Goats in Nepal

Episode 22
For the Love of Goats

Goats in Nepal featured image


How does a goat breeder go from judging goat shows to helping people raise goats in Nepal? Prior to our interview in this episode, Dan Laney said to me via email that after he spent a month in a coma and then lost his mother to cancer, his life was drastically changed.

“I was devastated,” Dan wrote. “Then one day as I was trying to climb back up out of this big, dark hole I had dug for myself I realized I did not need to grieve her passing but celebrate her life! She was not one to sit around complaining no matter how she felt or what she was dealing with. I tapped into that spirit and decide to do more — to pay back to others what was given to me after coming out of the coma…. It was like my Mother was saying to me to “get with it.” She was fine and was now with my dad and brother. I better not waste what time I have here. Thanks for that message, Mom!”

But he wasn’t quite sure what he should do. Then his son gave him an idea to combine all of his passions.

“I loved people, teaching, traveling, and goats,” and since he had traveled to Nepal on vacation many times since 1990, he said, “Nepal was a no brainer. I had taken almost two years off of traveling to Nepal while in the coma and being with my Mother. All of a sudden I was on fire once again, and I know that my Mother was very happy with my choice to return to Nepal and actually do something of value for the people I had grown to love, not just enjoy them and their beautiful country, but become an active part of their lives!”

But how could he help?

That’s what we are talking about in this episode. Dan talks about his original plan of importing Kiko semen and how it changed when he learned that a herd of Saanens had been imported to Nepal from the US ten months earlier and were struggling. No one knew why.

“The officials in the Ministry of Livestock that I had been meeting with asked if I would be willing to travel to the farm site where the Saanens were housed. The very next day I was traveling in a bus for seven hours to a village called Dhumre, then whisked on the back of a motorcycle up a steep, curvy mountain road for 10 miles to the Goat Research Station (GRS), near Bandipur. My backpack strapped to my body and computer clutched with one hand while the other was holding tightly onto the driver! This was the beginning of a whole new chapter of my life!”

“After three days of shadowing the staff and how they were managing the herd, I started offering some suggestions and the rest is history!”

In this episode, Dan talks about what he learned and how he originally was able to help the goats and the people who care for them. Then we talk about what he did on subsequent trips, as well as what he plans to do in the future. And we also talk about how you can help!

Learn more about the Worldwide Goat Project/Nepal here.

Complete transcript below. 

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goat distribution ceremonies
One of the goat distribution ceremonies in Bhumimata Village
a lady creating little stuffed goats
One of the ladies who helped to create the little stuffed goats that Dan sells to finance the goat program in Nepal.
a villager carrying a goat
A villager who brought her goat to get castrated at the Kavre training session


Deborah Niemann 0:14
Hello, everyone. And welcome back to another episode. Today I am going to be talking to Dan Laney, who has been raising dairy goats since 1972. And he’s been a judge with the American Dairy Goat Association since 1976. And in fact, he has even been the president, as well as held several other offices in the American Dairy Goat Association. But we’re not going to talk about any of that stuff today as fascinating it as it is; what we are going to talk about is the work that Dan has been doing with goats in Nepal. Welcome to the show, Dan.

Dan Laney 0:51
Thank you very much. It’s a great pleasure to be here.

Deborah Niemann 0:55
Yes, this is, I was so excited when I read about what you’re doing. I think it was on the Caprine Supply website, they have a fundraiser on there that if you buy this cute little goat that a portion of the money goes towards the work that you are doing in Nepal, so they’re… I know this is such a fascinating story. Let’s just start at the very beginning. How on earth did you ever, you know, wind up halfway around the world working with goats in Nepal?

