kim of Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Today is the Chinese New Year – it is the year of the goat.

I’ve been thinking about adding a goat or two to our fold.

I’m interested in learning how to make goat’s milk soap and maybe cheese.

I have to confess, I try to like goat cheese, but often don’t.

Do any of y’all have goat experience?


White Winter arrived here at Coral Cottage.


I have to say these last few days of snow and frigid temperatures have me re-thinking farm-yard animals.

 It is a lot of up-keep made more difficult in these extreme weather.  I’ve sure learned that with the cottage chickens this past week.

I must replace the water every hour or so, as it freezes.  I’ve given up on the metal waterer – it freezes lickity-split.

I’m now using cheap plastic ware.

Chickens drink a lot of water.  A lot.


I’ve ordered a heated waterer which should arrive oh – some time middle of summer when it is 90 degrees out and heated water is the last thing I want or need.

Mr. Cottage shoveled paths everywhere to make life easier for us and all the animals.


That Cat especially has trouble getting around in the snow on his three legs, so he really appreciates the paths.

He likes going out to the coop and visiting with the girls.




Inside the coop everything is snug and dry.  Fresh straw and pine shavings keep the girls happy.

  Lucy especially doesn’t like the cold and hasn’t laid an egg in several days.

Mr. Cottage installed a heat lamp for them last night and they seemed pretty happy with it.


All my paranoid thoughts about them knocking it down and setting the coop ablaze were laid to rest this morning, when I woke to find all was well in chicken land.


Here is a little more Chinese New Year trivia.

I was born in the year of the rabbit; how about you?

They are part of a larger 60-year rotating name cycle of years used by the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, which is consulted for special events (such as Chinese New Year), astrology, and Moon phases. This 60-year cycle is called the stem-branch, or sexagenary, cycle. Each year’s name contains two parts: the celestial stem and the terrestrial branch. The celestial stem is taken from a rotating list of 10 terms concerning the yin/yang forms of five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water): jia, yi, bing, ding, wu, ji, geng, xin, ren, and gui. The terrestrial branch is taken from a rotating list of the 12 animal names of the Chinese zodiac: zi (rat), chou (ox), yin (tiger), mao (rabbit), chen(dragon), si (snake), wu (horse), wei (sheep), shen (monkey), you (rooster), xu (dog), andhai (boar/pig). For example, the first year in the 60-year cycle is jia-zi (Year of the Rat); jiais the celestial stem, and zi (rat) is the terrestrial branch. The next year is yi-chou (Year of the Ox), etc. The 11th year is jia-xu, and so on, until a new cycle starts over with jia-zi.

The Chinese lunisolar year has 12 months of 353 to 355 days, or during a leap year, 13 months of 383 to 385 days. The Chinese year usually begins several weeks into the western 365-day year, so the animal designation changes at that time, not on January 1 of the Gregorian calendar.

Below are the 12 animal designations of the Chinese zodiac:

Rat (Zi)

Ambitious and sincere, you can be generous with your money. Compatible with the dragon and the monkey. Your opposite is the horse.

1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Ox or Buffalo (Chou)

A leader, you are bright, patient, and cheerful. Compatible with the snake and the rooster. Your opposite is the sheep.

1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Tiger (Yin)

Forthright and sensitive, you possess great courage. You have the ability to be a strong leader capable of great sympathy. Compatible with the horse and the dog. Your opposite is the monkey.

1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Rabbit or Hare (Mao)

Talented and affectionate, you are a seeker of tranquility. Compatible with the sheep and the pig. Your opposite is the rooster.

1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Dragon (Chen)

Robust and passionate, your life is filled with complexity. Compatible with the monkey and the rat. Your opposite is the dog.

1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Snake (Si)

Strong-willed and intense, you display great wisdom. Compatible with the rooster and the ox. Your opposite is the pig.

1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Horse (Wu)

Physically attractive and popular, you like the company of others. Compatible with the tiger and the dog. Your opposite is the rat.

1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Sheep or Goat (Wei)

Aesthetic and stylish, you enjoy being a private person. Compatible with the pig and the rabbit. Your opposite is the ox.

1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Monkey (Shen)

Persuasive, skillful, and intelligent, you strive to excel. Compatible with the dragon and the rat. Your opposite is the tiger.

1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Rooster or Cock (You)

Seeking wisdom and truth, you have a pioneering spirit. Compatible with the snake and the ox. Your opposite is the rabbit.

1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Dog (Xu)

Generous and loyal, you have the ability to work well with others. Compatible with the horse and the tiger. Your opposite is the dragon.

1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Pig or Boar (Hai)

Gallant and noble, your friends will remain at your side. Compatible with the rabbit and the sheep. Your opposite is the snake.

1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

*the above information is from The Farmer’s Almanac.

signature feather

9 thoughts on “year of the goat

  1. artsychicksw says:

    I just noticed your “In Memoriam” to Cottage Mother….such a sweet thing to do and I love the picture of her as a child. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.


    1. Sara – I love that photo of mom – her step brother is in the photo also, but I cropped him out. I look at that photo and I want to ask that little girl a thousand questions… xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. artsychicksw says:

        I know what you mean. I love vintage and antique photos, especially when they are of family. I have many old photos of generations of my family…some whom I never knew. I like to think about what they were thinking, what was going on in their lives at the time, etc. Blessings,Sara

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I too absolutely adore the photo of Mother Cottage. So very sweet!! I LOVE your house. Ever time you have a photo with it in it I drool. And goats? I am SOOOOOOOO jealous!!!! Oh how I want to add goats. 🙂 I don’t have goaty advice, but I can certainly help you with any direction and/or recipes for goats milk soap! Just let me know. I am the year of the Rooster. Maybe that’s why our previous Rooster and I didn’t get along. 🙂


    1. Staci – glad my house photos make you happy. It is a happy little place. Wouldn’t a few goats romping around just add to the silly factor? You have been inspirational for the chicken keeper in me. I know I could learn a soap making trick or two! That’s a hoot about the rooster. xo kim


  3. Debra says:

    I’m not fond of goat cheese-but I do love the soap. We have goats as neighbors, up the road from us. No humans live with them. They have chickens too. I have never had goats, but this I know from watching our neighbors, and from what other people have said: they love to eat things-not tin cans though. So your trees and things need to be protected. They are very cute, they love to climb on things and love to play. They can get parasites (our neighbor’s humans told us that. The humans come twice a day to take care of the goats and chickens). And that’s about all I know about goats. I think they are smarter than sheep-at least they seem to be more attentive to people than sheep are. They sound really cute too-we love to hear our neighbors blaating to us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My goodness Debra, thank you for making me smile. Yes, I have heard that goats will eat everything in sight. We used to have sheep and goats on the farm across from us and I loved hearing them and taking their picture. I miss having them around. Thanks for all the good info. xo kim


  4. says:

    I know all that snow is a nuisance but it sure makes your place pretty. Hope you did some research on heat lamps at Backyard Chickens. I seem to remember them killing chickens because of toxic stuff that burned off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda – yes the snow is pretty – but we are so over it now. You always manage to point out all my fears and paranoid thoughts – the heat lamps make me crazy with worry. The saving grace is that the coop is so poorly built and well ventilated which is really a good thing. The lamp is off again, but seemed to really be needed in those minus temperatures. I have so much to learn about being a chicken keeper, I’m sure I’ll do some stupid stuff along the way. Yesterday we learned not to let the girls free range when it is snowing. They spent the day on the front porch pooping and we had to pick them up carry them through the snow and ice and put them in their coop come nightfall. Today they are in their fenced in yard like it or not. xo kim


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