Translate

Thursday, November 21, 2013

NORCO: Successful goat breeders don’t kid around


NORCO: Successful goat breeders don’t kid around

Some of the 25 or so pygmy goats bred at the Amber Waves ranch in Norco.
Some of the 25 or so pygmy goats bred at the Amber Waves ranch in Norco.
Jim and Debbie Hosley bid farewell to some of their pygmy goats the other day. Several were packed up from their Norco ranch and shipped off to New York, Illinois and Idaho. They’re preparing to send another shipment of 25 to their new home in Kuwait; the shipping alone will cost $17,000.
Tori Spelling and Megan Fox have purchased some, and so has a crown prince from the United Arab Emirates. Last year a Saudi Arabian princess was disappointed when she stopped by but was turned down because she was short on cash and the Hosleys at the time didn’t accept credit cards. They do now.
Over the years, the Hosleys’ goats have won hundreds of championships and awards and have earned a reputation for their breeding.
In other words, if you want a pygmy, the Hosleys are your goat-to couple.
Jim and Debbie Hosley with one of their alpacas at their ranch in Norco.
Jim and Debbie Hosley with one of their alpacas at their ranch in Norco.
Nineteen years ago, when Jim and Debbie married, he was a service tech for Avery Labels and had two horses. With the “dowry,” he said, came her eight horses and 25 goats. They all moved to his house on almost an acre and began their breeding business, Amber Waves Pygmy Goats.
They’ve since added silkie chickens, blue slate turkeys and sebastopol geese to their product line. Also on the property are rescued pigs, alpacas and an emu.
So you can go to the San Diego Zoo or to the Hosleys’ farms. Actually, they do allow visitors when arrangements are made in advance. Children have a terrific time with the goats, which is not surprising since kids like kids. Call Jim at (951) 233-4231 to make a reservation.
The pygmies are sold by the Hosleys as pets or for breeding. A female goat and a breeding buck can cost $600 or more while a fixed male starts at $375. Jim, 73, said he’ll keep raising them as long as he can sell them.
The gestation period is about five months, and breeding should wait until the goats are at least a year old.
Goats do make great pets, Jim said, and he knows of one couple whose goat sleeps with them. (Yes, it’s house-trained.) They’re comparable in many ways to a larger dog, weighing 40 to 60 pounds and having a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. They need the company of their own kind, so one goat won’t be enough.
The goats are really cute, and of course they’re welcome in Norco. But those of us in Corona are still waiting for the city council to give its blessing to chickens. I suggest that we let our elected officials know that pygmies should be included in the ordinance.
That will get their goat.
Peter Fischetti can be reached at 951-272-1530 or pfischetti@pe.com. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PE.

Visit Amber Waves

Visit Amber Waves
Book your on-line appointment today!