Dan Laney 1:27
Well, it’s a it’s kind of a… windy road, I guess, just like we have in Nepal, many windy roads. But it started off in 1990, I actually took my first trip to Nepal. And then over a number of years following 1990, I would go back and explore a little bit more of the country, getting to know more of the people, and just fell in love with the whole — that whole area of the world. And it kind of fulfilled a lifelong dream that I could visit Katmandu, that was a city that fascinated me as a young farm boy in Ohio when I saw it on a map. And it was never a boring situation. For me, while I was traveling with my backpack, and exploring Nepal. And over the course of the years, I really got to see just the beautiful countryside, I felt like I’d stepped back 100 years in time in many cases. But um, I went through a couple situations, let’s see, I believe it was around 2011, something like that. I ended up having gone down to Peru to visit Machu Picchu, I came back and picked up something that was some viral infection that was not known here in the States, and ended up in a coma. After I got out of the coma, which lasted for 28 days, and had it’s own experience, I ended up deciding… I was given an opportunity to do more. And I wanted to, to reach out beyond what I’d been doing. And I was kind of pondering this and kind of following the passing of my mother, it really drove this case home that I needed to do something. And so I talked to my one son and he said, “Hey, what, what do you like to do, Dad? Think about that, and combine that into your next adventure.” And I realized I have this huge passion for travel, people, goats, and Nepal. And so I put all that together and decided to do more in the fall. My first opportunity was to try to bring semen from the Kiko goats to Nepal, and I thought that might be a really good way to help increase the native Khari goat that they had. But it kind of took a turn, because I soon found out that there was actually a group of Saanens that had been recently imported in Nepal by the World Bank project. And I was told by the Nepalese government that these Saanens weren’t doing very well, and would I be interested to go visit one of their government farm sites to see if I could assist the staff at that site in maintaining the health of the Saanen herd? So that kind of started all that.

Deborah Niemann 4:34
Okay. This is such a fascinating story. And I, you know, it’s a long story, too. I mean, it’s been going on for 30 years since your first trip. So, I know, it’s tough to try and summarize it briefly. Um, so what were… So when you first got to Nepal, what were some of the things that you found that the people there weren’t doing quite right, or where had they gone wrong in terms of the Saanens not doing very well in that country?

Dan Laney 5:06
Okay, well, um, number one what I thought was goats were — and this was also one of the big things that I loved about Nepal was — there were goats everywhere. You know, in Nepal, they do not eat beef. And so goat is the one premium source of protein that they have as far as the meat product. And they really love their goat meat. And, uh, but I noticed that there was a variety of levels of husbandry with the goats as I traveled around Nepal. When I actually got to the the government research station, which is called the Goat Research Station and it’s in Bandipur, Nepal. What I found was these Saanens that had been imported from the US, valued out by, let’s see, not only the initial cost of the purchase of these animals — there were 50 of them in the first shipment, 40 does and 10 bucks. And so the actual cost breakout came to $2,000 per animal, by the time the transportation and all of those factors were added into the cost of the animal. So these animals were like, almost gold in a sense. And so they were having a very difficult time adjusting to Nepal, and some were not thriving. And it just added more concern to the government officials handling the goats. And when I got to Bandipur, they actually had them kind of like stowed away in a building that had no light, no… very limited ventilation, and they were like being like, what they felt protected. And it was just like, all the wrong things. I mean, these goats were just kind of like locked into this, almost like a little prison cell, and they were stunted. The Saanens had been there for approximately one year, they would have been going on two-year-old goats, they were like about eight to 10 months old when they arrived. So they were 20 to 24 months old at this time; they were the size of a senior kid that we would have in the States and the Saanen breed. Their hair was all rough. And they were extremely thin. So it really concerned me all the way around. And I just kind of shadowed the staff because I didn’t want to come in and right away start, you know, telling them all these things they were doing wrong. So I just kind of shadowed the staff for a couple days to see what the routine was and what was going on. And that really gave me some insight on planning out how to perhaps help this herd recover and, you know, get them thriving again.

