How Dean’s Funny Farm Started
Well, about 1996 or 1997, Virginia saw an ad selling "Pygmy" goats. LeRoy said she could have 3 goats (I don’t think there were ever just 3); we went to the sale barn and bought some little goats. We couldn’t tell if they were boys or girls until we got them home, all four of them were males. We sold three of them and went to someone’s house and bought 3 female goats (they said were Pygmies). Later we saw a flyer in the feed store that was advertising starting a "goat" club. Virginia missed the first meeting but did make the second one. That was the start of the Tejas Goat Club, and the goats increased from that point on. Virginia was told that "registered goats" didn’t eat any more feed that "non-registered" ones. That part is true! We decided to sell all our unregistered stock and invest in registered Pygmy Goats. This is where all the "fun" started. The first registered Pygmy goats were bought, one male and one female from Gail Parker. We still have some descendants from these first two goats. Many more have been added and many have been sold.
Now for how the name "Dean’s Funny Farm" was chosen, first of all, LeRoy’s middle name is Dean and Virginia’s middle name is Jeweldean and both were called Dean until several years after our marriage. The "Funny Farm" was how some of the grandchildren referred to our place in the country; thus "Dean’s Funny Farm".
Virginia enjoys going to shows and showing goats she raises or purchases from other breeders. Most of the goats place pretty good, some better than others. All goats born are not show quality, no mater if their parents are or not. Heart of America Tilly, she was Grand Champion Doe at the Texas State Fair in 2000. Tilly passes some very good qualities on to her off-spring; she is now diseased after 13 years, but some of her off- spring is still here and producing. Would like to have a Grand Champion with the Dean Funny Farm herd name. Tilly's daughter Dean's Funny Farm Shasta won Grand Champion in 2002. Now my goal is to have a Permanent Grand Champion with my herd name. This has been a good year in the show ring with one doe receiving two Grand Champion awards. The Pygmies also won several several Reserve Grand Champions, and some Junior Champion awards. Had many show quality babies born in the year 2006. We are now getting ready for the 2007 offspring to start arriving in January. One doe, Dean's Funny Farm Tia, delivered and raised a set of quads (one was bottle fed), and after they were weaned she was conditioned for the show ring again and won two Grand Champions. Tia is due to kid in January and looks larger than she did when she had her quads. Only time will tell how many this year!
After we raised Pygmy goats for a few years, LeRoy wanted his own goats. He didn’t want to compete with Virginia so he bought some Nigerian Dwarf Goats; they are a miniature milk goat (we let the babies have all the milk). We have shown several of the Nigerian goats, also and have won Jr. Grand Champion Doe and Jr. Grand Champion Buck. This year 2006, was a good year both in production and sales. We also did some shows this year with one junior doe winning Grand Champion Junior doe at the Texas State Fair.
The Nigerian Dwarf is a very colorful little animal, and they are about the same height as the Pygmy. They are (or can be) very friendly and each one has it’s own personality. They are very good mothers and are keeping the fence line clear in their new pasture.
The third breed, Boer, has been added to the Farm. The Boer goat is a large meat goat, white with a red head also solid red.. They are now a good sized herd, with two full blood Boer bucks. Captain Kid and The Cody Maker (solid red). 2006 had been a good year for the Boers with many babies, both solid red and traditional.
All the bucks (Boer, Nigerian, and Pygmy) are in a separate pasture, away from the does. When it is show time they are housed/pastured where they can be given special feed and attention for the show ring, both does and bucks need special care/attention before showing.
We also raise miniature donkeys, geese, chickens, ducks and guineas. There is never a dull moment here at Dean’s Funny Farm.