Deborah Niemann 7:56
Wow, that’s fascinating. So what were some of the suggestions other than like, obviously, they needed to, you know, like, let them outside, what were some of the other things…

Dan Laney 8:09
…that I did? Yeah. Okay, so, yeah. Piggybacking on what you said: One of the things I noticed was on this farm site they had outdoor exercise pens. So that was, of course, one of the first things. I said, “We got to get them out, they got to get sunlight, they got to get air, they got to get exercise.” So we got them outside for, you know, certain periods of time. And then I analyzed the feed, and they were given them the browse that they normally give the goats, but in addition, they were giving them a pellet grain. I looked at the content of the grain. And it was only like about — it was coming from India — and it was about 9% protein. And so, what I ended up doing is I went online, and I got two different formulas for goat chow that we have here like Land of lakes, Purina, and got the ingredients that was in their goat grain. And what we ended up doing was actually making our own grain by bringing in all the different elements that we could get that was in the recipe of the goat chow. And so we wanted to get the protein content at a higher level. And the other area that I was really puzzled by was I never saw containers or anything of fresh water in any of the pens. And so I kept asking about the water. What I was told about the water was that the goats get it from the browse, they get it from the grasses. And they would let the goat out. The Saanen goats would have access to a water trough for about 10 minutes, twice a day. And that was all. And so, you know, a goat cannot consume all the water that they need in a 10 minute interval for the whole 24 hours or 12 hour period, especially if you are thinking about a dairy goat.

Deborah Niemann 10:11
Oh yeah…

Dan Laney 10:12
We’re looking at, you know, producing milk. So that was… And the result was, of course, it curled up here, the brittle skin, they just were not getting enough water. And so I immediately had them put water in all the pens that the goats were kept in – 24/7, fresh water. And then we increased the grain protein content, and got them outside. And then along those lines, I started teaching them how to trim feet, because that also needs closer containment, you know, raised. They’re not out on the hillsides. So, of course, the hooves were growing. So I said, “Well, give them new shoes.” And so we started trimming feet. And I had picked up a lot of hoof trimmers prior to this visit. And anyway, those were the things that started turning this herd around into becoming a very successful core group of purebred Saanens.

Deborah Niemann 11:19
Wow, that is so interesting. I remember hearing that — I forget whether it was llamas or camels… But one of those animals, when it was first imported to the United States, that whole first importation died, because the people who imported them didn’t think they needed to give them water. And, so this is not… What you’re saying is this is not the only time this has happened. Which is just fascinating, because I think, hopefully, most people understand the importance of water. I know I used to always tell my daughters, they don’t make that milk out of air.

Dan Laney 11:53
Right. You know, I mean, a milk is like 85-87% water. And so what I found is, again, I want to be really fair, they had been raising goats prior to the Saanens coming. They had been raising meat goats, and there was, you know, they had success. I mean, there was, they’d been… and under very difficult conditions, they had been able to raise the local breed of goat, which is Khari, and very similar in type to a Kiko. But, you know, dairy goat is a different animal than meat goat, and there are some differences that you have to really be attentive to. And so it is a matter of all just really trying to help educate them on the ways to handle the dairy goat. And while giving them certainly credit for, for doing all the things they had been doing, again, under the conditions. One of the… I learned some really good things also. I think it’s important that, you know, every place you go, every place — I’ve gone all around the world, and I’ve gone to, I don’t know, 35 or 40 countries now — I’m always fascinated by the way goats are raised, and different, you know, a different tropic, different climates, necessitate different kind of housing and all that. One of the things that really intrigued me about the shed housing in Nepal is they’re raised above the ground, about four feet — the floor is above the ground four feet — and it’s slatted, so that the droppings fall through the floor and down on the ground below. And that really does help a lot in preventing, you know, parasite infestations and also the cleanliness, as ease. They also… It’s ease of getting to the dropping manure to use for fertilizer as well. I just found the raised housing was a really interesting and positive aspects of their goat husbandry techniques in Nepal.

Deborah Niemann 14:00
Yeah, that is fascinating. Someone in Myanmar sent me some questions one time, and I asked him for some photos of the goats and they had that kind of housing, which… I thought that was pretty brilliant too, in terms of, you know, just keeping the manure away from the goats to reduce your parasite problems. And I hadn’t even thought about, you know, if it’s high enough that that definitely makes it easier for you to be able to access the manure and use it for fertilizer.

Dan Laney 14:29
Yeah, Yeah, it does. So, so that kind of was like, laid the groundwork, because you know, what I had kind of… The premise was when I had started with the idea of this Kiko bringing Kiko semen I realized, you know, that I really needed to maybe work with the goats that already were there and help to improve them before I thought about introducing something else. And, and that really has been kind of the way that I’ve looked at this focus on this whole aspect. And it’s, it’s really expanded because what I’ve come to find out is that, you know, the goats are so — and I knew this, but I mean — the goats are so much easier to maintain up in the villages. And in many cases, the villages, because of the way society has evolved in Nepal, the villages really have a lot of women and children, and the elderly are left in the villages. A lot of the 24-45 or 50 year old group of both men and women are abroad working to earn money to send home. So, for the elderly and the children and the woman to just to be taking care of, you know, water buffalo, or anything, it’s very difficult, where a goat is so much more manageable. And it really can still provide the household with the meat, the milk, and of course companionship.

Deborah Niemann 16:05
Right. That’s wonderful. So what are some of the projects that you have worked on? Because that was back in 2015; I know you’ve continued going back a lot since then. What are some of the other things that you’ve done on your other trips?

Dan Laney 16:21
Yeah, well, it’s just… This is the one part that keeps me going, Deborah, is this whole project is kind of, it keeps rippling out. And as I travel around some different areas in Nepal, I come upon different things that I think about how I can incorporate that into what I’m doing with this whole concept of goats. What I’m trying to do is not only help, you know, sustain that herd of purebred Saanens in Bandipur, but also to help empower the village people to just have a better quality of life. And so, oh, it just has been multifaceted. One of the things that has happened is, I’ve come in contact with really some wonderful NGOs, non-government organizations, that are working also in Nepal, and I’ve been able to work in partnership with them. One of the one of the organizations that I’ve worked with is called Africa-Asia Destitute Relief Foundation, ADRF. And when I found out about them — they do work in certain villages, and they support the schools by providing a hot lunch, every day, in two of the schools that I’ve been linked up with there in Nepal. And my aspect is, I work with them in these villages. I provide training to the farmers in that village on sustainable and economic husbandry practices that they can have to improve their goats. And then, if they come to my meeting, and follow, you know, like… are interested to, to kind of pick up on some of these techniques, then what I will do is through the project, I will find one of the farmers that I’ve worked with that has been doing some good husbandry practices, purchase a young female goat from that farmer, and donate it to one of the other village farmers who does not have the goat. And then they in turn are to pass the first female goat that their animal has to some other person in need. And it’s just kind of, like, really expanded, and this what is really great is to show how interactive all this is. ADRF, then, will buy the young male goats from the village farmer. And they will use those — the meat of the male goat — in the lunch programs that they provide to the students at the schools, whose parents are raising the goats. So it’s all kind of like, you know, interrelated and supportive.

Dan Laney 19:10
And along those lines, what I’ve really found out, and the three things, the four things, I guess it is, that I try to teach to the village farmers, whenever I put on these little training sessions is: Number One, obviously, we have to provide them with fresh water 24/7, and it’s just something that just needs to be done. And, and I really encourage them to do that on a routine basis. And they pretty well, after a short time… because what I’ve asked when I go to these villages, I asked them what is one of the biggest problems that they have? Well, universally, I hear, “Oh, the female has the babies, but she has no milk.” Well… Let’s see about that. Where’s the water? Where’s the “pani” — we call that p-a-n-i — where’s the pani? “Oh, the pani. She gets it from the leaves. She gets it from the creek.” No, no, no, no. You must give the doe pani. And so you know, that has been one big, really driving force that I tried to really instill in all the places I go to. The second thing is: Feed the browse — which is like what they typically give ’em are cuttings from trees and stuff like that, or grasses — but feed it above the ground. And if they don’t have what we call a rack feeder, which is a simple, you know, rack feeder that’s slotted so they can come through and they browse, they can tie it with the rope on a tree. And the animals are then not defecating and urinating on the food they’re eating. And it helps again keep the food green — uh, clean — reduces the parasitic infestation, and really provides for a healthier animal. And keeping the area clean that the animals are housed in helps reduce parasites again, and flies, and provides, again, good nutrient sources for their home gardens. And the fourth thing is to separate males and females. One of the big problems in Nepal is inbreeding in the goats. And that really has devastating effects on, you know, as the animals produce. And so by separating males and females except for breeding, and selecting that breeding, not letting it be random, they can control the inbreeding, and also helping them by showing them in simple ways of castrating the males that they want to use for meat also helps reduce, you know, the inbreeding possibilities. And those things are all at no cost. Water is available. They can tie the feet up by a rope, that’s simple. Cleaning just takes some time. And the inbreeding is again being smart. And so, at no cost to the farmer, those four steps will do a great deal in improving the health of the herd.

Deborah Niemann 22:08
Wow, that is really great. So what kind of plans do you have for the future? I know things are a little shaky now. But maybe I should ask: What were your plans before your travel got limited?

Dan Laney 22:22
Well, you know, it’s kind of like… What I’ve decided… And thank you for that question. And yeah, I am in the course of regrouping, as we say, you know, as we all are, but one of the things is that as… like I mentioned before — and I may kind of go back and forth a little bit, so forgive me here — but as I mentioned before, I linked up with this women’s skills development organization, or you mentioned it actually, in the intro about the little goats. And they are just such a wonderful group of people. Rama, the lady who started this program in 1975, she works with 500 women in Nepal. Now, they’re in a more urban area, “pulchra,” which is “a small city.” And they have there what they call factory. It’s a beautiful layout, but they have a factory there. And they produce a lot of craft items that are exported all over the world, but also sold there in markets in both Katmandu and pulchra. And I just have really connected with that group of people. And not only are they making the goats, but then I was able to donate back to them enough money so they could purchase more machines, so that they can continue with what they’re doing, and empowering the women in that area. And it’s kind of like… It’s just a little sidebars. But what I will be doing is continuing to provide whatever kind of support I can to this women’s skills development organization through the sale of the little goats that we’re making. The other thing that I’ve done is I’ve linked up with the ADRF, and what we’re going to be doing is, we have a goat card greeting card project going on. And that was actually the beauty of all this is that I don’t do all this by myself. I have so many great friends in the goat community here in the United States that have done so much to help foster what I’m doing. And this one project of the goat cards came from Mary Thompson in Minnesota. And it’s similar to an Owl Card, where she brought supplies — she came and visited with me, her and Jennifer Lohman-Peterson last year — and we went to BHUMI MADA? Village where the students are — one of the schools — and she introduced this art project. Brought the art supplies in a duffel bag from home, and said to the students, “Just draw me pictures that have a goat in ’em. I don’t care, use your imagination. They don’t have to be realistic. Whatever you think, but just have it be a goat-theme-related.” And she showed them some of the cards that she had as samples from The Owl Project. These students jumped on board. And I brought back — they left, Mary and Jennifer, after 10 days there, they left but I stayed on — and I went back to the village and picked up the art supplies. And they are — the art, not supplies, but the product art drawings that they had of the goats. And I’m telling you, they’re just amazing. So what Mary has done is… I brought them back, she took them to a printer, we’re having the picture of the goat on the front, whatever the drawing is that the student made. And then it’s blank. And on the back is the name of the student, the age, and the village that the student came from. And those are going to be greeting cards that are going to be marketed here in the States to help support art projects in the schools, and, more importantly, give recognition to those students, and saying how they’re helping with community service by bringing live goats into the village through their art. And I really want to kind of like, highlight, you know, their involvement in helping to improve their country and their people.

Dan Laney 26:29
Um, and along with that, what I’ll be doing on this next trip is tree planting. I’ve decided that we’re going to add an element of trees, because trees are what is used to feed the goats. The branches are from the trees. And we’ll be planting trees that are suitable for browse for goats or buffalo. And also trees that are suitable to help prevent soil erosion on the hillsides, which is a big problem during monsoon season in Nepal. So we’re going to start those off in the schools. And, of course, that’s going to lead into the whole environmental, you know, science and knowledge of how they can become active participants in keeping their country beautiful.

Deborah Niemann 27:17
Wow, this is awesome. You are doing some really incredible things. And it… there’s such a ripple effect that goes so far beyond the goats. You know, here in this country, goats are, for most people, their pets, or you know, possibly a whole-milk supply. But there it’s just huge; it’s everything. It’s related to their education and their dinner and their breakfast and everything.

Dan Laney 27:45
It is. And I think… I mean, I just got goosebumps actually just thinking about all of it, because, you know, along with that, we’re trying to help encourage the use of goat milk and goat milk products. And it’s really funny because, you know, I, I dealt with that here in the States many years ago, when we were really starting to push cheeses and whatnot in the 70s and 80s. And it was difficult for people they thought that goat milk was just some kind of like, for certain people, it wasn’t really mainstream, would not become mainstream. And it’s just, you know — education. We really had to do a lot of education. There in Nepal, they love the goat meat, but very few people drink the milk. And, so what I’ve been trying to do is incorporate cheesemaking and curd and different ways of introducing the population to the benefits of goat milk and goat milk products. And that has really also taken on, you know, a life of its own as we’ve done that. And so we’re now looking at marketplaces in Katmandu. And it is such a wonderful opportunity because a large part of Nepal’s outside income is generated by tourists. And many of these tourists come from Europe, and many tourists from Europe love goat cheese. And so these areas in the villages that house tourists that come to visit to see the beautiful country, they’re just like waiting, you know, in the sense… They need to have goat cheese in every one of those restaurants. That’s my goal. That’s my goal. So you know, but, but it’s, it’s all possible because as you mentioned, goats are such a viable part of their whole culture. I mean, it’s just, they really… they really… they’re just everywhere. And it’s just wonderful to see. So…

Deborah Niemann 29:57

Dan Laney 29:58
I just wish I was involved 40 years younger, taking on all this, because it’s just… it’s just… I don’t know. It’s just a wonderful experience. So we’ve got the projects with the Saanens. And the other part that we’ve done along with the Saanens at that the Goat Research Station, I have to say is, what we’ve done is we’ve started the whole breeding program there to cross the Saanens with the local breeds to help create a hybrid vigor, and eventually get to a Nepalese Saanen. We now have Saanens that started out 50-50 — 50% Saanen, 50% Khari — and now we’ve got those animals, we’ve got them up to 87.5% Saanen, still with that Khari background, and it’s amazing to see. What we found is — and I hate to use this verb, but I have to get back to the benefits of this whole crossbreed — the indigenous goats, the Khari, had a very low mortality rate created by enterotoxemia. There was very few cases of enterotoxemia among the Khari goats. But the Saanen and Boers, which is another breed has been brought in, had a higher rate of, you know, mortality created by enterotoxemia. When we crossed the Khari and the Saanen or the Khari and the Boer, that immediately dropped. So we’re finding that by having these hybrid goats, and now with the 87.5 — I think when I go back, there’ll be 90 to 92.3, whatever the next… Anyway, it’ll be like five generations — those goats are really acclimated and healthy and doing great. And still producing milk, which is, you know, it’s almost like a really great Nepali dual-purpose animal.

Deborah Niemann 31:53
Wow, that is interesting. Also, the thing too that really strikes me, is that you can’t just think, “Oh, this is a great milk goat here in the United States, we’re going to take it to this totally different world and expect it to produce just as well.” Because so many of these animals are acclimated to where they live and where they’re… they’ve lived for generations.

Dan Laney 32:17
You know, I mean, really, like, we have designer goats. I mean, that’s, you know, I mean, in a sense, like, designer dogs, you know, we’ve done this through our breeding programs. And we’ve got — we have beautiful animals here. But you’re absolutely right. What I have found, in even my own experience here in the States, when I had my herd and sending them around, you know, the country to different buyers, even then, even within the United States, they had a difficult time sometimes adjusting to the new environment, with the new feed the new, you know, whatever it was. And so, you know, goats, while they’re really… they are strong, they also do have to have a whole acclimation process that takes place, and unless that is taken into consideration, and where they’re going, you’re going to have failure. I mean, it’s just going to be a real difficult thing. So, we’ve learned a lot from all this. But the main thing is, I always tell my people, just like I did here, “You’ve got to keep your eye on the goat.” They’re going to tell you if you’re watching your animal and I know you’ve worked with… I’ve been to, you know, Langston, and I’ve seen the great research that they’re doing at Langston University with the goats. And, you know, the big thing is that the goat, if you’re watching the goat, they’re going to tell you if they’re sick. I mean…

Deborah Niemann 33:39

Dan Laney 33:40
You’d have to be watching them. And so if you don’t pay attention, you’re gonna have a problem. And… But that’s just another little side thing. But, I just have found that crossing them has been a valuable asset to helping with, you know, their acclimation to that.

Deborah Niemann 34:04
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I always say, “Listen to the goat, listen to your goat more than you listen to any person.” Cuz the goats, the goats can tell you how they feel.

Dan Laney 34:16
And yes, and, you know, what I try to do, and it’s really… I try to keep everything in a very practical and applicable frame. For example, like, you know, one of the things that I found is that they did not, as a routine, watch… Whenever doe kid — when a doe has kids, I would be watching, I was probably like a Nervous Nellie, but I mean, I was just kind of… If I was going to have them dam raised, which I didn’t, but if you’re gonna dam raise the kids, you want to make sure that they get to that udder within the first six to 12 hours, and earlier, if possible. And if you’re going to, you know, not dam raise, you want to make sure you give them that colostrum — first milk — immediately, as, you know, as soon as you can. In Nepal, they kind of let nature take its course. And if the goat kid was not getting up to suckle, oh, well, and then pretty soon the goat kid died. So I really tried to encourage them to really be a little bit more observant in that area, and also it helps, of course, with the stimulation of the milk once the kids start nursing. So, you know, it’s looking, it’s teaching, and teaching them those kind of basic things, as well as providing warm water as soon as the doe has their babies. If you can add something to it, you know, like molasses or something, great. Help to get those electrolytes kind of more balanced. And it makes all the difference in the world, and those are things that they now are starting to do on a more routine basis.

Deborah Niemann 35:59
So this has been really fascinating, and I could — we could — go on for hours, I’m sure.

Dan Laney 36:04
I kinda get off on little tangents. Yeah, I’m sorry.

Deborah Niemann 36:07
No, no, this is so amazing. And I’m thinking, the whole time I’m thinking, I’m like, “Oh, my goodness, I have to have you back.” So we can talk about, like, all these other things that I’m tempted to start asking you about.

Dan Laney 36:18
I’d love to do that at sometime. I know, our time is limited, but each one of these have their own little avenues to go down.

Deborah Niemann 36:24
Oh, yeah, exactly. So, I want to make sure that everybody knows how they can help you out. So I mentioned earlier that Caprine Supply sells these adorable little goats that are made by the people in Nepal, which if people purchase those, a portion of the proceeds go to your organization. And then you mentioned greeting cards, are those available for sale anywhere yet?

Dan Laney 36:49
Right. Okay. I just want to clarify something. The actual, the Caprine Supply connection is actually a button that directs the people to the actual site where the goats are sold.

Deborah Niemann 37:03
Oh, got it.

Dan Laney 37:04
Okay, so that’s like a link. Jim and Joanie have graciously added that link to their catalog. So, what… The easiest way, really, for people to find out about the project — and it will lead them to this site where the goats are available — is to Google… There’s two ways. One is to Google “worldwide project goat project Nepal.” If they Google “worldwide goat project Nepal,” it will bring up a little Google descriptive that will send them to Kalimandu. And Kalimadu do is the site where they are selling the goats, crafts from women skills development also, all of those things are available, and the greeting cards will be available also within the next couple of weeks on that site as well. That is run by my friend Melissa, who I actually met in Nepal many years ago. And she has this site here in the United States, and has graciously offered, at no cost, to be the marketer for me on her website. And so it’s a great way for people if they go to “worldwide goat project Nepal,” or they can go directly Kalimandu.com. And that’s spelled C-a-l-i-m-a-n-d-u. Kalimandu.

Deborah Niemann 38:35
Okay, great. And I will include those links in the show notes also. So people can go from there.

Dan Laney 38:41
And the other way, I mean, what people have done in the past, they can also, always, what I try to do is I try to inform people, as we wrap this up, I, on my Facebook page, I end up — I don’t have a particular one that’s just designated to the project. But when I’m traveling to Nepal, what I do is, I post pictures on my Facebook page of what’s going on. So all of my friends here in the States can kind of follow along with, you know, where I’m at, what’s going on, kind of like where’s Dan today? I’ve had teacher friends who said, “Oh, today the class, they said, ‘Where’s Dan today? We want to see where he is.'” And so, you know, they were able to use a lot of ways and some is more milking it, others put it up on their screen, and they’re milking it and say, “Oh, he’s doing this.” That’s one way they can do it. And another way is they can always just write to me with my email address laneyloslunas@aol.com. And, back to Caprine Supply, they have been really gracious, and I’ve had people who have gotten certificates from Caprine Supply, and they’re just there so that when I buy things to take to Nepal, I can use those gift certificates that are on hold at Caprine Supply. And that’s just been a wonderful support for me, because the way this whole thing is funded is by myself and my friends, my judging jobs and whatnot, and anything, anything to help with the goats or whatever is greatly appreciated, Deborah.

Deborah Niemann 40:13
Great. Well, thank you so much for joining us today, and telling us about what you’re doing, and what you’re planning to do, and I certainly hope you’re able to get back over there again and help with the tree planting and all of the other goat projects. And I’d love to have you back sometime to talk about some more of this stuff.

Dan Laney 40:32
Yeah, that’s be perfect. And, I will be getting back. There’s just no question. Maybe not until after the first of the year, but I’m gonna continue, there’s just too much going on. So, I’d love to be back. Thank you very much for having me, it’s been a real pleasure, and I thank you very much for your interest in finding out a little bit more about the goats in Nepal.

One of the village training sessions in Kavre District with the women gathered under the large tree
a goat farm near Lamjung
A goat farm near Lamjung
Dan with the Saanens goat
Dan with the Saanens in Nepal.
For the Love of Goats mug
Goats in Nepal pin graphic

4 thoughts on “Goats in Nepal”

  1. Thanks, Deborah…I enjoyed the podcast and hope others will as well! I sent you a private email but really wanted to correct my spelling…the site to purchase the goats and soon the goat greeting cards is : Kalimandu.com
    I misspelled it by starting with a “C” and it should be with a “K”…uggh!!
    What kind of a teacher does that?!!


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